When we focus on what we deserved, we often get caught up in blaming our worth for why it didn't happen

“I didn’t deserve to be treated this way”, Rita explained when I asked what it was that kept her hung up on her ex. I met Rita at an event and her friend, a BR reader, urged her to tell me her story of a five-year back and forth with a Mr Unavailable.

“Did he tell you that you deserved to be treated that way?”, I asked, with ‘that’ being the blowing hot and cold, the saying one thing, doing another, and a catalogue of commitment related letdowns that culminated in him bailing two days after he proposed to her in an effort to win her back, again.

“Well, no he didn’t. Quite the opposite – he kept telling me how I deserve better”, and she shared how he’d effectively tried to warn her off him…and then chased whenever she [temporarily] took him at his word.

“Okay, so if he didn’t say that you deserved to be treated in this way, who exactly told you that you did? Even if he’d had the brass nuts to so much as suggest that you deserved all of that malarkey, that in no way makes that true, so who said that you deserve this?”

There was a long pause and a myriad of emotions crossed her face, and then she whispered, “Me.”

It’s important to know what we deserve, such as love, care, trust, and respect, and it’s important for us to also recognise where this falls short in certain relationships, but it’s critical that we don’t confuse our sense of what we deserve with what I talked about a couple of weeks ago - feeling entitled to something. When we act this way and our expectations aren’t met, we adopt a bailiff mentality of trying to collect a debt or blame our inadequacies for why we don’t have the ability to sufficiently influence and control the feelings and behaviour of others.

Rita, like many including me, has been beating herself up over what she did or didn’t do to deserve somebody’s behaviour, but when it all came down to it, she was the one who was telling her that it was about her deserving a better version of him than existed and that ultimately, she had been a good girlfriend, so why was he still a Mr Unavailable? She’s been in torment over whether she ‘deserved’ his treatment when actually, that has nothing to do with the issue. It is her who has made it about this and as a result, she’s ended up adding on even more pain and of course missing the wood for the trees.

It also means that she is assuming that his issues were about not having met the ‘right’ woman, not about his personal habits and issues that contribute to whether he can be vulnerable and committed.

It is this tendency that we have to try to influence and control the feelings and behaviour of others by being ‘pleasing’, where we run into trouble with the whole sense of what we deserve.

We believe that even if we are a good boyfriend/ girlfriend / partner / spouse / friend / child / sibling / student / worker that we should be spared or certainly limited, from experiencing conflict, criticism, abandonment, rejection, and disappointment.

We believe that even if it’s not a person’s inclination, character, or desire to do so, that because we are a good or even great ________, that we deserve what we expect from that person, hence when someone doesn’t behave as we’d need, like, or expect, we question where we went wrong in our ‘goodness’ and pleasing in an effort to try to make sense of their behaviour.

We search around for a reason that ‘makes sense’ to us and if our default habit is to already use a reason that stems from us not being “good enough”, this is where we’ll circle back to.

By making other people’s behaviour about us though and languishing on this sense that we’ve been shortchanged, we are answering the question of why another person acted as they did with the answer of our worthiness. That doesn’t make sense.

What we deserve is not the same as who someone is.

When I asked Rita what her chief reason for feeling that she deserved his commitment, she wryly admitted that it was because she’d “put up with so much crap from him for such a long time.”

Of course Rita deserves better than a relationship where she can’t have any needs for fear of giving him another reason to feel “suffocated” by the commitment that he’s not even doing…. but she’s not entitled to continue pursuing that from him. She also needs to re-evaluate her idea of being a “good girlfriend”.

There’s no point in valuing your rep of being a stellar girlfriend (or boyfriend) in a non-mutual relationship.

If you know what you deserve, give that to you by opting out, and focus on being in relationships where it is mutual, not where you’re trying to provoke a person into spontaneously combusting into someone else due to you behaving in what you feel is a pleasing and deserving manner.

Of course we deserve love (when it’s that kind of relationship), care, trust, and respect as a basic within our interpersonal relationships but let’s not mistake that for carte blanche to bust ourselves up trying to make someone be or do what they don’t want or have the capacity to, nor should we blame ourselves for not being able to make us the exception to the rule.

As long as we make other people’s treatment of us about what we deserve, we forget to accept who they are as well as the reality of the situation. We make ourselves superhuman and we break ourselves on the lie that the whole world is operating off of this constant scorecard of who is provoking what with their worth. At the end of the day, being deserving is about showing qualities worthy of [whatever we've set our sights on] but if people don’t appreciate and value these in us, it doesn’t mean that those qualities don’t exist or aren’t good enough. It means that they don’t recognise, understand, or even truly feel deserving of whatever you’re trying to give.

Ultimately, you cannot be available for someone who will appreciate and value you, if you’re making yourself available to someone who doesn’t and even basing your self-esteem on your ability to mind-bend people. You do indeed deserve better and it starts by not selling you short.

Your thoughts?

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151 Responses to What We Deserve Isn’t The Same As What Somebody Will Do

  1. AngelFace says:

    Like the layers of an Onion! Thanks Nat for taking us deeper & deeper into our relationship behaviors! PS: I’m very well & Happy, Thank You ????? :-)

  2. AngelFace says:

    The question marks above were hearts on my phone. XOXO- kisses instead.

  3. lynn says:

    I so needed to read this like 2 years ago! this was me…

    but when it all came down to it, she was the one who was telling her that it was about her deserving a better version of him than existed and that ultimately, she had been a good girlfriend, so why was he still a Mr Unavailable?

    gonna have to read this again!

  4. You have to teach people how to treat you! What they know as something that can easily be joked about or said, can easily be something that you think is disrespectful.

  5. Germaine says:

    Amen to this post! From my experience trying to ‘please’ Unavailables makes them distance themselves from you even further. Find someone that WANTS your love and in turn has no hesitation in giving it back. Because of this blog the way I view dating, love & relationships has had a complete overhaul. Thank God (or just Natalie) for that! xx

    • Stephanie says:

      Germaine,

      You are so right! Because a person that “wants” your love shows you and you don’t have to beg, convince and threatened to leave them in order to get it.

  6. Matt says:

    I needed this. I needed this badly. I’ve been struggling with why my ex-girlfriend treated me the way that she did and treated others better. I just keep thinking, “What did I do wrong? What are they doing that I’m not thats causing her to value them and treat them respectfully but not treat me with respect or consideration?”

    Of course, the answer is so stupidly obvious it’s almost embarrassing how much I’m letting this bother me: It’s because she IS the same way with her friends…it’s just the terms and the boundaries of a platonic friendship are obviously different than that of an intimate romantic relationship. She may have an idea of what a romantic relationship but it’s obviously a bad one (since all of her relationships seem to turn out the same).

    It has nothing to do with me and everything with her horrible misconceptions

    • Kaykei says:

      Matt,
      I’m going through the exact same thing! It always appeared to me that he treated everyone else better and gave them more of his time and attention. Looking back, I realize that he was just as selfish and manipulative with them as he was with me. Actually, I now realize he has NO friends. No one who really knows him. Just acquaintances he keeps at arms length or female friends for that ego stroke he needs. I just couldn’t see it at the time.

      It’s almost scary now looking back at how much I missed while I was obsessing over what I had done to make him treat me so badly.

    • rachael says:

      Matt,

      I think it would be great if you got to the point where you can forgive her and accept who she is. I think it is at this point that you are truly of the belief that “it’s” not about you.

  7. AM says:

    Thank you for another excellent article! This one particularly addresses a recurring issue for me – interpreting other people’s behaviour as my fault and being a people pleaser. Just recently a friend didn’t invite me along on a group holiday – my initial reaction was (1) what did I do wrong? and (2) I’ve been such a good friend to her, I deserve to be invited! After reading your recent articles, I now understand that her behaviour has nothing to do with me and is just a reflection of her character and values. Plus if I’m honest with myself, before this incident, I had already reached the conclusion that we have very different personalities and incompatible values. As a people pleaser, it has taken me a while to realise that she doesn’t appreciate and value me and that I should spend my time with people who do.

  8. alohacathym says:

    Classic, golden goodness therein. I aim and hope to use the tools you provide for all my relationships, personal, even professional and family ones. Gosh, wish I’d known of your helpful BR, Natalie and all of you, helpful commenters, when I was in the depths of and before the mess of an unjust 12 year relationship I got into with my ex-assclown eum. Now after multiple breakups with him, 7 years of boomerang-ing with him trying to be friends, trying to be together again, finally put the nail in it and I’m 4 months into NC, hanging tough and glad, learning more and being there for me.
    Happy spring and new beginnings to all.

    • Stephanie says:

      Alohacathym,

      It does get better! As time goes by and see these people for who they are and not live in a fantasy land you will prevail.

    • Catherine says:

      Hello alohacathym!
      I am so glad to know I’m not the only one who had the EXACT kind of relationship you described above!! I was involved with someone like that for almost 15 years!! I have come to accept that it’s not about me or him, it’s just that the two of us don’t fit, and he is never going to change. There is so much fantasy involved in these kinds of relationships, and in ones like Natalie just wrote about. You hear the words “You deserve someone better” and you THINK “what a thoughtful person” and then build a fantasy personality on their potential that you think was manifest by their “thoughtful” statement, when in fact, it is a warning that should have been heeded. A therapist told me once that if a guy tells you he’s a jerk, you should believe him! This article also resonated with me as I’ve tried to please this misogynist I work with, trying to be a people pleaser with him thinking he would change. The harsh truth is, it’s not about me, he’s just a misogynist and isn’t going to change no matter what I do. I’m NOT the exception to the rule (what hubris to think I am!) and he’s going to keep on keeping on being a turd. All you can do is do your best, accept the reality of a situation and then move on if it’s not a healthy, positive relationship.

  9. S Smith says:

    Amazingly on time Nat! I think you have super natural instincts – whatever I’m experiencing you are on it!
    I haven’t really been in balanced relationship in a while, (I’m ready)but there was always something surfacing that makes it a total deal breaker! Well here we go again: guy I kept running into asking me out for months, we connected (work, attraction) but now appears to have “issues” with alcohol. You don’t have to convince me to run like hell, but I’m left wondering did I miss something? No actually I didn’t, there were many signals of his issues and I was picking up on them, while at the same time almost wanting to be patient to just see what happens? Do I not feel already knowing what I know that I deserve better even after seeing his wasted behavior for the first time this weekend? It’s now not about him, it’s about me. How disappointing to have reality set in and see him face value and also knowing this is behavior is past what my “goodness”can intervene. No rescue for him! Rescue me!!! Knowing this person is a long way from recognizing my value and hanging around to see what happens would be selling me short. This has nothing to do with me. Full speed ahead!

    • Stephanie says:

      S Smith,

      That’s why dating is a discovery phase! People unfold and sometimes you need a little more info before you can make an informed decision. If it he didn’t past the smell test then you made the right decision.

  10. Rewind says:

    This article is spot on for my behavior. He showed me from the beginning that he couldn’t commit and would even sleep with someone and two hours later call me to come sleep with him. I always thought I did more, was nicer, took him on trips and to concerts, bought him gifts….yep how could I not be the one. Four years later and after yet another humiliation by him, the light bulb came on. My behavior NEVER changed his behavior. I am embarrassed when I look back at everything I did to try and win over a creep. He just sat back and watched and laughed at how hard I tried. Well I finally am spending my generosity on those that care..my family, friends and on myself. Looking back it was a waste of four years that I can’t get back. But moving forward I now know that I can’t buy love. At least I know that I do know how to love….he will forever be pampered by women but will never know the joy of giving and having your heart fill full. There is justice!

    • Stephanie says:

      Rewind,

      He was a user! Most AC/EUM are users and only look at what they will get out it. Selfish to the core! They don’t look at you and think wow she is nice to me I should do the same. They only think about what they getting out it and put you in a category of who likes me so much that they will be with me not matter how bad I treat them.
      Don’t be embarrassed! It’s a life lesson that we all must experience to learn what not to do again and what type of people we don’t want in our lives.

      • hand_turkey says:

        Stephanie is right. I just couldn’t believe that this smart, affable, resourceful, funny, talented and well educated adult would USE me (not sex, but anything he could squeeze out of me – there was always an explanation) – there had to be some other explanation! Nope, just plain old fashioned love con.

        Also, I considered the EUM in my past to be a friend. He would come on strong. We’d talk for long time. We’d laugh. Apparently it was OK in his mind to aggressively pursue me like a clinging vine – I mean I should be flattered – but if I so much as called him ONE time at the phone number HE provided me, he freaked out and thought of me as desperate and unstable and, I now know, said as much to our mutual friends.

    • rachael says:

      Rewind,
      “… beginning that he couldn’t commit and would even sleep with someone and two hours later call me to come sleep with him.”
      Seriously, RUN

  11. Stephanie says:

    I think this something that we all have struggle with at some point in dealing with EU/AC because I know I deserve better, but the problem was I was trying to get that “better” from someone who was incapable of giving it to me. At least in the way that I wanted.

    It is so true that when you are a nice person and treat people with respect, its hard to understand how some people can’t treat people the way they want to be treated. But that is the key to remember–They are not like you and don’t think like you so they can’t understand.

    Sometimes its best to cut your losses and find someone who deserves and earns your love than to try to squeeze it out of or convince someone who doesn’t deserve it. They are just not worth it and believe me when you find someone who treats you with love and respect, you don’t have to keep telling yourself that you deserve better because you will get better.

    • rachael says:

      Stephanie,

      “… earns your love than to try to squeeze it out of or convince someone…”

      Is there a third way, do you think? Both of these seems inappropriate to me

      • Stephanie says:

        I’m not sure what you are talking about? The point I was making about “trying to squeeze it out of or convince someone” is inappropriate and that’s what you DON’T want!

        • rachael says:

          Stephanie,

          Apologies for the confusion, Stephanie.

          I meant that I don’t think trying to squeeze out love or convincing them of their love is appropriate, as you say. Love is given freely in my opinion.
          I also was saying that requiring somebody to “earn” love is in my opinion, inappropriate too. I would not like to be expected to EARN someone’s love.
          “They don’t look at you and think wow she is nice to me I should do the same.”
          You said this in another post and I think it is in the same vein.
          I was just asking if there is a better way to be in relationships… maybe ALLOW someone to love us?

          • Stephanie says:

            Rachel,

            You can allow someone to love you, but that is there choice. What I mean by “earn” is that if a person wants to have a relationship with you base on love and respect they have to earn that right. The don’t just get it just because they exists. I think this why we have had so many problems with EUM/AC because we allow ourselves to love and care about people who did nothing to earn our love and resepct.

            The concept of earning is you have to put something into to get something out of it, but if one person is working and the other person is receiving they are not earning it. We are just giving it to them. As a women, I feel that if a man is pursuing me he should earn the right to date me! Not the otherway around. I am the prize not him. In turn, I show him the respect he deserves.

            • rachael says:

              Stephanie,

              I think I understand your view. People DO allow themselves to love people who do nothing. I agree there.

  12. Lilly says:

    Like many of us here I tried so hard to make him want me, but he didn’t want me and most definitely didn’t value me (us). It still hurts, but what really hurts is the knowledge that I let him hurt me so much. I based ‘all’ of my self-esteem on the behaviour of that AC, all of it! However,I have stopped selling myself short and I mean it ‘I have finally stopped’.
    I have been getting on with my life and have thrown myself into my studies and I’m enjoying it. Today I received an email (work related) from him. No salutation, nothing, just copying his reply about my research from someone requesting information (he was my supervisor so is the point of contact). Last time he did this I was devastated that he hadn’t even taken the time to send me a brief explanatory message (using my name!), but do you know what? who cares, p-ss off AC, just p-ss off. He has supplied me with a direct email and I will respond to the persons request for further info. I will be professional and copy him and that is the extent of the contact. I can’t ignore it as it’s work, but I can choose how it affects me. It’s not easy and it does still hurt, but I have absolutely no desire to use it as an excuse to contact him so he thinks I’m still there. I’m not still there and I have the rest of my life to live. I still miss my baby, I still want my baby, I will always want my baby, but he can’t get him back for me, no one can. I’m learning to accept it and Rewind
    I’ve been feeling the very same humiliation lately. Looking back I am so embarrassed at my efforts to make him care. Makes me cringe.

    • rewind says:

      Whenever I received a group email from him, I was always blind copied so the other “women” on the list didn’t see my name. Furthermore, in four years there were never ANY pictures of the two of us together. When we went on a trip, I had dozens of pictures of him, but none were taken of me and certainly none of us together. It looks like we were on a separate vacation at the same location. Haha. That should have told me something right there. He has his hands on so many women in this small town, that he tries to keep everyone a secret. BUT….he also delighted in inviting a me to something where another “other woman” was also invited…just to see us react. I swear….the behavior is just unbelievable.

      • Kaykei says:

        Hi rewind,
        Same here. When I finally broke up with him after 3 1/2 years I had no pictures of us to go through. None of his stuff at my place to pack up and give back. We never took trips together. Never spent holidays with our families. We had nothing. It was a wake up call to realize that while I had been building a life with him in my head and heart he had affectively been keeping me at a distance and getting what he wanted from the relationship.

        • rewind says:

          Well said, Kaykei. Isn’t weird how we can build them up in our head and heart. When the switch flipped and I finally saw it…it was a pretty harsh reality. He didn’t care about me…never did care about me…and used me until he used me up.

      • Catherine says:

        Rewind:
        “he also delighted in inviting a me to something where another “other woman” was also invited…just to see us react. I swear….the behavior is just unbelievable.” My jaw dropped when I read this. No one should have to put up with that kind of behavior! That guy sound like a sociopath. Like there is no soul inside or anything….it’s not surprising he’s incapable of giving love with that kind of meanness inside. Definitely something wrong with HIM. I hope you’re free of him for good. Honestly, you don’t deserve that, and he’s incapable of giving anything more, that’s obvious after reading that. Hugs to you.

    • Pauline says:

      Lilly,

      ‘I’ve been feeling the very same humiliation lately. Looking back I am so embarrassed at my efforts to make him care. Makes me cringe.’

      We have all been there and it’s a good sign that you are on your way to getting over him.
      When I think of some of the things I did, like sending him those cute I love you e-cards … Ye gods … What was I thinking?
      I still cringe a little over those e-cards LOL!

    • Lilia says:

      Lilly,
      Good for you! And you said something really important:

      “he can’t get him back for me”

      See? It sounds like somewhere deep inside, some part of you wanted to believe that he is the one who can bring your baby back – if only he wanted to.

      When I was in my early 20s I lost a baby too, only this was at the very beginning of a pregnancy. My then boyfriend dumped me a couple of months after that, I became completely obsessed with him and he treated me like his personal doormat. The thing is, I realised years later in therapy that as he was the one who had “made” me pregnant, I thought that he was the one who could make things right again. The thing I wanted most in the world was to be pregnant (by him) again, and somehow get my baby back.
      It´s not logical at all, because it would be an entirely different baby, but that´s just what my unconscious was figuring.
      Anyway, once I understood this, I could finally let this guy go and start to heal.
      I did have kids eventually, and became a devoted mom.

      It sounds like you´re well on your way to see the AC for what he is, good for you! Keep up the professionalism in dealing with him, take care of yourself.

      • Catherine says:

        Hugs to both of you. You are strong women to have endured such loss, my heart goes out to you. Please be kind to yourselves, you deserve it, especially after such pain.
        Lilia~What beautiful insight you had! I don’t know you, but still proud you did the hard work and came through and found healing…that is an inspirational story for us all.

      • rachael says:

        Lillia,

        wonderful insight! Thank you

      • Lilly says:

        Lilia,

        I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s so excruciatingly heart breaking; I won’t ever be the same. What you wrote was amazing, and you summed it up perfectly. He (AC) felt like the only link to my baby for a long, long time. I was terrified to completely let go in case Alexander went too. He was already gone, but I’m learning that he can still be with me without hurting myself further with the AC. Thank you Lilia this was so helpful, xxx. P.S. and Catherine thank you for the hug.

    • igotout says:

      Lilli, I know the cringe feeling so well. It’s that terrible feeling after AC disappears and you just know that with all the red flags you NOW see, you start to realize that you kind of set yourself up. In my case it was because I tried enough for two people and he didn’t try at all. And I treated him how I wanted to be treated but he didn’t do the same. But really what I’m writing to say is that in time you get over the cringe factor and just don’t give a flip. What you’re left with is the knowledge that you will NEVER do that again, which is very very freeing! In other words, just getting out of the situation is a big thing and you will just feel better and better as time goes on.

  13. JLN says:

    I just left a relationship (two months ago) with a man who was a great friend, but a lousy boyfriend. All of the qualities that I loved: his generosity, his sense of humour, his cooking, his love of animals, etc., were all qualities that he shared with everyone. What he couldn’t do for/with me was make plans for the weekend, be vulnerable, express his anger in a healthy manner, tell me he loved me (after the initial few months), etc. As soon as I had any expectation of consistency from him, he closed up and bailed. What it took me a long time to see is that I wasn’t getting the relationship that I wanted, even if he was the person I wanted to have that relationship with.

    Because I don’t believe I deserve both the great guy AND the great relationship in the same package. And man, did he like to remind me on a regular basis that I deserved better, in no uncertain terms.

    If only we’d listen, agree with them wholeheartedly, and say, “thank you; you’re right; it’s been nice knowing you.”

    So, yes to this article: We deserve to be treated well. We need to know it in our hearts that when something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right, and it’s okay to walk away.

    I am taking a 2-year hiatus (give or take) from dating in order to learn my value and find my happiness without a man so that I will never devalue myself again.

    • A says:

      Well said, JLN.

      I was caught up in the same thing with the AC (except he didn’t even have the good qualities of the guy you described!) He was someone who I actually really liked and was excited about, and felt that “chemistry” with, so I didn’t want to walk away. It happens so rarely. It really sucks that we can’t trust that chemistry. I’m envious of people with healthy upbringings who can. Though I’m hopeful that through re-traininng our ways of thinking, we will start to feel attracted to healthier choices.

    • Stephanie says:

      JLN,

      I think that the problem, we know we deserve better, but we don’t believe it! Knowing is a thought, believing is action. You are doing the right thing be taking a break. I think everybody should takes break from dating to get some clarity and cleanse the soul. Believe me that’s when you will start to meet quality people. Good Luck!

      • Sofia says:

        Stephanie, I agree with you on two points. First of all, we know theoretically we do deserve better, but we are not acting upon it, until we are hit with an epiphany relationship, the reason most of us are here. Secondly, yes, rushing into dating is avoiding loneliness, validating oneself, wanting attention from men, wanting subconsciously to get ahead of the ex or spite him or show him you can do it too and you are “over him.” Also dating too early is rebound and also most likely end up with comparison to the ex, disappointment and plus hurting the person’s feelings because we are not ready. I am into 5th month of post breakup and I can’t even think of dating because I am healing emotionally. And that’s me, who couldn’t go 2-3 months without either a date or a casual hookup sex with one of the exes. Now I have neither desire not interest. I am healing and rebuilding myself. I love this feeling. I feel I am finally experiencing love and care for myself I have been depriving myself for 36 years. Good advice – to wait to date. Agreed.

      • JLN says:

        Thank you!

  14. Tired says:

    This has helped alot . I was beating myself up because i was older than the ac by nine years and he was very immature 36 year old . For days it was because i was termed old at 44, then i clicked i could be perfect and wrinkle free and he still would have done what he did . His previous actions had showed he was not showing me any respect or care . I learned a valuable lesson however much i like someone go by their actions not there WORDS . I will use the feeling as a timely warning if i ever come close to making the mistake again . I to cringe but im glad off the grief i have avoided , a blessing in disguise i think :)

  15. Phoenix says:

    UNBELIEVABLE timing on this one for me. In the past few weeks I had two of my siblings (on separate occasions) phone me and tell me that despite my parents wishes to have me as their Executor of their will that when the time comes I am to step down and let them make the decisions since they are the oldest. My siblings are married & their income is almost 10 times my income (I am on my own with 3 children at home attending College)and they also INFORMED me that whatever my parents have decided in their will as to what they are leaving to whom they will ensure that it will be divided equally amongst ALL of us with no regard to anyone’s financial situation. I asked them point blank why they were calling to tell me this as #1. My parents are only 75 years young and are very healthy #2. How is this any of their business? #3. They legally cannot change anything so if they are that concerned about my parents money & being in charge then they should show some respect and talk to my parents about it whilst they are alive. That was met with a very angry response of “if mum & dad leave more to one of us then the other & said person does not share equally , then there will be a break in this family that will be irreparable.” This really broke my heart. I love and respect my siblings very much and was shocked to receive these phone calls. I do not envy their financial blessings but am very pleased for them. I do not have alot financially but am so overwhelming blessed with wonderful children and amazing friends that I don’t honestly don’t care how much they have. On to my point of saying all this. Because I was so incredibly hurt by this I internalized it & thought there was something wrong with me! I rebounded and broke contact with my A/C. I felt so alone. HUGE mistake. At first he was sympathetic to my situation ( I didn’t tell him the conversation that took place – just that my siblings had hurt me) then he started taking advantage of me for rides & help again etc. I saw him this morning (hopefully for the LAST time) and just sitting there listening to his negative dribble about himself made me feel like I was going to actually be sick. Natalie you really are Heaven sent to help us. I am so incredibly grateful for your posts. They always seem to reflect EXACTLY what I am going through at just the right time. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU XO
    This one especially really hit the nail on the head for me.
    God Bless xo

    • Gina says:

      Phoenix, agree with Tinkerbell so please do stay strong in both instances. It goes to show that despite both siblings’ financial stability, such things do not compare nor come close to how more trusting your parents see you (that is huge) rather than the other two.

      The ex, well a deeper lesson learned there for you in terms of how vulnerable you do become when feeling hurt and alone. Not too sure why you couldn’t turn to the amazing friends mentioned? I am sure they would have sympathised and helped you out a lot more than the ex.

      • Phoenix says:

        Thanks Gina! You are absolutely right, my parents do trust me to carry out their wishes. I did turn to my amazing friends who helped me to see that as well. The emotional hurt side of me was the reason I reached out to the A/C. not for his input as I didn’t tell him what was said to me – just that they had hurt me. I know it was a mistake contacting him and have no desire to do so again. What’s funny is I KNOW he doesn’t care about me or what’s going on in my world AT ALL. He is too self absorbed. Lesson learned. Again. lol

    • Pauline says:

      Phoenix

      Your parents have made you executor for a very good reason, they trust you.
      My mother made me the executor of her will for the same reason, she trusted me more than my brother. I received the bulk of her estate with bequests for my daughter, my brother and his daughter.
      Legally there wasn’t one thing my brother could do about the will or anything else and for all the noise your siblings are making they know this as well. My brother and his wife showed their displeasure in many small petty ways after my mother died but you know what, I didn’t care. I didn’t make it about me, it was all about them and their money grubbing ways. That’s their problem and issue not mine!
      If your parents are kind enough to leave you more than your siblings, know that they love you and all you have to do is smile as you bank that lovely cheque.
      As for the AC you already know you made a mistake contacting him, I don’t think you will bother again after seeing him and having to listen to his dribble. Chalk it up to experience and move on.
      It’s just a small setback, we all have them, we’re human.
      Hugs to you.

      • Phoenix says:

        Thank you Pauline for sharing this with me! I was a little worried posting about the issue with my siblings but am so glad I did after reading your response. I was and still am gobsmacked that they actually feel this way AND voiced it to meas well! After reading your response it’s good to know I am not alone in this! I have decided that I will respect my parents wishes and if my siblings have a problem with this then it will be their issue to sort out not mine. Love this site! Love you all! xo

        • Catherine says:

          Phoenix~I also hope you give yourself kudos for standing up to your siblings the way you did! You did a wonderful job of doing that, and I agree–your parents made you executor for a REASON, and the kindness in your heart that you have seem to have is probably the reason. All I’m hearing from your writing about your siblings is utter selfishness mixed with some greed! Wonderfully mature response, you go girl!!

        • Pauline says:

          Phoenix

          This is a mantra I go back to all the time when I feel myself slipping back. I got this off the internet and I can’t remember who originally wrote this, so apologies to that person for not being able to attribute it.

          Don’t take anything personally.
          Nothing others do is because of you.
          What they say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
          When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

          Wise words and very true.

    • rachael says:

      Phoenix,

      Maybe turn to your friends next time.

  16. Tinkerbell says:

    Phoenix,

    The situation between you and your siblings and you and the AC are unrelated. You need to keep the two issues separate. If your parents have made a will and have made you the Executor it is up to them and them alone to change it. Your siblings have no right emotionally nor legally to try to intimidate you to engage in a change for their benefit. They need to take the matter up with your parents. You need to let them know that in a very firm way. YOU are not creating the will and it does not involve YOUR choices so you need to tell your siblings to bud out of your life and leave you alone. The nerve!

    The AC is a completely different issue. It is none of his business what is happening with your siblings regarding your parents will. What can he say to support you? Furthermore, if he is the AC, why are you discussing this with him? Don’t you have anyone else you could talk to other than him? Have you used this as an excuse to remain in contact with him? Bad idea. Sounds like you should be NC and don’t look back. An AC will only give you additional headaches which you have enough of already. Get tough and put people where they belong–away from you.

    • Phoenix says:

      Tinkerbell you are correct in saying my siblings had no right to try to intimidate me. I felt like I was being bullied.
      As for the AC , I didn’t use this as an excuse to see him as in “getting back together” – I truly NEVER want that to happen. We have completely different morals/values. I think that despite having my close “girlfriends” affirm to me that I was right to feel hurt & offended by my siblings – I needed a hug. Which after 5 minutes in his presence the thought of touching him just for that repulsed me. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? Clearly I wasn’t! LOL! Thank you for your response :) it means so much to me to be able to come back here & get everyone’s thoughts xo

      • Catherine says:

        Hello Again Phoenix~No need to beat yourself up for the AC encounter. You bounced back from that amazingly quickly and I don’t hear that you’ll be going back….just a minor bump in the road at a really terrible time…glad you recognized it so quickly. I don’t see you doing that again.

  17. S Smith says:

    Thanks Stephanie!
    I needed to read your response! I love my baggage reclaim family, stay strong my friends!!!

  18. Bebesgal says:

    I face this problem almost always after a relationship ends, be it short or long-term. I always make it about my worth – wonder why I am so easy to walk away from. I ended a relationship a month ago because I recognized the guy I liked and had been dating for five months was just not emotionally available. He was still dealing with the demise of his marriage. Divorced a year after thirteen years of marriage. He wanted to stay friends but I told him that he could not contact me as I needed time to detach. In that last month, I have been feeling very insecure about my self-worth, wondering if I’ll ever meet that standard which seems to secure a healthy, long-term relationship. Men seem to have no problem forgetting about me and moving on. What’s worse? Since the break-up, he reached out to me once. I responded nicely but kept it short. Then I reached out to him because something I came across reminded (a scottish band, wearing kilts and playing bag pipes- my ex was scottish)me so much of him. I emailed the picture and said they reminded me of him. He never wrote back. That hurt my feelings, and I have been feeling like an idiot until I read this article and some of the more recent ones. I really need to learn how to stop thinking that these guys are more worthy of me to measure my worth. Taking it one day at a time…

    • rachael says:

      Bebesgal,

      Mens behaviour is UNRELATED to your worth. You have worth simply cause you are human. What men do is a result of their experiences, thoughts, feelings and choices. They are NOT ABOUT YOU

    • Stephanie says:

      Bebesgal,

      You are worthy! You determine your worth not him. I understand how you feel because most of us have have that feeling before, but when you accept that things didn’t work out not because there was something wrong with you, but because there were problems in the relationship.

      It sucks to be rejected, but is also opens you up to find happiness elsewhere and hopefully learn a lesson from it. Don’t change the goodness you possess because someone else didn’t value it. Believe me there is someone who would have loved to get an email like that from you and would respond in a positive way. Smile!!!

    • Lynn says:

      Bebesgal – you did the right thing. He just isn’t ready for something healthy. At least you ended it now before you moved in together or something more serious that would end in disaster. And men’s or anyone’s behavior for that matter has NOTHING to do with your worth. I think the fact that you recognized his red flags and that he is still dealing with his divorce says that you do find yourself worthy and that you deserve better. I have a few affirmations on my bathroom mirror that I read everyday. I am confident. I am worthy. I am happy. I am enough. Its helped.

      • Lynn says:

        one more thing – my ex is with someone who is separated. Granted she may be divorced now, but from what little I do know she sounds like a mess. They are supposedly moving in together after being together for 6 months and they already broke up once. At some point this will explode…this could have been you. I hope that this guy takes the time he needs to process his feelings.

        • Bebesgal says:

          Thank you ladies! So good to have a nice support group here. I was able to recognize the red flags because I learned a lot from this website and wonderful individuals like yourselves. I just now have to work on my self-esteem and recognize that the actions of others is not about me or my worth. It’s been a battle for years – that’s probably why I took a break from dating for about a decade. In the last two years, I started to date again and after a string of failed romances, my doormat insecurity and low-self became active again – though this guy was actually really nice, just not emotionally healthy or available. That’s what I’m struggling with now…if I’m so great, why couldn’t i be good enough for this guy to want to stay in my life and work on himself? On top of it, he ignored my email (validating my invisibility) after I kindly responded to his initial text even though I had asked him not to contact me. Believe me when I say my email was not begging/asking/declaring my love. All it was me recognizing his heritage, and therefore, honoring him while he was in my life. Yet, even after a week, his silence is making me vulnerable and further eroding my perception of myself. I’m better today than yesterday so that’s a positive move. :)

          Thank you again for allowing me to express myself in this forum. It feels good to know that there a caring people out there.

  19. Pauline says:

    This is one of the best posts from you Nat.
    It’s all here and an excellent blueprint of where we go wrong and how not to in the future in our relationships with everyone we come in contact with.
    Wow!

  20. espresso says:

    It has taken me a long time to realize that my ex’s behaviour towards me…which was blaming, obstructing and devaluing was not about me because I could see that he behaved much better towards others. So I just couldn’t believe that he would treat his partner in a certain way but fall all over the place for people who weren’t close. He never remembered things I said and so never followed up or expected me to remind him over and over if a lot was depending on it…and I did…because so often I felt compromised…if it was something urgent or to do with the kids. But I could see that for outsiders he would make every effort to remember so he wouldn’t look bad. It was all about him maintaining his image as a “nice guy”. He got off SO easily with me. There is a good post on this about how it is okay to disappoint you but not others. Worth reading along with this one.

  21. Eva says:

    Oh dear…. I read so much of my own behaviour in this Post. 7 years, off, on, off, on, wash, rinse, repeat, fallback girl… you name it. He told me after a year that he couldn’t give me what I wanted, needed and deserved.. did I listen? NOPE!! Long distance relationship and did I know of the other girlfriend… NOPE!! I tried being the best ever girlfriend you could possibly have, no pressure, no demands… did it get me anywhere…. NOPE!! All it brought me was misery and heartache. No boundaries, the crumbs of a relationship going nowhere and completely lost who I was. In the end, I finally walked away. I am supposed to be an intelligent person and I look back now and wonder what the heck I was doing. I know there are women out there right now who are acting in the same way that I did. All I can say is take back your pride and self esteem and walkaway with your head held high. You’re not the exception to the rule and neither was I. I finally got it, don’t let it take you so long.

  22. BirdofaFeather says:

    Wow!! I can so relate to this post. Makes so much sense, i’m guilty of these thoughts. Im having a particularity hard time today dealing with thoughts of my ex. I was out Rollerblading yesterday and low and behold I see him drive by on his Motorcycle with a girl on the back. Not 2 weeks ago he was calling me up begging to see me and bawling about how much he misses me. Sure thing… what a creep!! He is an absolute AC. I know even better now not to fall into anymore of his traps. His games. He truly is an unhealthy individual.

  23. dove says:

    This is the one thing that stands out the most
    “if people don’t appreciate and value these in us, it doesn’t mean that those qualities don’t exist or aren’t good enough. It means that they don’t recognise, understand, or even truly feel deserving of whatever you’re trying to give.”

    I have been nc since new years…and this is really the whole heart of the matter of that failed relationship-we had different values, and he didn’t recognize mine or appreciate them. He even put me down, said that what I value most was nothing to him, and he never even tried to understand. Thats what really hurt the hardest, knowing that however much I tried to explain, he would never understand. Wasn’t I being understanding? Wasn’t I the one who bent over to do what I knew he liked? Why couldn’t he do the same for me? It all comes down to he never had the same values and didn’t want to try to understand. In the end, he said he wanted to be friends. I said I couldn’t do that then walked away. It still bothers me that he could be like that, let me love him so much, give him all of me, and then tell me that it was nothing to him.

  24. J says:

    No_more, mike, Sofia,

    You guys are truly motivating.

    I feel the same as u guys. I am so happy to be able to share. For a long time I have been wanting/trying to share.

    I feel at times like I’m stuck , not moving on while he moved on before he really broke up with me. I found out last October tht he had a new gf. At tht point in my mind we still had a chance. I asked him many times if he was seein someone, he said no. Lied to my face over and over. He wanted to keep enjoying the benefits of me.

    He has 5 kids by 5 different women, he left all of these women and blamed them for him having to leave. He ran into each relationship straight away or some overlapped each other. Ppl warned me about him but I was too far removed from my so called standards.

    He did the same to me tht he did to them. I wanted to be the exception to the rule.

    He says I made him do wht he did as I nagged him about his last baby mama who kept interfering and coming in to him and I spoke up about her and his need to install boundaries re her. He says i did it every time he went on tour (he’s a professional athlete).

    I have cried more times than I can count, blamed myself, what if , cuda , shoulda , wuda. After all he did up to recently I still hoped he wud retract his rejection of me and run after me.

    I feel so scared of his future , he’s successful, he and the chick are still along after 9 months. It bothers me, I don’t want to care but I do/did. It hurts so much to think he chose her over me and gave me up for her who e only knew a couple months and he knew me for a year and three months.

    I admit I wanted him to validate me by coming back to me. But when I really ask myself , can you take him back after everything? The answer is no. I cu never take a chance with him knowing who he proved himself to be. I can’t go through that pain again.

    I think about him literally every half hour. I’m trying and I will do this.

    He calls from half way around the world where he’s playing a tournament. I hav blocked every number he has , he uses new numbers all the time and I block each one and never answer them.

    As Sophia says I’m am closing the door for good. I don’t want or need a man like tht. He did some deliberately cruel things to me , I almost gave up on living.

    Tell me guys, did I really make him leave?

    • hand_turkey says:

      J –

      The man you describe is someone who only wants what he can’t have, so even the good times weren’t about you.

      But it goes much deeper than that. You said “He says I made him do what he did” that is typical of people who have NOTHING to give but grief and sadness. Don’t even look to this man for validation – he can’t even give that to himself. Give yourself validation and leave this fool behind.

      I don’t care if this man looks like JFK jr. – I don’t care if he IS JFK jr. – a woman who likes herself can do much much better. Such a man has nothing to offer but grief and chaos, as every lover he encounters will learn.

      My advice: keep this site on your startup tab and keep reading the archives, and maybe even read books like “Men Who Can’t Love” to help you shake any remaining attraction to this emotional toddler of a man.

    • rachael says:

      J,

      I am not answering your question. I want to comment on a statement you made.
      “I wanted to be the exception to the rule.”
      I think the ‘rule’ is the damage done in our past… that people abandon us, for instance. I think many people want a relationship where the rule ceases to exist.
      I heard a young girl say once about her potential boyfriend, “If i had a boyfriend, I would make him clean up the mess [her after had made]“. I thought this profound!

      • rachael says:

        sorry….

        I heard a young girl say once about her potential boyfriend, “If i had a boyfriend, I would make him clean up the mess [her DAD had made]“. I thought this profound!

      • Lilly says:

        Rachael,

        I relate to this so much. I was involved with someone unavailable who was always going to abandon me just like my father did. It was unbelievably painful; just history repeating itself. Now I have to make sure I don’t do it all again with someone else!

    • no_more says:

      J.,

      Honey, Stop and use your head. This d*ckwit, (as Nel says so succinctly), has five children from five mums? Good grief! He badgers you all the time, though you are trying to heal, and he generally acts like a buffoon? Why do you want him? Look at what you want- nothing! It’s like you want him to deserve you, but I think you need to work on deserving yourself.

      I feel your angst. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt. But instead of worrying about him, about his thoughts, about what this jackal wants- think about YOU! Take a bath, read a good book, go for a walk, talk to friends, journal. Look (albeit painfully at times), at WHY you need him to validate you. You didn’t make him leave, you didn’t do anything! He’s an idiot. You are not.

      It hurts, it will hurt less and less as time goes by. Trust us.
      If he keeps calling, type back: “Stop harassing me, or I will contact the police.”

      Remember every time he contacts you, he is just “f*cking with you. How selfish, cruel and immature. He should be strung up by his conjones, to be honest.

      Be good to you. Read BR every day, remember you are a good person, and he’s simply not.

      We are here for you. xxx

      • LovefromNel says:

        No_more, lovely to read a very familiar word in your response! You also have some cracking lines. My favourites: “been there, done that, have the t-shirt” and “he should be strung up by his conjones.” Love it. Hope you are going OK following the recent contact. Lovely response to J, too. xo

        • no_more says:

          Hi Nel,

          Thanks for your kind words. I am still processing from the recent contact. He sent a couple of texts, sort of friendly, yet puts an “x” at the end. (We used to have this big thing about those x’s. I would never write a bunch of them, and he always wanted me to, to signify deep love…blah, blah).

          I think he’s yanking my chain actually. I’m not responding, and have tried to block the number, but apparently I’m about as phone savvy as I am about men.

          Anyway..feeling a bit blue, but going out with friends tonight, working, and reading BR.

          How about you? Doing okay? I really know that if I actually saw the exEUA in person, I would probably cry, be upset, or want to go medieval on his a**.

          Don’t blame yourself for anything you feel!

          Hugs xx

    • Sofia says:

      Dear J:
      You sound very hurt and heartbroken. I am very sorry you are in such pain. First of all, let me tell you, you found a great place to find support, knowledge, and the resources that will help you heal and grow and become a happier, or, rather, I should say, a happy person.

      I reread your post twice and it reminded me my state of mind just recently or even now once in a while I ask myself, out of the blue, “Did I mess up?” “Did I do something wrong?” “Did I push him away with my neediness (by wanting a relationship and stating the need – NOT needing him 24/7 around me)?” “Did I scare him off by my fear and insecurities? (by having external and internal reasons – internal are all known to us, external being – he was never sure how long he will stay in this country, he was not sure if I am the right person, he was not sure if he can commit and I would wait and wait for some clarity). These questions were on my mind all the time after the breakup. Now I have these questions maybe once a week. Quite a progress. I am 3 months past final breakup. What I am saying is that you will feel better eventually. It takes time. And it takes a lot of work. I used to think of him all the time. There was not a 30-min a day I wouldn’t think of him. I happily admit, I just noticed it is being reduced to maybe once in 2-3 hours. He is still on my mind a lot. Much more than I would like to. But I know time and my work on me helps.

      You didn’t do anything wrong. We keep blaming ourselves because we think that’s how we are controlling the situation. One of the reasons. It is a way to relieve our pain, ironically, too. It’s trying to figure out what happened. You did nothing wrong. It is obvious from your story that the guy was not a reliable person. His background with 5 kids and 5 women. Overlapping relationships and getting into relationships so fast and then blaming women for making him leave them, that’s irresponsible and shifting blame. See, while you are blaming yourself and carrying all the responsibility, he blames everyone else. He comes out to me as a very selfish and narcissistic person. Self-centered and concerned about meeting his needs. He is flaky and irresponsible.

      Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Believe me I still think that sometimes but the difference is that I don’t wallow in it anymore. I cut myself short. I forced myself and time helped as well. I see things with more clarity. When did you break up with him?

      Rule to the exception. Exactly what I thought too. That he could not commit to anybody but will to me. Wrong. These people never change. If they do, it takes a tremendous life experience to overhaul their patterns. Even then. It’s hard. Even let’s say he gets married with that girl, I already see it he will get back to his behavior very soon. People don’t change unless they make a hard conscious choice to change, do all the intellectual and psychological work while experiencing the pain of their life following a heartbreaking breakup or some other event in life that triggers and contributes to such a desire and readiness to change.

      When I thought I did something wrong, I asked everybody, people on this board, my friends, even coworkers. Everybody, even those who didn’t know the full story but knew the summary, told me that I was not to blame for anything. But it took me time to realize that and I am still learning. I don’t blame him either, but I do think he strung me along while knowing what I want and KNOWING all the way long that I am not the One AND he doesn’t want to commit. He continued enjoying the benefits while knew the product is about to be trashed due to expiration date. The expiration date is set by him. He knows his limits and capabilities. I figure now as soon as things get comfy, cozy and emotionally serious and intimate, meaning the dating phase is way over (almost a year in our case), you got to shift the gears. Whether moving in or spending more time together. That never happened to him with anybody.

      Why you are scared that he is successful and he has been with her for 9 months? You think that girl is happy? He may have already another one lined up. She is just the next victim. We just don’t know the expiration date. And we shouldn’t care.

      he is quite a champion, isn’t he?

      You need to shift your focus on yourself. But it does take time and reading a lot, this Board, books, and writing yourself, thinking. Looking back 1, 2, 3 month ago it has been SUCH progress. Trust me, I don’t know how long you have been in this post breakup phase (October?), but believe it will get better. I know though, from my experience, these words don’t help much. The words that he is a jerk, won’t help much either.

      What can help and what is true is that: 1. You did nothing wrong. 2. The person has problems with commitment and attachment and responsibility. 3. You are very lucky that you are not with him anymore. Think about your best girlfriend/female sibling or relative and imagine her going through this relationship with him. Does she deserve it? Does she deserve the treatment, the cheating, the lies? Does she need him? I am sure you said, “No” to all these questions. Think about this girlfriend as yourself. It’s You. You don’t deserve this. You deserve to either be happy, peaceful content where you are by yourself or with a man who will treat you with love and respect you. Someone who will be there for you and who will be willing to share his life with you. Someone who is in tune with your life, needs, interests, emotions, worries, insecurities, problems, happy moments, sad moments, all of it.

      I have decided that I am content being a single woman. I am emotionally and financially independent and self-sufficient. I have friends. I have a daughter. Sexual – that I will have to figure out how to either rule that out or control it. I am complete who I am. I am whole. If a nice man comes along he can join me if he complements me as an addition to my already full and content life. I will welcome him. But I don’t need to have a man anymore. All my young years and up until now, I am 36, men have been a prime focus of my life. Obsession about men, their attention, love, sex, relationships, etc. Nonstop. For the first time in my life I am free from this and for the first time I am experiencing love for myself and my own life. Without a man. Without thinking about any of the exes, worrying about the present or the future. I just live my life and imagine I might be single always. And I am finally fine with it. You will come to this point to, if you work on it and give it time. I am not telling you to plan to be single. I am saying that you will need to focus on leading a whole life by yourself. It is an exhilarating and liberating experience. I would have not started this discovery if not for BR. Thank God for Natalie and her wonderful work and all the people on this board who help each other.

      I am sorry for the long post. I still could write a lot because I am trying to convey the best I can that you will get through it. Stay NC with him. No contact at all. Do not blame yourself. You did nothing wrong. Absolutely.

      And you can never give up on living. You have yourself. And if you believe in God, remember, when no one else loves you (or you think nobody does), He always loves you, will pick you up, and carry you forward. If you are not religious, remember that You have You. You are precious and valuable who you are. You don’t need anyone to prove that to you. Come back on this board, read, write, share with us. We will support you and help you through this. We are here for you. Talk to your friends. Stay active. Sleep. Just do basic things for now to take care of yourself.
      Hugs!!!

  25. J says:

    Thank u for your response cold_turkey and Rachael.

    For a long time I wanted his return to me to validate me tht I was good enough to keep him around. To be the one who everyone saw was special enough to take him. I wasn’t.

    He used to call everyday , now he’s away in the Middle East playing a tournament, his success came right as he was leaving me, u believe it helped him to justify that he was making a good decision or maybe he didn’t even think about it. He lacks self awareness about who he is claiming that people who speak bad of him don’t know him. He says this to make himself feel better about who he is when the reality of who is is tries to creep in.this won’t last though as he immediately distracts himself.

    I told him all about himself many times. Think that’s one reason why he ran from me. I found out too much about him and it felt too close to home. He says I act like I know everything. He seemed to dislike that.

    He broke me. I was so depressed for months. Now I’m sad and panic sometimes that I have no hope. I really want a child now and he represented that. Now I wonder when will I find a good man to have a child with. Just a child I want.

    I feel u wasted so much of my life doing nothing and all these feelings came up when he left me. He distracted me from myself and that’s why I was so lost when he left. I bent over backwards to accommodate him, did things that were so not me, I tried to please him but I still held in to my standard of him having me alone and putting in boundaries re other women. He hated that an ran away.

    He doesn’t take responsibility for how he treated me, he blamed me. He really is convinced that it was me not him. He knows deep down he wasn’t great but he quickly covers it by blaming me for nagging him when he was on tournaments. Lol. It was all an excuse so he wud avoid fixing his boundaries with his baby mama and women who he uses as a shoulder to lean on so he can’t lose them.

    I lost before I even began. He said he didn’t deserve me , that was when he was trying to leave.

    Nuff said. We were over before we began. Good riddance to bad rubbish. New girl….poor you.

    • Sofia says:

      J:

      Good attitude. You know it was wrong from the beginning because it had been over before you began. Very interesting way to put it. Did you feel it in the beginning of the relationship that’s somehow and for some reason, not clear back then, it was doomed? Did you see the red flags (which you recognize only now, sadly, as most of us) at the start?

      Great you are saying, “poor new girl.” Indeed.

      Mine said the same thing when he was breaking up with me. He said, “You will find someone much better than me. You will remember me later as of a bastard. You might even hate me in 6 months.” He said it himself and I couldn’t believe my ears. it’s surreal when a person who planned traveling with me and told me he loved me just 3 weeks ago, breaks of with me saying these things.

      How old are you, may I ask? You want a child, that’s understandable. I was married before and have a child already, so perhaps I am in a slightly different situation. In the sense, I feel that I really have no need for a man anymore. I understand your desire to have a child.

      Do not give up. If anything, you don’t want a child from that person. Imagine having an irresponsible dad like that who hops from one woman to another. Narcissist! I hope he pays child support to all the children. What a sportsman indeed. Not sure what sports he plays. You said tournament? I would think he is an expert in running and jumping. Sigh….

      It will get better, J. I know you are in pain. It hurts so much. But time does magic and your own will power and desire and ability to process things.

  26. teachable says:

    Ok, I’m clear

    1. It is inappropriate to tell others they need to forgive someone who has deeply hurt them. Who the hell is anyone other than the wounded party to ordain this? No-one. End of!

    2. It is invalidating to imply to anyone who perceives that they were used, that something.else occurred instead. Disrepectful even.

    3. Love is most definately earned & anyone who has not jumped every last one of the appropriate hoops( as defined by me) of the discovery phase & passed with flying colors going to be ‘allowed’ to love me.

    Thankyou & goodnight!

    • Nigella says:

      Teachable,

      Standing applause! Thanks for sharing this comment: simply electrifying. Glad to hear you are clear about what you think. Lucid thinking is truly admirable.

      Cheers!

    • rachael says:

      Teachable,

      I like your 1,2,3 approach. Clear :)

      It seems your comment is based on some things I have said. I could be mistaken.

      I would never TELL others to do anything. I would NEVER tell a person they NEED to forgive another – this is their choice.

      I was suggesting to Rewind that HE was fortunate to have spent time with her. Perhaps a sloppy reframe, but certainly not intended to imply her perceptions were incorrect. People have a view and sometimes it is helpful to take a different perspective, in my experience. One that does not denigrate them.

      I do not think I could love someone who required me to jump hoops. I prefer autonomy and would like my partner to respect this.

    • Revolution says:

      Pretty much sums it up, eh Teach? ;)

    • Lilly says:

      Teach,

      “Love is most definately earned & anyone who has not jumped every last one of the appropriate hoops( as defined by me) of the discovery phase & passed with flying colors going to be ‘allowed’ to love me”.

      Love this, hugs, xxx

  27. Melanie says:

    I know that so many of us are going through similar situations so I’m sending out good vibes to the broken hearted and frustrated.

    I am going through something really similar right now- what I deserve vs what I am given. I got myself involved with a Mr. unavailable. but not so black and white. He future faked it up right up to an engagement. All the while, letting parts of the porcelain crack- lying, stealing, talking to exes behind my back. Then crying and crumbling when I would confront him. Then the rage began. during arguments, charging at me in rage, putting his hands on me to restrain me to get me to “listen”. Drinking and taking medication- going in and out of conscious states- according to him anyway. Pretending he had no recollection of anything he has said or did.

    I’m still in that phase of denial where I think this is all my fault. That I am the only one he has ever been this way with and that as soon as we are through- he’s going to go on and met someone new and its going to work because its not me. I’m no picnic and have my own issues of course with self esteem.

    We share a house and pets. Right now its impossible for me to not be in our home because I have no money and nowhere else to go- with two pets that I adore. We have never really spent time apart until now and my worry is that he’s going to slip back into his old habits, drinking, smoking heavily and seeing other people. The problem is that I still care for him a lot and we live together- so for all of that to happen in my home is just recipe for a crushing disaster.

    I either need some way to mentally cope with this as being my current situation until I can save money to move away or a plan to lift myself up from feeling like a failure and the reason for this failed relationship. Right now I cannot seem to find the strength in myself for either. I feel like I could never go through something like this again and I am feeling like I don’t want romantic love in my life. Ever.

    Pretending to put eye drops in ten times a day at work so you don’t get caught out crying just isn’t cutting it anymore.

    • rachael says:

      Melanie,

      This is domestic violence. Your local DV service will provide the means to leave, support, counselling. Please consider this before this man hurts you any further. Much love to you x

    • no_more says:

      Melanie,

      I don’t care if this ASSCLOWN is handsome, rich, smart or owns a Lear jet. I don’t care if he has any good points, and judging from your comments, it sounds like NO.

      I also think, having recognized you have low self-esteem, you should worry right now about him being this way or that with someone else. Don’t borrow more trouble.

      Would you treat someone like this? Rages, drugs, physical violence, (and even under the pretext of getting you to “listen”, is still physical violence honey), and even stealing, is that how you act? I’m betting not.

      Get out now. Please. Go to a domestic violence shelter. There is nothing wrong with that. It is healthy and it helps! Or to a friend’s, grab your dog’s and sleep in the car. Take any money you might have and go to a cheap hotel. But please, please get out.

      You are reading this blog. On some level you know it’s not going to end well. Don’t let that ending be yourself!

      I feel your pain. It gets better- but take action, even if it is the most heart wrenching thing you do. It’ll end up being the best!

      Hugs to you. xx

  28. LovefromNel says:

    Sigh. I bumped into him last night. He was walking on the mountain, with another girl. I know I shouldn’t care, but it just made me really sad. That was me last year, with stars in my eyes and a racing heart. I managed to hold my head high, channel some BR love, and walk straight past him. But I still feel a little bit ill in my core. Happy weekend lovely BR girls. xo

    • LovefromNel says:

      PS – to those I owe a reply to on the older ‘Circular’ post – will write back tonight! :)

    • Sofia says:

      Nel, maybe you can change your route or time when you go? I could not imagine having a possibility of bumping into my ex. Luckily we didn’t have any common friends and I don’t go to the part of city where he lives. And there is no social media that connected us. We completely disappeared from each other’s life. Like we didn’t even exist. Originally it was so hard. Now I see the benefits. Try maybe scheduling a different time/path when and where you go.

      • LovefromNel says:

        Dear Sofia,

        Thank you for your kind response! I wish I could change spots to walk but for a number of reasons, I don’t think I can. I am going to try not to go at the times I know he does. I am feeling OK today. Still a little sad, and hurt, but rummaging through Nat’s post and all of the kind comments which mean so much. I hope you are doing OK too!

        Nel
        xo

        • Sofia says:

          Nel, it’s the weekend too. Even if we stay busy, still, the weekends hit me and very hard sometimes. Tomorrow will be better.

          • LovefromNel says:

            Dearest Sofia – I totally get that. My Sunday arvo blues are a killer! Being a sensitive soul drives me mad sometimes, truly. Also, I walked in a totally different spot yesterday afternoon. I had to drive 15 minutes away (instead of my usual 5 minute drive) but it was assuring to know he wouldn’t be around, and I’d bump into him chatting the ear off some more unsuspecting friendly soul. It’s harder during the weekdays, when there’s less light (I’m in the southern hemisphere) and I have to dash home from work and walk before it gets dark. But I’m not going to go the days when he walks (Tues and Thurs). It’s just too much to bear. I feel like I’m the unwelcome third party, gate-crashing their mountain rendezvous. Sigh! Big hugs as always.

            • LovefromNel says:

              Sorry – typo in the fifth line. ‘More’ is meant to be ‘poor’! Need coffee!

              • Sofia says:

                I didn’t even notice, I need some coffee myself or actually need to go to bed soon. I live in the US.

                Big Hugs to you and I hope you will have a good Monday!

            • Sofia says:

              Nel, that’s a good idea. To not go on the days he goes. Think about it as keeping strong NC. Erasing any possibility to see him.

              Oh yes, Sundays are horrible. Friday and Saturday nights are bad when I am without my daughter while she is at her dad’s. Even when I go out on those nights, I keep thinking of him. Today was bad again. I have to remind myself it has been 3,5 months since breakup. I should be patient with myself.

              While we are having them in our thoughts all the time, they are living their lives, having girlfriends and enjoying themselves. I wish just knowing that alone would be enough to become indifferent to them. With time, I can only hope.

    • Nat Attack says:

      I feel for you Nel. That doesn’t sound easy, seeing him with another girl. Sounds like you handled it as well as you could have and I sense that you are taking care of yourself.

      I have to be extra careful of not making up stories about my ex with a new girl. I read somewhere recently, in an article by a Buddhist writer, I think, that it is best to, “Feel the pain and drop the story.” Wise words. I think sometimes I get preoccupied with thoughts of the guy I used to know with a new girl because of what I think it means about me. If he’s with her, I’m _____. I can fill in the blank with a lot of stuff, stuff I make up about myself, stuff he said about me. I think the story is about him, but it’s really about me.

      So I just try to remind myself that I’m happy being single. And that I’ve come a long way these past six months of NC. I feel strong, like I can really stand on my own two feet, no matter what I feel or experience. I never thought that I would get to the point where I would truly believe that I don’t need him. But here I am. The most heartbreaking thing after a breakup is realizing that life goes on w/out your loved one, but that truth is also what absolutely saved me.

      Maybe he’s with someone, maybe he’s married, maybe he has five wives. It doesn’t matter.

      Anyway, good luck…=)

      • Sofia says:

        Nat Attack, good to hear you are at this point at 6 months NC. I hope I will get there too. Getting closer, I hope. Yes, life goes on without them. I still feel hurt by imagining him with someone. Hopefully at 6 months mark I won’t care. True. It doesn’t matter.

      • LovefromNel says:

        Dear Nat Attack

        Thank you for your lovely response. I think I handled it in the only (albeit panicked) way I knew how. Deep within, I knew he didn’t deserve acknowledgement, but for some reason, I thought he may have said hi to me.

        I wanted the option to ignore that too haha! Anyway, you are so right when you talk about stories. Yes, I insert the blanks too! I love where you say ‘maybe he has five wives, it doesn’t matter’. That’s very true. I just feel a bit cornered though, if that makes sense. I want to continue to walk where I do. I have a border collie who loves her off-leash exercise, and it’s one of the few places in the city I live in where I can do that. I don’t want to see him and her again, though, so I feel really stuck.

        Anyway, that’s enough rambling. You sound like you are doing tremendously well and I am so pleased!

        Nel
        xo

  29. Peanut says:

    Melanie,

    I know this guy must have good points and they may be incredibly good. It’s okay to like that and to want that. But you must know this man’s rage could kill you.

    I have known people like this, even people I’d considered beautiful and in some ways still do.

    But, I know exactly the cycle you describe and your life is indeed at risk. Is he a sociopath, I’d say no, just a deeply troubled individual.

    He needs the kind of help you can’t give him, albeit you put your life at risk by staying with him.

    Look, I am a fucked up person–very much so, but I do not and will not ever put my hands on anyone I claim to love or care about.

    No one has the right to restrain anyone in these kinds of situations. It’s bananas abusive.

    There was a time when I was very violent; it took near a decade of therapy to be fucked up, albeit not violent to the ones I try to love. This issue is bigger than you.

  30. Peanut says:

    And Melanie,

    I still don’t have the best taste in men, but so far I have not came across a man that gets physical since BR. (I’d actually probably bite his ear off/don’t do that).

    Your health is suffering and there is so much fear in being with him; Look it’s not worth it to die for someone else’s mess.

  31. Helen says:

    Natalie, I am in tears.

    I’ve been following your blog for some time now, throughout my latest unfortunate relationships with EUM’s, all three of them. My first epiphany in the world of EUM’s was over a year ago but it did not help me to avoid yet another two disastrous affairs. You always say that life keeps throwing you the same lesson over and over until you finally get it and I can only hope that I’m there now. I need to take better care of me.

    It’s been 5 months since the last breakup. It has been devastating: after all the work I’ve done with myself in the past years and all the positives I’ve been able to bring into my life, I had to question once again why is this happening to me. Like there would be some external limit on how many failed relationships one is “deserving” before the right one comes along, hah! Luckily my efforts with my inner game have now kept me away from seeking a new relationship, yet another external validation for myself.. I have become stronger and more confident about my life and my great qualities. I have now said to myself, be the change you want to see in your relationship and that will invite my kind of love into my life. This week has been really tough, I have been missing my ex like the wound was still as fresh as in the beginning and I’ve been tortured while thinking I’ve gone nowhere, I’m still here and nowhere. I cried myself to sleep yesterday evening thinking that my shoulders and heart cannot bear any more of this. And that’s my second epiphany, I shouldn’t have to. I want and deserve a relationship where my needs are met, not in a “he should fulfill all my needs and make me happy” way but in a way that he is considerate and caring and willing to stand by me through everything. This is the quality I have been looking for and I’ve forced the good guy rope on my exes, despite their actions which have told me loud and clear that they are not up for it, not up for me.

    It was after this epiphany that I opened your blog this morning and your article was there to bring comfort and underline what I already had known but was not ready to believe. This is it, this is the answer I have been waiting for and it came from within. I am good on my own and now that I’m ready for it, I will find the right kind of relationship.

    Thank you for your work, sometimes it is very tough love but that is why it works wonders.

    • LovefromNel says:

      Lovely post, Helen. I related to all of it. Best wishes to you.

    • Sofia says:

      Helen, I could have written your post. With one correction: I think your most recent relationship was the epiphany. The first two you might not have been ready or clear yet what was happening. You are ready now and from now and on you will get better and better to yourself and for yourself. Your excerpt,”This week has been really tough, I have been missing my ex like the wound was still as fresh as in the beginning and I’ve been tortured while thinking I’ve gone nowhere, I’m still here and nowhere. I cried myself to sleep yesterday evening thinking that my shoulders and heart cannot bear any more of this.” – I felt this way every week at first, and then it gradually reduces. Try not to think that you have “gone nowhere, still here and nowhere.” In fact, because you are here, recognizing all the feelings, are in such pain, and looking out for help for yourself, you are on the right course and that means you are NOT nowhere. You are in a better place already. Believe me, I too wonder why 8 years of being single, dating including having my last one – a half-decent relationship with a half-nice, upgraded EUM, why couldn’t I find someone I deserve and who deserves me? Part of it is because I was not ready. I didn’t know how to distinguish bad/good stuff for me. Part of it – well some people just stay single for a long time. Not the right timing, not meant to be. So it’s both I think: our actions and the timing. What you can do starting now is taking care of yourself. Don’t think of it as wasted time. I woke up this morning thinking, yes, he was a big mistake in my life, BUT that mistake was that I chose continuing dating him and ignored all the warnings that he was giving willingly himself. So, it’s not even a mistake that he appeared in my life, the mistake was that it was my choice betting on the potential. However, how else can we learn? Only by errors and trials. And the harder it hits, the better the lesson. I have passed the course and am ready for my practicum even if that means I am to stay single. Do not despair, Helen. I have a feeling you will never allow yourself to find in such a situation again. Don’t date for some time. Rest, recover, love yourself.

      Hugs.

    • Stephanie says:

      Helen,

      I have been there and it does hurt like hell, but you know what it does get better!! Sometimes with the all the work we’ve done on ourselves, it doesn’t guarantee success in the relationship department. I think the only thing it can do is soften the blow when it ends. Like any breakup the only thing you can do is take it a learning experience.

      One of the things I did was stop worrying about meeting somebody and live my life as if you will never have a romantic relationship! Be happy without a person, so if it doesn’t work out; you know what you return yourself back to the baseline of happiness you had before that person. This is not to say you won’t be sad by the loss, but you learn to accept the loss and move on. The feelings you are feeling are not because you miss him per se, but because you are lonely and miss the companionship.

      You know when the pain stop hurting for me? When I accepted the loss, didn’t look at being single as a curse, but as solitude. I had peace in the my life for the first time in many years and refused to go back to the dark place that I put myself in dealing with the AC/EUM. Find some hobbies and interest besides a relationship because if you get into another relationship without working on you, that person will sense it and will probably not be happy!

      You will be fine, I guarantee it and will find happiness once you figure out that it comes from within and nothing else.

      God Bless!

      • Helen says:

        Thank you ladies, your words mean so much to me. And you’re absolutely right, it will get better and I already on some level can see the precious meaning of these difficult days and weeks. In a bitter-sweet way I will be happier because of this pain (although there is nothing noble about it).

        Many people live their whole lives without ever understanding what’s holding them back from being truly authentic and happy. As painful as digging into my fears and negative core beliefs is and while it feels overwhelming at times to be questioning practically everything, the process enables me a clearer picture of what I want and courage to allow myself to want and eventually get it.

        Warm hugs to all of you!

      • no_more says:

        Good post Stephanie! Always nice to hear positive words, and to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

        Thanks for sharing.

  32. Brenda says:

    Well I know it’s really HARD to deal with when you really wanted someone HAPPY even when they did not chose YOU.. and yet when it comes to you being HAPPY with someone else?

    Then they NEVER can support THAT would rather see YOU homeless with NOTHING than to have SOMETHING even though they LOVE and chose someone else over you anyhow.

    I don’t get that and could never get that, and I am tired of trying to UNDERSTAND that logic, or how people get that way it;s just bizarre so feeling when they get hurt by someone apparently, But when YOU need someone to lean on? Suddenly it’s NOTHING but dead silence.

    Really I do not feel like supporting anyone anymore that cannot RETURN the favor ever, I am tired of just not being alone but being the giver and giver and forgiver, and still NOTHING when I could use a shoulder.

  33. Unlike says:

    I’m starting to feel like I can’t expect anything from anyone, ever…end of story and that’s not a good feeling. I mean, really? And yes, I have learned that I can only rely on myself and meet my own expectations, but I’m feeling pretty disillusioned here that we can’t expect to treat someone well, love them, want whats best for them, want to support them, yet we can’t expect to get the same in return because they’re not the same as us and if they turn around and sh*t on us…well, don’t dwell on it, you should’ve seen the signs earlier. You didn’t deserve it but that’s what you got…so look at yourself and move on. It’s feeling like a very dim outlook because sure there are signs and maybe clues in the beginning, but every person has some red flags and history especially at my age in life, including me. I guess I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the info on BR and actually confused by some of it and now not feeling terribly enthusiastic about moving towards even the idea of being in another relationship. That being said this site and all of your comments have helped me tremendously that is why I am frustrated at the moment. Maybe it ‘s just feeling like there’s too much to keep track of and how will it be possible to just be with someone without all this better look out for that, better do this, better not stick around if there’s an indication that this might happen…I don’t know, can anyone else relate?

    • Brenda says:

      Yes I can relate I have had nothing, and then again nothing for years over and over again, it’s almost like some people ONLY exist on this planet to show you just how little in return they have to offer YOU and how much they just soooo LOVE everyone else type of crap, I can only compare it to wanting a dog around but never feeding it, never brushing it.. It’s just there and they don’t want the dog enough to care about it, But just don’t want it to find a BETTER home where anyone WOULD feed it either.

      And then act like they have NO idea what’s wrong when you get pissed off.

      I think some people are just really THAT selfish and uncaring, sure they hurt when the shoes on the other foot and would like a dog around to lick their wounds when it’s them bleeding, But still they don’t really see it needs a real home where it is on the getting end of things.

      And think her last paragraph sums it up.. we ARE wasting our breath, wasting our time and all that.

      And I get you too, when that seems to be all there is AROUND and you get a lifetime of it? People do look less and less trustworthy, less dependable and you would rather BE the homeless dog with nobody then than to be in one where they choose the rabbit, the hamster and rat to tend to and ignore your needs completely almost in a “mocking” situation it seems to be really, just to show you how much your never gonna get.

      • Sofia says:

        Oh Brenda, your post made me teary… A homeless dog without an owner. Yes, I prefer to be that dog. But I choose to have my own home and my owner, who is me.

        I see your point. Yes, that’s what I am feeling like too. I don’t know if I can trust anyone anymore. I am to the point that even if someone shows with me actions and proof that he cares about me I would run myself now. To prevent the hurt.

        It’s strange I am so pessimistic because all the healing made me a stronger person to be alone and be content by myself, but I find at the same time I am developing a protective shell. And that’s not me at all. I used to be an open book and a doormat , I guess in many ways. Or maybe I am developing boundaries? Not sure. I don’t think I can trust anyone anymore. I don’t want to blame my ex EUM epiphany relationship, but I feel like he damaged a lot. I put so much trust in him like never in my life. I became so vulnerable and he trashed it all and betrayed me, while saying that he loved me just couple weeks later to dump me.

        Yes, Brenda, how it is possible to open up? And people who have history and experience and years behind us, we are much more careful. It’s even harder to select from a progressively decreasing pool of available dates. And where you even find dates? Online again? No. Being there, done that.

        We just have to really seriously accept that we MIGHT end up alone. And that’s ok too. I think we just need to be fine with the fact that we might remain single. Maybe it won’t be so painful then anymore. Past experiences and the lack of present or future relationships won’t look so dim if we accept our lives as they are?

        You are saying, “I think some people are just really THAT selfish and uncaring.” I just started thinking this way. I always give people benefit of the doubt. Always seek positive, look out for the best, hoping, waiting, trusting. Believing in good in people. I think this one broke on me finally. At 36. Can’t do this anymore. Now, I DO truly believe there are people out there who can use other people with no shame or reservation. Just like there are people out there who steal, cheat, damage, betray, lie, kill… So yes, then there are people who are selfish users. I can’t comprehend it still how it is possible to hurt another human being by lying and being untrue to oneself and to that person, but now I see that’s possible. I feel so sad that there are people like that. I sound naive maybe, but I kept believing until recently that ultimately everybody has a heart… Evidently not..

    • Helen says:

      Unlike, yes I can definitely relate to that overwhelming feeling of confusion. I’d say you need to give it (yourself) more time to get clarity. Building a good relationship is not about following some rules, do’s and dont’s, it is possible after you have internalized the sense of your own value and you can trust your own boundaries to tell you when things are right for you. The trustworthy relationship follows from you being able to trust yourself first.

    • rachael says:

      Unlike,

      Being confused is ok. It means you have more to know.

      Expectations from anyone, including yourself, are NOT helpful in my mind. When reality differs from expectations – and it WILL – you will feel disappointment. Better to not have expectations. Maybe accept yourself and others as they are?

      I behave this way… I give people the benefit of the doubt, but I also listen hard to my gut. It tells me if something is not right. I talk to the other about it. TALK, not demand/coerce/manipulate. I MAY ASK they do something, but try hard not to expect. I respect their freedom. I have, in the past, ignored red flags because I want the relationship (chemistry/my issues trying to get resolved). It is hard to walk away, but in the end, I must. Otherwise I am lying to me and him. WE only get one life. Why waste time?

      Also, we ALL make mistakes… this is not FAILURE, it is LEARNING. We find out something each time we fall. You are perfect exactly as you are, Unlike. I think your willingness to question things is brave and this may fast track your learning. Please do not let confusion discourage you from having an open mind.

      • Sofia says:

        Thank you, Rachael for your wise post and a reminder that our mistakes are not failures. They are learning experiences. Life is a learning experience. We beat ourselves up so long and hard for every small and big misstep, while all life is a learning journey. It’s easy to understand rationally, but emotions get disconnected from thinking sometimes or too often. That’s where life experience should reroute the decision making process from emotions to the brain and will power. I like it how you chose to walk away even though chemistry etc was there. What’s the point of wasting time if you felt it in your gut it wouldn’t work out. That’s why most of us are stuck. During the “relationship” and after. We keep feeding on that chemistry, fun, sex, etc., while “forgetting” that our gut told us all along something was missing, something was not right and it wouldn’t work out. I had that feeling but I ignored it. We choose to ignore our gut feeling and then we are surprised why it didn’t work out and we are suffering now? Doesn’t make sense now that I reread what I wrote. Wow. My friend who is a psychologist, said that you just need to write out an answer to your own question. Most of the time you will answer it.

    • Sofia says:

      I can relate. I feel like I am completely done. It’s too complicated. Everyone has some red flags if you think about it. That’s tricky. I mean, sometimes obviously people are out of the question: married, with someone, drugs, alcohol, psychotic, very strange, etc. But sometimes things are not too obvious, orange alerts I guess, and then you give it time, ESPECIALLY, if the person is nice, predictable, being a gentleman, calls on time, takes you out, initiates things, plans, etc. Then you just think, well, maybe it’s his strange things, nobody is perfect. You give it time and wait and wait too long sometimes and things still don’t work out because he was not really into you in the first place and just passed the time while showering you with attention and all the nice things and superficial actions. And stringing you alone while enjoying the benefits and you are accepting such treatment.

      How after years of dating and failed relationship you even find a person or continue with a person who is “normal”? Who doesn’t have red/orange flags? Everybody has something. We are all humans with our weaknesses. And then also you invest into someone, your time, energy, emotions, your heart. You care and respect the person and don’t get the same back because they are different? Or indifferent to us?

      At this point I do have this dim outlook and tiredness, cynicism. I am jaded, tired, hurt and done. I just want to be alone. I feel hurt and vulnerable and can’t imagine starting anything with anyone. It’s again the work of dating, learning, trusting, opening up, figuring out. So that it will end up in someone who checks out or finds out you are not the one, or cheats on you? How many times can one burn until one just gives up? Sorry for dark post. I am there too where you are Unlike. I feel sooo tired. I relate to your feeling very closely. I am there myself.

    • A says:

      Unlike,

      I think the message is that people who will treat you badly do so because that’s who they are – don’t hold out hope that such a person will change based on your treatment of them. It’s not that you can’t expect these things from anyone, it’s that you must not tolerate anything less. If someone is disrespectful early on, expect more of the same down the road, and don’t waste your time.

      No one is perfect, but there’s a difference between normal bumps in the road between two people and red flags that mean it’s time to bail. In terms of feeling like there’s too much to keep track of, I think it becomes a lot more simple when we get in touch with our feelings and have better boundaries in place. There’s no master list of items that you need to keep track of – but if something makes you feel uneasy, examine it.

      It’s harder when we’ve had bad relationships and have no point of comparison. The truth is that it shouldn’t be so complicated – if there’s drama and we have to analyze someone’s motives or whether or not we’re being disrespected, that’s a red flag. If you’re in a positive relationship, it should be enjoyable and relatively easy.

    • Noquay says:

      Unlike
      Yep, these past few years have really been a time of learning hard truths. I always thought that being kind, caring toward others would mean they treated me the same way. I have learned that with many, actions, words, feelings, are completely disconnected from one another, that many say things solely to appear kind and gain attention and approval of others. Also learned that many folks are simply unable to treat one with respect, dignity, etc because of other attachments/issues having nothing to do with me. I am sadder but one heck of a lot wiser. I am now careful with trust, with any level of emotional investment which has helped me detect red flags pronto and bail as needed. Some of my earlier naïveté came from living in a culture where honesty and accountability were mandatory and not having either led to serious social consequences. In many places, pursuing someone while one is already in a relationship is almost the born, as is not keeping one’s word, hiding one’s emotional and other issues, basically lying about who one is. Don’t like it at all but not much one can do except stay hyperalert.

      • Unlike says:

        Noquay, thanks for your comment here, ‘precaite it…I was reading through these again and saw that I neglected to include your name in a post thanking those for their insights and I fully agree with you, this has been a time of learning hard truths. One thing I keep thinking about, the idea that what another person does is not about you…I’m still unsure about this, mainly because I feel like some of the things/behaviors I did in my relationship were about HIM, a direct reaction or result of him and his doings, so why should I assume what someone else chooses to do or not do is not about me? I do get that we all have learned/ingrained behaviors stemming from our pasts, but I have a hard time accepting that everything he did was not about me, some of it was directed, directly AT and about ME!! I need a little more thinking on the matter

  34. stephanie says:

    Ladies understand your frustration, been there. That’s when I stopped dating and focused on me. U know what I met my hubby and all the things that I never got in my relationship with AC/EUM I had with hubby. Is he perfect, hell no!! Lol, but on his worse day he treated me better than the assclown. But I also believed because I didn’t treat my relationship like it was my only interest is why it worked.
    I required more and if my hubby (boyfriend) at that time didn’t meet those requirements I was gone. I learned so much from the AC and I never forgot that lesson. I thank the AC/EUM subconsciously because if it wasn’t for him I would never have gotten my s%@t together and met my hubby.

    • Sofia says:

      That’s great to hear, stephanie. Sometimes I think that too, that we are not there yet because we are not ready. Once we are ready, the right person might come along AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, we will recognize him as a good person for us and to us. We won’t discard him as “not my type,” “no chemistry,” or whatever other “not for me” reason. The guy we would have not paid attention before probably.

      A great optimistic post, stephanie, after all the sad but realistic thoughts, I must say.

      Thanks!

  35. J says:

    Sophia and no_more

    Thank you for your last posts with me in mind.

    Sophia,

    Ur post had me in tears, It hurt so much and I’m praying to God to take me to the ultimate: not caring.

    I am 28, will be 29 June coming. I really want a child. The Lord has helped me. I saw many many red flags and I just thought I will stick around until it goes bad. I was just floating I guess not really knowing my worth is action only in theory.

    Sophia u try to help everyone here. Ur a God send. Ur a great person. Now tht ur content with and within urself , I know u will come across a wonderful partner provided by God.

    I’m getting better guys. Thank u so much Sophia. Is ur email address on here. I’m not so familiar with how this site works.

    For many months I couldn’t stop talking about what happened , to my poor friends , I went over it to them like I was a scratched record. Some put up with me , others didn’t respond favorably. Thts ok . I sorted out the real friends.

    What I realise with us here is that we are such good, successful people by any standard, we just need to realise that we are better than these AC and that the truth….believe it . For a long time I could not see this guy for what he was , I kept thinking that his behaviour durin the break up was not really him but his other personality because he was angry with me for not answering his calls or talking about the ex gf/baby mama when I was upset or he did something.

    He needs a woman that he feels will be so lost in loving him that she doesn’t stand up to him or say how things he does hurts her. In essence, he wants someone who will never leave him no matter what he does but if course he can leave at the drop of a hat.

    I just want to get to the point where I don’t even consider him and her and what will happen with them. I shud not care. If I’m honest with myself, I can say I don’t want a person like him for my life partner. I wanted him to change to be a good man. I was so angry that he could just up and Lear me, us , what we had just like that. How cud he just do that , didn’t he realise that he was really destroying us, our future . I was really in denial, never realizing that he didn’t think or feel things as deeply as I, he was too busy distracting himself with a new woman or parties.

    Sophia, he’s a professional Cricket player now in India playing a tournament. Will be back in the country where we both live sometime in June (he said).

    He any play with me anymore and the key to that is not wanting him. He was right, I’m truly much too good for him. Take away his good looks, his career and his money and cars , who is he then ? An AC who uses women and who has 5 kids , who doesn’t respect women and claims he is still learning to love.

    J

    • Sofia says:

      J,

      Thank you for your kind words. I wish I were as strong as I sound. I have way to go still myself…

      I read your further posts and I see already that you are feeling a bit of relief. When I just started reading this board, I felt such relief and also I learned so much and some things were pretty harsh, tough love things that I read in Nat’s articles, but they helped too. Gradually and slowly I am getting better. I am saying I am content with being single, but I am learning still of course. Today on and off I kept missing him. Missing the company, the person, his apartment, things in his apartment, him doing his things. Just stuff like that. Like you would miss a friend. But he was never my friend though. So, yes, I am still not healed. My determination is clear though. To get over him and learn more and more about myself and be happy the way I am.

      J, if you would like to-email Nat and request my e-mail address, that would be certainly fine. I don’t think I am either allowed to publish my e-mail address here or would feel comfortable publishing my e-mail address just for the reason alone that I don’t know who might also be reading this blog, but that’s rather being protective of myself. So, certainly, please feel free to contact Nat to ask for my e-mail address. I would love to communicate more with you and help you any way I can.

      You are 28. You have plenty of time ahead to have a child. I had my child at 27. She is 9 now. I wanted to have another child and I got pregnant from my ex EUM. Contraception failed. He made me have an abortion. I posted this topic back 2-3 months ago. I don’t even want to go into this. It’s better to not even say anything on this subject. This is the trauma I will be dealing for time to come and turning to God has helped not to go insane. Couple months after that he broke up with me (while one month before the breakup still being supportive because I was an emotional wreck and telling me he loves me).

      You still have time. I even think if I meet a good person and he wants a child I would still try until I am 42 or so ( I am 36). So don’t even worry about it. Things will fall into place. From now on you will be making different choices in men. I can feel it. You won’t put up with the same anymore. My experience and BR support overhauled my life completely. I have different perception and opinions about everything. I got closer to the church and faith and knowing God’s presence, love and forgiveness keep me going.

      You are so lucky you are not with him. From your stories, he is such a poor fit for a dad’s or husband’s role. He is a disaster and a nightmare. No. You deserve so much better. A stable, kind, nice, caring guy, whom you will be proud to call a father of your child. And it will happen. Give it time. For now, heal your wounds. Reading here daily helps me so much. If you don’t have strength or motivation or anything else for right now, like other people are talking about taking up hobbies, etc., well, don’t. For now don’t. You will do it later when you are stronger. No need to learn waltz or scuba diving right away to numb your feelings or distract yourself from grieving and understanding yourself. If you need to read this blog, the articles, read and write, do that. Because the first three months that is all I did. I read only psychology, relationship books , and the Board. I am just now gradually adding more subjects to read about such as religion. When you are so hurt, it’s hard to force yourself to all of sudden to pick up your old hobbies or come up with new ones. What has helped me is staying active, which is my life style anyway – going to the gym regularly, and reading. Reading this Board particularly. It’s not too many hobbies, but working out and reading and writing here have been helping me. I think it’s important to process all the feelings instead of shutting them down with business and new activities while you are healing. This is the time to not hurry and rush things. Read, absorb, think, cry, write, and believe me, gradually it will lift. It has for me in the last 3 months, but I still have a long way to go. There are days I am fine, there are days, like today (weekends are worst) I am missing him terrible, yet I understand now, I don’t think I miss him, I miss what I thought could have been, miss the relationship part – that I enjoyed being in a relationship, having a guy. So you will learn to recognize when you miss him is it’s not even about him. It’s about your broken dreams and hopes. You are grieving the loss of your hopes, investment. It hurts. Today I was very sad thinking that how it is even possible to do the dating process again. Talk, open up, trust believe, hope, confide. Why… if he might have his agenda from the start, or non-committal and/or cheating. I feel very disillusioned like I said in another post. Very tired and cynical. I don’t believe that if you treat others with care and respect they will respond the same or even appreciate it. I feel that maybe we should be isolated from each other. That would be the best if there were enough islands in this world.

      Oh I know, friends test. There you go. My closest friend or so I thought, just disappeared on me and stopped pretty much talking to me after I talked to her for a month about my pain and needed her support more than ever. That’s a friend of 23 years. I think she turned away because maybe she was mad for what happened to me (she is a nice friend and I know she cares about me) and didn’t know what to say because she had always known he was not staying with me but I never listened to her. Many people told me, each of my friend told me that something was wrong and I need to leave him, but I was so blind and in love. Yes, friends test is whether people will stick with you. I have friends who have stuck with me despite me bringing my ex up a lot in the first 3 months. Now I am much better. Don’t bring him up often, maybe once in 2 weeks. So it reduces. The pain is reducing ( I hope) and he is too. I had a liberating feeling today. I suddenly realized that I feel that I moved on. That he is not in my life anymore. That struck me as something new that he is not in my life anymore. Quite shocking because it has been the truth but I noticed just now.

      Your ex is a sportsman who travels a lot. His personal life reflects his attitude. He needs to win a lot of battles looks like it. A competing personality. Traveling, going from one place to another. He will break more hearts. Run, J, run. You dodged the bullet. Seriously you have. He is not worth a serious, loving, caring relationship. Hooking up for casual sex, night(s) out, that’s all he is worth for, IF a woman is ok with that kind of temporary arrangement. He is just not a serious material. Nothing about him speaks, smells, tastes like seriousness. He is just a waste of space and your time. You are still young. You have lots of opportunities ahead of you. It will get better. For now, focus on your healing. a day at a time. actually I used to tell myself , “15 minutes at a time, after the break up), now I don’t think about it. I just live and I am fine and when I have sad moments missing not him but my broken dreams, feeling sad for things not working out again and then I trusted too much, being mad at myself. I know the sad moments will go away too and will be replaced with hope and recovery. I am not afraid of recycling and coming back partially to anger, missing him. I know they will go away and I will be indifferent eventually.

      You will be there! And so will I. When you think of him out of the blue and realize: I don’t care anymore. Negatively or positively. You are just done. It will happen.

      Hugs to you!

  36. teachable says:

    Nigella, Rev & Lilly, group hand in the air & whoop thang for us! I am feeling as clear as a bell. No emotional unavailability here! This is a process for some though & that’s ok. I get it. Luv ya ladies! X

  37. teachable says:

    Brief mention. Getting what I deserve here in 2 days! Meeting my adopted sis who was ripped from my life when I was young teen so my adopted Dad coulf raise her safe that the he he intended to raise her with would not be spoilt by me! She found out a year or so ago & we’ve been chatting on fakebook ever since. It’s been 30+ yrs since I saw her & bk then she was only 2 yrs old! Very excited here! Justice & LOVE is patient!

  38. teachable says:

    * safe in the lie he raised her with re paternity / adopted status I meant

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Teach,

      This is a very late entry but I have to visit the library in order to use a computer. But, I wanted to say that I totally agree with your post above in which you indicated that no one else besides the victim has the right to suggest that he/she should forgive. I hate whenever I see that posted because only the person who has been hurt, and that person only knows the depth of pain they were made to feel. We are not all perfect, all-forgiving, human beings. Good for you.

  39. J says:

    Thanks no_more. Thanks guys. I sometimes get upset with myself for worrying and wondering about him and wanting him to come bak to me (previously) and to think he’s enjoying his life without a care in the world much less a care about me and I’m here stressing, not taking care of my health, not studying, so it’s like I’m allowing him to ruin me further. Lol. How stupid , he’s not with his weight in s*** so y did/do I care. I don’t want or need him. Hope this feelings last.

    J

    • no_more says:

      “Of course we deserve love (when it’s that kind of relationship), care, trust, and respect as a basic within our interpersonal relationships but let’s not mistake that for carte blanche to bust ourselves up trying to make someone be or do what they don’t want or have the capacity to, nor should we blame ourselves for not being able to make us the exception to the rule.” NML

      J, quit busting yourself up honey. It is so hard to do, it doesn’t all come at once. You will have good days and bad, but slowly clarity comes, and you realize you are feeling better.

      For a long time, I lost my sense of humor, my feelings of being a good person, I had this horrible pit in my stomach – pretty much 24/7, cried, wailed, but then I saw I was having some really good days.

      I was healing from one big internal wound.

      When I broke NC for a few days, I realized the anxious feelings were back. That scab was being ripped off. Ughhh. I still have to read BR over and over, journal, talk positively to myself, remind myself to QUIT thinking about him. I need to keep a big, permanent “bandage” on this wound.

      I was almost at indifferent when he called again. Getting myself back there, and I love that I have this blog, my friends, family, and all these wonderful insights & support from those on here.

      Hang in there. Remember pain isn’t love. It’s just pain!

      xx

      • Sofia says:

        no_more, I can relate: I was like a zombie for first two months. I didn’t laugh, I was not even smiling. I always joke a lot and love to laugh and laugh loud! (which he used to criticize even that – he criticized everything like I wrote before).

        Even my daughter, who is just 9, saying that the first month I was not myself. I didn’t smile once.I was so gloomy and she said she felt so bored. I am so sorry I affected her and I apologized to my daughter so many times. She, a sweet little girl, told me she understood and that’s okay and she sees I am so much better now. She said that the guy was a jerk and doesn’t deserve me and why I gave him time of the day if he didn’t value me. Imagine that. She is saying these things at her age. The things I am just learning now at 36. That you just DON’T waste your time on people who don’t want you. You just walk away. Spiritually, emotionally, physically.

        Crying, wailing, beating the shower wall with my feast with anger, crying out all the frustration. Those were the first 3 months. I know it all. Yes, clarity comes and you see things so much more clearly. You see him for what he was. You realize that he never even loved you. Or perhaps he doesn’t know how to love and you understand that some people might not even be capable of sharing these feelings as odd as it seems to us ladies here who are all about giving and sharing and loving and sacrificing. We just can’t get it how it is possible that other people are not like that. They are not.

        Breaking NC, whether because he did first or you did, yes that triggers an anxiety big time. I felt like I wanted to write a long email full of emotions (when he broke NC after 2,5 months and wrote to me), lots of texts, etc. But I managed to shorten all the bleeding words into one very short and formal e-mail that “no, not ready to meet yet as a friend and am still healing.” The response was he understood that I needed more time and he respected that. What???

        If he contacted me now or later in 2+ months, I won’t respond. I am done. I moved on enough to not react if he does contact. The good thing if he DOESN’T contact, I am moved on enough now to not care either way. The door is shut now. For good.

  40. Unlike says:

    Rachael, Brenda, Helen, Sofia, A and Steph
    I appreciate reading all of your helpful words in a time of doubting if I can absorb and use all of BR info and learn to grow into a healthier version of me

    I think what resonates most from reading BR and your comments here is the idea that establishing boundaries and finding self-worth, improving self-esteem and being comfortable trusting yourself will lead to a relationship that will hopefully evolve in healthy ways because you wouldn’t even entertain the idea of continuing on with someone who is not on the same page or is treating you poorly.

    For some reason, though I have related to the last few articles about what we deserve, what we are entitled to etc I started feeling like I am not going to be able to count on anything or anyone and what’s the point cause people will do whatever the F they want to you, pull the rug out from underneath you at anytime…I know that Nat is saying more than that which is why I need to refocus and keep it more positive and simple.

    Also, and this is sad, hearing that a healthy relationship should be enjoyable and at some level easy to be in…well, this has never been my personal experience or what I saw growing up, so this is something I am not accustomed to believing and now have to be able to work on myself, be comfortable and able to recognize the difference and what healthy looks like.

    I was hesitant about my other post because I want to continue to feel optimistic about love and relationships(esp. the one with myself) in my future and didn’t want to drag anyone else down. Thanks for all of your understanding. It is helping me to re group, focus on me and keep moving forward. xo

    • Sofia says:

      Unlike, you are not dragging anyone down. We are all wearing the same shoes right now. Kind of like bowling in one of the US bowling joints around here. We all wear the same shoes. Different sizes, color, age, but we are in very similar situations.

      You are saying that, “establishing boundaries and finding self-worth, improving self-esteem and being comfortable trusting yourself will lead to a relationship that will hopefully evolve in healthy ways because you wouldn’t even entertain the idea of continuing on with someone who is not on the same page or is treating you poorly.”

      True, that’s what I am thinking too, but what bothers me, and this mirrors what you are saying next, that I am afraid this is just impossible. Your words, “I am not going to be able to count on anything or anyone and what’s the point cause people will do whatever the F they want to you, pull the rug out from underneath you at anytime…”

      That’s how I feel too. Basically pulling the rug happens even in those relationships that don’t feel bad. I mean, of course for this to happen, something must have gone wrong but unsaid, so pulling the rug happens.

      Your concern about if it’s even possible to have a relationship at all, with our baggage, knowledge, and now that we know very well all the signs and flags and we are guarding ourselves and being very protective I think dating for us will be hard. We will be running away from the first signs of weirdness. We are so protected now that we can’t even trust anymore because we set the boundaries and I are afraid.

      I don’t know if I know what healthy looks like. My marriage was healthy by the standards I recognize now. But we grew apart. We couldn’t find common language. We just drifted apart. But see, it was healthy. Care, trust, respect love were there. Now I am thinking… Values were not there at that point, we shared different goals and values. He wanted family expansion, more kids, suburban home, etc. Just normal healthy good stuff but because I was not healthy or just a different person at the time, I didn’t want all that. I wanted to move to a different state, I was becoming bored with married life (didn’t have much “fun” before marriage), so I was becoming impatient and wanted out. Actually now I think it was not that healthy if one at least was unhappy but kept staying.

      I come to the point where I think no relationship is healthy. Cynical, I know.

      I thought about something, not to depress anyone, but the truth is that all relationships end sooner or later, by death or breakup. Why we are so persistent on keep on trying. If something ends and we think about it, in a big picture: did we think this relationship will last till we both die ? I know there are stories like that where people live together for 50+ years and even die together. That’s rather rare. We need to focus on ourselves.

  41. teachable says:

    Glad u popped Noquay. Apologies I didn’t reply to yr last post to me. Life n all that. I totally got every point u made tho as I’ve experienced similar. ie 1 whackjob quoted me for minor home repairs in pants with hole in crotch with penis visible! Ugh. Goes with the territory for single female home owners with no partner or family to help. Guard up! ;)

  42. Brandy says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I needed this post today. I haven’t been on here in a while – trying to sort the rest of my life out but today it hit me again, and I cried for a very long time. His nasty words keep running in my head – how “no one will ever love you and you’ll always be alone!” How awful. it hurts that it came from someone I loved and trusted. and it hurts as much today as it did 6 months ago when he said and walked out. About 10 years ago, I was physically abused by a boyfriend and i left and had no second thoughts about it or feelings. this time, it was a lot of emotional abuse that I never fully realized until after it was over. I don’t want him back, but I can’t forgive his words and I can’t forget them either. Yes, they are essentially my worst fear and yes, I know it doesn’t make it true but aside from my parents and one friend, I really don’t have anyone else which is perhaps why it is hitting me hard. yes, for the last 6 months I love myself, and yes, Ive been treating myself really well. But honestly, I’m tired. I’m tired of having to reject all these “people” I meet because they just want to “use” me for something – a car ride, a shoulder for their needs, whatever. So I’ve tried for the last 6 months to make friends to avail – I’ve joined meetup.com, I’ve joined groups I was involved in before but nothing is materializing – and I’m just talking friends- females – I can’t even begin to think about men. Are all relationships based on “what I can get out of the other person while give nothing of myself? or my needs are more important than yours right now” Why am I attracting on these types of people? Its not like I’m airing all my dirty laundry one the first meeting. but eventually the questions come up: so, you don’t have any friends here? you just move here? No, actually I dated a real creep and I ended up without any friends here. and then, that is it. I’m socially dysfunctional because I treat my dogs really well and train them, realized I dated a creep and trying to better myself, and yup, I have no friends in the city and I’m almost 40. so, that makes me easy to write off I guess. And no, I don’t want to hang out with people that think like that, but christ, I cannot, for the life of me, find one single person in this town that I want to have a conversation with. its all about going out and getting drunk or doing drugs. I’m just done. And yes, its a pity party of one.

    • Sofia says:

      Brandy,

      I know it’s hard to find friends as we get older. Yes, even females, forget about men, I can’t even think about it. I have female friends, but everyone is rarely available. They have boyfriends, husbands, kids, and a lot of activities going on on the weekend, so to catch up and meet and talk is a rare event. Maybe like once in a 1/2 year with one of them, even if that.

      Meetups – how did those go for you? I was thinking about joining one of them, but haven’t found the group to my interest or the one that meets at the good time for me.

      I have one very close friend but she lives in a different country. Recently I met a great person in the church. She is very caring and she has been mentoring and protecting and helping me out so much in the past couple months since I met her. But this is so rare, to find a person like her. I think she was sent to me by God. I am a single mom, 36 and I live in the country that is not mine. I came from another country. I don’t have any family here and no close friends, just few here and there, like I said, with whom we communicate by occasional texts and rarely meet. Everyone’s life is very busy and as you get older there are more responsibilities with the kids, spouse, etc.

      Don’t think you are complaining. You are raising an important issue and concern. It is harder to find and form friendship as we get older. When we were young it was so easy. It is sad, but that’s how it is unless one is lucky to find a friend like I did in the church.

      As far as dating. I have been contemplating recently to stay single. Meaning not going through efforts of searching for a man. Online dating, blind dating, through some other means. If I meet someone, fine. if I don’t it’s fine too. I come to the terms that maybe some people just stay single. And if that’s what it is, I am accepting it. I can’t fight this battle anymore. I want peace and solitude.

      • Brandy says:

        Hi Sofia,

        Thanks for sharing your perspective. Good friends are truly hard to come by & I am very happy to hear you have found someone in your church to support & mentor you. That is great!

        Like you, I’m at the point where I just want peace & solitude. After dating & being in relationships that have been very draining with drama created by the EU, I’m no longer interested in going through any of that or weeding out the bad apples even with ‘female friends’. I just don’t have it in me. So instead I’ll focus on me, doing what makes me happy & making sure I can provide for myself & my critters & hopefully move to a warmer climate or at least a different city where I can truly have a fresh start.

        Meetup.com- it’s very cool but again, I think it depends on what you’re interested in & who sets it up. I try to go to events like suppers or fundraisers or some outdoor outings like walking around our park here. I was told by a more seasoned person in my town to avoid any meet ups where it is essentially a house party- I guess things got weird & she felt uncomfortable. So public place meet ups are the way to go.

        • Sofia says:

          Brandy, I will check out couple meetups. I agree it would be pretty strange to go to someone’s house.

          We need peace & solitude. You sound like me. We need a break from dating, no doubt.

      • Ellie says:

        Dear single mom,

        How I relate to you. I think as painful as the loss of a family with divorce is the isolation. A few of my married cannot relate to me as a single mom, they are confused and have pity at best. The other married friends are as you say too busy with their families and I feel like an intruder inviting myself over on their family time. My other single friends have boyfriends. The isolation when I don’t have custody is the most painful part of single motherhood. And I too try to accept that having real love may not be part of my destiny and I try to feed my soul with art, music, and nature. All this forces me to live in the moment, but too often the moment amounts to some heavy tear drops.

  43. Nicole says:

    I allowed myself to fall into a very sexually driven “relationship” with a guy. There were so many red flags about him from day one. He always wanted to have sexual conversations, he’d disappear for awhile. At one point we spent like 5 weekends in a row together, then he disappeared for like 4 weeks until I said something to him about it. He claimed he understood my concerns, but that was after blaming me saying that he didn’t know I expected that of him. Nothing changed though. In fact, it got worse.

    He was seeing other women, which I was okay with because we weren’t committed. However, I wasn’t okay with not knowing when he was doing that, especially since he was always asking to have unprotected sex. (i always said no!)He never really invited me to do things, I had to do the inviting. He was always texting, never calling. A lot of times he wouldn’t even answer my texts, especially if they weren’t about what he wanted to talk about. He didn’t even think enough of me to tell me Merry Christmas! And I still continued to see this dude!

    The weird thing about him was that he presented himself to most people as a Christian, good guy that didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t cuss, etc. So, I guess I had expectations for him to be very different than he turned out to be. After having conversations with him about his communication, how he made me feel, etc…he’d go MIA. He would say I said things I didn’t say or that we agreed to things we never talked about. When I finally ended it all, he blamed everything on me. He said I didn’t know what I wanted, we agreed to stop talking, etc. We never agreed to that. He suggested that we not have sex anymore, get to know each other better, talk more, etc. He failed to do any of the things he said, but somehow it was my fault that things turned out that way.

    So basically that sent me into blaming everything on myself. I sat wondering why he would do that to me. I’ve known girls who have “dated” him before and he didn’t seem to treat them that way, since they seem to still be friends with him. I even met his ex-gf and knew the previous one, so I spent time analyzing why they were deemed worthy of a relationship, but I wasn’t. It is still hard for me sometimes to accept that it just wasn’t meant to be and there was nothing I could do to change him. Low self esteem is a bitch.

    • rachael says:

      Nicole
      Let me be Frank.

      “Nothing changed though.”
      Time to bail, Nicole.

      “He was seeing other women, which I was okay with because we weren’t committed.”
      WTF? Is that really true?

      “I had to do the inviting. … never calling. … wouldn’t even answer my texts, …didn’t even think enough of me … I still continued to see this dude!”
      Ahhhh… why?

      “After having conversations with him about… , how he made me feel, … he’d go MIA.”
      Maybe he thought you were blaming him?

      “He would say I said things I didn’t say or that we agreed to things we never talked about.”
      The communication is not sounding too effective. He sounds kinda unreliable in his word.

      “… there was nothing I could do to change him.”
      Not your job, Nicole.

      Hope this all doesn’t sound too harsh

      • Nicole says:

        Not harsh at all. Looking back it, I should have known better. I feel like I fell into seeing him because I was desperate for affection.

        And yes, the communication was HORRIBLE. When I sat down to talk to him, he was like a little boy getting scolded. He would sit there and just kinda stare at me, not saying anything. I’d have to like ask him to jump in anytime here. He seemed to just tell me what sounded best at the time. Then I guess he would forget what he told me, because he didn’t mean it. And because he was so stand offish, it made me even more insecure, which caused me to be a little lenient with him.

        I was blaming him a little bit, because he had made promises to do things differently. He didn’t live up to the things he said. So, I did feel like it was his fault to some degree. However, I did take responsibility for partaking in the fuckery with him. I know I allowed it. He seemed to go MIA though, when I started setting boundaries.

        Now he’s with someone else and that’s messing with my head. It’s like okay she’s his girlfriend, but he couldn’t even give me a little communication. It’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m trying to get to a point of not blaming myself for the demise of the situation.

        • rachael says:

          Nicole,
          “…I was desperate for affection.”
          This is a problem.
          Let me say, you are trying to believe you are valuable, which is good… but to rely on a man to achieve that, will only ever amount to a superficial change in your beliefs. And that is if he treats you well!
          I also think you blame yourself so you can hold onto the belief that he really did care… you say to yourself that “the demise was due to your f_ck ups, not your worth”.
          Your worth and the reason it ended are unrelated

          • Nicole says:

            I honestly actually don’t think he cared much at all and that hurts worse. I believe he used me and he took advantage of how vulnerable I was. I believe he thought I looked good, but that’s about it.

            And things ended because I ended them. I’d still probably be sitting around crying now if I hadn’t cut him off completely. He was seeing someone else anyway.A month to the day of him promising me we were going to talk more and whatever else, he was posting FB statuses about another girl. I called it all off and he was posting pictures with her like 5 days later. I’m almost positive he had no intention of telling me about that before he did it.

            I should have known not to be bothered with a guy that posts like 10 selfies in a row lol

            • rachael says:

              Nicole,
              Hence, why I am grateful that I am not beautiful in the shallow sense :)

              • Nicole says:

                That’s an interesting comment!

                He was very much into me physically. It was flattering and I let the attention become like a drug. He would do things that would lead me to believe he really did like me more than he did and I romanticized everyone of them. Looking back, I think he just wanted a pretend girlfriend in the meantime, while he looked for what he really wanted. And that pisses me off.

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My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!