I’ve talked about love many times on this blog and ultimately much of what ties us to someone who we’re in a poor relationship is believing that we love them and trying to convince them that they should love us and give us the relationship and validation that we want from them.

The trouble is, feeling that you want someone and love them doesn’t put them into a contractual obligation to love you back.

Your love doesn’t spread out and get projected onto them.

In essence, loving them doesn’t instigate an IOU – I love you so surely you must love me?

There is a consistent thread of us being caught up in illusions, denial, projection, and potential.

We conjure up this vision of the person which is sometimes based on brief behaviour that they have exhibited or is an out and out fantasy based on how you’d like him to be, or based entirely on what you believe to be the magnitude of your feelings literally clouding your vision.

We deny the reality of their behaviour and often the reality of our own, and opt for the illusion because it stops us from having to accept things and take action.

We project what we think, feel, and do onto them believing that in them being in this relationship that we believe ourselves to be in that they will think, feel, and do the same. We often base much of our expectations on this – If I had someone loving me and accepting me warts and all, I’d love the hell out of them and we do this because we’re trying to get them to make us feel good and validated.

We bet on potential believing that brief behaviour exhibited is indicative of what you could get in the future if you could only just get it out of him.

What this can all lead to is believing the hype of our own feelings and assuming that he sees what you have to offer in the way that you perceive it.

However, often with Mr Unavailable’s and assclowns, this is quite the opposite.

You think you’re showing him your love and giving him the whole kit and kaboodle; he thinks that you must be desperate.

Harsh, but unfortunately all too true. If you keep showing these guys the time of day after they have in more ways than one effectively shown their arses and let you know their true selves, they recognise on some level, that you must be desperate to still be pursuing them and declaring your love.

Classic examples are:

Cutting contact with them and then chasing them for contact.

Cutting contact with them, breaking contact with them when they make some miniscule effort to get in touch with you, for example by email or text, and then taking up the reins of contact and pursuing them even when they have stopped responding because they have already got confirmation that you’re still interested.

Trying to win him back when he’s left you for another woman and he’s still with her.

Trying to win him back when he’s cheated on you, you’ve broken up, and he has no interest in getting back together.

Being the other woman to the other woman.

Telling him that if you can’t have all of him, you’ll take what you can get.

Downgrading yourself from girlfriend to booty call.

Constantly trying to get him to see what you think that your relationship with him could be – He’s thinking “Can’t you see I’m not ‘getting’ it?”

This is just the tip of the iceberg but the saying “Whatever you’re selling, I’m not buying” springs to mind.

Bearing in mind that you often have some level of history with these guys, you’ve got to step into reality and instead of projecting what you think the meaning of things are and how he should see it, start looking at things contextually.

It’s the age old problem of us failing to see the wood for the trees.

You need to start asking yourself, “What, based on my previous experiences of dealing with him, will he interpret X as?”

Suddenly, you will become cautious about being reactive to sudden urges to pursue him or make contact, and you will also consider your actions and words in a bigger context.

“I love you unconditionally and with all my heart” to the same jumped up assclown that has been mucking you about says “I am crazy in love and you can trample all over me because I have no boundaries and very little self-respect”.

“I will be waiting for you when you’re ready” says “Go on with your bad self and screw and chase every woman you can because I’m going to put my life on hold and wait for you, whilst you live it up, in the hope that one day you will recognise my value and come back to me”

Operating from a place of negativity and desperation (even if you may not see it as that) often yields poor choices that impact negatively on you. If you feel desperate, you choose desperate men.

This is not you. Even if you’ve had moments like this, call it a moment of relationship insanity and get wise because you’re letting these guys steal your wind – you’re handing it to them on a plate and then turning around to show them the ‘kick me’ sign on your back.

No guy, especially an assclown or Mr Unavailable is worth you throwing in your self-respect and self-esteem towel so it’s time to pull your head out of the clouds, put your foot in reality, and start considering the bigger picture of your actions and what another interpretation of them may be so that you can cut the drama and ease your way out of the chaos of being with these men.

Your thoughts?


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126 Responses to When your love gets interpreted as desperation

  1. not meant to be says:

    Thank you all for sharing your feelings and experiences, and letting me know I am not alone in my lack of motivation to do much of anything, and in wanting SO much to hear from *him*, but also wanting badly NOT to hear from him so I can continue NC. I haven’t even reached the 2 week mark yet, but I remember that particular time period was the worst when quitting smoking so I hoped this would be similar, but it sounds like I may be in for a longer rough ride according to some of you. *sigh*.

    There are so many similarities in our situations, it’s creepy. I also had an almost exclusively email/IM relationship, and I saw him about once a month (we live 2 hours away from each other), but my AC is a MM, which I think is different from most of you.

    (BTW, Eyes wide open, I have also apologised for behaviour that *he* perceived as needy/controlling but which was just really asking for normal communication. I also cringe when I think of those times, but you’re right, even tho we are competent professionals, we give THEM the power. I can’t believe your EUM told you about his plans to marry the OW thru text tho – what a coward!)

    So anyway, I am on day 11 NC, and I will keep telling myself things like – “he’s not that bad, and now has asked to be friends (in his email he sent on NC day 4 which I didn’t answer) – would that really be so bad?” We have to work together at conferences anyway (we are in the same line of work, different cities – next conference is next month). I have read the posts from NML on staying friends with an AC so I’m thinking she would say “No”, but I don’t feel quite as physically attracted to him any more (although he does appear in certain fantasies I have), and I am thinking it may be possible if we just talk about work things and a hobby that we share. I am SOOOOOOO tempted to talk to him, even though I *know* I was just a supplement to his life and he is married to someone else. From NML’s post above, I know I am projecting my feelings onto him, and that it is doubtful he is going through this major grief reaction. I am tempted to call my brother (who works for him) and see how the AC is doing, something I haven’t done since we broke up.

    Oh my goodness, listen to me. I am going crazy!!! I will focus on work today, re-read the posts on staying friends with an AC, and I think I’ll get myself a therapist!!! Like many of you, I know I have father and abandonment issues that I need to work on. None of my friends or family knows I’m going through this mess. Good luck and *hugs* to all of you and thanks again for the support – it means so much to me as we go through this hellish situation together.

  2. DazedandConfused says:

    I have not been on in a few days and just read all the posts in one go and there were a few things that struck me… I am currently trying to see similarities between my last two exes to establish a pattern of what attracts me to these men and I realize I do not have a bench mark of a healthy relationship, to tell what is not “normal” behaviour when I meet these guys.

    So here are a few things I saw everyone else say and I wanted to see if we all felt the same:

    1) They seem to talk about us sexually a lot. I found this a lot too… and I thought this was normal and that it was just normal for your guy to be attracted to you… but I felt it was the only compliment I ever got and when I asked about “me” and why they were with me… they seemed unable to say so.

    2) When we put a question to them they seem to turn it around on us. My ex liked to pick at my word choice, my poor communication and didn’t listen to the content. He had me so turned around I felt I was a poor communicator, because I do tend to get defensive and my attachment issues are associated with argumentative behaviour etc. But I would get angrier because he avoide the content of what I was saying, and seemed to have arguments about why he should not even listen to me speak.

    3) They come on really strong, really quickly. I always thought I had just met “the one” that this guy really dug me because now when I meet guys it seems so tough and I wonder how it didn’t work with this guy who was head over heals for me instantly… but wonder if that’s because it was never real.

    4) They talk about themselves A LOT and don’t seem to ask about questions of substance pertaining to your life. Our first date was allllll about him. I stupidly thought he just wanted to open up.

    5) They all have tails of sorrow and some women broke their heart… they were the victim.

    This covers it for now… anyone else recognize the SAME behaviour?

  3. Penny says:

    @Devastated, Not Meant to Be, Miserable Love, Eyes Wide Open, Mel

    I thought I was the only one checking emails constantly throughout the day looking for a message. Good to see I am not alone-I am getting better. I have gotten a new email address, and have forwarded those emails from those I want to keep hearing from to my new email address.

    In addition, I thought I was the only one who has felt like doing absolutely nothing during the last two months. It seems the only thing I can manage to do is knit-the repetition of making those stitches is comforting to me, and keeps me away from eating things that I should not eat. If I am working on a new pattern, I have to concentrate on the pattern, not what a mess my life has been for the past 2 months, and how I have allowed this person to have such control over me. In the meantime, I can’t seem to concentrate on much at all, have no energy to anything except put one foot in front of the other. I am so disgusted that every once of common sense I have seems to have left me!!

    I don’t have father issues (I had a wonderful dad) and I remember him saying in the beginning of our relationship that he usually did not want to have relationships where women had a bad or no relationship with their fathers-these women did not know how to relate positively to men. Well, now I wonder about his relationship with his father (he said his parents did not have a good marriage-mine did) did he acquire his poor relationship communication skills from his father? In the future, that will be another “red flag” for me-pay attention to the relationship of the parents of the person with whom you are entering a serious relationship. Even for those non-serious relationships, it might still be an indication of how that person will view and treat you.

    I spent yesterday composing a “final” email to my guy-telling him that since he has failed to provide me with some kind of rational explanation of what the real problem is (after waiting for 2 months for him to provide this) that I am getting off this “emotional roller coaster” and he should do the same. I have put in a line which says that if what I believe is not true, then he must contact me in a way that is not email or a text message. I have not sent this message yet-I know that I should, but I just can’t click the send button yet. I am debating whether or not to include the part about my wrong assumptions and to contact me by phone or in person-instead of just ending the message with “Have a good life” with no opportunity for interpretation that I am willing to continue this relationship. I know what I have to do-just can’t do it yet.

    @ Eyes Wide Open – I agree with you about texting putting ACs in control. While other people may disagree, I am firm in my belief that if the primary communication mode with the other party is text and email-run the other way. To me, this is a signal that the person either has major emotional issues or has never learned to communicate in any other way (for someone who is 22-that may be the case-I am 40+) and will have major intimacy issues. In the future, I am going to reserve texting for things like confirmation of plans, “Have a good day” messages, etc.

  4. DazedandConfused says:

    Penny– You certainly are not alone and ruminating and thinking entirely about this guy… unfortunately that is a common behaviour among women who are attracted to these men. Think about what you are really worrying about. I realize that I do not want this man, but fear he will find love and happiness before I do… which means I somehow will have been the problem.

    Do you hear yourself say you are “worried” or “afraid” a lot? I think we worry and fear a lot because it’s a control issue, we have lost control over this relationship, these guys take it from us… and we sit and worry because it allows us to continue to have control. By picking up and moving on it’s like we are giving in to these guys and the decision they made for us.

    Also, be careful by sending that email… you may tell yourself you are not expecting a reply but I feel that deep down you may be. And if he does reply, it may just be something more hurtful. These guys generally have very limited emotional depth, so your words are unlikely to stir him… and will leave you, possibly, feeling more silly for having taken the time to write it to him and to give him more power over you. I took two months before I engaged with my ex again and told him how I felt. I thought it would be liberating to take my time, think about what I wanted to say… you know what he said “are you still going on about this?” … he thought I was an idiot because 2 months later I was still thinking about it.

    I have become comfortable with my choice because I hvae feelings, there is not time limit on getting over someone, and I know my strong feelings towards him have more to do with the underlying hurt of being rejected, the fact that I thought he was going to be the one and so let me down… and it’s not really about my still being in love with him. I do not need to justify myself to him. I keep wanting too but realize with these guys, often the more you say the deeper you get and it never comes out right and then when they turn it around on you, or say nothing at all… you feel silly and want to follow up with more talk to defend your embarrassment. It is never ending! Silence is the greatest form of control. These guys have seen us talk talk talk for months and when we finally stop talking it’s like wait a second where did she go? They see us as not being able to defend ourselves to them, engage etc. I have finally started flat out ignoring my ex, I do not smile, wave, say hello and certainly do not engage in the idle chit chat we did most mornings at work. I feel petty at times, but it sends the message I need to. It’s 2 months too late and now I look angry and bitter… but I also am pulling myself out of the fire. Everytime I spoke with him I felt belittled and silly, I couldn’t be strong so now I am.

    What do you really hope to gain from this email? Likely what you want to say you have said, or it will fall on deaf ears regardless. He is not goign to appreciate it, or suddenly go “wow look at her standing up for herself.” Truly standing up for you is about disengaging entirely, turning the focus back on you and realizing that if you are ok with you, you do not need to send emails to someone telling them how they should have behaved towards you. Sorry if that’s harsh… but likely if you are like the rest of the women on here chances are you have spent months with this guy telling him how he “should” behave. Your email will likely just anger him.

    I hope this helps… I just dont’ want to see you send that and then 48 hours later when he does not respond or says something mean you find yourself even further down than you thought possible, having wasted your breath on him. You may get more angry and then send something even worse.

  5. not meant to be says:


    Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes! I think you have done a great job at picking out some of the themes we have been talking about re: our EUM’s.

    For myself:
    1) He could talk about many physical attributes (and things like my passion) that he appreciated, but when I asked him what “personal” qualities he liked, he finally came up with “caring” and “patient”. I recently wondered if he was saying he liked how similar I am to a “doormat” as NML says – as care and patience really are required when dealing with their AC behaviours!!! Once, I told him I felt like a booty call, and he replied with “no, not at all – we are just a couple with strong desire” Yeah, right!!!

    2) He often turned questions around on me, or tried to make it sound like he was doing things for my own good, or said something lame like “I don’t know what you’re looking for”

    3) Yes, he came on very strong, very quickly, hinted that I was “the best thing that ever happened to him”, that he “couldn’t live without me”. Sent email after email, chatted online almost every night, then 3 months in, a big drop in communication. Got better for a while if I called him on it, then back to disappointingly infrequent communication.

    4) Talked about himself and his problems all the time. Oh sure, he would ask me about my day, but when I told him, he didn’t really follow up on anything or ask for further details, just went back to talking about himself.

    5) Big tale of sorrow for my guy – his mother died when he was young, which he obviously couldn’t help, but he brought it up a lot. And several women ‘broke his heart” by breaking up with him and “shutting him out of their lives”. Maybe he had others do the NC thing on him before me!!!

    Great points dazedandconfused. And, writing these out have helped me to resolve to keep NC and maybe not toy with the idea of being his friend. Who wants a friend that always talks about themselves, anyway?

    @Penny – not sure why you are sending this email? Are you in NC? (I thought you were, but I may have misunderstood) Do you feel you need closure? If so, you may want to re-read NML’s post about NC being a way to bring closure without having the “breakup moment”. Although, since you were planning to marry the man, I can certainly understand why you would want closure!

  6. Penny says:

    @Not Meant To Be – Well I do understand that sometimes we must work to give ourselves closure, so this was my way of doing that. My initial intention was to send the email and that would be have been my last contact-I have no interest in “being friends” or maintaining any type of “friendly” communication. Initially I just wanted to tell him this was it for me-have a good life. Yes-I am in NC-3 days and counting. However, I wanted this email to be (for me) an attempt to “regain my power” telling him that I was moving on-even if he was still considering what to do about the relationship. Maybe the closure for me will need to be in the unsent email.

    @Dazed and Confused-you may have a point about actually hoping for a response that would never come. I am taking your point about really standing up for yourself is disengaging entirely. I have to remember that not everyone (especially men) thinks like I do (or other women) do-about the importance of communicating feelings (especially to people that don’t seem to have any) with a civilized ending. No, I did not take your words as harsh, just true. Thank you.

    I am not sending the email-will continue with NC. Will not sign on to that email address-I have already eliminated the automatic sign in when I go to that site.

  7. DazedandConfused says:

    Not meant to be and Penny… the other thing of interest I find is that these men did have troubling childhoods. I have never wanted to label someone but good relationships are often about modelling. My last two exes had absent, alcoholic fathers and very dependent mothers. What model do these men have for being good husbands or for being with a strong woman?

    My ex seemed very caring of his mother, but that also meant that he knew how to do things for her but also there is resentment of these women who similarly need emotional support. I think a lot of it is tied in to these issues. And if you are a strong woman yourself, well what experience do they have in being with a woman who does anything but praises him 24/7?

    I would suggest reading “women who love too much.” I am not a fan of self help books but this is a good one for women who have dating patterns. If you constantly find yourself in a relationship with men who need “fixing” this book is for you.

    And Penny, I too have a great relationship with my dad… but what is your relationship like with your mother?

  8. Erica says:

    Mel-I was in the exact situation as you with my ex-EUM. He and I currently not only work for the same company, but also in the same department. For a good 1 1/2 years, he’d flirt with me, complement me, and use his charm to get me to fall into his trap. Although he has a lot of baggage in his life (divorced before, a child, and a crazy ex-girlfriend with whom he has the child with), I chose to downplay it because he made me feel good emotionally. It was apparent that we were extremely attracted to one another, but for him I realized in the end it was physical, but for me, it was both emotional and physical. When I told him right when we were about to have sex that I wasn’t ready because I wasn’t sure where he was at emotionally, the next day and from then on, he was acting weird toward me. I emailed him about this and he basically told me that I was expecting more than he was prepared to give and that maybe it was best if we put some distance between us to prevent any emotional disappointment. I was so hurt. I cried for weeks. Not only that I had realized that during the time I was with him, I pushed all my friends and family away.

    It’s been really hard having to go to work everyday and see him, but I try to play it off as this whole situation hasn’t phased me. I try to keep my chin up, act professional, and avoid talking to him, unless it is work-related. Some days are worse than others and I think about finding another job. But then most days I say to myself, “Why would I change my job that I love to avoid someone that treated me like s**t. He was the one that had problems.”

    Mel-like you, I am SO fortunate that I didn’t make the mistake of getting initmate on that next level with my ex-EUM. As hurt as I still am, I know that it would have been a lot worse had I let him take me physically.

  9. not meant to be (with him) says:


    Yes, my EUM had a troubling childhood with a father who was very much into his work, and a series of step-mothers who did not seem to boost his self esteem. His sisters seemed to give him lots of praise though.

    I plan to read Women who Love too Much – will try to buy it today, in fact as many have mentioned how good it is. Thanks for the suggestion.

  10. elizabeth says:

    hey penny!

    speaking from experience – i wouldn’t send the e-mail. i did this a few times. you will not get the response you are looking for. either they will not respond – HORRIBLE or they will turn it around on you. NC says everything without saying anything at all – i read it somewhere & carry it wherever i go. good luck. you will feel better – it takes time. i never thought i would & now i am glad he is out of my life. what a waste of time he was. i NEVER thought i would be able to say it. yes, the rejection hurts. but, like my brother said(he didn’t like him – only met him twice -should have been a sign). “why are you upset about losing a loser.” i really thought i loved this man, too. it should NEVER be that difficult. he turned everything around on me – i believed it for the longest time. know – looking back from a distance – yikes – what a silly girl. you are too good to be bothered by the AC – keep telling yourself that until you believe it.

  11. Penny says:

    @Dazed and Confused-Both my parents are deceased, but I actually had a loving childhood, and two very good parents. My parents had a good marriage and provided an excellent example of what a good marriage could be. My dad died first, and my mom eventually came to live with me, and our relationship was a good one. My mom was more proud of her children than anything else. I wish my mom were still here and I could talk to her about this. She always stressed to me that you can not change a man-what he is is what he will be. However, your question makes me think of something else. My brother, raised in the same household as I, with the same two parents seems to have trouble connecting emotionally. I think a huge cause for this was his marriage-he was married to an UE woman, and I really think this has scarred him permanently. (She did a real number on him.) I have seen him pass over women that were interested in him (nice, intelligent women) for those that that he would never connect emotionally.

    I get the feeling that my guy was taught to be emotionally connected by his dad. I don’t think he is really a bad guy (I am NOT excusing his behavior towards me) I just don’t think he has the emotional capacity to connect appropriately. That is something that only therapy can heal. I am not a therapist.

  12. Penny says:

    In my earlier post, I meant to say “taught to be emotionally disconnected” by his father. Interesting that he has a career where he must disconnect himself emotionally to do his job.

    I am going to print out the NC rules-paste them above my PC.

  13. Mel says:


    your list is spot on, it’s like you’ve crystalised the attributes of these guys and hopefully any new people reading this will see these as red flags for the future. I know I certainly will.

    The AC had a terrible relationship with his father. He once said to me ‘my father used intimidation and manipulation to rule the household and was like that until one day I stood up to him and saw for myself how weak he really was. that was such a turning point for me in our relationship. After I stood up to him I actually grew to understand him a lot better actually. But i also realized that in fact, he was not a nice man!’

    This conversation came back to me the other day and I smiled to myself as I realised in that very moment that the AC was describing HIMSELF (although he would be furious if i ever told him that…he said he has dedicated his life to being the opposite of his father. and whilst he may not be physically abusive, he certainly makes up for it in emotional abuse.

    @Erica “a child, and a crazy ex-girlfriend with whom he has the child with”
    Do you know the ex girlfriend? The AC was awful about his daughter’s mother can actually called her ‘psycho b*tch ‘ the first day i met him. I think I only discovered her real name after i’d known him 6 months. He’s probably calling me the same now i imagine.

    He had a sob story about how she’d trapped him by getting pregnant etc and all manner of stories about how awful she is. Well I’ll never know will I, but it does make you wonder.

    Am I alone though in my thoughts that while I probably will nip any future situations like this in the bud with ACs/EUMs should they ever cross my path again, I deep down want the sting they will feel at being put in their place by the stronger, more (self) loving woman I will become to hit the AC in the balls at the same time! 😉

  14. Erica says:


    No, I do not know the ex-gf. I only hear the crazy things she does to him to make him stay away from the child. He has also called her psycho too. I discovered her name a few months after getting to know ex-EUM. He has never called her by her real name…just “Baby Mama”. Funny thing is he says all these terrible things that she has done to him, yet I am pretty sure he’d drop everything (including me, had we still been together) to be back with her in a heartbeat.

  15. Mel says:


    I gotta say, at first I felt sorry for the AC when he told me about his baby mother. But I do wonder now whether there is more to the story than he let on. I would love to hear her side of the story that’s for sure.

    I think they do this ‘my ex is a psycho’ line on purpose. It sets us up to think ‘oh I’d NEVER do that to him/react like that’ etc. And then when they pull their crazymaking behaviour because we’ve already been conditioned not to ‘behave like the psycho ex’ we deny our feelings, fall into line with the shite they throw at us and yes, often DO behave in ways that would make them call us psycho!

    Maybe the ACs ex is crazy, who knows? All I know is that I will reserve my judgement until I hear her side of the story because I know for a fact that the AC if he ever does refer to me in any coversations with his latest victims, will not be speaking with any affection whatsoever.

  16. txwoman says:

    I love this post. I have a friend who thinks that if he would just contact her that it would make her feel better. I told her that my experience did just the opposite. After a bit over a year of NC, he contacted me. What it did was make me sick to my stomach. Everything that I had done (chase him, no bounderies, go ahead and use me as a doormat, etc.), came flooding back to me and it literally made me sick. I knew the only reason he contacted me was because there was NO ONE else. I tend to be (or can tend to be) a bit harsh to someone who has treated me badly. I feel this way; if this AC does not appreciate me for me, it is his loss, NOT mine. If someone does not want to be with me, my feeling is their loss, not mine. I know it sounds a little egotistical, but if I don’t value me, who the heck will? I really don’t care if these AC see me as being needy, gees, what’s wrong with you. In my book, what they think is so not important. Please, focus on the most important person in the world;you. Don’t get a big head, don’t hurt someone else, but don’t take cr*p from someone you think you might want to be with. The cost is way too high for you to pay.

  17. Erica says:

    @Mel and @txwoman

    I just wanted to thank you both for your words of wisdom. It’s things like this that help me to survive everyday. Every night before I go to bed and every morning before I go to work, I come to this site for positive thoughts before I have to face the AC at work.

    @Mel-I completely agree with you…I initially felt bad for him with the Baby Mama drama, but I’ve never heard the flipside-the ex-girlfriend’s story. I guess I’ll never know.

    Tonight, I had a date and at the end of the night, we both ended up talking about our ex’s and found that we were in the same predicament: we’re both not completely over them. My date was really sweet, but there weren’t any sparks on my end.

    On my way home from the restaurant, I kind of broke down and cried thinking about the AC. I always try really hard to think about how the negative in the relationship outweighed the positive, but sometimes it doesn’t always happen. I want so badly to get over him because I know that he definitely isn’t thinking about me. What still gets me is why he was ballsy enough to pursue someone who not only worked in the same company but same department when in the long run he wasn’t even wanting a real relationship. As I mentioned before, I have a sneaking suspicion he is hooking up with someone else in a different department. If I get confirmation on this, I will be sure to warn her about him.

    @txwoman-thanks for the positive reinforcement. I have to continue to remind myself that I am a good person with a good heart and have a lot to offer a guy who is deserving of my love. I did nothing wrong in this relationship (unless you call listening to his problems and making the effort to ask him to hang out a bad thing).

  18. Butterfly says:

    @dazedandconfused – oh yeah to all 5 questions and all 5 points except in his case he used to just tell me that he was “cooler” than me etc. Maybe he was but I don’t see it :) He wouldn’t have dared pick me up on use of language or logic!

    Looking back there were many subtle digs and I find it easiest just to believe that EVERYTHING he said was a lie and one massive ego stroke/long long belt of narcissistic supply. That is the ONLY thing which makes sense.

  19. no_more says:

    Thank you NML for this website!!! I know I am not alone.

    One time when we broke up, I tried to be an adult about the situation and agreed to be friends. Don’t ever do this! It will hurt you worse than if he left you altogether. Don’t get me wrong, some couples can be friends after it’s over…but those are healthy relationships. You cannot do this with an EUM/AC. They are selfish, insecure & sick. The whole time I was trying to have a friendship with him…He kept reiterating to me that he wasn’t my boyfriend anymore. I asked him why he had to keep saying that to me when I already knew that and he said it’s because he could “feel” that I wanted us to be a couple again. WTF?! Then he would make references about trips he was going to go on with his friends, made statements about how other women looked and anything else he could bring up to make me feel bad or get a reaction. THEN he turned around and said, that I was the most attractive and wonderful woman he has ever been with and nobody could compare. So, therefore I will be “his yardstick” to measure any future relationships by. He actually thought this was a compliment. I was so offended that I had to leave the conversation. It was bad enough everything else he said, but he just kept pushing the envelope. Now I’m a damn yardstick! If I was so perfect, why did you leave me?

    This man put me through so much agony and messed up my mind so bad, that I was willing to be friends with him just to still have him in my life in some capacity. An EUM learns your vulnerabilities and what is important to you. They become exactly what you need at that moment in your life. They come across charming, caring & intelligent. They tell you what you need to hear and put you on an emotional high. Before long you are falling in-love. He is hooked…until he gets his fill, has to start giving more to the relationship or cannot get something from you that he wants. Then the honeymoon is over and the problems begin. Usually they’re subtle, to test the waters of how far he can push you. By that time your heart is invested. You value the relationship and willing to be understanding and work through things to maintain the union.

    Then comes the inevitable for all EUM…they start abandoning you. A few days, a week, longer. Telling you this is how they are, they need their space sometimes or this is how they work through their problems. It’s hard for you to understand, because they didn’t need space before nor is this the way a normal relationship should be. They imply that you’re needy or you’re just not being understanding or how unfair you are. Once you give them that out, then they begin using it as a form of control. It all goes downhill from there and doesn’t get any better. They can turn a confident, outgoing woman into a shadow of herself. Checking the answering machine constantly, sitting by the phone, keeping your cell phone with you like it’s an appendage and logging into your email like you have a compulsive disorder. Crying, filled with anxiety all the time, walking on eggshells, can’t sleep, over analyzing and ashamed to tell anyone that the man you love treats you this way. They are passive-aggressive in the worst way and become emotionally abusive by with-holding communication, affection, empathy & support. By the time it’s all done, you’ll need therapy yourself.

    I hate myself that I let him do this. I could have left, but my self esteem was so damaged & my brain so jumbled that I didn’t know how to do that. I thought I needed him. I was on a rollercoaster that I couldn’t get off of. And what keeps you there are the strokes they give you….by putting you back in that honeymoon phase for awhile. Being good to you and making you the center of their universe….then taking it all away at whim. Remembering the good times and how great you used to be together. WE can’t believe they don’t love us or care, because there are times when things are so fabulous. I made excuses for my EU-ex. In the end he made me feel like it was my fault, that I had elements in my life that caused the problems. In reality he just couldn’t control me to the extent he wanted. My life was fine….it wasn’t until I met him that I had issues….but did I think about that, NO!

    He left me for 18 months and the stress took my health. He hurt me so bad emotionally, that I almost didn’t make it. I was on the road to recovery, but he noted me on a site we were members of and what did I do? I opened it! My girlfriend said delete it. I can still hear her telling me, please don’t let him pull the scab off the wound, when you are just now healing. I didn’t listen to her, b/c I wanted so bad to hear him tell me that he was sorry and give me closure. We talked on the phone and he made all kinds of promises, told me what I longed to hear and convinced me he was a changed man. He Treated me like a Queen, made several trips to visit me and was so loving. He told me he’d never hurt me again and made plans to move to my state so we could start a new life. Even told me that as soon as he saved the money, he would buy me a ring. The first 3 months were so good I can’t describe it. I trusted him, forgave him and let him back into my heart….then 1 day out of the blue, he disappeared on me.

    It took him 2 days just to contact me and all he said was, I’m ok…sorry I made you worry via email. Then sent me another email that said, he felt like something was missing. He could’ve told me that before I slept with him. He didn’t care how this would affect me. My feelings just didn’t mean anything b/c he got what he wanted. I was so devastated that I told him at the end of the summer we could talk about things and try to work it out. He agreed and said he loved me and wanted things to be better. I asked him to call me at the end of August. He never showed up and shut me out of his life. PLEASE don’t make the mistakes I did!!!!

    Dumb me called him crying on his machine and asked him to please talk to me. I Wrote him letters and since we were in a long distance relationship, there isn’t more I could do….but hurt. He didn’t lift a finger to call me back or even acknowledge my correspondence… but I KNOW I have emails from him in my in-box. I REFUSE to read them, because they will only make me feel bad and it continues to give him control. I don’t even want to look at the subject line, so I have not been in my email since July. EUM/AC love email/texting and any other form of contact where they don’t have to talk directly to you or deal with conflict. Unless they are going into therapy and getting help, you have to stay away for your own sanity. NC is hard, but allowing them to control you or get a reaction out of you is worse. You are giving them what they need and they don’t have to give you anything. Realize that you are still vulnerable as long as you have feelings for them. Care about yourself more than him….I try to tell myself that everyday. Love should not be this hard nor should it be so painful. Stand behind your boundaries and have NO CONTACT!! I was in this nightmare for 9 YEARS. I don’t want any of you to hurt like I do.

  20. Anusha says:

    no_more-I just wanted to say that I can relate with your story(specialy the first part).When I was reading it was like I was reading about myself.The wanting to remain friends after the break up,the confusion,the hurt,their vague behaviour that one day treats you like the center of their universe and the other ignore you.I just been trough all that too so I know how you felling now.But hang in there,keep going NC,work on yourself and you will get over that.All the best :)

  21. CaresTooMuch says:

    Thanks for posting your story. I feel for you, and at the same time, your story is one I can learn from… You tried being friends (didn’t work)…You tried to get back together after a period of time (didn’t work)…And after all this time, he bailed on you. Good for you for not going to his email.

    I agree with everything you wrote about EUMs. I just broke up with my EUM 2 weeks ago….tried to be friends, and it all went upside down for me, when I saw him hug this woman like I’d not seen before. Then I mentioned it and he went from being a friend and how I meant a lot to him, to saying he doesn’t want to talk to me ever again…we can’t be friends as long as we have feelings. This is true, and he is the one that did it,…not me. I haven’t gone NC yet, as I sent him an email today telling him how hurt I was with what he said.

    Oh well. I wish you luck, and and keep up with NC…I get a sense that is really the only way to go. And be kind to yourself. What matters is what we do today…

  22. dakini says:

    I’m replying to no-more… What you’ve said and the way you’ve said it reasonates so deeply to how I have felt that it prompts me to post. My recent experience with an EUM contained cruelty, emotional and 1X physical. I have been reeling since and have sought help. I can say that NC has allowed me to move forward, however a huge chunk of my former self has been displaced. On a positive note, I will use this experience as a jump off point to make my life and myself better than before. I deserve it, we all do. Thanks for your honesty and heartfelt post. It has helped me.

  23. brooke says:

    Hi All,

    Am posting here after almost a year.I had stopped all contact with my ass clown and was very proud of the progress I was making.Then,yesterday after a gap of 7 months,I felt the urge to call him and gave in to it.He has not changed one bit.He treated me so badly that I feel like shooting myself now for having contacted him.While we were talking,he said that his mother was on the other line and that he would speak to her and get back to me.I had my doubts that he would call back, and he proved me right.He did not call me back.I kept calling and texting him and he even stopped answering my calls.And the next day,he sheepishly sends me a text saying that he had other chores to do and could not call me.To tell me this,he took such a long time and that too after I sent him atleast 10 messages asking him what happened.Even then,I did not stop.I called him again from a different number and tried to analyze his behavior with him.Of course,he did not accept any of it and kept insisting that what he did was right.And worse of all,I wonder what happened to the self discipline that I exercised for such a long time.Suddenly i seem to have become this weak woman who is desperate to contact him no matter what,ready to accept the crumbs he keeps throwing at me.I am really really ashamed of myself for having broken the no contact rule.Please advise.Has this happened to others as well?

  24. JJ says:


    7 months of NC and you think of him? I wouldn’t have wasted not one brain cell thinking of him after 7 months girl…. I think that you had an illusion or something cause 7 months no contact is quite long enough to have gotten over him and be well on your way. I am now on my first 30 days NC as of today and I have not one craving in my mind of ever going back to that NARCISSTS ASS HOLE or letting him back into my life EVER!!!! NEVER!!! EVER!!! AGAIN!!!! I say you screwed up but there is life after death… cause I’m sure that’s what it almost feels like after being free for a while and then giving him power over you again. Maybe that was your epiphany moment(CONFIRMATION) to let you know that the relationship is OVER AND THEIR IS NOTHING TO SALVAGE SO GAIN SOME DIGNITY AND KEEP IT MOVING.

  25. Anesha says:

    I really love this article. I have been for the past two or so years desperately trying to reconnect with my old boyfriend of 3 years. Before we broke up we had all these big plans of getting married and starting a family but I began to feel him drifting and to avoid him leaving me I guess I left him.

    Soon after I had a change of heart and he was already on his flirting ways and had hooked up with an old girlfriend whom I had suspected him of seeing even when we were together because they live in the same state.

    Anyways when I began trying to “win him back” it was already too late and he wanted nothing to do with me but I persisted and after reading this article I know fully how desperate I acted. I did so many foolish things and I made it my business to let him know at all times that I was available. I still have not moved on with my life perhaps because I still hope that he would turn around and I want to be ready but mostly I convince myself it is because I have not found that one as yet.

    Life is hard and it is good when we can find little pieces from the manual (like your article) to help us along the way.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  26. Comeback Kid says:

    I found the book “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” was an excellent source of strength for me. I had accepted that the problem in the relationship was me. Reading this book helped me realize that no matter what choice I would make it was wrong. Even if I spent a great deal of time trying to anticpate exactly what he would want the decision I made was still wrong. Perhaps he will find someone more suited to him but I honestly believe that whoever is in his life will suffer the same treatment as I did. Stick with people that love you. Love shouldn’t be such an effort.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

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

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

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