You're Not Their Property

When I listen to people discuss their relationships, particularly with regard to exes, I realise that those who have unhealthy relationship beliefs and behaviours are inclined to have a ‘claimant’ mentality. You’ll know this all too well if you’ve ever been with Mr/Miss Unavailable – back off when you want them, chase you down when you tell them to take a run and jump or they see you trying to move on with their lives. Then you go and take them back after all of their desperation, grand gestures, and promises to change, only to find yourself back at square one days, weeks, or months later, or even for them to disappear as soon as they get confirmation that you still want them.

It’s as if by getting involved with a ‘claimant’, that unbeknownst to you, you’re entering into a contract where you sign over your relationship rights and provide them with the option to swan back into your life at any time irrespective of what you want and regardless of whether they’ve even earned the right to think that they should have any space in your life. The likelihood is that the more that you’ve pumped them up by overextending yourself for them and the more poorly you’ve been treated is the more entitled they feel to their claim.

You would think that this ‘claimant mentality’ only extended itself to relationships, but I know people who still get calls, emails, and texts from people that they had one date with five years ago after meeting them on a dating site, who seem to think that they can show up anytime and pick up where they left off or just tap them up for an ego stroke or a shag.

There’s a level of arrogance involved with this along with some ego issues that suggest that their self-esteem is founded on the ability to amass ‘property’ and access it for validation or to avail themselves of goods at their disposal … even if they don’t treat the ‘property’ right.

Of course, this territorial sense of ownership is largely about control – “I touch it, I own it. I sleep with it, I own it. You expressed interest in me, I own you … even if I’m not really that interested in you. Someone else wants you, I’m now interested, I have to own you.” When a ‘claimant’ experiences something going awry in another area of their lives (maybe one of their ‘properties’ knocks them back, or they attempt a takeover and get rejected), you’ll notice that they check in on their ‘assets’ which gives them the illusion of being in control and validates their ego.

Claimants associate feeling out of control with desire, so of course when you’re behaving as expected, they lose their ‘relationship erection’.

What is of course completely bonkers about this, is that the claimant’s seem to think they wipe out all of your prior involvements and that they can liberally erase or cock up any subsequent involvements. It gets even more bonkers if you’ve been with several claimant’s so they all seem to feel that they have ‘rights’, are holding on to their ‘key’, but they’re not actually willing to occupy a mutually fulfilling relationship with love, care, trust, respect, and shared values.

They desire you when they feel in danger of losing you or when someone else expresses interest – you tell them to step up or let you go, only for them to step back once they’ve secured ‘control’ and validation again. They feel territorial but what they don’t seem to feel and demonstrate is love, care, trust, and respect. They want to own you but they don’t want to truly value you.

Claimants assume that:

You’re besotted with them.

You’ve never got over them.

Even if they effed you over and broke your heart fifty years ago, that they have a right to another shot when they demand it and that you’ve been fannying away your life waiting for a rejection retraction and reconciliation.

If they’ve decided to feel bad about their past actions, that you must be consumed by thoughts of them, and are still hugely impacted and waiting on them.

You’ll ego stroke and listen to their problems.

They still know the right moves.

You’re still horny for them.

You think they’re the best you’ve ever had and nobody ‘gives it to you’ as good as them.

Nobody has ever measured up in character to them.

They make your life oh so much better, even with their crumbs.

They have the right to lose interest or park it, only to resurrect their interest when someone new is sniffing around you.

They have a right to pee a ring around you and block parties they know from approaching you.

Claimant’s, often without truly realising it, have delusions of grandeur. They’re living off this premise that everything is about them and that even if they’ve had you on a crumb diet, that they’ve been stuffing you with golden loaves.

You are not someone’s medal or trophy that reminds them of how great they are or how they can’t be ‘that bad’, nor are you a discarded plaything, an unreturned library book, or furniture and bric-a-brac with a cloth over it in a dusty attic. You certainly shouldn’t allow yourself to be the mannequin in someone’s House Of Ego Horror’s.

They don’t own you just like you don’t own anyone else. This means that you shouldn’t be selling yourself down the river to the lowest bidder and settling for less than you deserve.

Claimants never step up and treat you right. After a while, they make enough claims on you that they feel confident that they’re in no true danger of losing you. This is when you notice that their chasing efforts get feebler and lazier.

Whenever there is a sense of ownership, particularly when there is no actual relationship or they don’t treat you as a valuable, worthwhile person, you know that not only are you not in a mutual relationship, but this person is not the one for you. Control including jealousy and possessiveness isn’t love; it’s control.

The key thing in all of this though is that you shouldn’t render yourself helpless by behaving like someone else’s property. When it’s over, it’s over – don’t allow people to continue to enjoy the same access to you and certainly don’t remain open to the possibility of them coming back because it makes you unavailable for an available relationship. Next time, it’s petition for the claimant denied – next!

Your thoughts?

PS If you want to see a claimant in action and are in the UK, check out Spencer Matthews on Made In Chelsea

Your thoughts?

The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship is now available from my bookshop along with with Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl.

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247 Responses to They Don’t Own You: When Someone Thinks That They Have A Claim On You

  1. grace says:

    I was not going to comment and just go to bed when I see you mention Made in Chelsea. A jawdropping perfect illustration of EUness, from both men and women.
    And yes, Spencer is the worst. Gabi’s a real drama queen but at least you can see her coming.

  2. happy beginning says:

    Haha Spencer! What I found really cruel was that the EUM I was involved with was definitely a claimant, but was so unpossessive, he even tried to set me up on a date with someone. That’s in the top 3 hurtful things. Talk about feeling unwanted…and still jumping for those crumbs. I always thought it was about me before realising he just doesn’t feel for people. I’m sure he still thinks he can come back and claim me when he feels like it.

    • happy beginning says:

      I wonder now if he was more of a harem king than a claimant – is there a difference? Am thinking the former is a bit less abuot owning people and more just having people on ice.

  3. Gerog says:

    Ah, that explains why I keep getting Whatsapp messages from a guy I went on ONE date with nearly 2 months ago… and who I told unambiguously that I wasn’t interested. But yet I must ‘get in touch sometime, OK?’ You don’t know me, but you’re the boss of me? No. GTFOH!

    • audrey says:

      Hi, I haven’t posted on br for quite a while! The text message of “what are you up to?” is classic eu text communication that is quite childish but enfuriating at the same time.

      • A says:

        I’ve gotten “are you alive” messages from two different people. In both cases, the person had just been a total ass and knew exactly why I wasn’t talking to them. Infuriating. I now recognize this as meaning, “I’m not actually going to acknowledge what I did or take any responsibility, but you should just hurry up and start talking to me again. Oh, and be prepared to pretend as though everything is fine”.

        • happy beginning says:

          Audrey, “The text message of “what are you up to?” is classic eu text communication that is quite childish but enfuriating at the same time.”

          It’s so innocent, what could you possibly accuse him of, he’s only seeing how you are… infuriating is the word. It’s mindeffing. I love how these little details are shared here.

          There’s a few ‘just thinking of you’ messages I’ve got lately from people who’ve done me wrong, friends who’ve trampled my boundaries, and I read between the lines – translation is ‘do I still own you? Can I drain anymore of your spirit? Can you keep on making me feel like I’m a caring person and keep blowing smoke up my arse, am running a bit low on people to do that because what goes around comes around and I’m starting to see the reality of what a gobshite I am- and by the way I’ll only apologise if I have to, would rather just reset’. If the last time you saw someone was on bad terms, they should either ask whether you can meet up and discuss it, write a letter/text whatever that addresses the problem, or send a straight apology. Some inane ‘what are you doing message’ should just be ignored.

  4. Little Star says:

    I was missing ACs today and I even told my best friend, that I am going to call them as I miss them like mad:-( and she even told me: “What are you going to lose? Why not? Life is too short, at least you will have a good time”….BUT I stopped myself, I thought, no, it is my 14th day of NC…I have to be strong and I “came” to BR for support and here is Natalie;s new post… Your words got through me yet again: “When it’s over, it’s over – don’t allow people to continue to enjoy the same access to you and certainly don’t remain open to the possibility of them coming back because it makes you unavailable for an available relationship”… I do not want to be unpaid hooker anymore:-( I cant thank you enough Natalie xxx

    • Polly says:

      I think your friend needs educating by BR – she is VERY off message!

    • titi says:

      You miss him treating you like dirt? No, I don’t think so. You miss YOU treating you like a QUEEN. Stick to NC, stick to yourself.

      • Little Star says:

        Yes titi, you are right, probably I have so low self esteem that I even miss be treated like a shit… They both did not send me even Valentine or Christmas messages, and me sitting here and “missing” them of exactly WHAT? Sex -“unpaid hookery sessions?!!! I probably need a psychiatric help!!!

  5. sm says:

    ‘you’ll notice that they check in on their ‘assets’ Hysterical!!! I shudder to think that my 2nd to last AC was checking in on all his ‘assets’ when he was checking in on me. At one time I had several AC’s and EU’s checking in on me, it was an ego boost to me for sure. I wish I had a BR back then and I would have realized early on that I was just a fallback girl and my ego was being deflated not boosted. Thank God for that therapist who told me how unhealthy it was, she didnt name it though like you Nat. And Thank God I believed and listened to her even though I didnt really know why. Almost 6 weeks on my last breakup and no contact other than him bringing my things over(I wasnt home). Maybe I’m finally shaking my FBG status. Yay! Its kind of weird because I’m so used to it.

  6. Lia says:

    I have this ex that I haven’t dated in like 5 or 6 years, puppy love in our early adulthood. His best friend and one of my good friends are dating, so we are around one another occasionally. The thing that throws me off is how he acts around me whenever another man is showing some interest, it doesn’t even have to be a romantic interest, just interest in general. It’s like he has to let it be known that we have a past and somehow finds some kind of way to remain on my side of the room or in my conversations period. Like a couple of weeks back we were all at a friend’s house for a dinner party and I was sitting on the beck deck with some of the other guys that came. He comes outside and joins in the convo, when it got quiet, he asks everyone if they knew that we used to date. I was totally confused, especially since it was pretty obvious to everyone there that this one particular guy was interested in me. I didn’t really know whose benefit that comment was for, but the kicker is that his girlfriend is always there whenever these gatherings take place, yet he still finds some kind of way to get in the way when I’m interacting with any man. I’ve figured out that it only happens when I’m interacting with a man for a prolonged amount of time, not just a simple hi and bye. It’s annoying and I really just find it unnecessary. It’s really weird, because I don’t have any feelings for him anymore and I don’t even think that he has any for me, at least I hope he doesn’t. Even his friend noticed it, but thought that it just came down to him “marking his territory”. But we’re not dating and haven’t for quite some time, so how could he possibly even see me as his “territory”? Weird…

    • titi says:

      The apropriate answer would be: “Excuse me, do I know you”, or a good laughter followed by “me, with you? Not in a million years”. He’s acting like a moron. Why do you let him do this to you? Tell him to eff off.

      • Lia says:

        Honestly, it was something that was pointed out to me by one of my other friends a while, so I guess at first I didn’t even really pay him any mind. It’s only been in recent months that I’ve actually seen it happening, and I really don’t know how to address it without overly engaging him. He’s on my nerves but at the same time I don’t want to have to hurt his feelings, and I have a hard time dealing in situations like this without having to be a little mean.

        • A says:

          I wouldn’t worry about being blunt or hurting his feelings–he is the one who is being rude. I suppose you could directly call him out (no one cares that we used to spend time together, it was ages ago. why do you keep bringing it up?) or just make a similar comment to him in front of whoever is in ear shot the next time he does this. I think I’m favouring the latter, it may embarrass him enough to shut him up.

    • grace says:

      If he unzipped his trousers and p1ssed on you, he couldn’t make it more clear what he’s doing. And it’s about as respectful.

      • cc says:

        there is a (rather impolite) term for that – its called cock-blocking. and not only is it disrespectful to you as grace says, but its disrespectful to his girlfriend – notice how it makes him EU to her – she should dump him for it …


      • Skyscraper says:

        I love you, Grace. :)

  7. little mouse says:

    hello ive posted on here before and i need some advice as i go this alone. i have been seeing a mm for the last four yrs , its been down graded to a booty call once a month and texts , however i have started to pull away after i got told by a women on fb that he seeing her friend. for months now ive not text him he texts me but sice this has come out he has all of a sudden hes stepped up the texting , and offered to take me away for weekends , i cannot understand why if he seeing someone new ,why bother with me why not just diasapear. why start paying me lots of attention. ive tried in the last months to just view him as a friend but i dont think i can even do that.

    • titi says:

      The right question would be: why do you keep treating yourself like a hooker? It’s not about him making up his mind about you. It’s about you making the decision NOT to be his booty call, and finally learning to say NO to other people and you degrading you. Don’t “try” to forget him. Just DO it. Cut him off, fast and for good.

    • grace says:

      here are some of the things that women here have been offered and never got:
      holidays, sex, friendship, a house, marriage, pizza (after 20+ years of laying claim to me, one of my exes couldn’t even show up for pizza), impregnation, divorce from their wives. They ALL do this. And 90% of it is via text.
      As you sit there, looking at your phone, your heart beating with wild excitement and anticipation, know this:
      We’ve ALL had those texts and it’s ALWAYS been bollocks.
      Flush it from your mind.
      And he’s not your friend. I’m feeling my way with male friends, cos I never really had them before. I was one of those people who thought it wasn’t possible for men and women to be friends. I’m still not sure but one thing I do know – none of em are texting me behind their girlfriend’s/wife’s back! He’s not respecting one of the fundamental boundaries of friendship. NO SEX.

      • Lilia says:

        Think of it as being one of many living in a harem. The sultan (or whatever it is he´s called) may have his favorite, but does he want his other harem ladies to get out and have their own lives? Wouldn´t he prefer to have any of his women beheaded, instead of her eloping to a life of her own? Or – worse – eloping with a loving, monogamous new love? That is why the sultan takes care no other man comes near – in harems you´ll only find eunuchs.
        So yeah, it´s not a pretty picture. Best thing you can do, Mouse, is to sneak out when everyone´s asleep, get on a horse and flee as far away as possible.

        • cc says:

          mouse et al-
          here’s another source of confusion. when a guy wants a relationship, he offers relationship. but when a guy with any brains at all just wants sex, what does he dress his offer up as? *relationship*, because that’s what he knows we really want.

          it doesn’t matter what else he’s doing with someone else, it matters what he’s doing with you. and he’s not really offering anything at all. he’s a cheater who is treating you like a lollipop (of which he might have more than one) that he’d like to lick more frequently.

          don’t be the lollipop.

          as already articulated above – please see the truth of this and dump him.

    • Tea Cozy says:

      Dude. He’s MARRIED. Bounce!

    • Fearless says:

      Little Mouse
      “i cannot understand why if he seeing someone new ,why bother with me why not just diasapear. why start paying me lots of attention.”

      So that he can use you some more to get what he wants without having to offer you anything. He doesn’t want what you want! So stop applying your own logic to him. You need to start trying to understand why you are still interested in this user and why you have no/little boundaries.

      • little mouse says:

        in the last two days ive had more messages from a women on fb who has informed me that her friend has told her hubby that she shagging him. he is still denying it yet i know he is , hes more annoyed that this women who hes shagging is blabbing about him. ive blocked her on fb and i blocked him today , which may not seem alot to youlot out there but is a big deal to me , ive loved or thought it was love this man for four odd years , he at the beginning showed me what love could be like after a vwry unhappy mentally abusive marraige. tthats why ive found it so hard to let go, i thought he had to do the right thing and get married . i know now how deluded and stupid and spineless ive been the man is a slime ball, how i wish i could turn back the clock and just left my marraige and nevr gone anywhere near him, i feel like ill never get overit, i trying so hard to keep my head up , ive got to i have two sons , ive got to go work in a min and i feel like laying on the floor and sobbing my heart out , sorry for appearing so weak , god give me strength.x

  8. dancingqueen says:

    ewwww that claimant thing truly explains my first loser…err “love” 20 years ago….literally 10 years later he hunts me down a world away to write me some weird half page email asking about how I am???? It was so creepy that although I laughed at first I really felt embarressed that someone like that was who I had chosen to have in my life…what a desperate odd thing to do…eek:)

    • Intothelight says:

      Dancing queen, theres a great song that one of the wise ladies on here posted called something to the effect of ‘Now you want to be my friend on Facebook….are you f**king kidding me!’ It’s so funny and sounds just like your post you should check it out

  9. FinallyDidIt says:

    Hot-cold, black-white and up and down. This has been my life for the past four years. Result: a real self-esteem ball buster. When he had me, he treated me like garbage and was so sure of himself. Knew I would be there no matter what. When I backed off, he wanted me so badly and I fell for more times than I want to admit, only to watch it go back to square one. Just couldn’t do it anymore. He is trying it again, I am determined this time to ignore all contact. It should be easy, but it’s not – I took a grenade to the heart for this guy.

  10. MaryC says:

    Checked out “Made in Chelsea” how I wish we got it here in America. Yeah its easy to fall into the trap of a Claimant, they are slick and know what buttons to push for their own agenda which in my opinion falls into 2 catagories: 1. Sex 2. Anything that crosses their minds and sex.

  11. teachable says:

    Hear, hear NML!!! Spot on!!!!
    PS 30 days of NC today for me!!! Doin’ the ‘happy dance’ for small (but critical) mercies!!! 😀

  12. LisaLise says:

    Hahahaha! So wonderful, Natalie. Right on spot.

    After my ex-AC informed me that he was married to a woman who lives abroad (she made the call and they had me on speakerphone as he broke the news), I immediately went cold-turkey NC. I deleted him from everything: BBM, Yahoo, Skype, Facebook, etc. It was enormously difficult the first few days and I cried all over the place: home, on the bus ride to work, on the toilet, at my desk (I have my own cubicle, mercifully). I even took a couple casual days off work just to clear my head and regroup. BUT……I was absolutely resolute in not contacting that married man. He would NOT know the anguish I was in.

    At the end of the first week, AC texted me wanting to know if I was okay and has texted me several times since I began NC 41 days ago. However, his last text was yesterday which went “I can’t do anything about my marriage and we should be friends and when we meet each other on the street we should be able to greet one another as such. Why are you being so difficult? I can be difficult too, Lisa.” I thought to myself: he seems a tad bit annoyed.

    Nat and friends, you would not believe how angry I became. I got so angry that my head hurt. How dare this cheating, lying, smug….man (?) tell me that I better talk to him or else. Hmmm…well I immediately went out for a walk and as I walked I thought things through. The Ex-AC CANNOT for the life of him FATHOM that little me (and I am little) would not want to have anything to do with him! He obviously is used to women chasing him (he once told me that he NEVER chases down women) and is used to women putting up with his off-putting behaviour and wanting him still. I have been ruthlessly ignoring his texts trying to get on with me life, preparing to continue my education and just falling in love with ME again. PLUS…..he is married. If wish he would respect that, but I have no control over what he respects or not. All I know is, he is being FORCED to respect ME cause I’m not having it. And apparently the fact that I am done with him and won’t give him the time of the day, is starting to get to him, BIG TIME!

    He is NOT, CANNOT, and WILL NOT be a ‘claimant’ over my life.

    But is usual for these AC’s to get mad if you really decide that you are moving on with your life? It was surprising because nothing ever seemed to faze him.

    • Spinster says:

      Consider either getting his number blocked by your phone provider or changing your number. That’s not a man; that’s a jerk-off. 😐

    • A says:

      I don’t think it’s that uncommon for them to get angry or try to turn things around on you. His first tactic didn’t work so he’s trying something else, trying to make you feel that you’re not being mature reasonable, polite…or even making a threat. Eff him. The best way to infuriate him even more is to continue not to respond.

    • Intothelight says:

      LisaLise – good for you! keep it up…I am now 2 weeks complete no contact. Initially there were a couple of false starts i.e.him phoning me immediately after telling me he didn’t want a relationship with me anymore but could he still call up every now and again to check I was ok? Er No! my last contact with him was his text ‘may I ring?’ I didn’t reply. It was him that ended it with me and I got great satisfaction knowing that I had finally had the strength to resist seeking validation from him and for him to know that I had now rejected him.

    • Thank God for That says:

      What a wanker!

      It’s so funny how he said he *never* chases down women.

      When I was getting to know the latest AC (almost 4 months NC now!!) last year, I asked him (among my stockpile of over-romantic “defining” questions) “what’s the hardest you’ve ever worked to get a girl?”.

      His reply? “I’ve never had a problem getting girls”

      Lol. Followed by, wait for it….

      “…but I have had to work really hard to *keep* a girl, I can tell you a story about that…”

      That was just as much information as I should have needed – he might as well have told me – I’m a chick magnet, but I treat em like crap, so it’s difficult to maintain the attraction long term. But no…I somehow twisted it into – he’s got amazing charisma and he really tries hard to make relationships work.

      Haha it’s hilarious in retrospect.

    • Anon says:

      Lisa- you certainly are focused on him and his reaction to you- takes up 90% of your email. His wife speaker phone called you to set a boundry. So, try to imagine what he was telling his wife about you- he is keeping two sets of books- telling her you are ” chasing him, annoying him, won’t let go” and that he is just a hapless victim of your obsession. All the while, he is chasing you and trying to get you to engage. To you- he probably didn’t tell you that he had a wife, or if he did, he said she was crazy, suicidal over him, separated- whatever lie he needed to say to get you be with him. He lies, lies, lies, to both of you- repeatedly, and is trying to pull you back for a happy, romantic honeymoon so that he can suddenly drop you like a brick (& win- in his mind), that’s what happens 99.9% of these cases.

      • LisaLise says:

        Spinster, I am thinking about changing my number.

        A, he can try whatever he wants. I am not biting.

        IntotheLight, thanks and good luck to you!

        Thank God For That, it IS totally hilarious! LOL!

        Anon, you are SO correct. Reading over my comment, I realise how much I was focused on HIM and his response to me not engaging with him. Truth be told, I do have sad days when I miss him and think about him all the day long, but I’m not going back there. Missing him won’t ever be enough for me to call him up or respond to his texts. Luckily, most of my days are happy and busy, so I’m generally ok. Thx.

  13. Ariel says:

    I think I had my epiphany moment today. Two year mostly long distance relationship and he still didn’t move to my city as he promised to about a year ago. No exact response to where it’s all going or what are the plans either. Also he gets mean when I try to ask or insist on anything and when he gets mean he strikes where it hurts. For instance, I was told to “Go and get a life” more than once. Never mind I am raising my 4 year old with autism alone and it’s not exactly that easy to have an active social life. I was told how to handle my affairs better and that “you are a nervous wreck”. And all of that from a 37-year old guy, never married, still going to eat and do laundry at his mom’s! What was I thinking? Why the heck am I still with this guy? No, I am done.

  14. Happy Girl says:

    Love the term “claiment”. I was involved with a full blown years ago, and it was an exercise in mental torture. The level of narcissism he reached was astounding. It took me awhile to grasp that kind of self absorption, but I am not kidding when I tell you that if I were to text him Happy Birthday to this day (nevermind the fact that I have a knack for dates and would gladly send my old second grade teacher a birthday card if I knew her address-don’t think for a second that somone of this caliber would be bothered to remember that anyone involved with him is capable of being a nice person for the simple sake of being a nice person yet NOT be a doormat he can shit all over) he would only see red flashing lights that screamed SHE STILL LOVES ME=LET ME TAKE HER FOR ALL SHE IS WORTH UNTIL I AM BORED AND FEEL EMPTY AGAIN.

    The less toxic exes also exhibited the less severe, but similar behavior when I came into contact with them again. Natalie has given me a lot of validation here on what I’ve come to believe-if you’ve ever let a selfish person take advantage of you or engaged in a doormat relationship with them, it’s very difficult to ever break that dynamic. They just don’t seem-or want-to understand the idea that they are not your focus anymore. Case in point: I saw a guy I’d gone to school with literally almost 10 years ago at a bar close to a year ago. I liked him, we hooked up, I was way too nice, he was a douche, and I graduated. Yet he went on for at least 5 minutes about his own life (didn’t ask about mine), I then excused myself quickly to get back to my group, and he seemed disappointed. A week later I ran into him again and he insinuated that I was following him (nevermind that we probably live in the same neighborhood that holds about 5 bars). A few months later I ran into him AGAIN, and he bought me a beer from across the bar anonymously, then cornered me and said he was sorry it was so akward. Um, dude, it’s NOT. I’m here with MY OWN FRIENDS who have NO connection to you and I’m having a good time WITHOUT you.

    The old me would have “felt bad” and engaged the ass hat until HE felt better about himself again. But the fact is I just didn’t feel like it, and that’s ALL I needed to be concerned about feeling.

    • amanda says:

      Yes, I know this one. I’ll give you the upshot of one of my experiences. Its too long and convoluted to give all of the background, but it wasn’t black and white. I was being the FBG extraordinaire. I remember casually hooking up with an AC from my past. At this later time, I had emotionally moved on from him (undoubtedly preoccupied with another EUM who was only giving me crumbs, allowing me to rationalize that I could mess around with the AC). We would have sex, and the old AC would then shut down and get sullen. It didn’t feel rejecting at all, because I was EU for him. The next day, he would write me long e-mails, claiming that he “didn’t know what to do” because he was so afraid that he was going to hurt me, since he didn’t love me, and never would, since I wasn’t in the class of revered women whom he held on the pedestal – the Madonnas, in contrast to the Whore that I was. He was convinced that I still loved him, since I was giving him sex. Get over yourself, dude. I told him that, and he still didn’t believe it. He was the one chasing me for sex. I finally learned, after a handful of meetups, that I was giving him mixed messages, and I was only feeding his ego by giving him sex. As uninvolved as I felt, I knew that I wasn’t respecting myself, simply because of the effect that it had on this man. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein, creating his monster. I stopped being his FBG and made him sign up on an internet dating site so that he could work his magic on someone else. Within a week, he found a new woman whom he could manipulate. Oh, and then three weeks later, he starts shagging a co-worker of his, who is 17 years his junior… and broke up with the new woman to be with his Child Bride. Oh, and not surprisingly, also in that same period, he calls me to say that he tested positive for some STDs (of course, we both failed to be vigilant)… thank goodness I didn’t catch anything from him (as testing verified), and I learned my lesson, hard, about being the FBG. Well, there was the next EUM (a MM) that I had to learn my lesson with… but I think that I am there. Thanks for letting me rant

      • Allison says:


        You’re lucky you didn’t get AIDS!!

        Ladies, always use a condom!

        • Teddie says:

          Not only AIDs is a danger, but also Papilloma cancer, which shows up only 7 years later. The guy won’t even feel a thing. Beware, ladies!

        • amanda says:

          Yes. Thanks for the reminder. I think back on my casual-sex past, and while I know I dodged a bullet because I never caught anything, I know that it is no excuse for how I comported myself. Letting men have sex with me, unprotected, was just another way in which I let my low self-esteem interfere with sound judgment. I so much did not want to interrupt the moment of passion, and I would fall, each time, for the men who looked at me imploringly in the eyes and would give me some story about how “hard” it was for them to have sex without a condom, and how happy I would make them if I let them have their way, and how special it would be. What was I thinking? I don’t do this any more (nor do I seek out EUM), but as with my brief history with smoking (over 10 years ago), I still have to own this part of my past.

          • AMD says:

            Ladies let me tell you from the viewpoint of one who did not dodge the bullet. I caught HSV2 (Herpes) from my AC and its been hell to break the tie between us. Even though I know for a fact that we can not make a relationship happen. We continue to gravitate to each other due to the fear of rejection from new romances. Luckily for him he infected both myself and his other woman, so its been a pingpong deal for him. After about a year NC I took him back with of course dismal results and I am now 3months NC. He of course went back to the other woman and now he has broken off with her again and knocking back on my door. I am building a life that will stand on its own whether I ever find another man who can take me as I am or not. He can Kick Rocks!

            • Allison says:


              You won’t find a new man as long as you have this jerk in your life!

              Why don’t you take a break and do some self reflection and counseling, to understand why you gravitate to this type of man. Until you get yourself healthy, you will continue to repeat the same destructive behavior.

  15. Lauren C says:

    This article is so true. I broke up with my X
    who was cold aloof and indifferent . He acted like he hated me most of the time. After four
    months he stated bugging me to try and control
    me. He also wanted to hurt me. I wish I would
    have read this article.
    You are so right on. I love all of your articles.
    I have learned so much about abusers from reading your articles. You keep writing and I will
    keep reading. Thank you so much for sharing and getting the word out there,

  16. chloe says:

    Yep, Going through it myself….again, just broke up with another EUM. This was a nice guy, looked good on paper, but made me crazy with the connect /disconnect way of doing relationship, a perfect sign of an EUM. I’m at Day 3, actually, since I emailed him today to forward him a message that described how he originally presented, but didn’t continue which led to the demise of our relationship, including some lies he told cause he didn’t want to upset me…..well I guess it’s day one. I am handling this one better than the one before him, in fact, I think I’m grieving both of them, which makes me believe that the last one truly was a rebound, he did all the things right the one before didn’t do, except be emotionally available. Live and learn. I am looking at myself and why I keep attracting these EUM. It’s gotta stop. Thanks Natalie

    • sm says:

      Chloe its interesting that you say you are grieving both. That is exactly what is happening with me, the second one did all the things the first one didnt. Then when he broke up with me I grieved them both. And for a bit I wanted to reach out to the first one and kept talking about him even though he was the worst bf I ever had. Thankfully I did not and I’m over it now but the weight of grieving both was about to crush me.

      • chloe says:

        SM, Thanks, it is hard to know when it’s rebound, but I was so proud of myself that I attracted a guy who was 80% improved! Maybe that kind of comparison is a rebound relationship. What to do from here. I’m actually doing OK with the last guy, and since I’ve had 5 months with him to get over the ex before, I’m doing better with him too, but I’m afraid when I get bored of not having anyone I’ll contact him.

  17. Tyla says:

    Amen and hallelulia! I have my EU ex still trying to contact me periodically after over 1.5 years of being broken up with ridiculous text messages etc. Then he disappears and tries again a few months later. I have yet to respond to the wanker! This door is SHUT. End of story. Take your lazy communication somewhere else!

  18. HeartShapedNoose says:

    PLEASE HELP!!! AGAIN!!! Well, Im not sure that this post could have been any more timely. I have been NC for about a month and a half. Ive had my ups and downs, but all in all things were going pretty well. I sent the AC a letter when i started NC, and i called him out on some of his behaviour. I told him that just like he was not able to give me the relationship that I wanted, I was unable to give him the friendship he desired. I then changed all my contact info. Email. Phone. everything. Well, he decided 4 days ago to email a friend of mine, to get a letter to me. He explained how sorry he was, that he really messed up, that he has issues that he needs to deal with that include him not feeling worthy of love, that hes having a really horrible time in his life right now, that he should have gone “all in” with me and shown me that he wanted and loved me. And if i can find it in my heart to forgive him, he would like to “be part of my life” again. All this after the letter that I sent him clearly stated that I didnt want the drama, and i was tired of being hurt by him. I even used some BR wording and told him i was no longer willing to accept his friendship crumbs, and wouldnt be downgraded to friend. Let me be clear though, this isnt the first time Ive done NC. ive put my hand back in the fire three different times. This NC has been the longest. I came here to get real tonight. How can i even be CONSIDERING reaching out to him and seeing if hes ok, and if theres a possibilty that we could be friends, or possibly more. Im terrified that hes going to figure out all his issues and become the man I wanted for some other woman. Please help ladies…yell at me. get real with me. Whatever . I just need this help to figure out why im even thinking that this could work out!!!

    • titi says:

      “Im terrified that hes going to figure out all his issues and become the man I wanted for some other woman. Please help ladies…yell at me. get real with me. Whatever . I just need this help to figure out why im even thinking that this could work out!!!”

      Natalie wrote some articles on that very topic. The truth is simple: you haven’t moved on. You haven’t concentrated on yourself and your own well being. You are still heavily invested in him. Once you start taking care of yourself, you will not care whether he became “the man you always wanted him to be” Actually, you said it yourself: he NEVER WAS A MAN YOU WANTED, you had and still have some picture of a perfect man in your head you WANTED HIM TO BE. He’s not real. And just for the record, he probably just needs his ego boosted a little, and he wants you to forgive him. It’s not like he’s gonna turn into a prince, after being a sleazy frog for so many years.

    • bits says:


      I feel you, I really do. I hope to say this to myself as I’m saying it to you: if he REALLY wants you for the right reasons, if he REALLY is capable of change, if he REALLY wants one day to “go all in” and be with you 100% and commit and be a man and all that, he will demonstrate it to you even if you don’t do jack s*** to help him with it. Really. If he really means it as much as you need and deserve these things to be meant, you don’t need to mother him into it AT ALL.

    • grace says:

      If there is one phrase you should commit to your memory as a KEY sign of jerky EU behaviour, it’s this:
      “I WANT TO BE A PART OF YOUR LIFE”. or, worse, “I ALWAYS want to be a part of your life”. He’s making a claim on you and dressing it up as romantic.
      I’d suggest we all raise our hands if we’ve had that said to us, but I don’t think the internet can take the traffic.
      But, yeah, it’s been said to me. And, yes, I had to flush him.
      I think you made an error in sending the letter because it does invite a response. But it’s not too late. Stick to NC. Tough it out. It will be the bravest, strongest, most rewarding thing you’ve done for yourself and you deserve that.

      • stellas says:

        right on grace! the internet couldn’t take the traffic. most ALL EUM’s want to “be a part of your life” – um, until they are. do they have an AC textbook to study from. it’s so creepy how they are all the same – when, before my natalie education, i thought they were all so special & unique. ha.

      • Natasha says:

        Personally, I could totally raise my hand on that one, but I’d much rather raise a finger…I think you can all guess which one 😉

    • Sunshine says:

      You’re thinking this could work out because you are in a fog of pain and fantasy which is clouding your ability to see reality clearly.
      When we were younger and at the mercy of adults whims, clinging to hope and fantasy helped us get through overwhelming experiences. It’s an old habit that is no longer serving you.
      Stick it out. If this man actually cared a rat’s behind for YOU and your feelings, he never would have poked a stick in the wound like this.
      He’s feeling horrible about himself and out of control and is trying to get things back to something familiar so he doesn’t have to face and feel the consequences of his actions, AT YOUR EXPENSE.
      He is causing you pain with no regard for you, he is only trying to make himself feel better.
      Just say no to the emotional masochism. Let yourself heal. Stay strong, stay NC, there is SO much reward for being on your own side and standing strong for yourself. You can do this, you ARE doing this.

    • Hindsight says:


      There’s absolutely no way he’s going to figure out all his issues and magically become a great man anytime soon – or probably ever, in fact.

      Why would he?

      He knows that he can get away with acting like a total douche because there will always be plenty of women out there who will put up with his awful behaviour so he has no need to change.

      Yes, he will move on to somebody else but he will still be carrying the same commitment and unavailability issues. Instead of worrying about what he’s doing etc, focus on looking after yourself so you can stay strong and keep this idiot well out of your life because it will get easier as time goes on.

      DO NOT reply to him and DO NOT let him guilt trip/talk/beg/plead/manipulate his way back in because you’ll be right back to where you started in no time. He can only treat you badly if you let him get away with it and he has already shown you how little he’s capable of when it comes to relationships so why would you put yourself through that again?

      Oh, and tell your friends not to pass on any further attempts he makes to contact you again.

      • Lilia says:

        It´s simple, if he really wants to be with you again he will go see you. He´ll try to talk to you in person, not send you some lame email someone else could have composed for him. I assume you didn´t move, so he´d know how to find you?
        Men who truly want to have you back do something about it, they don´t just talk about it.
        It has happened to me, not a lot, but it does happen.
        So until he´s on your doorstep don´t even think about taking him seriously.

    • A says:

      Grace is right, this line–“he would like to “be part of my life” again” is bad news. He’s not even saying to you that he wants a relationship. It’s ambiguous, he wants you around but doesn’t want to commit to a title. Moreover, telling you that he has issues is not the same as him going away, working on his issues, and then calling you once he’s “better”. And really, the guy knows that you don’t want any contact with him and he’s manipulating his way into getting you a letter? Disrespectful.

      • tired_of_assanova says:

        Grace is right, this line–”he would like to “be part of my life” again” is bad news

        Pleeease. Come back to my property portfolio! I don’t even own you and I don’t even spend enough maintainence on you and have unpaid rates but you were the bestest looking property I had in it.

        ROFL :)

    • Fearless says:

      HS noose,

      it’s hard to come to this realisation when you have invested in what you perceive as his potential (as I did, very heavily) but the reality is this: If you want your man to be different, get a different man.

      • HeartShapedNoose says:

        OH LADIES…Once again, thanks for the outpouring of support. Im not sure whats going to help me at this point. I have broken no contact. I had instant regret pretty much the second that I hit that send button. All because he sent me an email stating that he was having a hard time and he was sorry for hurting me, and if I could please forgive him and let him And guess what?…shocker…he hasnt bothered sending back an email yet. I actually have moved so he doesnt know where I live and I also live a 2 hour ferry ride from him. The only way that he can contact me is through the email. he no longer has my phone number either. ive mentioned on here that I am on anti depressants and anti anxiety meds, not able to work, and I have been suicidal. In fact, Ive had three panic attacks tonight, and that usually leads to some sort of hospital visit for me. WHAT THE HELL IS IT GOING TO TAKE FOR ME TO GET THIS? Ive lost everyone important to me, I have zero self esteem and self worth left. I sit in my room and rot, and rumiate and wonder, and blame myself. The only time I feel strong is if i keep this website on and my computer propped up in front of my face while I lay in my bed. Are there some secret tips that I dont know about?..what do I do next?…we’ve broken up and gotten back together 3 other times in 3 years!!! Its not like im new at this! where do I go from here????!!!

        • Hindsight says:


          Please don’t beat yourself up about breaking NC. I would, however, suggest that you try to block him or change your e-mail address again because you’ll be checking your inbox every 5 minutes otherwise.

          You CAN and WILL re-build your self-esteem and self-worth but it can’t happen as long as you allow this vile man to keep coming back into your life.

          The only ‘secret tip’ that I can think of is time – and as time passes you’ll start to feel better and be thankful that you’re free from this idiot. I know it’s a cliche but it’s honestly true! Don’t give up hope.

          In terms of where you go from here, I would suggest that you stop blaming yourself and try to forget about the e-mail you sent/block his address/change yours. Maybe even keep a journal so you can look back and see how far you’ve progressed as you heal.

          And keep reading BR too – there’s loads of helpful articles on here that will keep you strong. x x

        • Sunshine says:

          Eventually you’ll realize that PAIN HURTS and you’ll be repulsed by it instead of attracted to it. You’ll get it when you get it.

          • Lilia says:

            Maybe you have some deeper issues that make it hard for you to let go of this situation. I found I could relate to a lot of the love addict´s role when I read Pia Mellody´s “Facing love addiction” and her description of the dynamics between the love addict (or in this case the FBgirl) and the love avoidant (or the EUM). For me, it has been helpful to understand why this sense of rejection kept me hooked to my EUM from an emotional point of view. Knowing myself better has helped me a lot to find the courage to get rid of bad relationships.

          • Fearless says:


            “Eventually you’ll realize that PAIN HURTS and you’ll be repulsed by it instead of attracted to it. You’ll get it when you get it.”

            So true, Sunshine. This happened to me.

      • tired_of_assanova says:

        If you want your man to be different, get a different man.


    • tired_of_assanova says:

      Hello BR readers,

      Asked someone out. Well it has only been a few days and that horrible weight of uncertainty is on me now. I know the rule is no ex on the first round but had to do it as the guy and AC know each other, so I made the disclosure.

      A bit later on in the week, I made phone call, no pickup. Left message saying do you want to come to X. No response. Had to send a text the next day pulling them out on it – got a ‘not available at that time’. So I asked if they’re up for going out – it’s been a day and no response. I can see them online on FB. I’d chat to them but that would be giving into the pressure and crumb communication.

      The uncertainty and inconsistency is making me feel sick. So it’s boundary time – they have until Monday morning to contact and arrange something to do with me. Failing this, I will have no choice but to hit flush. I’m wondering what to say if I have to press flush, as I think everyone should be afforded notice of being flushed before they actually are.

      • tired_of_assanova says:

        EUMs and AC’s always make you do the dirty work (humpf!) after passive aggressively resisting you, because they do everything on THEIR terms. The AC did the same thing to me to – messages would disappear into the ether.

        I know what to do!

        Dear X. When you have some time today, could you give me a call? Thanks.


        • grace says:

          I think you should drop it. I’ve counted up five times he’s ignored you. Even if I’ve miscounted and it’s only one time, that’s one time too many.
          I asked my crush in for a bite to eat weeks ago. He said no. I haven’t asked him again. He has had ample opportunity to make a move. I’m processing the reality that isn’t making a move and I feel much better for it. He seems more ordinary to me now. The drama in my head is abating. I am decrushing. You need to process the fact that this man is showing no sign of interest. Even though you’re afraid to admit it, it it will make you feel better, not worse. You don’t have to give him notice of anything as you’re not in a relationship, you’re not friends and you aren’t dating. You don’t need to flush him, as there is nothing to flush. Get on with your life and stop strategising. This will then take the place in your life that is appropriate.
          To say that this man is passive aggressive, resisting you and EU seems an overstatement based on your comment alone. The ball is in his court. If he doesn’t hit it back, go play somewhere else. You have no claim on someone after one date. Likewise, I have no claim on my crush because we move in the same circles, talk and walk down the road together.
          Just because a man isn’t interested it doesn’t make him EU or an AC and there’s no need for us to take offence or feel inferior or rejected. But it kinda makes us EU if we keep after him, and expect him to do stuff that he doesn’t want to do.
          You give really good advice to others, it’s time to follow your own heart. Surely, if he’s interested, we will know?

          • tired_of_assanova says:

            You don’t have to give him notice of anything as you’re not in a relationship, you’re not friends and you aren’t dating.

            We have been out previously, but I decided to make a move and ask for a date, to which that was agreed to. one date. My drama meter was going crazy!!! I think much of it is me, I told my friends and they seem to think it is early days and just lay off the pursuit for now.

            • TOA, I know that you can more than handle what I’m going to say next – calm the eff down.

              You dole out a lot of support to people who comment here and are quick to shoot in, but you must live by what you say. If this were another reader writing this comment, you’d be on their ass like Zorro.

              Calm down. It was just a date. Every single move you make right now is pumping him up. Let it be. Stop chasing, stop being so eager, and let things unfold instead of trying to control the uncontrollable. And stop talking about it with your friends. Calm down. Go about your life. You lived and breathed before you went out, you can live and breathe again. They’re just not that special. If he’s not interested, so what? He’s not the only man on earth and you went on one date. Calm down.

              • tired_of_assanova says:

                Thanks NML!

                My drama meter was just going bezerk! I guess it has been a while since I’ve been on a date proper. I am trying too hard/eager.

                Thanks again!

        • Sunshine says:

          That is too much pursuing already. Already you can tell he is ambivalent and instead of reading the signs and pulling back, you are going into overdrive trying to manipulate this guy into giving you something that isn’t there.

          Maybe a little reality check from Natalie?

          • tired_of_assanova says:

            Already you can tell he is ambivalent and instead of reading the signs and pulling back, you are going into overdrive trying to manipulate this guy into giving you something that isn’t there.

            Thanks for this Sunshine! I think one thing about faux/fantasy control is trying to manipulate or predetermine the outcome. I’ve had so many bad and dodgy experiences that I just want ONE to work and progress (hmm, desperate much). I need to take a chill pill and put away the pump.

            I do find it a bit hard not to think about ‘if this works out, we could be this this and that and do this’ but while I have recovered from the AC, there’s still adjustment issues to the new way of doing things.

            • Sunshine says:

              My theory is, available men who are sincerely interested and available, don’t trigger that “need to control” response.
              The “wife just moved out this past weekend” guy I just ditched sent off warning bells right away and I was doing something similar, trying to carefully craft the perfect request for an actual phone call. I could see I was doing it, and knew it was a red flag, and by date 3 I was ready to end it, even if he hadn’t turned out to have been married. I knew it was something about HIS behavior that my mind was reacting to.

              This snippet of this article by Natalie has really stuck in my mind:

              “After the boyf asked my friend for my number, I was pleased, but I didn’t dwell on it and fantasise like I normally would. He went away for ten days, I was surprised and a little gleeful that he called and then we went out. On our first date, I was VERY CALM. We had a brilliant time. There was no antsy feeling or crazy butterflies and in fact I felt very peaceful and at ease. I was relieved.

              Bar a week after we started going out when he fell asleep after a round of golf and didn’t call and I marked his cards as a twat for 30 minutes before I called him, I’ve never had to deal with ambiguity. If that means we’re lacking the ‘zsa zsa zu’, I’ll take it. The evolved me doesn’t get turned on by wondering if someone will show up, analysing the crappola out of the relationship, or living scared all the time.”


        • titi says:

          ToA, please stop chasing the guy you harldy know. He doesn’t show interest in you. Respect yourself and just move on.

      • sm says:

        Tired I wouldnt contact him past one time. Also if you’d already asked the first time and went out with him, now its his time to do the asking. Dont say anything to him, just flush him in your mind and let it go.

        • Tulipa says:

          Hi Tierd,

          I have noticed this is the second time you have asked a man out then attatched a deadline to their response.
          Why not change tatic and ask the man out to his face, that way you get an instant answer, no waiting around and you can also read the body language and it cuts down on the drama of waiting for the response.

          I would be careful with deadlines too, I wrote a letter to my ex AC and gave him a deadline to reply and just as I was preparing to give up lo and behold his reply arrived on the cut off day,
          I thought well now this is meant to be, I couldn’t have been more wtong.

          • Tulipa says:

            oops don’t mean to imply I told him what the deadline was I didn’t do that, but like I said I put a lot of stock into the fact he had replied before the deadline passed.

            • tired_of_assanova says:

              Well it has almost been a week now – nothing. For a while there I was transported back to the bad old fantasy days – constantly checking the phone to see if a text would come in, heart skips a beat when a text did come in, only to find it was someone else. Guilty!!

              I’m fine now.

  19. As usual, your post ‘reads my mind’. I’m currently reading Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl and I came upon the part about NC (No Contact). I realized I hadn’t done that with my Mr. Unavailable because I’ve been holding out the hope that he will change. I always believe his excuses and don’t see what’s right in front of me. I thought I closed the door but after a month of NC he emailed me and asked me to come back. Like a dummy I responded and asked what would he give me? (I already know – nothing! It doesn’t matter what he says he will do, his actions never match). He emailed me back with large, empty promises and so I wrote back and said I needed to ask him a question. I waited 48 hours (checking my email hourly, stupid me). Finally, all the things I’ve been reading have started to sink in and I decided I am going to stop. I sent him a mail that said “I am looking for an emotionally and physically available man for a committed relationship. I need to keep myself open to that so I ask you to stop emailing me.” I decided if he did respond I would delete but I did not expect a response. 45 MINUTES LATER he wrote back. This after 2 days without any response before. He said he had been travelling all weekend with no access to email. More lies. I’m not sure why all of a sudden I’m seeing this more clearly but your books and posts help a lot.

    • titi says:

      I sent him a mail that said “I am looking for an emotionally and physically available man for a committed relationship. I need to keep myself open to that so I ask you to stop emailing me.”

      PLEASE stop trying to get a validation from him. You don’t have to express your hopes, feelings and wishes to anyone. It’s not like he’s Aladdin’s wonderful lamp and you just need to whisper your wish to it. Concentrate on what YOU need from a relationship, then accept he can’t and won’t give it to you, and just move on. Stop explaining yourself to him.

    • Fearless says:

      Feast to Famine,
      I think you must have been “dating” my ex EUM! I got the very same kind of same lying crap when he I called him on not answering my mails for days/weeks. Weird thing is that for the longest time I would believe him. You do star to see things more clearly if you keep reading BR. I have been reading for ages and now I just can’t fathom where my head was at with the ex EUM. He had his good points (I think – but am even doubtful of that now!!) but when it comes to relationships with women – he is an out-and-out tosser. Keep reading – all will become clear and you will know what to do. Good luck!

  20. Danielle says:

    Once again you have spoken to my heart and mind! This reminds me of my ex the worst kind of ass clown a woman can meet. We were in a 7 year relationship. We always played the break up to make up game and i was always the one chasing him. Finally at the end of the relationship when it turn physical I ended things for once and then the tables turned he was calling me over and over again leaving me crazy voicemails and sending crazy texts and stalking my Facebook … He was the one doing the chasing but of course I gave in and then he lost interest and then 2 weeks later he was already being with a new woman… The nerve of these ass clowns ! It’s a sick game with these types of guys…

  21. Natasha says:

    “Claimant’s, often without truly realising it, have delusions of grandeur. They’re living off this premise that everything is about them and that even if they’ve had you on a crumb diet, that they’ve been stuffing you with golden loaves.”

    True story! Today, I was on the phone with a potential client and heard a text message beep in the background. When I finished the call and checked my texts, it was an ex-AC that I had my final go-around with over a year ago and who I hadn’t heard from (thankfully) in months. It was a typical, “I’m going to send something fronting like we’re best-est friends and I KNOW you’re going to bite.” I really gave it very little thought, as this is a very busy time for me work-wise AND I’m getting ready for a move as well.

    A few hours later, I got yet another dumbass missive asking why I hadn’t responded. I had to giggle when I read this post, because I kind of wanted to text back, “Because I have a life and I have not been sitting in my house staring at the walls waiting for you to type a few sentences (related: Why, oh why, do the ACs of the world think their texts are worth their weight in platinum (gold wouldn’t do it justice in their warped little minds)?!). Additionally, I’d rather pet sit a racoon with a crack problem than talk to you.”

    • Fearless says:

      Natasha and Natalie

      “Claimant’s, often without truly realising it, have delusions of grandeur. They’re living off this premise that everything is about them and that even if they’ve had you on a crumb diet, that they’ve been stuffing you with golden loaves.”

      The ‘stuffing you with golden loaves’ in Nat’s article made me laugh out loud. Brilliant! I am always amazed at how Nat explains the whole thing as if she has been following me around for years! (maybe as my guardian angel?!).

      I never failed to astonish me how my ex gave me, for one example, yet another unwanted book for my birthday and act like I’d be delighted it. Why would I be? He refused to deliver even the basics of a relationship, but another book – on the same topic as the one you gave me last year, and the year before that and the year before that – well, whoopeefeckingdoo! Eventually I told him if what you’ve bought me this time is another bloody Dylan book you better not bring it over here unless you want to be smacked on the head with it. ‘Oh no it’s not, said he’. It wasn’t. It was a book on a different topic. Well, Whoopeedoo. I was speechless. He thought he’d given me a golden loaf. I didn’t. He also thought he was managing my expectations. He was. But this behaviour of his was so twisted. He wanted it both ways. He wanted the praise and self-gratification for giving me a ‘golden loaf’ and also to let me know not to expect anything worth having from him. WTF.

      • Natasha says:

        “…you better not bring it over here unless you want to be smacked on the head with it.”

        That just made me choke on my iced tea hahaha! Interestingly enough we can subsitute in for the word “book” anything from “your bullsh*t” to “your sorry arse” and it would still work 😉 If my ex had gone to the epic effort of spending 3 minutes on Amazon, he would have sat around expecting President Obama to show up at his door bearing an Application For Sainthood, Exalted Book Buyer Edition. Good Lord, these guys are such losers.

  22. Hope says:

    This is slightly off topic but I have to get it out. My bf of almost 3 years, who I haven’t seen for three weeks and who I suspect has been cheating and lying yet again, dropped by this evening. He can and does this whenever he pleases. I am trying to go no contact with him but it is hard when faced with him, I always feel incapable of hurting his feelings. Clearly he knows this as he tells me that he is very sad about everything, though what “everything” is is unclear (?) misses me etc.” This is accompanied by kisses and hugs and sobbing…yep crying ??? But of course he is evasive and won’t answer any questions. He has to go but will call me later…..

    When later comes and no call I decide to take the bull by the horns and pay him a visit at his house, something that I rarely do. I suspect that he has a women there and for once I walk right in and sure enough there’s a women in his kitchen cooking, a fire in the fireplace, music playing, wine being drunk…..

    I can’t believe that someone can be such a liar, so much duplicity and this essentially has been the crux of the issue. Despite AC/EU/narcissistic behaviour which should have been enough I could never actually believe that he was a horrible person and constantly forgave him. Despite the hurtfullness of this situation I am actually relieved because now I can loose my illusions. Did I mention that he lives five minutes away and drives by my house constantly 6-10 times an evening, in a very loud truck, on his way to his friends? It’s quite hellish and he can always see whether I’m home or not….and he has always just dropped in when he pleases.

    Did I also mention that this is round 2…..yep he did this before. I took him back after going nc for almost 4 months! We had a 3 month honey moon complete with future faking, spent every day together, lots of I love you’s and then he started the same AC/narcissistic stunts…..

    What a trial this has been. Ladies take the advice of this website; love yourself more than him. I should have gotten out a long, long time ago…..In fact I should have listened to my instincts and never started. Now its back to square one “getting over him” and dealing with all of the fall out from this mind F***ing situation. He is a nasty piece of work but I could never see him as such. Still horrible to think of him down the road all…

    • titi says:

      “I am trying to go no contact with him but it is hard when faced with him, I always feel incapable of hurting his feelings.“

      So, tell me, what makes him so special, more special than you, Hope? It’s perfectly fine for him to hurt you, and it’s fine even for YOU to hurt you, but it’s not fair you stand up for yourself and tell him to back off? Stop hurting yourself by cutting all contact with him.

    • Spinster says:

      “My bf of almost 3 years, who I haven’t seen for three weeks and who I suspect has been cheating and lying yet again, dropped by this evening. He can and does this whenever he pleases. I am trying to go no contact with him but it is hard when faced with him, I always feel incapable of hurting his feelings.”

      He can do whatever he wants. You can also refuse to answer the door. He’s a walking shit stain; wipe him off of your shoes for good and stop trailing him into your home. Good luck to you.

    • Snowboard says:

      Hi Hope,

      You say you’re relieved to have proof he is cheating on you, and I understand. Like me, you suffer from being too “nice,” and uncomfortable with adopting the “mean” role of Dumper. Of course, you don’t need any justification for breaking up with someone. Nonetheless, take advantage of this situation. He cheated. End of story. Now you have a clear-cut reason, firmly acceptable in the eyes of society, for never returning to this guy. He made the choice to cheat, and he has to accept the consequences – that you will NEVER date him again. Don’t even get mad at him; if he comes to see you, step out on to your porch (don’t let him inside!) and just tell him firmly that the relationship has ended and that he is not welcome there anymore. It sounds like you have been very unhappy for a long time in this relationship. Be good to yourself starting NOW. You can do it. Also, be sure to get your friends behind your decision; I’m sure they will be delighted to learn this is finally ending!
      ** Many hugs **

  23. Teddie says:

    “When it’s over, it’s over”, “It’s called a break-up because it’s broken”, yes, but it goes both ways, doesn’t it? I’m wondering, isn’t the difficulty to let go related to a claimant attitude?

  24. broadsided says:

    “When you behave as expected, they lose their relationship erection.” Haha – so well put! The hallmark of the shallow man, one of whom I recently parted.

    I have seen this behavior moreso when a guy and I have parted, and weeks or months can go by but when they see that I’m dating someone else suddenly they turn into very interested
    cickblockers! Beware – it’s all just an ego game.

    • Broadsided says:

      “Cickblockers” should be “cockblockers”! When I post via phone it’s too fast on the draw, sending to post before proofread.

      Yes, awhile back I was trying to strike up a conversation with a new guy at my gym, and a guy there I dated briefly at one time noticed this and called my name across the room and said, “I’ll call you later!” and smiled. WTF?? It was then that I learned the term cockblock. The new guy clearly thought the old guy and I had something going.

      Another cockblock was my EUM longer time boyfriend – after we broke up, I began dating someone else, and once he was aware of this, suddenly he appeared back on the scene, realizing the errors of his ways, not wanting me to date anyone else after all, etc. Like a sucker, I took him back – for I really liked him. Two weeks later, after I told guy 2 I wasn’t interested, he broke up with me again! (for the LAST time.) I got back together with guy 2 nearly a year later. Guess what? He was the future faker whom I’ve recently discussed. My gosh, I am on probation right now.

      This is, like, primitive male behavior. I could go on and on. Now I know the game, though. I’ve seen it with guys and other gals, too. No. When we’re done, we’re done.

  25. titi says:

    I had several people (used to be friends) trying to get back in touch with me after acting as if I didn’t exist, or having done something disrespectful to me. And every time I was thinking like “what the hell do you want, we are DONE. Just move on”. I mean, how can people be so disrespectful? If you go away, don’t come back, ever. Natalie, you’re right, they behave like they own other people, and they are being so rude not to let them grieve and move on with their lives.

    The sociopathic EU, the guy who forced me to have sex with him, was/is a great example of a claimant. He treated me like shit, but kept saying “I’m the best thing ever happened to you”, “you will never forget me”, “you’ll always hear my voice/see my PICTURE in(side) your head” (WTF?). After *raping me*, he actually asked me if it’s ok for him to return in 10 years from now, and “make me a baby”! Yes, please, I’ll wait 10 years just to have the sociopathic dickhead fill me with his semen. Outrageous.

    After me going NC (I don’t count months anymore, it’s just that NC is TERMINAL, meaning it’s FOREVER), he started to bomb me with messages left in my phyisical mailbox. I just KNOW he thinks I’m just a little mad at him, and I’ll be fine for a few weeks or even a few years, and that I will eventually return to him, and he’ll be there, waiting to inseminate me lol. Talking about property, he actually thinks I cannot live my life without him. Well, sorry, but you’ll gonna have to respect my decision and fuck off from my life for good.

    • Teddie says:


      This guy is doing NLP (neurolinguistic programming) on you, he knows how to set “anchors” and “triggers” (NLP lingo) on you, he may have learnt it or not, some psychos are just natural born masters of hypnosis and suggestion too, know how to manipulate your states and moods. NC is the only cure, otherwise you get only reinforcements! Run, run!

    • Spinster says:


      Very sorry to hear that this animal (he is NOT a human) raped you. Keep up the good work with NC & your life.

      • titi says:

        Teddie, I ran away months ago. I was like: RUN, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! :-) I’m gonna google for NLP. I actually described his behavior to my friend as kinda being intended to „hypnotize“ me. He actually made me do many things I didn’t want to do. When I think about it now, I’m often like WTF?! He was pretty “natural” at this. But he cannot harm me now, I’m NC for months.

        Spinster, thank you. I’m fine now, and am not coming back to him no matter what.

        • cc says:

          i’m sooooo sorry. while you’re googling, look up sociopath. this guy is one. thank the blessed stars you ran away.

  26. Cameron from Ghana says:

    Natalie,my eum is a perfect example. For d past 4 yrs,he has treated me badly,I’ve gone NC a few times,but he keeps comin back wen he sees I’m movin on or is in danger of losing me. I end up taking him back because I actually care about him but den he usually teaches me a ruthless lesson. We ve been friends since we were quite a bit younger. I became his OW later but I made it clear I didn’t want dat role n he assured me he would sort himself out. The last time was so bad dat we actually stopped speakin,I told him I hated him n dat i was no longer his option. 3 months later,he tries to get in contact by calling and via bbm request(one in which he earlier deleted me ). I ignore d request but return d missed call out of d feelings I still av for him. He says he wants to see me and he would either see me where I was or wen we were back at home. later I thought of it and told him to stop disrespecting me and dat he shouldn’t get in contact if he didn’t want to do d right thing. Nat,I’m aware now dat even if u love someone,u don’t av to act on it esp wen dey treat u so will fade in time esp wen u r not feeding it. I guess I av to be stronger in my resolve towards dis guy

  27. bits says:

    My ex-EUM actually uses the word “claim” when he talks about us. Our whole relationship started when he saw me kissing another man and decided to butt in, saying he had a claim on me based on an earlier one-year -try at something like dating. I was still in love with him and agreed to his claim, and a relationship ensued.

    Two years later we’re broken up but not NC, and he paints a beautiful future whenever I let him. He’s going to grow up, become a man, be able to commit. He’s going to go travel, find a place for us and our future kids to live, buy a house and then come get me. If I will be in a relationship by then, he will fight for my love and “claim” me back. He actually said the words “I think it’s perfectly okay to purposefully destroy a relationship, provided you really believe you are a better match for your love than the one she’s currently with”.

    I know he thinks this is terribly romantic and _believes_ in this fantasy. To love someone who is just out of reach, but still there to claim once you feel the moment is right. Being obviously fantasy-prone myself, I can see how this works out in his mind. And that tells me something critically important about my own unavailability. Are we not both in love with a fantasy? I want to become a person who can love something real.

    • Fearless says:

      “Two years later we’re broken up but not NC”

      You blinkin well should be! He’s an open an shut case of assholery. Nuke him.

      (expressions pinched from NML and Grace, respectively)

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      Two years later we’re broken up but not NC, and he paints a beautiful future whenever I let him.

      This is Those Who Doth Protest Too Much . There wouldn’t be a need to paint a rosy not-in-existence-yet future if they didn’t have such a sh*te past. Broken up but not NC? Why do people maintain the lines? Every time I say that I’m not in contact with my exes, everyone looks at me bewildered as if I am on crack and then says ‘but there’s no good reason NOT to be friends with an ex, especially if they’re not that bad’. What is this BS?

      • bits says:

        I do get the point of NC, and have implemented it on my ex-EUM for a limited period of time. We were, however, friends first for more than ten years, and are both part of a very close group of friends. This circle of friends is like my second family (and most of us share that notion), there’s absolutely no way I’m compromising that because of a failed relationship. And neither would I have him compromising his part in it because of me. So we get along, and while I’m sure there are still some painful moments in storage, for the most part I’m quite okay with it.

  28. little mouse says:

    I just feel dead in side , the sad thing is ive been telling myself for months this man doesnt care , ive tried hard to move on be the good girl view him as a friend. i took up getting fit and doing stuff just for me . i feel so overwhelming tiredness , every time now i think of him i feel a sickness in my stomache knowing hes with someone eles , i try to maintain the right grip of being sensible . The women hes seeing is just a girl like you or me , sucked in by his dazzle another family ruined ,coz he wants to feel desirable flattered , i hope these feelings of sickness continue till i puke it all up ,him and everything out my system. love to all stay strong girls we are so much better than this.x

    • cc says:

      it took me a looooooooong time to disconnect that sickness you’re referring to from the “love” (read: desperation) i thought i felt for someone and see it, by itself, as a bad thing. as NML says, love is not pain, and pain is not love. pain is just pain, and when someone puts us in it, we must be brave enough to opt out. when we put ourselves in it, we must be brave to grow and change until we no longer do that.

      remember when you feel the sickness that he’s with someone else that he’s incapable of a real relationship, and realize that therefore something is up with the girl he’s with and its only a matter of time until he does to her what he’s trying to do to you. so, don’t let him do that to you, and downgrade him in your mind to unwantable loser.

      we all completely feel you.

    • sweetpea02 says:

      I hope this poem helps you. I wrote it in the week leading up to me ending it for good after wasting two years of my life on someone with no respect for me whatsoever. That was over 2 weeks ago. I am getting my life in order now after being in a mental fog, constantly questioning where I went wrong ( now I know it wasn’t my fault, I was just a decent person who was reeled in, used, abused and forgotten about)
      I have reclaimed my self respect and refuse to let that low life occupy my mind. I reserve my thoughts and energy for the people who truly deserve to be there and I so hope you’ll do the same..

      Today is the day I saw the light
      Today is the day that I knew was right
      Surrounded by goodness and kindness of friends
      My children restore me and love me for me
      Today is the day I refuse to compromise
      Today is the day I learn to respect myself
      To have been treated like a fool in the past
      i swore
      never again would I allow myself to feel so worthless
      I AM worth more
      I deserve more
      respect, honesty, integrity and kindness of spirit
      I give those and I expect no less from my fellow man
      Today is the day my life starts afresh
      unclouded by euphoria
      untempered by poor judgement
      let some other soul walk in my path
      I choose not to
      I choose to be free
      I choose to be me

      So go forward and never look back. be thankful every day that you got away :-) xx

  29. Lotts13 says:

    Thank you natalie for another great post. I have been reading your blog off and on for several months now and it is always a source of strength and encouragement. I have wobbles – almost daily – but sitting down and reading one of your articles really helps me to feel empowered.
    Early January was the last time I saw Mr.Unavailable having dropped in and out of my life intensely for 18 months before that. It took a change of my mobile number to get the distance I needed to put between us, he was/is a claimaint, there is no doubt about it. Knowing that he cannot get that easy access via text anymore (although difficult as I still sometimes long to hear from him) is a comfort and makes me feel like I have taken control of the situation.
    I am slowly but surely moving on, or at least moving in the right direction.
    I cannot wait to read your new e-book.
    Thank you Natalie and to all of you who find yourselves in similar situations – take comfort in knowing that you are not the only woman going through this. Good Luck.

  30. Cameron from Ghana says:

    Why is it so hard for them to just let us go? They don’t us,they don’t us to have someone who wants us! This mind effery has got to stop! My eum is very resilient. No matter what I do or say or how I ignore him he always finds a way to come back even if he is the one to end it. I hope he stays gone dis time cos if he comes sniffing around,I’m gonna put a buller thru his brain! Lol. This guy has messed me up in unimaginable ways. How do I keep him gone?

    • titi says:

      Why would he refuse free sex, money, place to stay, a shoulder to lean on etc? He’s being smart. Now it’s your turn-don’t let him be „smart“ at your expense. It doesn’t matter why he doesn’t wanna go. The question is: why do you let him return to your life? If you really want him out of your life, then behave like a person of integrity: stay NC. It doesn’t matter if he tries to come back to you, begging, crying, or whatever. It is YOUR DECISION not to let him in again. Be strong.

  31. little mouse says:

    Thankyou Grace
    it needs someone to tell it straight as we all tend to let the fog roll in and swamp us . it feels like swimming up from the bottom , you almost make it and someone grabs hold of your ankles. there has been no anything for over a month and i still have my reminder on the fridge and ill stick to it. ill keep pushing forward , i dont care howmany shit days there are im determined to devolpe the spine ive never had.x

  32. I’ve been resisting Made in Chelsea, but if Natalie’s talking about it, it must be educational, right?!

  33. teachable says:

    See how the truth has set you free? A similar thing happened to me. No more delusions after that sort of jackassery! I’m sorry to hear what you’ve been throught but you’re already well on your way to it making you stronger. Hang in there! (((hugs)))

  34. Laurie says:

    This is a bit of a difference scenario, but I think it still fits. When I was going through my divorce, I met a man who expressed interest. I told him that my convictions precluded me from talking to him until after my divorce was finalized. Anyway, he moved a couple thousand miles away during all this, and I would get the occasional, “Is your divorce final, yet?” When I was finally able to respond “yes”, he PROPOSED. In a text message. He followed it up with an e-mail saying what a great husband he would be and how he would never leave me or divorce me.

    I just remember being completely and utterly outraged. Why in the world would this guy feel like he could propose to me without taking me out on one single date? We didn’t even know each other. I’m not sure why he felt like he had this “claim” on me or could make such outrageous claims about unending devotion (he never mentioned the word “love” in either of his high-tech declarations) when we had never said more than a couple words to each other in passing. Maybe he sensed my desperation to be married? Not that desperate, thank you.

  35. audrey says:

    I guess if eus feel they own you, they then feel entitled to walk back into your life whenever. Just three weeks ago, a guy I was involved with briefly appeared at my door step after four years, unbelievable. He was obsessed with moving back to Australia when I was seeing him and that’s why I thought he did a disappearing act on me at the time.

    In our first conversation a few weeks ago, he said he went back to Australia twice and he was sorry he went on about it so much at the time. I said I was going to say it to you but you did a disappearing act on me”. He looked embarrassed.

    I didn’t recognise him actually and thought he was someone else. We met up three times: went for a walk, went out to the pub one night, went for food one evening. He was pretty attentive for the first two weeks.

    I was on my guard and it was at the back of my mind that he did a disappearing act and I felt I couldnt trust him and why put myself in that situation again. At the end of the day, when a person is capable of doing a disappearing act, it doesn’t say very much for their standard of integrity and decency.

    He must have sensed my reservations, I swear, I think these eums have a in-built radar. Last week, I heard diddly squat from him and he ignored a text I sent him. Then on Saturday, he sent me real childish texts and trotted out the classic “what are you up to?” I told him I was relaxing for the night and he replies “no worries, catch up soon x” . I felt like replying “am I missing something here?????”!! but didn’t because I knew he taking the piss.

    And that’s the bottom line with emotionally unavailables, they really don’t value you at all.

    Do I regret giving him the time of day? I can’t say I do because some people do change and he has shown he hasn’t changed. I hadn’t given him much thought over the last number of years. Natalie, I had to laugh when I read “when they have you on a crumb diet, they think they’re stuffing you with golden loaves”. And it really is “all about them”. He must have thought I wasn’t over him! Can you credit that? That is definitely delusional! I had moved on from him ages ago.

  36. Hope says:

    Thank you Titi, Spinster and Teachable for your comments. I agree that no contact is the only way, but it is difficult as he lives so close and with the constant drive-bys and his mailbox right in front of my house, I get multiple daily reminders. I feel that his proximity has been one of the factors in keeping this situation going for so long…He has always chased me and not the other way around.

    Natalie, could you do a post on when you think that THEY are the exception to the rule. i.e. despite all the signs and symptoms of their narcissism/AC/EU you (me) continue to see them as a “good” person. I am constantly second guessing my “perceptions” of the situation and coming up with perspectives that are favourable to him. It doesn’t help that he is an extreme confabulator/liar, who always presents the circumstances as though he is doing nothing wrong and often says he was just trying to be a nice guy/helpful etc. (to some women). I can’t understand why I have continually forgiven this person. Day 1 of no contact (again).

    • Faith says:

      You see them as the “good” person because few are all bad. There were some good bits, if it had ALL been bad, you wouldn’t have hung around. If he had “I am an AC/EU and will totally ruin your life” tattooed on his forehead you would have run a mile. Problem is, bit by bit you’re drawn in by the nice bits. And when I say “you” I’m talking about “me” too. It’s like boiling a frog. Tell him you’re going to stick him in a pan of boiling water and he’ll jump right out. Stick him in a pan of cold water and gradually increase the heat, he’ll stay right there. It’s sad that the AC/EU has chosen to waste his potential, and your time. The danger is that the sadness you feel might spill over into sympathy, and that makes you soften, and that makes you forgive. And then you’re back in the never ending circle. That’s why I think you (and me) need to get ANGRY. Write down all the bad bits. Read them every day. Work on getting angry. It’s hard to forgive when you are angry. Anger is energy – use it – to do something positive! book a holiday, a course, decorate your home, anything. Put that anger energy into a project. When the anger has subsided, you will have moved on far enough not to care any more.

  37. IceQueen says:

    Great post….I always hought most men had this claimant mentality. It must just be the ones I seem to attract!

  38. FinallyDidIt says:

    Audrey: TY for the encouragement. The pain of breaking NC would be far worse than what I’m feeling now and the message I would be sending to him along with it would be “I will feast on any crumbs you want to throw my way. You can disappear on me, lie to me, ignore me, come and go as you please, have a good fu@k and BJ then walk out on me before the sheets are cold – you wonderful hunk of man that any woman would be honored to have”. Is that going to happen? No way. I’ve come a long way and am making progress even though it’s micro steps every day. Been down that road – not traveling there again. DONE!

  39. NeedtoBeFree says:


    This post is really appropriate for me as I am trying to get rid of an EUM who won’t go away. He is cold and cruel, unloving and controlling. I have told him straight on many occasions to leave me alone but he just doesn’t get it. He seems to feel entitled to me even though he doesn’t want an emotionally supportive relationship. There have obviously been good times but I see now that this is his nature and I don’t want to know any more.

    My son died recently and I am going through hell. This is why he has been able to hang around – I simply have not been strong enough. He has been of so little support although he has been around more. He doesn’t tell me he loves me, give me kisses or cuddles or even sex. When I complain, he says ‘I’m here aren’t I?’ He wants me to wait on him hand and foot and if I ask him to do something he calls me bossy and says he’s henpecked. Even says that no man would want anything to do with me. He still lives at home with his mum at 38 and has never moved out. He manipulates and exploits those around him shamelessly…When he stayed over, he wanted a bedtime story – seriously…

    The thing is I still have some of his things that I’ve asked him to collect when I’m not in. I can’t take them to him as they are heavy and he lives quite a distance away so I can’t ask someone to take them.

    He has made it quite clear I am not a priority to him – but that I am ‘part’ of his life..Why then will he not go away? I’m in NC but he still texts playing the role of ‘poor me, I’ve been dumped and done nothing wrong’..and this is the story he sells to everyone around him. He has no intention of changing ‘I’m just not that kind of man’..He seems to think he is this great catch and I should be happy going along with things his way because maybe one day he will decide to commit (his words)…I don’t bloody want him to -sorry mate.

    I’ve quite honestly had enough and feel strong enough to be alone with my surviving son who needs me so much. One thing I remember NML saying is that you don’t need permission to end a relationship yet it certainly seems this way with this AC. I’m sure that there is something psychologically wrong with him such is his coldness, detachment and sense of entitlement. To be frank, I’m a little scared…not knowing if he is just going to turn up.

    I just want to be free to rebuild…

    • Fearless says:

      need to be free

      Sincere condolences. You must have been going through a truly dreadful time. And this man is only adding to your woes. Figure out another way for him to get his stuff. Any way you can. This guy is a baby-man. You do not need to have any reason to end a relationship (though you have plenty reason with this trumpet!) – that you want to is reason enough, and you do not need to justify yourself to anyone, least of all the baby-man. Block all his access to you. Get him the hell out of your life before you find yourself changing his nappies.

      • NeedtobeFree says:

        Thanks Fearless..he is only bothered about his needs. My son would have turned 13 today and this AC won’t leave me alone. ‘wants to be with me today’! Ignored his calls and texts but now just texted back that if he has thoughts for me he’ll respect my wishes and keep away..I can almost hear him crying to his mum’ what about me? ‘ I’m upset enough today xxx

        • I thought I recognised your email address and am emailing you now. I’m so sorry for your loss. Now please tell that childish wanker to piss off. I’m livid! Hugs xxx

        • Spinster says:

          My sincere condolences for such a horrible time. :-(

          Your ass-clown is a disgusting animal. I’m furious FOR you. I’d suggest thinking about getting some kind of restraining order. Your son died and this animal can only think of itself (yes, ITself)? Fucking dirtbag. 😐

    • cc says:

      please allow me to add my condolences for the loss of your son. and please kick that guy to the curb, ban him from your life. he’s the worst kind of vampire, feeding off your (gasp) grief?!?!? moving in on you to get some mommying because he no longer has a rival in your beloved departed son?!? if he were a great catch, he would be taking care of you instead of the other way around.

      there is support for you, here, in grief groups, and i hope elsewhere in your life. he is not part of that. please jettison him pronto so you can get about your healing. so very, very sorry again.

  40. teachable says:

    Sultans of sh*t I’d call it. As in the sh*t our life turns to when we allow these sewer rats into our lives.

    Ladies, I LOL’d at Nat’s loaves comment too btw. I’ll bake my own from now on. At least then I know the crumbs wont be laced with arsenic! lol

  41. Snowboard says:

    “They make your life oh so much better, even with their crumbs.”

    And of course, in truth, it’s the opposite. They RUIN your life. Indeed, one of the things that finally convinced me to end things with Mr. Walking Red Flags last week was when my sister told me on the phone, angrily, “This guy is not only ruining your life; he’s ruining mine.” In other words, I was causing HER stress, because I put her in the role of having to try to convince her little sister to break up with an AC. Because I spent most of last year in the exact opposite position – with me having to convince *her* to get rid of an EUM – I only know too well how unbelievably exhausting and unfair it is to put someone in that position, and this helped me realize I had to do the right thing and break up with him.

    So far, I have successfully avoided him for a week. He did come over last Friday and made an impassioned plea for me to take him back, but I held firm with “no.”

    I do worry that he might try to come over in the middle of the night … last night, I thought I heard someone knocking on my door around 2am but I was too scared to check. I am really at the point of feeling physically frightened by him. Fortunately, he’ll be moving to another city in a month.

    I do have a question for readers of this blog. Are there any of you who believe in waiting 2 months (or more) for sex? (2 months is what I believe I need.) If so, how do you handle this situation? My non-EU boyfriend was incredibly sweet when I told him I wanted to wait on sex and just said, “Take all the time you need. Just let me know when you’re ready.” But what do you do when the guy isn’t so understanding? Also, should you tell the guy upfront you’ll need about 2 months, or just keep avoiding it until then?

    • yoghurt says:

      If the guy isn’t so understanding and isn’t prepared to respect the restrictions that YOU’VE put on the things that YOU allow to happen to YOUR body then it’s easy… tell him to get stuffed.

      I should admit that I’ve not had to test-drive this theory yet, but from here it seems simple. Emotionally available, half-decent and honourable men don’t pressure people for sex when it clearly goes against their wishes.

    • Teddie says:

      In some places (US) this question seems to be pretty ritualized. There are even concepts like the “third date rule”: at the third date the lady is expected to “put out”. Some dating coaches for men even teach: if she does not, mission aborted. Pretty horrible, yes, but this is what thousands of men expect/are being taught to expect. Europe is more liberal, but this only makes the big S a more easily obtainable commodity.
      Nobody, not even you, should put any pressure on yourself on this issue. Make this a test of character for the candidates, you feel pressure to put out, mission aborted!

    • cc says:

      i think you decide what’s right for you and then let the guy know, gently, up front, that you are interested in him but that in order to feel comfortable sharing intimacy you need time to see where things are going, and that that time might be several weeks. if the guy isn’t so understanding then maybe he’s not the guy you want.

      i can’t remember where i read it, but somewhere i read the recommendation that we wait through three menstrual cycles to have sex with a guy. if you only see him once a week, and can’t do it anyway (or might rather not) during cycle week, then you will have seen him more than 10 times before you do advance to that step, to give a relationship time to actually form.

      i wonder if i could actually wait that long. maybe i’ll try it next time.

      • Snowboard says:

        I realized that, for me, not only do I need boundaries on how early the sex can arrive, but I also need boundaries on how frequently I can see the guy at the beginning of the relationship. Stepping right into seeing the guy every day is not good for me. An ideal schedule, for me, I think would be for a month to pass before we are seeing each other on a daily basis, another month to pass before sex, and another month to pass before sleeping together more than 1 or 2 nights a week. In other words, 3 months before the relationship is “fully realized” where we can see each other and sleep together whenever.

        – OCD Girl

    • Little Star says:

      When I met AC, I told him that I cannot have sex straight away, as I need to make sure that he is right for me. So my EUM was waiting for two months for sex, he was saying : “darling, I will wait till you are ready” and still…it did not help him to became AC:-( So you never really know with men!

      • Snowboard says:

        Ah – I’m sorry! But were there red flags in the first two months?

        • Little Star says:

          Thank you Showboard, first two moths were “honeymoon” period, he was blowing hot, called me few times a day, 40 messages a day and proclamation of love and desire!!! 6 months later he started to blow cold… I tried to leave my” booty call status” in the end, as I did not feel comfortable, he said to me: “No man going to wait for two months” I met him three weeks ago before going NC and he asked me to move with him!!! I could not handle it, as it was too many promises before (marriage , kids etc) and no actions were taken, so I gave up! I wish I had children and concentrated on them and did not think about AC, only my work helping me to keep my sanity:-(

    • grace says:

      Message from my church is – wait until you’re married. Which people seem to be doing. Compared to that, two months is not a long time. Even without that comparison, two months is not a long time. It’s sex, not a walk in the park. If you want to wait two months, that’s up to you. You never know, maybe the man doesn’t want to rush into sex either (cue gasps of disbelief).
      He can wait two months, nothing is going to happen to him.
      I wouldn’t give him the timetable. After two months you might think “meh” or want more time. Take the pressure off and let things unfold. I haven’t had sex in over five years so what I’m about to say may be completely stupid but I don’t think you need to spell it out. Can a moderately sensitive man tell that you’re not up for it (genuine question, I don’t know)? I don’t think it needs to be a big deal other than a light, “I’d prefer to get to know you first”.
      I used to expect it, but now a man jumping me would JUST MAKE ME MAD. So I guess it’s just as well that no-one wants to. He can’t claim a right to sex because he’s dating you, or x time has passed or he’s horny. Or even if you’re married.
      As for your “ex”, can you move out? Can you get extra locks put on the door? If someone calls round at 2am, don’t answer. In the UK we used to have crime prevention officers (don’t know if we still do in the present economy) who would come round, check out your locks and give you advice. It may be worth looking into it in your area. I don’t want to scare you, but since you brought it up, he does sound like a nutjob. My abusive ex did back off though, when I was very firm with NC so stick to that. Don’t let him in, or respond to his calls, texts or emails or impassioned pleas.
      Those who work in social care, in prison, with troubled children, in the caring professions know that boundaries matter. It’s not being caring or respectful to yourself or to them to let people walk all over you.
      And as for being nice, for all my ranting here, the ladies at church describe me as a sweet girl and a good girl. You can have standards and zero tolerance for ACs without being a mean person. You don’t have to keep an open door policy for every AC that comes along. Hold the line.

      • Snowboard says:

        Hey Grace!

        My locks were checked when I moved into this apartment in March so I feel okay in that way. Unfortunately, it is not practical for me to move (I actually moved into THIS apartment to escape my old roommate who from day 1 was actually a boundary-busting nightmare herself).

        “I used to expect it, but now a man jumping me would JUST MAKE ME MAD.” I appreciate this line, and it’s one I need to remember. I realize that I am going to HAVE to employ Teddie’s advice that I make a man’s willingness to wait on sex a deal breaker, because, as I found out, moving too fast in a relationship doesn’t work for me at all.

    • Hope says:


      One of the first red flags that I should have run from was the insistence with which my (now ex bf) pressured me for sex. He completely disregarded my feelings when I said that I would like to know him better. I was actually dying of lust, but still felt it prudent to wait as I “sensed” some odd behaviour and just didn’t feel emotionally ready. He scoffed at my request and I thought “What the hell” and went along for the ride. Week two and boundaries busted all ready. I think it is resonable to wait for as long as you need to feel emotionally comfortable….any sooner and you are jeporadizing your own peace of mind. Its a slippery slope leading to a dysfunctional relationship. One thing I hope to impement in the next relationship I have is what I have learned from this website about boundaries…..I intend to put them in place at the beginning and save myself some heart ache.

    • Fearless says:


      I don’t think it’s about being understanding, it’s about respecting your wishes and if they want a fast shag they can go somewhere else to get it. I don’t think two months is a long time at all. One guy I went on a lunch date with a few years ago, (during an extended off/disappearing period with the EUM) made it fairly plain that he was on the dating scene looking for someone to have sex with; when he realised that wasn’t going t be me anytime soon, he “joked”, calling me “frosty knickers”. First I felt insulted, than I realised he was trying to ‘guilt’ me into it. I never saw him again. Happy to be frosty knickers with hot pant men like that!

      If a guy tries it on with you tell him he will need to wait until/if you are comfortable with the idea. If he doesn’t like it – tough. It’s not that long ago that women felt well within their rights to expect a wedding ring before bedding down with a man. Nowadays men seem to feel entitled no matter what load of nothing they have to offer.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      Be careful, there is one situation where withholding sex doesn’t work. That is when you are with a no-intimacy unavailable and usually this means that a Fantasy Relationship is in operation.

      I went for 10 weeks with no sex. 10 weeks! Can anyone on this blog beat that? But they kept wanting to see me and text me with updates about their day.

      Remember, they’re EUM or AC whether you screw them or not!

      • sm says:

        Tired, you are right on with that. I dated a guy from church who believed in waiting, turns out he was a recovering sex addict who had only ever had sex with men. And he was held in high esteem by those at church who knew him and he was what I call a real Christian. I also dated another guy(not Christian) who didnt mind waiting he turned out to be a no intimacy EU AC, he even told me he had these problems with everyone he dated. All you can do is what is comfortable to you and be on the lookout for these behaviors.

        • Lilia says:

          That´s so true, Tired.
          My last EUM only wanted to have sex with me through a webcam, how freakish can you get? He would kiss me in person but nothing else, the rest was all in cyberspace. The worst about all this is that I accepted it, thinking we were moving closer to “doing” it in person – I was so deluded! I´ve never felt more sexually frustrated in my life.
          He still tries to video-call me naked, now I´m ignoring him for good.

          • tired_of_assanova says:

            My last EUM only wanted to have sex with me through a webcam, how freakish can you get?

            Yes, I know of some people into electronic sex. Be careful, they might be recording!

            I have a ban on electronic sex or sexting. You never know who they might distribute the pictures / video too.

      • PHDinAssclown says:

        I went for eight months without sex. Gave in and never heard from him since. Go figure.

      • Fearless says:

        I can easy beat it, Tired!

  42. Starlight says:

    My ex husband told me one day years after our divorce, “I felt I owned you, but I found out different”. The very next day as I was breaking up with my 4 year AC, he said, “I feel I own you”. My reply to both was, “I’m not from the South… I’m from the North. We don’t own other people”. Yes, they both definitely had control issues, of which I can’t handle. But I’ve questioned myself… what is it that I’m doing that make guys think that they own me??? I really appreciate all of your postings Nat, as they have helped me to become stronger & understand why so many things are as they are. I would think that it was their problem of feeling of ownership, but with them both admitting it one day after the next, it has to be something that I’m doing. Good thing I like being single with my own time, doing what I want, because I sure have a way of attracting UA men.

    • Lilia says:

      Don´t sweat it, Starlight, it´s not you attracting possesive guys, it´s just a male thing.

      I was talking about my problems with men with my very kind doctor and he told me men are like gorillas, they see their women as “theirs”, and believe they will even be theirs if they treat them badly. He explained that men tend to see their relationships with women more in terms of power than of affection, that´s why it´s so important to maintain our dignity when we´re around them (and also look for the more civilized ones of the species).

      It made me laugh but then when I told my 11 year old son he was being a gorilla (he often tries to boss me around), he LOVED the idea. He even told me I should obey him because he´s the gorilla of the house. Go figure.

  43. little mouse says:

    What i cant fathom is why do they keep you hanging if they no longer want you sexually? mine in the last month has gone that way thats how i no hes seeing someone eles. yet hes text me more in the last few weeks then ever before , why? . hes getting sweet fa from me . bizzare .

  44. Freeatlast says:

    @ Starlight – I remember reading a past blog of Natalie’s which said that we are the common denominator, which I hadn’t thought about before. I was too busy blaming them. Yes they are in the wrong but we accept their behaviour. Even when I was being treated with little respect I would hold back in case I hurt his feelings! It was like I had no boundaries and gave off signals to other people that I didn’t love, care or respect myself, so why should they! Years after my ex is still trying to worm his way back into my life as it suits him, I never take him up on his offers and never will now. I see him for what he is, a player and how sad he really is. he is never happy always has more than one person on the go still living with someone at the same time. I had to smile when I heard Christina Perry’s ‘Jar of Hearts’ describes him perfectly!!

    • Thank God for That says:

      I heard an acoustic version of that song the other day (on Jonathan Ross’s talk show) and really liked the song for the first time. And thought exactly the same thing as you when I heard the words!!

  45. teachable says:

    Faith. I went through that same dynamic. It’s actually our decent compassionate nature which makes us suseptible to AC’s. Whereas others might reject them at the 1st hint of unacceptable behaviour, we may at first object (loudly even) but then soften, with our kindness being our downfall. They quickly learn to exploit this & then do so again & again until we put a stop to it. My xAC had a dysfunctional family & traumatic childhood including sexual abuse by two foster mothers. It’s a difficult one because it’s true that personality & how we handle things is shaped by our childhood experiences so it’s appropriate to make allowances for this in dealing with others. When they use these experiencrs as an EXCUSE for bad behaviour though, with no effort to heal themselves or change, I think it’s a red flag. Thankyou for sharing your experience. It helps me to know I’m not alone or the only one these things have happened to. :)

  46. teachable says:

    PS Our anger is appropriate response (at least in the mid term) to being used & abused. I know I needed & still need mine to propel to make the final break. Of course I realise it’s myself I’m angry with for allowing him slip under my self protective radar. But I was treated absolutely appallingly. And my xAC tried to entice me suicide AND manipulated me into sex the 1st night AGAINST my express wishes (which I later reported to the police – but chose to not persue due to lack of witnesses) So yeah. I’m angry. And rightly so.

  47. teachable says:

    PPS xAC was only able to succeed with manipulating me into sex against my express wishes that 1st night b.cuz he was an ex I’d broken up with 17 yrs prior, so I trusted him, when I should not have. I had always hoped he might return & forgotten what a state he’d left me in all those years prior (ie although he didn’t have all the issues on board he had this time around back then, I realise now, some of them were present but I just know this, hence the conflict which caused me to end things then, without really knowing why he’d been such an asshat). My mistake of course was in forgetting that details aside, he had not treated me well / respectfully the first time around. End of.

    Wait as long as you feel you need before having sex. I’ve dated a number off ppl & been able to recognise & act on the decision to opt out before sex even happened. This was ideal for me & saved a lot of headaches.
    Otherwise, I take months to get to know people before having sex with them (6 or more being not unusual). The guy before the xAC I’m now just starting to recover from pushed for sex @ the 3 month mark. I didn’t feel ready as I sensed he wasnt ‘right’ for me in terms of what I wanted in a committed r.ship but went along with it because I couldnt see any overt red flags. Of course I didnt yet realise that being a mummy’s boy is a red flag. Needless to say he’s now gone & I do regret the sex. He was not my type physically (I was trying to be open minded by standing behind my decision that looks aren’t a priority) & memories of having had sex with him make me feel a bit ill! lol
    Oh well. We live & learn. 😉

  48. teachable says:

    Noose. I went through a similar thing including depression, (caused by something else but made infinately worse by xAC), feeling suicidal (wholly in response to xAC using & abusing me at a time when I was very vulnerable, panic attacks (again, same as u – triggered by xAC) & repeated attempts to end things with him (at which I feel I’ve finally succeeded this time, for good).
    Here’s what I did. I sent a final email telling xAC I have zero feelings for him & that the door to him ever being in my life is firmly shut – for good. I also requested that he never contact me again & said I would be doing the same. No explanations. No ‘sorry yr such a f*ck up that you can’t be in my life’ – nothing. And certainly no ‘I wish you well for the future’ (as I don’t & couldn’t care less what becomes of him). Just goodbye & stay out of my life. Fullstop. Then I went into my final NC. I’m just over a month in now, taking medication for the depression & where he is concerned, feeling MUCH better.
    Due to your depression & suicidal ideation your situation is serious. My suggestion is that you make your health & wellbeing your number one priority (as should have been the case for us both from the get go & is where went wrong) & do something similar. He’s really not that special. But you should be – at least to yourself. Hugs.

  49. Trudy says:

    Is it sad that I WANT my ex to think that he has a claim on me…or to even want a claim on me…he has nothing to do with me now because I had the audacity to break up with him and commence (what in my mind was a temporary) NC because he betrayed me.
    ..think he might be going back to the ex that cheated on him. Yet I don’t get forgiven or offered a friendship.

    Sigh, it’s messed up. I need to move on.

  50. Amanda says:

    I am currently in a situation with an ex. He broke up with me about a month ago as he says he wants to go traveling, we had a week of next to no contact and then I went round to talk about the mortgage which we share. We ended up well you know…and he asked me if anyone had asked me on a date, I told him yes they had but I had said no. I didnt hear from him the next day only to have 4 missed phone calls Friday evening as he drove past my house and saw my car wasnt there late into the evening. Since then we had a week of sleeping together before he said we shouldnt any more as it was messing with his head, he also said he thought it would show me that hes serious about working on us. We have been seeing a lot of each other 2-4 times a week and in between we text, call (well he calls me) and occasionally skype.
    The last time I saw him I said that the only thing I could see that was best for me is to not see him for a while so I could get over him as he has said he doesnt think he can go traveling being in a relationship. He said he didnt want that and wants to keep seeing each other and ‘see how it goes’ and that hes very confused. I think hes confused about going full stop. I want to keep seeing him we have been together 5 years and hes my best friend, but I dont know how long I can keep being treated as an option. He has said he is trusting me not to start anything or do anything with anyone else and I have to do the same with him….Thoughts anyone?
    This blog is amazing, just discovered it today!!

    • Amanda, it is time to cut off the sex and relationship trimmings. I appreciate that you were together for 5 years and have a mortgage, but this situation is pure f*ckery. It is the fact that you have been together for 5 years in a committed relationship that is all the more reason why you need to cut it off and see his actions as dodgy. He didn’t have to finish it – I know people who’ve been together for longer where one person has gone off travelling. What is it he can’t cope with? The responsibility? Being tied to you? Missing you? Being faced with temptation?

      I appreciate that it’s not easy but he cannot break up with you and then expect you to put yourself on ice. If he wanted that, he shouldn’t have broken up with you. I don’t know how he thinks he’s showing you how serious he is with a few strokes of his penis in a relationship he’s bailed on, but it’s time to call last orders.

      I also feel that he is not being entirely honest about the thought process behind going travelling and why he feels that he can’t handle being in the relationship – less time shagging, more time asking questions!

      He’s either in or he’s out. If you’re broken up, it’s off and I suggest that the next time he opens his mouth about his intentions and plans, that it is thought through and considered. He had no business finishing it or coming back if he still has not sorted out his head.

      He is Mr Unavailable – sitting on the fence, flip flapping, unwilling to commit, and afraid that he’s made a big fat mistake and trying to block anyone else from getting to you just in case. Outrageous.

      One of you has to be strong and have the love, care, trust and respect to do what’s right even though it will hurt. No good will come of this if you continue. If you don’t believe me, just come back in 6-12 months and give me a progress repeat.

      • Amanda says:

        ‘He didn’t have to finish it – I know people who’ve been together for longer where one person has gone off travelling. What is it he can’t cope with? The responsibility? Being tied to you? Missing you? Being faced with temptation?’

        He said the reason that he finished it is because he cant trust me while hes away, which apparently I have backed up by talking to someone who asked me out on a date. I know its hopeless, he has changed so much, he works in a gym and is surrounding himself with vain and shallow meatheads. Literally surrounded, hes moved one into the spare room, works there non stop and goes out with them on the weekends. Its like hes forgotten the real him and I guess Im just waiting for him to appear again…:(
        I just cant face not being part of his future any more, I was gearing up for a proposal this year and now going through a break up (which I think is exactly the reasoin he has run scared).
        I tried to do the right thing the other night but then he cradled me in his arms as I was so upset, we still have to sort the mortgage and half my stuff is still there and we both have a wedding to go to in June so there is no avoiding him in the near future. Hes going to Singapore next week with his mum and Im hoping that will sort his head out, but may just need to face the fact hes gone…

        • Amanda, this is highly manipulative carry on. From the moment he ended it with you, he lost the right to have any say about who you do and don’t see. He has opted out. Stop feeling bad about something you haven’t done – he has switched this situation around so that he looks like the injured party. He’d already finished it and decided he couldn’t trust you before you were ever asked on a date.

          If anyone can’t be trusted here, it’s him.

          He is clutching at straws and you are allowing him to treat you badly, screw you, and then lay the blame at your door for ending your relationship and him going travelling. You are talking about him in the past which shows that your relationship is over. He is not who you want him to be because he has changed. You want him to change back and don’t recognise him – let him go travelling and get on with your life. Don’t wait for him. If he comes back with a new found sense of self and perspective, willing to be real and apologise and you’re still available, great, but if not, at least you haven’t waited around for a man that doesn’t trust you and doesn’t acknowledge what his real problems are.

          Breakup’s hurt but they hurt even more when you allow yourself to be screwed in every sense of the word and you don’t accept the major red flag alert that someone has ended something and chosen to no longer participate in a committed relationship. I know it’s tough, but stop crying on his shoulder – hugging you were one arm, stabbing you in the back with the other. You are not his property and if he’s that concerned about what you do, he should have valued you and the relationship more.

          • Amanda says:

            Thanks Natalie, need to just end it, keep seeing people hes invited over on fb and hes turned my pictures face down too :( What would you advise I do in terms of sorting out my stuff, the house and the wedding? x

            • Move your stuff out or move him out, sell the house or have him buy you out, or agree to rent it for 6-12 months with a view to selling on at the end of it. I’d opt for selling now though. No more meeting at the house and keep the discussions to the practicalities. Nothing is going to be resolved now – he’s still going away, you’re still broken up, and he’s still behaving like a jackass. If you want to talk about the relationship, have that meeting in a month or two and only if he’s looking to resolve and acknowledge his problems. The only way he will face the consequences of his decision and be forced to commit to what he does and what comes out of his mouth is if you hold him to it. “You broke up with me to go travelling – you’ve made your decision so live with it and go travelling. We could have stayed together – you’ve chosen not to and ultimately, you don’t trust me so there’s nowhere to go from here. I’ve done nothing in our relationship to warrant your distrust – if anyone shouldn’t be trusting anyone, it’s me you. I appreciate that your decision isn’t an easy one but you’ve made it. Every time we sleep together followed by your accusations against my character, you build me up and then you rip me down. You’ve made your choice. I am a good woman and if you don’t know it and value our relationship, jog on. I’m worth more than this.”

  51. cc says:

    god, LOOK at all of us, so much pain and suffering.

    ok, this may be *the dorkiest* thing i’ve ever said but… i have to. …no, i’m *choosing* to:

    i’m sending all of my love out to all BR readers in the hopes that it may comfort you and solidify the ground under your feet, on which NML encourages us all to stand proudly.

    i know. its ok to laugh. that was pretty dorky.

    • FLUSHMr.Eum/AC says:

      Actually that was sweet. And comforting. Myself and many others appreciate it. As bad as things can seem sometimes, it’s stuff like that that reminds us that though many of us are going through some rough stuff, there’s still a lot of kindness in the world.

      In addition to reading Natalie’s blog, I recommend spending time in sunshine and exercising, they therapeutic. Cups of warm tea. Chocolate….And spending time with family and friends, maybe a bit more than usual. Talking to a trusted family member or friend about things also helps. Sending good thoughts your way and to all the rest of the BR readers as well. *HUGS*

  52. Cameron from Ghana says:

    Natalie,I’m trying so hard to be strong. I’ve known my EUM for yrs and we were friends first. I loved him so much and he has taken me on a roller coaster ride,caused me so much pain by making promises and breaking them faster than I can blink. The last time he suddenly cut off contact with me without givin me a clue after he had promised yet again not to hurt me and dat he was going to leave his gf,that she was d one who was all clingy and obssessed. I moved on and now he came back justrecently trying to press d reset button. I ignored his requet on bbm,ignored his call but later returned it cos I wanted to suck it n see. He promised to see me but then I thoght to myself whoa! I’ve treaded dis path before,I then sent him a text telling him to stop disrespecting me n dat he shouldn’t contact me if he had no plans of doing the right thing. And I don’t think its an ultimatum,or a cry for attention. God knows he thinks I don’t av d spine n I’ve bluffed in d past. But I’m simply fed up. Why do I keep believing he would change? Frankly I’m tired Natalie. I don’t know what else to do. Any ideas?

    • Cameron, you may have been friends first but you cannot preserve the friendship and you cannot preserve the crappy relationship. He assumed that because you were friends first, you knew what he was like. You assumed that because you were friends first that he’d treat you better. He hasn’t. Stop trying to force him to be and do something that he’s not capable of. It will remove your dignity. You tried to be with each other, it didn’t work out and sometimes the cost of that is friendship. Right now he’s a shit friend and an ever shitter boyfriend. Stop explaining, stop justifying, stop giving him chances, stop making excuses and let him go. You can get another boyfriend and another friend – you cannot get another you.

  53. Cameron from Ghana says:

    Thank you so much Natalie. Your accurate dissection of every dysfunctional relationship has really helped me go a long way. I’m not there yet but I know I will soon get there. Its hard when you love someone and they do things that you wouldn’t dream of doing to them and its harder when a part of you still wants dem back. I’m going to let him go for my own happiness. If lovin him means I can’t love me,ill choose me. There is really no other choice

  54. Miranda says:

    I’ve hit 100 days NC today……just realised, can’t believe I’ve made it this far.
    But still at the back of my mind I’m feeling just that little bit disappointed that he hasn’t attempted to come back and claim me……why?
    I have another therapy session booked this week, thank goodness.

    • happy beginning says:

      Miranda, hard to say without knowing your history, but assuming you identify with this site, it’s become clear from lots of people here that those claims can happen months and years, even decades in the future. I know the EUM I was dealing with lived on a very different calendar, even when he was really into someone could quite happily forget them for months because he didn’t get emotionally invested. That’s not to say you should wait around for him if you’re genuinely NC! But just that it doesn’t have any reflection on you.
      Plus, if it’s an assclown, they seem to have an amazing knack for pulling your strings, will not get in touch if you really don’t want them to (or seem not to) because it’s a risk to their ego, but also won’t get in touch if you really *do* want them to, they have to try to build up their power and your admiration for the next go-around, when they catch you unawares!
      I have that disappointment too – there was a very lame attempt at contact very early on and nothing at all since my even lamer response. You’d expect a bit of effort after all that time! And who doesn’t want to be pursued, but really it’s our ego talking. We made a choice that they should not be involved in our lives, mission accomplished and time to focus on ourselves. But natural to feel disappointed. It’s because he’s a disappointment anyway. It will get easier.

      • Izzybell says:

        Hi Miranda,

        My ex told me when we broke up in May last year that he just needed some time to sort things out and would be “ready” in the Fall. He wanted me to wait around and hang in there, I told him I couldn’t/wouldn’t.

        Even so, when the Fall came and went, I felt pretty disappointed not to hear from him. Somewhere in my mind, I still thought we would be together, and that he would work on his stuff and come back ready to be fully available.

        After 7 months he sent me a letter. When I read it I thought, “this is what I’ve been waiting all these months for?!” Nothing’s changed, he is the same self centered, weak, clueless victim as he was when we broke up.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is, whether your ex comes back to claim you or not (and mine tried to, in his lame-ass way), it doesn’t matter unless something fundamental has changed, and the likelihood of someone/something changing that much is almost nonexistent. It’s over, done, and for a good reason– probably if and when he does reach out it will be on his terms and far from what you need and deserve!

        Congratulations on making it to 100 days!

        • Miranda says:

          Thanks so much Izzybell, I totally agree with everything you say.
          Just been listening to an old CD I found in my car, the soundtrack to one of my favourite films ‘Jerry McGuire’….one track in particular is so apt for all fallback girls and people involved with EUM’s/Assclowns: Aimee Mann, Wise Up

          Take a listen, beautiful song and good advice!!

          I’m so glad I wised up!!!

    • RML says:

      Congrats Miranda!! It gets easier with time. He hasn’t attempted to come back again because he knows he won’t get away his BS anymore. You are wise to him and now you’re a much harder target. When you hit 200 days NC you’ll be thanking your lucky stars he didn’t come back! Keep going, you’re doing great!!

      • Miranda says:

        Thanks happy beginning and RML
        Yes you’re so right, he has in the past always returned when I’ve least expected it ‘and caught me unawares’…….this time though is different, I have far more knowledge of his shitty behaviour with women and he knows it…like you said RML, he knows he may not get away with it anymore.
        I think I’m feeling a bit down because the ‘friendly nice guy at work’ revealed yesterday he has a girlfriend and I felt really disappointed!!!
        Oh well……keep looking and defo keeping to NC….200 days here I come.
        Thanks for the kind words girls x

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      I have hit 365 days of NC today! FLUSH!

      • FX says:

        Congratulations t_of_a!

        I was in the yo-yo-est of yo-yo relationships for over 6 years and went NC for good and flushed him 6 weeks ago. Since it has been a year for you, may I ask whether you feel he still has a significant claim on you due to your own thoughts since you are a regular here after a year? Even though my ex is contacting me sporadically, I know my issue isn’t about HIM making a claim anymore. It is about reprogramming MY thoughts and I now want him out of my mind and to take my life back in every regard. I guess it’s early after so long together but I feel like he is still taking up way too much space in my brain that he doesn’t deserve and hope dearly that after a year he won’t be claiming anything!

        • tired_of_assanova says:

          Since it has been a year for you, may I ask whether you feel he still has a significant claim on you due to your own thoughts since you are a regular here after a year?

          Well in my case, after my non-breakup from my non-relationship (what a joy to realise it was that – NOT!), I had the luxury that my AC went NC with me because we had tried the ‘let’s be friends’ route for 8-10 weeks and it was in that phase that caused HUGE amounts of damage and pain. I had walked out on them, and that was really the AC’s tripping point where he cut me out of his life and I couldn’t go back, even though I later tried to.

          I’m not going to lie, I have major fantasy issues as a result of domestic violence and emotional isolation and bullying in school. Sometimes the fantasy does come back, particularly if I’ve just dated someone (BR readers saw this in action as I was hyperventilating over whether a text would come in for my date), but most of all, I just have to be really aware.

          Does he have a claim? Well sometimes I think if he was all nicey nice and he came back, I’d be tempted, but seriously I’d get upset and have panic attacks/feel sick/faint just even thinking about his photo, so, er, unlikely.

          Oh, and I’ve asked someone new out – will arrange a 1st date soon! He’s much more boring but I think that’s what I need after all this drama.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      Congratulations Miranda :)
      A flush to you! Just be happy that he hasn’t come back – this is a luxury that I have but many others don’t. Just ask the people being bombarded with e-mails, texts, instant messenger, doorstep performances, stalking…

      What you’re saying is “I can’t believe he isn’t stalking me, why isn’t he abusing me anymore?” When we put our value into someone elses hands, it can feel like, ‘didn’t they care’. (No they didn’t…).

      Happy Flushing!

  55. BC says:

    I haven’t read this column for a couple of weeks, but when I come back this topic is just what I needed to see! I posted before about the long drawn out story, so I won’t go into it. But, I broke it off (again) using a “good reason” (he once again blew off my birthday) because I just can’t take feeling so uncared for but at the same time being told “You know I love you.”
    I thought of things Natalie has said when he left me a message on my phone “Whether its today or tomorrow or whenever, I would like to come and see you” I usually would have thought “oh see, he loves me so much, and forever”
    But with open eyes I realize what he is saying is “I can come back anytime, and I know you will invite me back because you love me too much to let me really go, but you will have to make the move so I won’t feel bad later because I didn’t lower my pride or promise you anything. YOU CALLED ME”
    It kind of made me sick to my stomach at that realization. And for a couple of weeks before, I realized that the few crumbs of his time he was giving me was not fun, I actually felt more myself and more happy when he wasn’t around! A shocker for me. So, a few times I said “I don’t like you anymore” when he said some dick thing and he thought I was kidding. I said “No, really” but he said “you would cry if I left” and just laughed it off.
    But I know he figures he will wait it out. Just like in our “relationship”, he doesn’t really care if he sees me today or in 6 months, it is all the same to him. Don’t get me wrong, I admit I’m crying over this and checking my phone for messages all day. I’m getting so sick of myself. Any thoughts?

    • Amelia says:

      Read as much of this website’s posts as you can, especially the mantras (that’s what I call them) on boundaries and stuff like that (one of them has 100 of them). I have been there, I so have been there (just one month ago I was neck deep there), but I was led here by a friend and I kept reading the posts and one of them hit me really hard and a string just snapped and I could see clearly again. That’s my thought.

  56. Hope says:

    I think that this song by Christina Perry, Jar of Hearts, mentioned earlier by freeatlast could be the official song of this website! The lyrics certainly hit home for me.

    BC: As you said yourself the longer you are not around him the better you will feel. Cold turkey is painful but better than a long drawn out “half-life”.

    • Amelia says:

      Yes, no contact is the best way to happiness from my experience (and I love Jar of Hearts, Hope, it completely is a good representation of what this site is about). I played that video for days the first month I was away from my current ex. I really am not his ghost anymore, and don’t ever want to be again.

      • runnergirlno1 says:

        Nice post Hope. I loved the song. Folks have certainly been here and done this. I kept wanting to think “our” situation was unique. It isn’t based on Nat’s posts, all the comments, and songs to the contrary. Frig. Sorry BC, your situation is tracking perfectly.
        Here’s a great ziggy marley song…my fav. Got to be true to myself…I used to hum along. Then I heard the words! If the link doesn’t work, google ziggy marley, got to be true to myself. “I’m tired of all these lies and games. I’ve’ reached a point…. Got to be true to myself”. I think this one is the banner BR song. This one has got to be the BR song.

  57. Amanda says:

    Youtube Alex Clare – Too Close, it gets me everytime, stupid Microsoft ad! As for the Jar of Hearts, thats what my ex had started listening to alot before we officially ended, that and ‘Somebody I used to know’ now I hate that song. I feel like it was what he was using to try and feel better about it all.

  58. Eye opener!!! And all this time I thought the ex that called me back was doing so because i wowed him in bed and he couldn’t get over me( I’m serious!). Thanks, Natalie!

    • runnergirlno1 says:

      Trust me, my head was in the same clouds. I’m serious too. These AC’s use the same tired lines day in and day out. The exMM just emailed how much he can’t get over me and “we are not not done”. I emailed him ziggy marley…”I’m moving on”. Haven’t heard anything since. He, he, he. He’ll just find a new victim to meet his needs while going on on a cruise with his wife in celebration of their 20-something anniversary. Glad I’m not that smuck.

      • FX says:

        runnergirl, You’re still engaging with him? Sending him a rebuttal seems like looking for validation to me. Am I missing something? I’m confused since you seem to advocate NC. Why do you even know what he’s doing with his wife for their anniversary? I get the impression it really isn’t “He, he, he” to you in a good way in spite of your gloating words because you are choosing to continue to interact with the source of your pain.

        Honestly, one of the best things about NC for me is that I don’t have a clue what my ex is doing – ever! Except when he makes his occasional lame attempts at contact which I totally ignore, I wouldn’t know he was alive.

        • Mymble says:

          That’s how I feel too. I dread the thought of hearing from him. Even thinking about it gives me a sick feeling. If you reply you’re feeding the dog, and references to “moving on” I would guess would make a man think “new partner” and trigger the jealous/competitive/ territorial behaviour, make them try harder to get you back.

        • Fearless says:


          I think runner’s ‘anniversary cruise’ remark is something the ex MM did when he was seeing runner, rather than what she knows he is doing now.

          Runner, just another lame guy sending another lame email to tell another woman how serious he is about her. If they were serious they wouldn’t be sending emails/texts, at a safe distance, hiding behind their computers and their phones – they’d be too busy being serious about her.

          I agree, the best course of action would have been not to respond at all – that gets the ‘moving on’ message across more plainly than an answer of any kind. However, I understand the impulse – if my ex EUM contacted me I would find it very hard to say nothing. Hearing about your ex emailing you his guff does make me see that I am better off not being put in that position. Silence is golden. These guys can never put their money where their mouths are (emails and texts, that is)

        • blueberry girl says:

          Hi FX, “Except when he makes his occasional lame attempts at contact which I totally ignore, I wouldn’t know he was alive.”
          I agree. Don’t really want to know about my exMM and his shenanigans. He’s a colossal jerk and I was deranged to get involved with him.
          However, even tho I’ve deleted his contact info long ago from my phone, I received a text last week from his number on a random topic-a sport he’s involved in. I deleted, of course, but wtf? Is this seriously a mistake? I felt angry and annoyed; “Why does he still have my number on his phone?”
          Every four-five months or so, it seems he fishes for contact either from a “secret” number I won’t recognize or now, from his own cell. Bleech.

        • runnergirlno1 says:

          Hi FX, I don’t have a clue about the exMM and what he’s doing. I see my comment was confusing. The anniversary comment was in regards to the first year we were together not now. Also the email response was a while back as well when I ran into him at an event and he tried to hit the reset button and stake his claim. I know I shouldn’t have responded but I couldn’t resist. It’s over though.

      • Sunshine says:


        People have moved on have actually MOVED ON, they don’t waste their time telling their ex about it. He is right that you are not done and he knows it because you still continue to engage with him.
        I don’t mean to be harsh but I’ve been watching this go on with you and him since we found BR at around the same time.
        You aren’t the schmuck going on the cruise, you are the shmuck who continues to jump when baited, and somehow convincing yourself you are not. I wonder if you are confusing the ego-boost you get when you tell him off with true power?
        Are you telling yourself you are NC when you clearly aren’t, again?
        What’s it going to take for you to stop engaging in the power play dynamic with the MM?
        Did you forward the email to his wife like you promised you would?
        What. Are. You. Doing??

      • grace says:

        There’s something that many if not all us are doing or have done – we’re looking to someone to validate us who will not do it. Even if it’s just the satisfaction of giving him the brush off. I absolutely understand the little kick we get from doing that but don’t fuel it. I would let that be your last response and recalibrate to “ignore”. You may still get a kick out of ignore but, over time, it means less and less.
        It doesn’t matter how great we think we are, or how many men fancy us, or what our friends, family and coworkers say, we only care about what HE says/does and only because HE isn’t saying it or doing it. If he started saying/doing it, I don’t know what we would do but we pick such no-hopers that none of us here has been able to tell the tale of the EUM that turned good.
        You want to win something you can’t have. But runner, by definition, you can’t have it. I’m not saying you want him anymore, but you seem to want something from his direction.
        Everytime now I see the crush I am a bit disappointed that he doesn’t make a move. I’ve thought about it and the obsession is not coming from the usual suspects that he’s tall, good looking, funny, kind etc. (but not charming thank God). I am bothered specifically because he is not interested.
        Yesterday, I said out loud to myself “I AM NOT DOING THIS UNREQUITED LOVE THING AGAIN”
        Thankfully, I haven’t stepped out of line with my behaviour. The barminess has been restricted to my mind and I’m overcoming it. For days at a time now I am calm and for hours at a time I don’t think about him. This is a massive improvement from a month ago – I know cos I’ve been diarising it. NC is not appropriate for my situation. A part of me wishes it was because NC is straightforward and I’ve done it so many times now with the Multiple Flush of 2010-2011 that I know how it goes. But it is appropriate for you.
        I got a book that fearless recommended “he’s scared, she’s scared”. As a back up to Nat’s books it gives helpful insight into something many of us would deny but I hope not to our dying day – we pick commitment phobic men because we are commitment phobic ourselves. It may be worth a read.
        And when Nat’s fantasy book is available on kindle, I’ll be getting it, thanks for the rec.

        • grace says:

          I just picked up your update. Glad this was a while ago. I redirect my comment to … me.

          • runnergirlno1 says:

            You are a very funny lady Grace. I appreciate your comment and you can direct it back to me. I need all the help I can get! I see now that when I responded to his email (a while back), it was because of the arrogance, control, and sense of entitlement Natalie describes in this post and I reacted without thinking. His giant ego just made my blood boil. He’s not swanning into my life again and I’m not swanning into his life again either. I know no response is the best response and even saying eff you is not good. I quickly re calibrated to ignore.
            I’m glad to hear that the you are not headed down the unrequited love path again and that the thoughts about the Crush are easing up a bit. I’m sorry he’s not interested but it’s certainly better to know that up front as you know.
            The book you mention sounds familiar. I’ll check it out next. I most certainly was commitment phobic and as unavailable as they come, coupled with self-esteem that was in the toilet, I remember consciously thinking, on more than one occasion, “oh well, at least I won’t end up married again” and “at least he doesn’t get in my way or expect much”. Swear to god, I thought that. I was about as EUW as they come.
            Natalie’s new book is fantastic. Every time I hit a section on crushes, I think of you. BTW, Mr. Stud Muffin hasn’t been back to the gym. He probably changed gyms because of me….only joking!
            Sunshine, thanks for the rap on the head. I shouldn’t have responded. You are right if I’ve moved on, I don’t need to inform him. I am not getting involved with him and/or his wife and I don’t want the drama associated with forwarding the email. She’s been through enough and I’m truly done. Finally even a stubborn Taurus discovered there’s really nothing behind the door. Thank you! PS. I wondered if it was you.

        • Fearless says:

          “NC is not appropriate for my situation.”

          I’m not entirely sure about that, Grace. This crush seems to be causing you a lot of angst.

          Yesterday, I said out loud to myself “I AM NOT DOING THIS UNREQUITED LOVE THING AGAIN”

          For the past wee while it’s been sounding like this is exactly what you are/have been doing (I know you’re working on it). I’ve been reading Nat’s fantasy relationship book; I think it will be a good help to you – there’s a chapter on crushes (I am finding it scarily enlightening.) I wish you the very best (I hope that’d go without saying)

        • blueberry girl says:

          @ Fearless, Grace

          I also read, “He’s Scared, She’s Scared,” at your recommendation.

          It was helpful to me because it breaks down commitment phobics into “active” (yeah, you guessed it, Mr. U) and “passive” (mostly women like me) and details their behaviors as the relationship cycles. I had more than a few “Ah ha!” moments.
          It never made sense to me before that men run just when the relationship is getting good, and this and Nat’s books helped me to understand the fear & anxiety that closeness provokes.

          The last few chapters were great as well, advocating and providing tips on self-care.

  59. O'Connell Bridge says:

    your posts are excellent.. i read them everyday and am always so uplifted and empowered. My perspective is always altered for the better, you can turn it around.


  60. Kitty says:

    Jar of Hearts, perfect – it just tells the story for many of us. I was just listening to this today and thought that. I’ve really started to see a way forward since reading all these posts. There are so many lovely women who have been jerked around and we are strong enough and wonderful enough to move on from these men who don’t deserve all this attention.

  61. Stella says:

    Hi everyone, and thanks for posting. I just saw my MM for what’s supposed to be the last time for three months. The story’s too long to recap well, but suffice it to say he lied for a couple of years about being married until he got caught by his wife and I, breaking up with me monthly with a bunch of elaborate lies before that. They decided to try to reconcile, but he came back again 6 weeks ago, telling me an accident had made him “see the light” about wanting to be with me. I immediately dropped the nice man I’d started seeing for him. He’s been future faking (I defined FFing for him, and now he catches himself doing it all the time, btw) and said it would be a matter of weeks before he filed for divorce. Last week he changed the story. Now he needs more time, and asked me to give him until the end of the summer to make a clean departure, so that he doesn’t burn bridges with his family, wife, kids, etc, who all know he had an affair with me. We decided not to see one another during the interim, and he says he can be in only sporadic contact because he needs me as a “lifeline” (more like he needs to hit the reset button), but doesn’t want to sneak around. He asked me not to be physical with any other men during that time. At first I agreed, then said I could make no promises, which he made me feel guilty about. I know I’m not wrong here. He can’t meet my emotional or physical needs until he’s free, and has lied so many times and pushed back deadline after deadline since I’ve known him; I don’t trust that he’ll even come through if I wait. He’s done this about 8 times. But I’m so sad. I feel like I’m going to have to answer to him and feel bad if I’m not faithful, but I also know how lonely I’ve been throughout our relationship. I feel like I’m being put up on a shelf to be claimed at a later date. I want to believe him again but the prospect of wasting more time makes me miserable.

    • Mymble says:

      I am sorry, but, as you say yourself, he probably will not leave his wife. Because he has made all these promises in the past and has reneged on them. I also think that sometimes when there has been so much emotional damage with someone, it cannot be healed. Even if he ever did leave his wife for you, you would not be able to be happy with him. I’m not saying once a cheater, always a cheater (although he has done an unusually massive amount of lying!) as such, though that can happen, but he has just hurt you too much and too often, and nothing will take away the association of pain with him.

    • Fearless says:

      Stella, this man is full of shit. He is also married = He is UNavailable. And so are you if this type of relationship is attractive to you. Emotionally available women who have their feet planted in reality run a mile from this kind of stuff.

      He doesn’t want to sneak around? Is he kidding! He has demonstrated quite clearly that he has no problem with sneaking around. That’s what he been doing for the three years until he got busted.

      He’s “seen the light”. Who does he think he’s kidding?! (you maybe?) He’s still married, living with his wife. You need to see the light, Stella – you think his wife knows he’s “intending” to leave her in three months?

      He needs you as a “lifeline”?! He has no business needing you as a lifeline or anything else. What he needs you for is to pop in and out of your life for an ego stroke (and whatever else your offering) when he feels like it on the back of his empty promises. What are you, a doormat?

      He does NOT want to keep you on the shelf “until a later date” (‘later date’ has come and gone a hundred times!) – He is simply keeping you on a shelf. Full stop. That’s your lot. The shelf. Why not do something radical and jump off the shelf?

      Read Natalie’s “The dreamer and the fantasy relationship” book. You are waiting and dreaming for something that doesn’t exist (other than a cheating, lying manipulative arsehole) and you are in a thick fog of fantasy. Start to register the reality. Start calling the shots with this guy. He hasn’t done what he said he would do. He has no credibility at all – why are you still waiting and maintaining yourself in a holding pattern for this clown? You need to get to the bottom of that. And read Nat’s posts on all of this, e.g. “There’s no Such Thing as An Honest Cheat.”

      You think your going to be the exception – you’re not. get on with your own life and apply NC on this cheater. Good luck.

      • Kitty says:

        Stella, this guy sounds really messed up. I am sure that in his own way he does love you and that he does sometimes think that he really wants to be with you but there is too much going on in his life to see the wood for the trees. We all feel that we are going to be the exception to the rule because they have made us believe (sometimes) how special we are. We don’t know what he will do next but really for your own sanity, as Fearless has said, you must instigate NC. If he really does want to be with you, he will want to sort himself out and divorce his wife. If not, you are better off without him and finding someone (who will be out there) who will appreciate you as the wonderful and beautiful person you are. Much Love x

        • runnergirlno1 says:

          Hi Stella,
          The others have given you excellent advice. I’d like to lend my support to you. I’m so sorry but your situation is NOT unique. I lived the lonely, sucky life of a mistress for two years. Almost everything you described is the classic OW scenario so elegantly and clearly explained by Natalie and tons of other OW’s who comment. Waiting while he “makes a clean break” is a classic shifting of the goal posts. The “lifeline” line almost made me choke. He needs you to be an ego stroke and a shoulder to lean on. Go through the archives on this blog and you’ll find that everything he has told you is standard for cheating MM’s. Fearless pointed out my all time fav…”There’s No Such Thing as an Honest Cheat. The fact that by definition cheating MM”s are liars means that they lie to everybody, including the OW. He lied to you from the outset, unlike my situation. I went in with my eyes wide shut knowing he was married. I know, I thought that the exMM was “only” lying to his wife, as though that’s okay! NC has been extremely difficult for me and it’s taken a long time to to grieve the loss of my fantasy. I’d suggest that you spend the next 90 days thinking about you, your future, your goals, and reading everything on this blog, Natalie’s new book, and her book Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl which contains wonderful info about cheating MM’s and OW’s. It took me about 90 days of NC (albeit faux) and a steady BR diet for the fog to start to clear. I did have to keep going back to put my hand in the fire to see if it was still hot. It was. I always got burned. It sounds like you may be doing the same thing. If he’s flip flopped 8 times (been through that too), the chances are great in 90 days, you’ll be stuck in the same muck, lonely, stuck on a shelf, waiting, miserable, and wasting your time, to use your words.
          I’m sorry for your grief. I’ve lived it and am living it. Wishing the best for you. Thank you for your comment though. It reminded me of my situation and reinforces how important it is to get out of such an unhealthy situation. I am grateful for Natalie and everyone that encouraged me to get out and stay out.
          PS. We got busted by his wife too after going back to suck it and see. Nothing unique about being busted, apparently. Nothing unique about the reconciliation with his wife either…

          • Stella says:

            Thank you so much for your input. I read the book last year, and all of the posts you mentioned months ago when everything hit the fan and he left me to stay with his wife when we both learned he was playing us. I’ll go back now that the situation is fresh again and reread. I appreciate your time and words of wisdom. And your sense of humor. :)

      • Stella says:

        Thank you, Fearless. Everything you said about being a doormat, ego stroke, etc, has run through my mind a million times. He refutes it all (of course he does; he’s biased), which makes me wonder if I’m being overly sensitive, impatient, or otherwise crazy. It’s nice to hear from women like you who have lived through this sort of thing that the situation is not unique. I definitely need to order Nat’s new book. It sounds like it was written for me, unfortunately. Thanks again.

  62. Stella says:

    Oh, Lord, ladies. I don’t know what’s worse: knowing you’re all right (I knew it when I posted, actually, since I’ve been reading this site for almost a year to try to figure out why something seemed amiss in my “relationship”), or having to ignore reality. I sit here trying to rationalize my obsession by replaying what he said last night. “I feel such comfort in my love for you, and know that taking a break and not re-engaging in such a way that will endanger our future is the only choice for us if we want ‘a forever’ together…” I know these guys are so “on” when they want to be, but he takes the cake. He’s amazing at saying and doing the right thing when he wants to. His wife told me he’s always done the same to her. They’ve been married over 25 years, btw, and he’s been treating her the same (hot/cold) forever, but seems not to have ever taken a lover prior to this, according to both of them. Probably a lie.
    I guess I thought that this time, our reconciliation might be different because now he’s out in the open. His wife knows he was lying to us both and leading a double life. He’s claiming he started seeing a therapist a couple weeks ago, and it’s this guy who convinced him he’s in more jeopardy if he gets caught a second time, so he needs to take it slow. See, they have grown kids but, more importantly, they are a wealthy and he fears a nasty divorce. They did discuss splitting a few times, but she wants to make it work and keeps suggesting therapists. He tells me he goes for “other reasons.”

    • grace says:

      “I feel such comfort in my love for you, and know that taking a break and not re-engaging in such a way that will endanger our future is the only choice for us if we want ‘a forever’ together”
      I’ve studied Shakespeare, I’ve read the bible cover to cover in ye olde King James version, I’ve translated Cicero from Latin to English and vice versa and … I’ve no idea what he means!
      He’s been doing this for over 25 years, he’s used to it, his wife is used to it, you seem used to your bit. What’s gonna change?
      As for taking it slow – can you see how funny that is? He’s married. You’re not even out of the starting block. You’re not even IN the starting block.
      He’s been busted and they are still married. What does that tell you?

      • Stella says:

        Grace, you just made me laugh aloud. Thank you for being so frank. I know he’s married. I guess that because they’re finally living apart now, and he’s finally agreed that having “mistress status” is not fair to me, I feel like he may actually be on the up and up. Before, he was perfectly happy having his cake and eating it, too. Now he apparently doesn’t expect to see/sleep with/chat with me while he gets his sh*t together, so I tell myself he’s not getting anything out of the situation. Wait. Typing that, I just realized that he is; he’s getting me as an OPTION to come find if he wants me, without having to worry that I’ve become emotionally or physically involved with anyone else. Ugh. I know I’m almost certainly kidding myself about being the exception to the rule. But I’m still doing it.
        In the meantime, I’m torturing myself because I’m afraid he’s going to try to have me followed when I go on vacation this week to see if I stay faithful. He was terribly jealous when I told him I had plans to go away with the new guy I was seeing before he came back. I told him I wouldn’t see him (we’re both still going to a festival we bought tickets to out of town), but after my MM decided we’d take a break ’til August, I decided I’d spend one day with him, but only as friends, not lovers. I’m still a paranoid wreck, because the MM used to talk so often about the possibility of private investigators following us that I wonder if he’d hire one as a test for me. It’s taken all of the joy out of this trip I was looking forward to. The new man knows all this and says the MM’s mind control over me is phenomenal. I know he’s right and this is nuts. I guess I want validation from you ladies that I should, in fact, go and have fun without feeling obligated to the MM. Thanks in advance for all of your advice. I know it seems like I’m not listening, but I am. It just takes a while to sink in.

        • Fearless says:


          it’s beginning to sound like Bonkerdom.

          “(we’re both still going to a festival we bought tickets to out of town), but after my MM decided we’d take a break ’til August, I decided I’d spend one day with him, but only as friends, not lovers.”

          The MM is using you as a option, using his wife as an option and YOU are using this ‘nice man’ as an option, just as the MM is using you. Is the ‘nice man’ to put up with all this nonsense? Doesn’t he deserve something better? Don’t you? Doesn’t the long suffering wife of the MM?

          “I guess I want validation from you ladies that I should, in fact, go and have fun without feeling obligated to the MM.”

          I don’t think you should feel obligated to this MM (plainly you do, however). I think you should NC MM as of right now. I also think the nice man should NC you, as of right now.

          Sorry, but true.

        • Sunshine says:

          “The new man knows all this and says the MM’s mind control over me is phenomenal. I know he’s right and this is nuts. I guess I want validation from you ladies that I should, in fact, go and have fun without feeling obligated to the MM.”

          You are absolutely right, this is nuts. It’s about an 8.5 on the drama scale. If the MM “decided” you should take a break, what’s up with the boundary-busting day together as “friends”?

          I wouldn’t recommend you go at all…it doesn’t sound like anything fun is going to come of it, it sounds like a recipe for a whole lot of painful drama. Meeting up MARRIED man with a history of lying and treating you like crap, the threat of PI’s looming, a pretense of spending the day as “friends” (hint: friends don’t treat you like crap or keep you hanging as the fallback girl or get terribly possessive and jealous or try to control who you sleep with or date while they keep you on a back burner). Even if you don’t plan to see him, you’ll know he’s there the whole time…what about that sounds like fun? You’d be better served spending the day being a friend to YOU and sparing yourself the potential pain and drama.

          As for the new “nice” guy – You haven’t let go of the MM, faced and grieved the loss, or learned the lessons of the experience, plus you dumped the “nice” guy and went running to the MM as soon as he said “jump”, how can you possibly be emotionally available for a new relationship?

          Get off the relationship crack, get help if you necessary. The Married Man is clearly taking care of himself and getting his needs met regardless of how it impacts you, shouldn’t you be caring for and looking out for yourself?

        • Mymble says:

          He’s living apart from his wife, and suddenly doesn’t want to see you? He is trying to get back together with his wife. Hence the counselling. No doubt it will be a condition she has set. Amazingly, he has managed to persuade you it’s out of respect for you. That is indeed bonkers.

          • Fearless says:


            I concur! These guys…. sheesh! When you’re in it you don’t see it, when you’re not in it it’s as clear as day!

      • Mymble says:

        I think I can translate;
        “lie low for a while, till the wife calms down, and has started to believe it’s really over. Then, maybe, we can continue as we were before. (unless I decide to find someone else in the meantime)”

    • Mymble says:

      This gives me a horrible feeling of déjà vu as with my own situation.
      It is very often about the money, and the more they have the less they want to lose it. For many men, money is status, power, and validation which ultimately, they value above personal relationships. The MM I was involved with talked a lot about money, it represented something very important to him. The long marriage too is a hallmark and gold standard of success (perhaps also having a mistress). I now feel myself, why would he give up so much? We say “he’s not that special” but the same applies to us – we are not that special. I think men have a clearer grasp of this. We as women tend to want our validation from a personal relationship with an attractive successful man; they get it from being wealthy, respected, the head ofthe family.
      You are looking for an “upgrade”; but making you his wife would be, for him, in his terms, a downgrade.

      • Fearless says:


        I agree with much of what you say, but I think his “reasons” for continuing an affair while promising the OW a future, whatever they, are are just bollocks.

        Often the OWs want him to explain his “reasons” for why he cannot be with her and deliver the relationship she thinks she wants with him. She wants to know the answer to the million dollar question: why don’t you leave her and be with me? And often he is happy to oblige with all manner of “reasonable” reasons, such as those you mention. And in her efforts to avoid feeling rejected by him, the OW too is happy to accept his “reasonable” reasons because so long as he has “reasons” that do not include a) because I just don’t want to b) because I’m fine where I am, thanks c) because I am getting what I want from you anyway d) because I don’t love you e) because what I want is the excitement and escapism of an affair; I’m not looking for a another wife!

        …And anything else we don’t want to hear about.
        Because then we’d need to get real with ourselves and take some responsibility for doing something about it – like sending him packing.

        So long as he can come up with “good” reason for keeping us in OW/doormat position, we get to avoid, deny and minimise and figure that it must be okay then (cos his reasons for treating me like this plausible and sound).

        A man who wants to marginalise us and treat us as something ‘less than’ will always have his “reasons” for why he has to do that! The fact that he can’t come up with any reason not to do that should tell us something. The fact is that there are NO reasons that should be acceptable for a woman to begin or continue in an OW role. None that she should accept as even remotely “reasonable”, cos whatever his “reasons”, he is still a liar and a cheat, she is still living with her head up her arse, he is *still* not there, still not offering her anything. And none of it is okay.

        • Fearless says:


          Suggested topic for new post on your blog:

          “All the reasons why he needs to treat me like crap and why I agree with him”


        • Mymble says:

          You’re making me laugh!
          I don’t disagree with anything you write, I just meant we the OW are so wrapped up in our feelings but whatever they say the MM are much colder. They have thier emotional moments when they say stuff but they know perfectly well what their intentions are. And they take all Relevant factors into account including the fact that he already has a perfectly nice wife, why change her for another one and lose the money, goodwill of family, house etc etc
          I had a really good day at work, so glad I dumped him, not a peep in 5 months. If I hadn’t found baggage reclaim I’d still be in the twilight zone, crying in the loo and constantly checking my phone etc etc.

          • Fearless says:

            Yes, I know what you mean. Am so glad you found your way out of the twilight zone. Stay with it!

      • FX says:

        Stella, My recent ex AC was married when I met him. His wife found out about us and left him 6 years ago. He was always wildly jealous and possessive and I ended up losing myself to his control (read abuse) and he never really stopped treating me like the OW even all those years he was unencumbered by a wife. He also discovered his ability to play the field as a single guy after the stigma of his divorce wore off a while ago. I am now here reading NML and all the comments and have gone NC. Just something to consider before you put yourself on ice for him…

        • Stella says:

          Oh, wow, girls. I feel sick right now. Thanks for giving me food for thought. I feel like such an idiot, because it seriously DID NOT EVEN OCCUR to me that his wife might have forced him into counseling, and kicked him out of their house. He’s made me think this was all his doing, and that she’d take him back if he wanted to stay, but he’s the one who wants to divorce. I guess I’ve been fooling myself, assuming that since he knows his wife and I have had a lot of communication since it all blew up, he wouldn’t try to play both sides at this point because it would be too easy for she and I to swap info. But I think he’s counting on the fact that I won’t call her because it would make things “worse” for “our future” (I know you’re all rolling your eyes) if she knew he was with me again. He wrote this morning to “wish me a safe and wonderful trip” and made some comment about how he hopes it’s ok that he “broke the rules” and contacted me. It was his own rule in the first place! I hadn’t even mustered up the guts to implement NC.

          I know I’m unavailable, too, and I’m in therapy trying to figure out why. Baggage Reclaim helps ten times more than my sessions, however. Thank you all so much. I really am trying.

          • runnergirlno1 says:

            Yeah Stella, folks on BR are the absolute best. I so identify with you because I went through the same shit. As things were finally ending, I couldn’t make heads or tails because I was totally engulfed in the fog of denial. Grace, Fearless, Sunshine, Magnolia, Natalie, and so many others were there to help me. Your situation is so similar to my situation, it’s not even funny. It sucks. Who knows who forces somebody into counseling. Does it really matter? Topline: He’s still married after 25 years. That’s it. Who cares if he spends the next 25 years in counseling? At that point, he should be 75 to 100 years.
            Fearless, your response to Stella left me reeling. Sooooo totally spot on for me. I’m re-reading.
            Ditch the MM Stella. It’s so clear. Ditch the exMM Runner. It’s so clear. Thank you again, again, and again.

  63. runnergirlno1 says:

    Oh Fearless, I love your posts. This is your best ever. It so accurately describes me. A year and a half later, I still want to him to explain his reasons for not being with me and why he wouldn’t deliver the crap he promised. I got so many “reasonable” reasons. Yep and in my effort to avoid reality and maintain my fantasy, I was only too happy to accept his shite. This one struck totally home: “A man who wants to marginalise us and treat us as something ‘less than’ will always have his “reasons” for why he has to do that!” Wow, Fearless. Totally cool and so spot on. Stella, I understand how difficult it is when the MM is whispering “I love you” in your ear and then gets up and goes home to his wife. I’m still coming to grips with how I rationalized that objective fact…he’s married. Going home to his wife. BTW, Stella, I didn’t have a clue as to what he meant. Thanks Grace. I was totally lost and thought it was just me. Apparently OW’s and MM’s have a code language? Stella, I could send you emails from my exMM and you would be left wondering what’s up with me.

    • Fearless says:


      Glad if I can help.

      “I still want to him to explain his reasons for not being with me and why he wouldn’t deliver the crap he promised.”

      My feeling about this for all OWs/still simmering ex OWs is:

      He was married when you met him – if he had honestly and truly wanted out of his marriage he would have got out of it before you even met him/ he did not start up an affair because he wanted a divorce – he started up an affair because he did not want a divorce.

      OWs fail to register the above when they are being swept into the fantasy of the affair. They have some notion that this married man is having an affair because he is thinking of getting out of his marriage. He’s not. He’s thinking he fancies you and would like the excitement/ escapism/fantasy of a “harmless”, discrete dalliance).

      She’s thinking – once the affair is up and running and he seems to now appreciate all of her marvelousness – that she can put a claim on him and expect him to make up his mind (in her favour). But it’s not even that he needs to make up his mind (as bad as that is) – it’s that he would need to change his mind! What a thankless task. Why bother. Best to be available for someone who, if he has been married, has already changed his mind before you came along!

      The whole OW/MM thing is a total mess, runner, and would send anybody bonkers. Best not to try to reason with it – it’s a never ending circle of senselessness. My advice is to accept that you cannot reason your way through ‘madness’ – just accept ‘Totally Effing Bonkers’ as the reason behind all of it and be glad you have stepped away from it. Let Bonkerdom happen somewhere else far away from you!

      I think I’m now blabbing on off topic. Apologies folks. Will rein myself in!

  64. Sunshine says:

    runnergirl, I can’t help but wonder, based on my own experience, whether wanting to extract a “reason” from an assclown is a cover for trying to get an answer why Mom or Dad didn’t really love us the way we wanted and needed them to.
    I went down that road for about a hot minute with a shady situation a few months ago with the guy who turned out to have a gf. I sat in the mirror, crying, looking at myself, asking “Why? Why?” and it came through, clear as a bell, “HE doesn’t even know.”
    It doesn’t even come down to anyone one reason. Life is so complex and though we make choices for seemingly apparent reasons, everything about us and our present experience and choices stretches back through a chain of events that started with the beginning of life itself. There really is no way to pin it down to “this” or “that”, and wouldn’t it be nice if we COULD pin it down to That One Thing so we could just FIX it and FINALLY get that love and security that seems to elude us? That love and security that the MM (or AC or EUM) seems to be holding forever like a carrot on stick, distracting us from giving ourselves that very unconditional love, security and acceptance we would be better served giving ourselves.

    When I went into therapy last year, I spent a great deal of time and care explaining how fragile I was, how deeply distressed, and my history of violence and abuse. I used professional language, wanting to express clearly to the therapist just exactly how vulnerable I was. I felt deeply betrayed when I found myself in a terribly painful group therapy situation that was making me worse and didn’t meet my needs at ALL and I realized the therapist was clueless. I was in such deep distress that I couldn’t afford to waste a single ounce of strength on trying to get the therapist to see the error of his ways, or get him to change, or get entangled in accusation and blame with him. It was enough for ME to know, and to get the hell out. It was vital to my health and well-being that I find an inner reserve to tenderly hold my deeply wounded self, and hold it together until I found a therapist who could meet my needs.

    Like with these MM/AC/EUM’s/parents/friends/whoever….we could waste countless hours desperately trying to extract a REASON WHY they don’t love us or want to be with us or treat us right…but the TOPLINE data is…they…

  65. Sunshine says:

    the TOPLINE data is…they don’t/didn’t. To be a friend to ourselves, we have to accept the information and then advocate to get our needs met some other way.

    • runnergirlno1 says:

      Thank you Sunshine. I agree with you. For me, at least, trying to extract a “reason” from an AC/MM relates clearly to my daddy issues and the topline data is that they don’t/didn’t love us or treat us right. Here’s the thing I’ve been struggling with is I can clearly see the relationship between my present exMM issues and my past daddy issues. The exMM is a carbon copy of daddy, right down to their degrees. However for a while, I kept going back to my pain source, knowing what I was doing was futile and painful. I think that’s why I reacted so strongly to Stella’s comments. I know Natalie’s post relates to the claimant and I see how I allowed him to “claim” me even after the big break. But there was this irrational part of me that thought since he was still “claiming” me, that meant there was still a chance. Total fantasy dreamer mentality. To be honest, I swanned back to claim him as well. Although I think our claims were different. He was attempting to reclaim me as an option and I was attempting to reclaim my fantasy. As Natalie points out, claimants are about control. Overcoming my control issues has been a life long task.
      I’m glad you moved on with regards to therapy and didn’t spend your valuable time or money trying to get the therapist to see the error of his ways or that he was not helping you. There has to be a “fit” with a therapist (like partners and jobs), if there isn’t a fit, you’ve got to move on. Good for you. Thanks Sunshine. Your comments and the other comments, including Stella’s have given me a lot to think about AGAIN!

      • runnergirlno1 says:

        And Sunshine, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with regards to your experience with the guy who turned out to have a gf or I’m finally at the point of hearing it. I’m sorry that happened to you.
        “Why? Why”? Perfect in my case. I’ll bet “HE doesn’t even know”. Your comment triggered memories of me crying and asking why. His answer was that he didn’t know. I should have listened-head thump. I don’t mean to dismiss my role in lying and cheating or his role in cheating on his wife. My choices in getting involved with a MM didn’t come down to any one reason. I guess his decision to cheat on his wife can’t be pinned down to “this” or that”. It was a “chain of events stretching back to the beginning of life itself”. That’s a nice perspective. I will be breaking that “chain of events” and will never be that woman again however!
        I hope you are still reading Stella and staying strong. It’s taken me a long time but it has been worth it. I’m starting to look forward instead of backward. Natalie’s Dreamer book has helped me see how much of my life while involved with the exMM was a fantasy in my head. I’ve been watching my fantasy self-talk since I started reading the book. I’m shocked. I’ve been challenging my fantasy self-talk with reality self-talk. It’s been a busy place in my head. Fantasy Talk: Oh he’d be coming home tonight and I could make dinner and we could sip wine on the patio…NOT. Reality: He’d be coming home to his wife and have other plans while I waited at home alone for a crumb nite, nite text and magic it into a loaf. The reality of being an OW certainly sucks but it’s better than be one.

  66. Stella says:

    Your comment about how you could be on the patio sipping wine with him in your fantasy, but in reality you’d be sitting home alone waiting for a crappy “Goodnight” text was so spot-on it hurt. That’s exactly how it is. My MM lived in another state for most of our relationship, so I only got to see him for a few days each month. The rest of the time I sat around waiting for his crumbs. He managed me via text and email, and we almost never spoke over the phone. I couldn’t figure out why he never called. Now I know it was because he was with his wife a lot of the time. He’s so gifted at writing romantic emails, and I’ve read and reread them so many times that I’ve built a fantasy relationship out of them. When I sit back and realize how pathetic it is to fanatically check my email, waiting for a couple of paragraphs a day to live off of, I feel like such an idiot.
    I just don’t know what I’m doing here. I know his patterns so well that I’m certain that, even though he called a moratorium on seeing one another until August, in a few weeks he’ll suggest getting together. My birthday’s coming up. He’ll waltz back in, hit the reset button, and that’ll be enough of a “fix” to tide him over. I have a trip planned for this summer, and I’m going to be out of the country for nearly 2 months. I booked it after his wife and I found out about each other, and was originally planning to use that time to get over him. But he’s now using the trip as an unofficial timeline for me to wait for him. Right now, I know I’ll be hoping and praying that when I return, he’ll have followed through on his promises, but I’m so afraid I’m going to come back and find out he’s made no progress, and he’ll just keep pushing the date back again. That’s exactly what happened last year. I waited faithfully for him while I was overseas. I don’t know why I think “this time” it will be any different.
    I guess what I’d like to know from some of you ladies who’ve lived through this sort of thing is, does a time come when you feel differently about these guys and you can break it off without feeling all of this sadness and loss? Or is it more a matter of being strong despite your love for them? I read your advice, and Nat’s book, and I know logically what I should do or what I’d tell a friend to do in this situation, but I can’t make myself do it because I …feel like a weakling. I’ve been drawn to guys like him since I was a teen, and always let them pop back into my life until they stopped coming around. Even when I was married to a nice man, I pursued the jerks who’d use me. It’s like I seek validation only from people who don’t care about me. Do some of you do that, too, and why do you think we do this? I know Nat would say I need to start treating myself with love, care, trust and respect, and get some self esteem. But how do you do that, exactly? I don’t know where to begin. I just know I don’t want to be doing this into my forties with him.

    • runnergirlno1 says:

      Blog hog back again.
      Oh my Stella, our stories are so similar and unfortunately similar with many OW stories. It really doesn’t matter whether they call, text, or show up. The topline is that they are married to someone else. End of. We cannot control the fact they are married. The only thing we can control is us and not getting involved with a married or attached lying cheater. Since you’ve read Natalie’s books and BR, you know the shifting goalpost. It’ll just keep shifting until you are in your fifties or sixties or seventies. My forties flew by waiting to be upgraded. Now, I’m going on 53. No upgrade. You are not a weakling. You got sucked into an affair with a MM. If you don’t want to spend your forties as a doormat, option, blow up toy, take some action now.
      There’s no short cut through the pain of sadness and loss. There’s no short cut through the grieving process. At least for me, there came a time when staying involved with a cheating MM was much more painful than cutting it off. It’s been painful but there is hope now. There’s no hope in being a mistress or being drawn to guys who treat you with disrespect.
      Go away this summer with a free spirit. If you have to talk to him again, tell him the next time he contacts you, it will be after he has been divorced. Do NOT allow him to ruin your trip. You won’t get this time back. Use this time for you. He’s either available for a healthy committed relationship based on trust? love, and respect or he is married and not available. It’s a thumbs up, thumbs down question. No more fantasies, dreams, denial, shifting goalposts, lying, and cheating for me. It was thumbs down. I hope you aren’t posting on BR when you are fifty as to how you spent a decade being a disappointed OW. Hopefully, Natalie will still be here!

  67. SM says:

    Wow.. I experienced this ‘claiming’ last night. I was out with friends and saw the ex for the first time since he broke up with me 2 months ago. Another man (very nice looking guy) was chatting me up when I looked up and saw him. I felt sick a bit but quickly got over it. When I was coming out of the restroom I ran right into him and he wanted to know if I was seeing anyone or if I was dating the guy chatting me up. Then he proceeds to watch me the rest of the night on and off. Very weird, since he was the one who wanted to break up. It was very empowering to me though because I had been laughing and having a great time before I even noticed he was there. And I never saw him smile or laugh once which is his usual way of conducting himself.

  68. Brenda says:

    This sums up just about every single man I ever went out with, or even crushed on…

    Nothing drove me crazier in life than constant rejection, even abuse, and then acting like they had WON something – thinking I would go back when its waaay beyond too late.

    Always the pain for me was when I would be THERE for them and “warning” them its going to happen, one-day I will not be THERE anymore.

    Always so confusing and always so painful when your in the middle of that, Just once I would like to NOT have to go through those motions, and later having to say “NO I told you so remember?, and did you think I was just playing a game or what? ( Now I feel nothing, have NO trust, and you made it this way.) And I am to go through THAT again!!!??

  69. rana says:

    thank u

  70. Denise says:

    Hi every 1 i saw all ur comments well i think u should hear from the wifes point view i was married 4 nine years then my husband cheated wiv my best friend just after my first son was born then i fell pregnant with my seconded son when i was six months gone he saw going 2 run away with her then i 4 gave him then we had a another son then he cheated again with the same girl so i divorce him but i loved him so i remarried him and had another boy by this time we had 4 boys then he lefted and went 2 Kent with another girl i took him back we had a littke girl in 2009 now he as started again with a girl from facebook but she is very young so now no more 4 giving him he’s gone and ii will be divorce on the 14th sept can’t wait so never believe a man if u think they are hiding something always go with your feels

    • Fearless says:


      As long as women (including the wives) keep entertaining these men and their irresponsible behaviour they will continue to behave in exactly the same way.

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

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

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