When someone pushes you to give emotionally 'give up the goods'...you commit...and then they back off.

A few months back I wrote about when we wonder what happened to that guy (or woman) that we were involved with at the beginning and why can’t they go back to that. This person that pursued you, made you feel like the focal point of their lives, showered you with attention, said you were special, refused to back off if you were initially disinterested, talked about the future and littered conversations with ‘we’ and ‘us’, gave you great sex, called, emailed, text messaged and instant messengered, wondered why you weren’t with them when you were with your friends, got jealous, posessive, talked about having babies and getting married about a hot minute after you’d met…has disappeared, whether that’s literally or figuratively.

If it’s literally, one minute they were in your life, next thing you know they’ve upped and gone. Where you used to be able to get through to them or rely on them calling you around a certain time each day, whhhhoooooossssshhhhh, they’re gone. You’ll be suspended in disbelief initially but with every day that passes, it becomes more and more evident that you’re not hearing from them again. You’ll probably replay every damn conversation you had and wonder what you did to scare them off and start giving yourself a really hard time. But really, is there ever a legitimate excuse for someone to disappear without saying a goddamn word? The booby trap of course with someone who pulls a disappearing act is that if they reappear in your life and they manage to slip back in without too much hassle, the tone gets set for the relationship.

If it’s figuratively, the charming person has left the building and what you’ve been left with is someone who behaves and treats you in a less than attractive way. You’ll wonder if you can take them back to the store and get an exchange! One week they were calling you morning, noon, and night, and now, you’re lucky if you hear from them once a week. You used to talk on the phone about what seemed like anything and everything, now they’re hurrying you off the phone, grunting answers, and being snappy and impatient with you. Those plans they made? Turns out they’re a Future Faker, faking a future with you so you’ll step up in the present. Now, you’re lucky if they’ll talk about the next hour never mind the next month!

Do you know what most people on the receiving end of this downright dubious behaviour struggle with? They started to trust this person.

All that stuff that the person did at the start of the relationship for however long it lasted, was them reeling you in, lowering your defences and getting you to trust them.

For you, as things progressed, there were certain ‘trust points’ in the relationships; things that you used as a basis to trust in them and the relationship. They’re the things you start trusting in and you’ll likely be able to recall when you look back on the relationship, these things that all added up to the sense that you could trust them – if you had a guard, you let it down. The trust points will also be the things that blinded you to other things that you should have been concerning yourself with.

There can be any number of trust points in the relationship although it is very possible that you can recall that one specific thing that tipped you over into trusting them, even if there were things that you were not crazy about or were even red flags.

Why would we trust someone who we instinctively recognise possesses qualities, characteristics and values that we may not be comfortable with?

Because when someone gives you attention, makes you feel special, keeps telling you how crazy about you they are, how you should trust them, and they can’t believe how fortunate they are to have found you and yada, yada, yada, you start to get sucked in by the fact that they like you so much that it clouds out any concerns you may have.

It’s flattering when someone seems to be crazy about you.

What are our ‘trust points’?

Trust Points are not too dissimilar to the hooks I wrote about recently, which are the things that convince you that you have a connection with someone and make it difficult for you to let go of them, but here are the most common trust points I come across:

Sex – A lot of women start to trust the sex and what they perceive to be the ‘sexual connection’. You’re very likely to have this as a trust point if you place a high value on sex and tend to believe that what happens between you sexually is indicative of what you feel emotionally. Sex as a trust point will be cemented though if you have other trust points.

Plans – So many women in particular get drawn in by the man that talks about the future. Littering conversations with ‘we’ and ‘us’, talking about holidays, engagements, weddings, meeting parents and friends, moving in, remodelling the home, checking out that bar he’s been going on about, taking a trip, going to the annual party etc. As women, we are inclined to believe that when someone talks about plans which can sound like making plans, that they must be really into us, after all we’re also trained to believe that men who are not interested are reluctant to make plans.

Persistence and Consistency of Attention – These two things are a real lure on the trust point front and are very easy to be caught out on.

From the persistence perspective, the best way to capture it is: Have you ever had someone pursue you relentlessly and even though you started out not that interested, you find yourself being worn down and being drawn to them? That is persistence as a trust point at work.

You get flattered by the attention and you start to trust in the level of attention. At first it might seem like a flash in the pan and that they’ll lose interest when you decline but if you’re also the type of person who thinks dating is about the chase, the more they persist, is the likelier you are to fall for them.

From the consistency perspective, this is partly about persistence, but it’s more about over a period of time, which often in the grander scheme is still a short period of time, because they’ve been calling every day at the same times, you’ve been going on the same dates, and they still keep saying the same stuff, you start to trust them or trust the level of attention you’re getting. You may also be predisposed to fall for this as a trust point if you’re sceptical about how long a guy will stick around for and this one stays around longer.

Money and gifts – If you place a high value on these and like, for example, people who are financially secure or well off, or believe that people who are really into someone buy gifts, you’re likely to trust someone who does this stuff.

Status – This trust trap can actually be about ‘social proof’ which is where you start to trust someone because it appears that they have status or are highly regarded and trusted by others, making you think that you should be able to trust them too.

Connection – This is an overused word in relationships but it’s the whole listening to someone claim that they’re telling you things that they’ve not shared with anyone before, that they’re opening up like never before, sharing in one another’s painful pasts (or just theirs), bonding over shared interests and backgrounds – we trust someone who we think we ‘get’ and ‘connect’ with.

Manipulation and control – This is the dangerous ground of what can potentially cross into an abusive relationship, but it’s when you can end up interpreting someone’s desire to manipulate and control you as their desire and love for you.

A few days ago, an acquaintance told me how she had been involved with someone who she wasn’t that interested in but his persistence and the way he was so jealous and possessive ended up convincing her to pay more attention to him and trust him, especially when he was insistent that he had been divorced for two years and had three kids. She believed and trusted him because he seemed so anguished at her distrust. It was me who ended up telling her that he’s married, with four kids including a newborn…

Do you know what’s really annoying? People who end up mistreating you tend to push for you to trust them. When you question them on stuff, they’re indignant. When you don’t believe them, they’re petulant and whiney. When you look sceptical, they say crap like ‘Ask such and such if you don’t believe me’ and they can really persist in getting you to trust them. They’ll be careless with declarations of love and care, because they want you to say that you reciprocate.

They push for you to emotionally ‘give up the goods’ which at that point when you’re deciding that you trust them, you ‘commit’ to them.

And then they back off.

In some ways, it’s difficult to escape someone who is hellbent on putting on the performance of a lifetime for an initial period of time. Some it’s just days, others it’s weeks and months, and in some cases it can be a year or more – the quicker you find out, the better. But these people always reveal their true selves and often even have double lives where they may already be playing around with someone else.

One thing I found that was prevalent in all the tales I heard is not enough trusting of gut. The other issue that was often present was half-hearted interest.

That same woman who has just found out her guy is married, isn’t actually that heartbroken – she says she feels like a fool and that’s the difficulty in being around what essentially amounts to confidence tricksters.

Do you know what you need to trust? Yourself and their actions over a consistent period of time. If you don’t feel that interested or are cautious of them, or don’t believe them when they say they’re divorced or whatever, don’t ignore it! And while it’s important for someone to behave consistently, it’s also important to register inappropriate behaviour because you know what? Even if for the past six months someone has behaved like The Most Perfect Person Ever, when they stop and they start engaging in behaviour that is disrespectful to you and the relationship, that is a red flag. People don’t just switch up their integrity levels from one month to the next. Don’t just sit there like a disgruntled customer wondering where the product you originally ‘purchased’ has disappeared to saying ‘Well they were amazing for the first six months’ and waiting for them to ‘magic’ back. They’re not amazing now.

But it’s also important to look at your trust points and ask yourself if the things that are markers for you trusting someone are enough for you to be emotionally investing on?

You can’t decide you trust someone because they screw you right, are well respected at work, have fat bank account, and are really interested in you even though you’re not that interested in them. If it took a while for you to be interested (some people are slow burners), it’s important to assess why you weren’t.

But most of all, it’s important to remember that dating is a discovery phase, that trust is something that is earned over time that you should increase with positive stuff and decrease when it’s negative, and the reality is that not every relationship is designed to last. Some relationships and people only reveal themselves a few months in. You can reduce the amount of pain and time by keeping your eyes open, not loving and trusting blindly, and basically minimising your own poor love habits.

Your trust point should be one that is not given away easily and without regard. Remember we have to take ourselves, assess the risk and manage that risk. Take care!

Your thoughts?

Check out my ebook on emotionally unavailable men and the women that love them, Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl as well as the No Contact Rule and more in my bookshop.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

45 Responses to Understanding What Your Trust Points Were in Your Shady Relationship

  1. Roz says:

    Yes! And quite often, they hone in on your emotional neediness, work really hard to get you to trust them (i.e. become dependent on them) because they know that is the way to control you to get what they want, which is usually sex.

    • Movedup says:


    • Gaman says:

      There’s me wondering why why why??? did he do this to me, and Roz, you just hitthe nail on the head! The only bizarre thing in it all was that when I finally decided and told him “actually, OK, I am ready to do this” – THEN he disappeared over the horizon! Huh?? What was he pursuing me for 9 months for then? I think he had already given up and moved on to someone else.

  2. Findingmyself says:

    Great article Natalie! I am guilty of many of the above mentioned points in my past relationship. In looking back, I had the red flag moments and I ignored them at the time.
    I fell for the Future line, future faker is what he was. I bought it, hook line and sinker. Attention and Time, check! He eventually started to give lots of his time to me. He would even mention all the time he was “giving to the relationship”. Sex (hook), always mentioning how it was the best sex ever. before me. Our “connection”, check again. He had never felt this kind of connection with any one else in his past and of course the best sexual connection of his life. He would mention how I “understood” him, I must have a special connection with him-Right?–WRONG! Manipulation and Control, check! Boy he was the master at manipulation. I could question him on some thing that my gut was telling me was wrong and before you knew it he had me so twisted up that I was questioning myself. And the final push for trust. After the lies and the cheating were coming to the surface and I was ending the relationship, he would use all the above to pull me back in. Eventually, promising his undying love, devotion, future, connection, attention and time – to prove his “change” I would fall for it. Only to find myself back in the same web of lies all over again. And each time it happened the pain would be deeper than the previous time. It’s a sick game they play. Once you are able to see them for what they are, and realize you were living in a fantasy world, you must muster up the strength to break free and move on! The biggest lesson is to learn to TRUST your gut, that little inner voice that once you look back over the relationship, you ignored the one person you could trust the most–YOU!!

    • namaste says:

      If only I knew how painful it would be to go back into a dubious relationship repeatedly. It seems i could only learn that lesson in hindsight. Each time I re-injured myself it took longer for my heart to heal.

    • illusion says:

      It’s a sick game they play. Once you are able to see them for what they are, and realize you were living in a fantasy world, you must muster up the strength to break free and move on.

      Indeed Findingmyself it is so sick game!!

      But when you realize all this.. how can you move on when the hurt is so deep. I’m trying realy hard not to think what happend to me and that i was used and abused but it is so hard and painful to move on…
      is there any way to heal yourself from sickness called ” having sex without love” ?
      Because sex without love is pure immorality, there is no respect for the human body and when there are no feelings or any spiritual relation it can only provoke much damage to the human psyche.. Human being feels that he is only an immoral animal, and his psyche cannot accept such misery.

      • Findingmyself says:

        @illusion, I’m not sure how to answer this exactly. I had sex while I was “in love” with him and he was just “having sex with me”. For me it was realizing that I was in a imaginary relationship with him. I wanted so much for our relationship to mean to him what it did to me. But reality was that was not the case. I built “our” relationship off of his words that “drip fed” me. I was able to “be with him” because I was “in love with what I thought our relationship was”, when in reality it was “MY” relationship. He led me to believe he was honest, faithful, loving and in love with me as I was with him, when he was actually communicating with others, maybe loved me (not the same as I loved him) and keeping me as an option. I just know that when I took off the blinders, removed the rose colored glasses, and saw our “relationship” for what it really was and more so for who HE really was I woke up from the dream I created in my mind. It was what I “wanted” it to be. Not what it REALLY was. It was a one lane road (with a dead end) when I thought it was a two lane road. It was his way, on his terms, while stringing me along. All the while I had thought it was much more. I wanted it to be what I “imagined” it to be. The “sex” for me was “real”, I was making love to him while he was having sex with me. Hurtful? Yes. I know that is a hard pill to swallow but it is what it is/was. The long and the short of it is this; if you gave yourself to someone who was not part of the same relationship (and if you have to question or talk about the relationship) its not what you want it to be or what you really need. A true relationship is something you wont question, wonder or think about, it just is as you move along down the path of discovery if this is the right person for you. You will know when you don’t question the relationship because it is moving along at a natural pace If you are questioning the relationship, sex, status, something is wrong. All I know is NML writings is what helped me realize all the things wrong with him and me in the “relationship” that I concocted in my mind.

        • illusion says:


          Thanks for your response!
          I was also in love with him and was making love but he did’t..he saw me only as sex object. In the beginning of seeing each other he gave me that feeling that I was special to him and that he cares about me /us (he talked about the future kids..) so, i had such high of expectation
          but was blind and did’t want to see what his actions where telling me. Taking advantage of my feelings and manipulating me to get what he wants. disgusting! This is what hurts..because i gave myself completely to him and now i feel like i lost a part of me, my own dignity and believe in “good”of human being. I feel so deeply betrayed and now my interectation with world around me changes so gravely that i dissociate from it entirely.
          I know that i have to wake up from the dream I created in my mind and see it as my own personally constructed lie but why is this proces so difficult? why can i not just let it go and grieve for the lost dream insteed of hurting myself more by having hope that he does loves me..why is so difficult to believe that he does’t and he never loves me!??
          I’m sorry for being so dramatic and silly..

          • Movedup says:

            Nothing silly about it – same story here – making love for me – just sex for him. He said and I quote “There should be more to a relationship than just sex” thats of course AFTER he got want he wanted left me laying there naked in tears. Major AC!

  3. Sue says:

    I can’t say sex was the hook for my EUM because he didn’t want intimacy! No, ladies, he got me to trust him AND marry him, and all the while he talked about “us” and “we” and planned our future. Turns out I think he wanted me to take care of his daughter and/or the house because the reality didn’t meet the conversations we had about what we would do as a couple

  4. Sherry says:

    Thank you again, NML for an enlightening post.

    A lot of guys want the warm and comfort of a woman, temporarily. Just like a lot of women want the same from men. I always have the 90 day warranty in place… meaning, if they can pass 90 days of dating while we’re slowing getting to know each other without sex, then there’s something more to it than shallow promises. It works for me everytime. The last guy I dated barely lasted 60 days… now the guy I’m dating surpassed the 90 days and some and I know right then and there that he’s with me for more than just sex. Take it one day at a time. Don’t listen to their promises, “watch” them and see if the person you’re dating is more action oriented than verbal. The guy I’m dating hardly makes promises, he “shows” me that he is with me for the long haul and we’re on the same page in regards to getting to know each other. So far, so god. We respect each other immensely and we show each other how much we care. This is different and I hope it’s the real thing.
    Thank you,

  5. DCP says:

    Wow! What a dead on description! All of it! I received all of that… from her. I don’t think you described any of the tricks that she didn;t use. And, I’ve been stupid enough to allow her back. And then whoosh… she disappears. It’s really uncanny. You have done me a great service but blatantly describing the rediculousness of this entire series of events. The question I’m left with is how do you push someone away that you really do care for? Though I have never been addicted to tobacco or been an alcoholic, I feel like someone who’s addicted to smoking or drinking and knows they need to quit. But just can’t seem to find the trigger that allows them to actually just quit. This person is the only person I have ever let me treat this way and, honestly, I just don’t understand how she could act the way she does, and more importantly, how I let her get away with it. I actually used to tell her everyday how amazing she was. And unfortunately… she’s just not.

    So, in a nutshell, I need to understand why I’ve allowed this to happen (only I will be able to help myself with that) and understand how to pull the trigger on letting go and never opening the gate to her again. I need tricks to protect myself from her, or anyone else like her. I’m a new reader and I’m sure you have covered this somewhere in this blog before, but what say you?

    Thak you for writing this, it couldn’t possibly be more timely.


  6. jubilee says:

    NML – I really don’t know what I did before your blog! I had basically no real understanding of my relationship issues or good understanding of my own boundaries – as strange as THAT sounds, I feel like I have been in the dark ages up until now. You really have a way of cutting through all of the intense feelings and bringing reality to light. You have helped me so much – thanks!

    I fell for the lying & married man (unknowingly!) and I was fully taken advantage of and given the silent treatment and dropped. He convinced me he was divorced, professed his undying love for me and then dissapeared when I (foolishly) told him I loved him. I have also read up on narcissits and know I am better of without him in my life and think he is a full blown narc. I had never known a narc before and until you come to know this type of man, there is no preparationg for them entering your life. You will simply believe them until you are shown different. And, when you do finally see them for who they REALLY are, they will usually be gone! He idealized love, me, his feelings, the version of his life he portrayed was a complete lie, even down to his finances! Why do they do this?

    I have read your blog so much and also the comments section and see that alot of ladies have gone through the same type of treatment, the same type of behavior, almost down to the same words! I have been naive in my life and never look at others in a distrustful way, I just don’t operate like that. I have (mostly) healthy breakups in my past and did not need to obsess over the ending of the relationship, but this one has been very different for me. I don’t know how many of these men really are Narc’s but they have a way of leaving you feeling so hurt and confused, over things that shouldn’t be so bad. I ended up feeling like I had fallen for someone I didn’t even know and that is pretty scarey to me. I also felt used and worthless after he cut me off…How did I let it go this far? I hold myself accountable for ignoring my gut feeelings in the very beginning and I am learning to let it all go each day. I learned in this that I am entirely too trusting. I will never let another man enter my life in the same way this narc did.

    NML you rock!!

    • Columbia says:

      i think my recent AC was a narc. It can seem like a fine line. The only thing I can say is, with other EUM or AC types, they were more emotionally ALIVE. This one had a weirdness, a sort of vacancy, plus low facial expression, and no friends/family/coworker relationships outside of work….and even admitted to not understanding people, their expressions, what they say/do socially. I thought at the time he might be Aspergers but looking back and with research, I think he’s a narcissist. I have encountered EUM/AC’s before that did not fit this descripition.

      And yes, the reeling-after-effect is very different and confusing. Youtube Sam Vaknin, he has a series of short videos about narcissists that are actually pretty good.

      • roz says:

        hi there; just wanted to let you know, that I can relate to how you describe your boyfriend. You might try looking up Schizoid (secret schizoid to be exact). These personalities are narcissist. Although the narcissist personality disorder is slightly different from the Schizoid (narcissist). The schizoid doesn’t really crave the narcissist supply; he/she is his/her own supply. They are however just as incapable of showing any real empathy for others. The Schizoid also lives in fantasy which makes you, over time boring to them and only an object to be used (mostly sexually). They often are loners and often will find pornography and/or gambling to get that adrenaline rush. Some are very creative, musically, poetically or artistically.

  7. Trinity says:

    Great article, it can be so tricky in the beginning with all that stuff going on and especially if the partner is really laying it on thick. I remember having my gut tell me that this is not quite right but then I worried that finally I had met someone who was prepared to offer it all up and maybe I was sabotaging it with negative thoughts, maybe I thought I didn’t deserve it? So I pushed through. Of course my gut was right; he faked a future, offered everything then in a flash took everything back.
    I grow tired of men telling me I ought to be more trusting and yet everyone one of them has done something distrustful and I have not, yet apparently im the one with the problem? Go figure….. The only problem I see that I have is picking the wrong men and NOT trusting my own gut instead of being FORCED into trusting them by them insisting I should and that I have a problem if I don’t.
    Trust points for me in my last hellish relationship was Plans he constantly made and went on about, consistency and persistency of attention, connection and manipulation and control.
    Glad to be rid of him !

    • Columbia says:

      I find the “good” men actually WON’T say women should be more trusting. They know the score; they think women should be LESS trusting and make the man work for the trust or at least earn it reasonably over a period of time

  8. jenny says:

    Natalie, this is the best article you’ve ever written and that’s a serious accolade because I think everything you write rocks!

    I have dated and fallen for some seriously gifted and convincing performers. As you said, if they’ve honed their craft, it’s nigh on impossible to see this from jump street. Sad. If these guys put half as much effort into actually becoming the people they portray, the world would be a better place. Alot less broken hearts out there.

  9. Gina says:

    Yes, yes and yes. You make an excellent point in which I had to learn; when you are cautious and not interested, it’s for a reason!!! They all got me with the future plans “we got to go on that camping trip” — etc, etc… and as soon as I got to trusting, they backed off! I kept on saying “Ah, why didn’t I just trust my gut? and continued the pattern until I was in so much pain I needed to learn how to do things differently.

  10. Kissie says:

    Wonderful article, Natalie as usual!!

    My hooks were sex, attention and time, plans and connention. I’ve finally reliazed that when someone who comes on that strong that soon they’re usually ain’t up to no good. It amazes me how emotionally needy I was and how these men were so adroit at picking that up and shoving it right back in my face. Natalie, you haven’t said anything but the truth when you wrote that we have to trust ourselves more, trust our gut.

    And I totally co-sign on the 90-day rule. Often times, if you have boundaries and stick to them and trust yourself, those who are only interested in playing with your emotions aren’t going to stick around that long to get “the party started” so to speak.

  11. freeatlast says:

    Oh I got the ‘If you don’t believe me ask such and such’ etc and goodness knows how many people he had on the go!

    It’s great to find such helpful advice to help us find healthier relationships in the future. I can’t help thinking I have wasted too many years looking in the wrong places and gave up on ever finding love. The A/C reinforced my negative beliefs and I found myself thinking that they are all the same, why bother!

    Now I would like to meet someone and have a healthy relationship but the men who ask me out are usually half my age, probably short term etc so I don’t bother going there. The trouble is time is passing by quickly and I’m getting nowhere. I start off being positive before I go out but end up coming home wondering if I will remain single forever!

  12. Bette says:

    “…it’s when you can end up interpreting someone’s desire to manipulate and control you as their desire and love for you.

    Whoa! You hit the nail right on the head. Wish I’d woken from the slumber years ago.

  13. allie says:

    “””Your trust point should be one that is not given away easily and without regard.

    Remember we have to take ourselves, assess the risk and manage that risk. “””

    That is nothing but I have been thinking and learning lately. We need to assess the risk and manage that risk. There will allways be risk in relationships that’s where the 90-day rule needs to apply, to give ourselves time to assess and then decide if we should or shouldn’t trust.

    Next time I will go slow and don’t just blindly trust.

  14. Aimee says:

    Great Article – been reflecting on it since I read. Wow – lots of trust points – I feel so played, yet I know I was a participant.

    1) Knew eachother from HS 28 yrs before – thought I knew him.
    2) Very persistant in beginning, actually irritated me – ooops, gut?
    3) Called everything “ours”, “we” – felt like BS then – ooops, gut again?
    4) Said one day “you’re going to end up falling in love with me (small hesitation) and I am going to fall in love with you”. I said you weirdo, what makes you say that? “Just a gut feeling I have” FANTASY!! I fell in love and he ended up being right – hahaha!
    5) After first time sex – he’s monogomous and that we were BF/GF – trusted him – forgot to get his definition of monogomy!
    6) Sprinter out the gate – wanted to give me key to his house and my own drawer – never did give me a key and ended up having to beg for my drawer 6 mos into relationship – that was after finding another girls stuff in the drawer (after our 1st “break”). When I found it – I confronted him – his reply was he was not cheating, but if I was accusing him that would just make him want to go and cheat – WOW?! He also said he learned if someone is cheating there’s nothing anyone can do about it – and I said sure there is level the playing field or get out! Should have listened to my own advice!
    7) Future faker – trips, building “our” house in the mountains, let’s have a baby/adopt, talked about aging parents moving in with us, wanted to put me on his health ins when we were not even living together??!! Dahhh.
    8) Very open emotionally (so I thought), why his marriage ended, seemed very self-reflective and to take responsibilty for his part – now I don’t think I know the whole story. Knew the right “self-help” jargon, etc. Must have learned it from the people around him.
    9) Status – same job for 16 yrs, married for 10 yrs before, owned his own house, talked to his mom everyday, seemed to have a good relationship with her and all his family. Went to church, slept with his rosary under his pillow, open to gay men (his brother gay/HIV/very close). Paid his child support – wrote the check in front of me (now I realize for show) and called his son all the time in front of me (another show).
    10) Gave money to homeless guy (all the time/same guy) in front of me at 7-11, the guy just beemed. Made me cry. Wrote a check for $300 to his poor neighbor to keep his water on. WOW! What a nice, giving guy. Gives to his family – paying for sisters dental bills, gives to neighbors all the time – Guess what he couldn’t give to me!!!
    11) All his family and friends said what a great, good guy he was. As things progressed – his family was telling me I was one of the best things that happened to him, that he does not know a good thing when he has it, will end up alone, lies – even about stupid things – Blah Blah Blah This is besides all the stuff Iwas seeing – narc harem, string of broken hearted women, etc.

    Ok girls – I have decided, time to keep my eyes wide open!!!! 90 day rule, starting therapy again next week, NC 49 days today, quit smoking tonight. I have always been an open, trusting person. I always wanted to think the best of people, knowing we all have our baggage and are human – I hope I can find that gray area, as I do not want to walk around sceptical of everyone or eveything. An old BF told me once that trust has to earned – ain’t that the truth. Hope I didn’t ramble on too much!! Blessings everyone – nice to see another man on here – but sorry you are here – as it means you’ve encountered an EUM or AC.

  15. jennynic says:

    Looking back on my epiphany relationship, I see many of the trust points I fell into. I also remember the red flags that were popping up. I pushed these aside for three reasons:

    1. Didn’t want to appear too sensitive.
    2. Didn’t want to seem hard to get along with.
    3. Had people telling me what a nice guy he was (social status), which made me second guess myself and not trust my gut.

    When I finally started pointing out the ongoing red flags, he became defensive and said I was too sensitive and would say “don’t panic”. Over time his response became, “sounds like a personal problem.” I clearly remember the red flags and actually see more now in retrospect. When my trust points starting falling out and I started to question things more, he twisted it around and made it seem like I was insecure and jealous. He would sum it up “I need a girl who can handle herself and not trip out”. Rewriting history was his specialty and it always ended up being my fault somehow. When I started to question his assessment that I was “crazy”, and figured out his modes of manipulation, he changed them to new ones. Example: “I’m not the only one who thinks your crazy. My friends are going to love haring about this one.” and then he would start dialing his friends phone numbers. When I would catch him in a lie he would start to dial one of his friends to “prove” he wasn’t lying, again saying wait till they here this one. Of course the calls never went through because he shamed me into backing down. Had I just paid attention to the red flags in the beginning but I wanted that “good guy” he pretended to be so bad that I sold myself out.

    • Elle says:

      Sounds like the carry-on my ex AC did to bully me out of asking him questions. It’s cruel, twisted, childish sh*t behaviour. The problem is that a lot of these guys are good-looking and smart, which means, the way things are socially, we have to rely on them having a decent family or sisterly influence, or having had some sort of epiphany or stroke of genetic or circumstantial fortune to not take advantage of what these qualities can get them in life.

  16. Mary Jane says:

    NML, you are so dead-on. Thank God for you and all the ladies here on this site. You all have helped me so much more than you know.

    I fell victim to ALL of those ‘trust points’ as well. But you know, we all did what we were “supposed” to do…what came natural. We cared, trusted and loved these men for who they were, not what they had. We were easy-going and kind, and did not try to manipulate the relationship or pretend. We gave to them what any normal and decent guy could ever want in a woman, without coming on too strong or too needy. And, my friends, if that’s not enough, then what we’re looking at here are a bunch of assclowns. These men manipulate and play their game as long as they want to, and then disappear. You can’t even relax and enjoy yourself with these men. Your face actually starts to break out from stress and you think you’re losing your mind. Have any of you seen the video for the song ‘Hot and Cold’ by Katy Perry? Haha, hits the nail right on the head. Watch it.

    My ex-assclown finally sent me a long text message this past weekend from the wedding reception of his friend who’s dying of brain cancer. He said that he was going to call me (but not this weekend, because the wedding should be an “emotional nightmare” and he wouldn’t feel like exacerbating that.) Then, the next evening, he sends me a picture message of the moon that says, “the most incredible moon I’ve ever seen.” WTF was THAT about? Is he playing with my emotions by sending me a photo of such a romantic icon as the moon? I didn’t respond to it and still have yet to get his call as promised, and it’s Tuesday.

    I haven’t talked to the jerk since he dumped me two weeks ago at the airport. If anything, his friend’s condition should put things into real perspective for him, but I doubt it.

    • Elle says:

      Mary Jane!

      Stoked to hear you didn’t respond. He’s just being self-indulgent and sentimental. These people are so into their own feelings and importance in the world. He just wants you to coo about how sensitive he is. He’s off on himself. And, is hoping that if he sends you a few pretties (next thing you know you’ll have a photo of his neighbour’s kittens), then you’ll just forget all that horrible stuff about him in between.

      No expert – but pretty sure this is what Natalie has identified as the ‘restart button.’ You’re getting restarted to friends who share cute things, or, rather, you get to comment on his dreamy observations. He’s not being harmful, per se, but if you respond, he’ll take that as a swift cancellation of any harm he might have caused.

      Stay strong! Stay focused!

      (and please excuse my dash of cynicism, I am still mildly irritated about a date I had on Sunday, and a couple of emails from two EUMs today. It can get deflating…)

    • Allison says:

      Mary Jane,

      You’re not a victim!

      Once we recognize our part in this scenario-ignoring the red flags-we are able to move on from this unhealthy relationships. Due to our lack of self-esteem, we tolerated behavior that many others would have moved on from long ago. The best thing I ever did for myself was acknowledge my contribution to this behavior, and when i did, it had a positive impact in every aspect of my life.

      Look within, it will help you tremendously!

      Lastly, I think it will help you greatly if you block all forms of contact.

      Good luck!

  17. Elle says:

    So true on the issue of someone who is super keen to prove trust, probably not being very naturally trustworthy! It’s been a real revelation – thanks Nat – to think about trust as something you roll out over time. I am terrible at presuming people I get involved with have the same values as me, and my best interests at heart. It’s naive, but it’s also because I have been lucky enough not to have encountered many tricksters in my life! Actually, the AC was the first person in my adult/relationship life who has been wanton with my feelings, personal standards, and trust.

    Persistence is definitely one of mine…because I equate it with reliability and honour, on some level. Plans (homes, babies, shared holidays etc) and connection (sharing childhood rubbish) are close seconds! These are all lovely, of course, with a person of integrity. They’re just part of the chase, if what lies beneath is hollow (as is the case of narcissist ACs) or (as is the case of useless EUMs) if the thread between you actually doesn’t exist.

  18. Lou says:

    I wish there was somewhere to go for encouragement when you’re trying to stick to NC and missing the AC :(

    • allie says:

      @ Lou

      The only encouragement I can give you is to stick with it (NC) and after sometime you will feel better. I am a believer and somebody gave me this verse :

      “But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.”

      So I felt I needed to wean myself from this relationship and that gave me strenght. Yes sometimes I miss him or the illussion, but I don’t have the urge to call him anymore. We haven’t seen each other since june, but I would call him now and them, but this time I have 30 NC and feel ok.
      One think i did, was calling him and he didn’t answer which it was good, so I left him a voice message telling him that I was going to erase his cell number from my cell phone and that I felt there was not space in his life for me and that I wished him well.

      So right after that I did erase his numbers as a comintment to myself and after telling him that I wasn’t calling him again, I just can’t back out.

      I also prayed asking God to break the soul ties I had created with him and that was my closure. Don’t need no more.

    • MH says:


      Where do you where to go or what are you looking for, It is not on this site you mean? Or you are referring to something else?

  19. Columbia says:

    Mine actually ASKED me: “Do you trust me yet?” in a convo relatively early on.
    Yes I was put off by it, but it seemed playful enough.

  20. Columbia says:

    also, gotta say Nat, this was DEFINITELY one of your best articles. I love them all, and relate to most , but this one really hit me in the chest. Very spot-on. Well done!!

  21. MH says:

    I found the post about future fakers while reading this post and I was glad I found it now and not earlier because it would have stung too much a little while back.

    I always accused him of dangling plans over my head that he had no intention of following through on. I asked over and over for an explanation why he did that. I yelled at him and said that is not normal and he agreed and said yeah your right it is weird to do that.

    I broke our friendship up over it. Plans were my hooks. I told him that I was a kid at Christmas about his plans. I said he has the best plans and great accesses to places to go that were always fun. I looked so forward to the plans that it hurt me that he would rip them away at times.

    One time he emailed me, text messaged me, phoned me, sent a picture of this private beach he wanted to take me to for over a week. Finally, he had me on the phone and says did you get my messages about the beach? I said yes remember we are going there in a few weeks you can take me to the beach then. He said nah you would hate it because of the rocks there. We eventually went a year later and I liked it, the rocks didn’t bug me.

    This post was such a sore spot for me but because I am in the acceptance stage right now, I have been able to look at it as it bothers me that he would do that to me but nothing I can do but move on and thats what i did and I am doing so its his lost. This is the self talk I say and it still hurts a little. I just keep saying I hope someone comes into my life and shows me that letting him go was the best thing I ever did.

    I read a saying “one day someone is going to walk into your life and show you why it didn’t work out with the others. Something like that.

  22. ChiTownKitty says:

    Im sitting here with tears welling up…have barely been able to maintain the NC rule with my married AC (2.5 months now). He sent an email through an address I didn’t know about (and therefore couldn’t block)…it was basically how he treasures me, can’t forget me, wants to talk to me…yada, yada…I know-total self-serving BS….and yet the pull is stil strong. For me it was connection and attention. Came out of bad marriage where my ex told me how bad and worthless I was constantly. Then this long time friend who was also in what he said was a bad marriage turned our relationship from platonic to romantic. It was incredible to hear how I was wonderful, and pretty, and open and how he never had felt or experienced anything like this before. Oh, I fell for it–then he ran cold-when I even confronted him about it he was very good at turning it all around on me (seems he took a page from my ex’s playbook) but I stayed becuase he always dangled the possibility of a future together–I was afraid to be alone and lonely..and now the pull is still there–its my birthday next week (Im in my late 40s) and I feel like life is slipping past me. And so I am tempted…all I can do is remember that the person from the beginning is a figment of my imagination..he DOESNT exist–he lied and is a lie. Looking back I can see all the red flags–the times where I went “oh, no one is perfect…Im being too picky…or he will wake up and change.” I now know how wrong I was to not go with my gut..I am slowly realizing that being alone is better than being used. I just have to keep telling myself that!!

    • Fearless says:

      I felt sad for you reading your comment; I totally understand and feel the very same way. It helps me to remember that being alone IS better than being used.

      I try to look forward to all the things i am now free to do and enjoy without being constantly dragged down into the pit of disappointment and frustration by the misery of the EUM relationship, which actually prevents you from enjoying yourself properly and taking opportunities to do different things (or even just things – anything but this!!) – because in these relationships you ARE actually alone – you are living off the potential you imagine they might one day actually deliver.

      At least now when I am alone and feeling alone (say, on a Saturday night), it’s not because I have been LEFT alone and by myself – abandoned – as per bloody usual – by the EUM. Better to be alone by your own choosing than by theirs! Better to be in control of your own “aloneness” than have it foisted upon you.

      Hugs to you! F

    • jubilee says:

      @ CTK
      It’s just hard, sometimes you just have to allow the sadness and feel the emotion instead of fighting the tears, let them come. It’s okay that you miss the attention/love/affection, but other things are not okay and I completely feel for you as I fell hard for a married man and didn’t know he was married. Be strong. No matter what age, going back to these dysfunctional relationships always hurts more the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time. Resolve this will be the last time and block the new email address. Stick to No Contact, make some plans for the weekend and keep yourself busy. We are all going through dealing with different emotions in the break ups and the transition is hard. Think of the reality of the situation and reality of his behavior – he doesn’t deserve you! Remember to ask yourself “why is he contacting me?”
      Best to you kitty!

      • ChiTownKitty says:

        @ Fearless and Jubilee

        Thank you so for your support and insight! You are right about letting the emotions come. I swear sometimes it does feel so good to just sit and cry and get it all out! Im blocking this new email address but to be honest I am saving the email. It does remind me of why he’s in contact–HE doesnt want to feel bad about how it ended, HE wants to keep me around for when things are less than perfect with his wife…I need to think in terms of I..what I want and what I deserve….and he’s not it! I am making plans and in doing so discovered just how much was put on the back burner during this relationship. My Saturday nights may be spent alone but by my choice not by his choice to isolate me and disappoint me!

        Thanks everyone! I dont know how I would get along without you!

  23. Gaman says:

    I agree with everything you have said in the post, and my EUM was exactly this guy, but the one thing I am still struggling with is WHY???! I can’t believe he went through all this rigmarole just to get me to have sex with him?! He could have got it anywhere, anytime he wanted – there were women far younger and hotter than me throwing themselves at him – so why bother going to all this trouble? It seems to me that when he finally realised I wasn’t going to put out that he dropped me like a hot potato – but after 9 months, was that really the reason??! It all just seems so bizarre to me, that someone could be that driven by his ego!

    • Fanny says:

      First of all: Thank you so much for that excellent post! And excuse me for my bad english. I am from Europe.
      Me too, I am asking me the exact same question: WHY did he chose me and why did he even wait some time with sex because I wasn’t ready for that immediatly? (–> HUUUGE Trust point!!!) We even had a long distance relationship, only saw each other one time a month. But talked every evening for 3 to 6 hours on skype. (trust point, too!)
      All this made me think even more that he meant it, that he was very much in love with me and that he was really serious. My answer to that question is that they chose us because we were kind of a challenge for them. “If I can get even her, I have to be a great guy with a serious aura….” Since I am around 10 years older than him that must have been a challenge, too.
      It boosts their egos even more when they can get someone caring and not only interested in sex, someone educated and interested in a real relationship. (He sucked my knowledge and favourite films, music, literature etc… in like a sponge, used it for his facebook – image to lure in new supply later on) AND the distance (in my case) gave him kind of security that I would not stand at his doorstep after he dumped me only two weeks after he was still talking to me about having a baby with “the only person who understands” him.
      They need to reach an aim, always trying to get what they don’t have yet. More suffering of not getting something than being happy having reached something lasting.
      The bad thing is that they handle all this like (one of a hundred) dreams while we thought that it was reality. They are excellent actors, very needy but not thinking about the needs of others and about the consequences of their behaviour.
      They don’t really care about what we are feeling and that they hurt us, turning their back when it becomes too difficult to fulfill their promises. The promises were initially made for having a good time, nothing more.
      I absolutely agree with that great post above. Same thing here. And very important to read it over and over again when I am struggling with sending a “how is everything?” email. Didn’t do it yet. two months of no contact yet. Still shaking and sobbing.

  24. Sandra says:

    I just stumbled onto your blog, and I have to say, I’m glad I did!!!

    You make such GREAT points-you say things I’ve never seen anyone else articulate, but you say them in such a straightforward manner.

    So many women get confused about relationships and why they keep choosing the wrong ones, over and over, and you have hit the nail on the head! We ignore red flags, and these deceptive ‘trust points’ are exactly what we mistakenly think make for a good relationship.

    Thanks for your insight. PLs keep writing!

  25. Anne Randolf says:

    This is a fantastic article. And I am looking at it thinking, how did you step into my life and describe me! (Seems like everything you write describes me and my AC. I spent almost 5 years with a married man…and even up until recently he said, I have never lied to you. I trusted him along the way when I should have been running away. One of the things about me I take pride in is my tremendously accurate GUT feeling–Except I ignored it with him and doubted my gut. But Natalie, you said in your one article, The man in the beginning, wasnt him. What I see before me is who he really is. He is a liar, Cheat, and a total fake. He has no idea what or who he is. I cannot believe I trusted this man with my heart.

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.

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.