overloaded truckI was reading a comment on one of the posts which reminded me of a scenario that I come across all the time on this blog:

Woman thinks she’s met her prince, when in fact, he’s a cockroach assclown, which deep down she possibly suspected. From the moment he starts acting up, it becomes a quest to ‘change’ him and to get him to understand things from her point of view. He keeps doing shitty things like disappearing, standing her up, lying, cheating, having his words and actions contradict and generally being a pain in the arse, and what does she do?

Keep talking.Women Who Talk and Think Too Much syndrome is something I discussed in more depth in my book Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, but in short it’s:

“when you just can’t stop discussing, explaining, questioning, arguing, debating, and yes, sometimes talking to your man and when that
is done, you often switch to ‘thinking’ mode, where you basically try to think out your relationship to a 100% outcome. You have covered up your inaction in relationships with your urge to ‘communicate’. It is basically an overload of communication except there is very little ‘exchange’ of anything. You’ve actually been struck down with Verbal Diarrhoea and a serious case of informational overload.”

In essence, how do you know you have this? Well I won’t go into all of the ‘symptoms’ and characteristics here but in short:

If you know that you’re with an assclown and you’re still trying to ‘figure him out’ and you’re still trying to ‘talk him round’, or you’re damn well near losing your mind trying to explain to him why his latest escapade is so shitty, you are a ‘sufferer’.

You have become a woman of indecision.

Let’s look at this in a hardcore way:

If a man behaves like a complete assclown (in this case he arranged to meet her and then stood her up with no explanation), why do you think that getting angry and telling him how you feel, and telling him what he’s done, and telling him pretty much everything that is on your mind, is going to make a difference to this man?

Don’t you need to have an ounce of thought and empathy in your head in order for it to be worthwhile having this discussion? If he acted with integrity and if he empathised with you, or anyone for that matter, would he have put you in this situation in the first place?

In a relationship with good foundations, a healthy level of discussion is perfectly fine although you don’t want to spend more time discussing your relationship than living it. Trust me, if things are going well, you aren’t having these ‘discussions’.

But when a man shows you repeated disrespect and there is really only one of you in the ‘relationship’, why are you effectively blowing out hot air?

All you are doing is delaying the inevitable. You are buying time. But how much time do you want to buy? I know people who have discussed for a decade and they’re no further down the road than they were a decade ago.

Talking, whilst it is useful, doesn’t solve jack if no action comes from it. The reality is that with men who are unreceptive to anything you have to say or who hear what they want to hear anyway, it is a complete waste of your time to:

Keep have ‘defining the relationship’ talks – If you have to keep defining, it’s not being defined.

Keep explaining why his poor treatment of you is unacceptable – If he’s treated you badly again, why do you need to explain to him what he has done. He knows. He is not an unruly pet or a child, even if he behaves like one.

Keep telling him what things could be like if only he’d change and be as you expect. Just not going to happen. He either is or he isn’t and you will end up telling him till you are blue in the face and even then, he’s not going to change.

Keep saying you love him – Do not make the mistake of believing that telling someone you love them will give them reason enough to treat you decently. With an assclown, it will give him reason to think he can do as he likes…

Remember: All of this talking and lack of action is just wasting time and buying time, but at some point, you are going to have to do something.

Your thoughts? Have you been in any of these situations?

If you want to learn how to understand your involvement with Mr Unavailable’s and how to move on, check out my new ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl. Find out more and download.

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83 Responses to Women Who Talk (& Think) Too Much – Wasting time explaining & discussing with men that don’t want to listen

  1. Astelle says:

    NML, love this post. Looking back – I am so glad that I never had any of these discussions with my EUM, never told him that I loved him, accepted his behaviour way to long and then I dissapeared for good by cutting the contact.

  2. FinallyOverIt says:

    NML, you are completely on target with this one! I had “the talk” with my ex-EUM about six months ago, where he admitted what a jerk he has been and that he has treated me badly, etc., and we decided we would be “friends.” He has been the text book EUM since that time–blowing hot and cold, ignoring me for weeks, months at a time…..I finally had that “defining moment” when I realized what a complete assclown he is, and that he will never change, and I AM DONE. No amount of talking, psycho-analyzing, crying, begging, trying to make them realize what complete jackasses they are, is going to change anything. And the sad part is how much of our lives are wasted in the pursuit of trying to get these men to love us or to change their behavior. It’s just not going to happen!

  3. Ashley says:

    Yes – happened to me with quite a few EUMs. One in particular over the past couple of years.

    These guys just shouldn’t get our attention or time, period. The last time I was with my ex-EUM, (4 months ago) I decided to try the strategy of just having fun and not talking about “the lack of relationship”. First of all, it was definitely discussed a little bit – it’s hard to get away from it when really – that’s all you have.

    But for the most part the evening was very physical, and spent talking about him and his perceived issues. How his ex wife is horrible, how his Dad is a jerk, what’s wrong with various people he works with. The overriding message being “You are great Ashley, but this is all I can give you because I am so injured”.

    So we had this “fun” night (and it was on quite a few levels) where we didn’t “talk” that much about our relationship problems but at the end of it – he went home, sent me an email saying “that was a fun time – thanks” and I was left feeling very empty.

    A couple weeks later I tried calling him and asking him to talk and he wouldn’t take my calls. I finally allowed us to discuss the situation over email. I opened up by saying “I don’t see why things have to be awkward between us”. What was his response?

    “Awkward? How is it awkward? I haven’t seen you.”

    There you have it. Once he left my place – he sent me a freaking “thank you note” and I left his head entirely.

    But he didn’t leave mine at all. And it took me a good three months to recover from that. It’s undeniable what it did to my esteem and my interest in dating.

    Now I am back to my positive, healthy esteemed self, dating again, and he sent me nonsensical, semi nostalgic emails last night. I just deleted them without responding. I saw him in the hall today (at work) and he gave me a big wave. I was down the hall, I gave him a pinky wave (my hands were full) but I couldn’t help but glare. I don’t do “breezy” when I am annoyed or angry.

    So – my comment on the “diareha of the mouth talking about an unhealthy relationship” is that – when you cut out the talk – if it’s an unhealthy relationship with an EUM – you are left with – nothing.

    Maybe it’s all the “talk” that keeps us there. Keeps us hoping things can change for the better.

    As I said to him that night: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” I told him I was tired of being with him and hoping that things could work out between us. That I just wanted to enjoy the evening. Well – I still got the same result – I felt like cr*p – maybe even worse than ever before because I knew we had NOTHING.

    I’m venting – I am annoyed that I feel a pull to call him today and ask him how he is in response to his emails. But I just keep thinking about all the cowardly things he did or didn’t do when we were together. And you know what – I think I can let this go without a conversation. He wouldn’t think twice about it if he was me.

  4. Karen says:

    I went back to my ex after being divorced from him for ten years. His words and actions in the beginning gave me reason to believe that over that time he had grown, understood what he wanted, and as he said, what he wanted was me. We were married for six years and over the ten year span we would see each other periodically but never anything more than a date at a museum, lunch or shopping. We live two hours apart, so bumping into him was never an issue.

    The last two years of our marriage was the talking cycle described. I woke up when a friend said to me, you told me this three months ago about how he was going to change….. I didn’t believe him, and sure enough three months later, I was saying the same thing!

    It took three short months for his true colors to come brightly bursting forth. We had one conversation together, a couple of emails, a phone call and then I realized that I was going down the same path, fortunately the span of a week and not two years!

    Logically I know I’m doing the right thing, part of me still wants to talk just a bit more….. but deep down, I know it will get me no where.

  5. Cynnie says:

    NML, I’m Guilty as charged!

    I really thought that if I explained how he upset me and how his actions hurt me that it would make a difference. It didn’t. I’ve thrown in the towel and have been on 3 weeks NC. I’m so much happier now. Changed my number and blocked the fool on the Internet/instant message.

    Your post is spot on and that described me exactly. I’m done talking, pleading, explaining and discussing. I’m done!

  6. JC says:

    I can’t stop talking either! I’m not sure how many times I’ve told my EUM that he’s hurt me. After three weeks I broke no contact, had a long conversation with him, where he explained his “issues” again and why he is like he is. I accepted him back, but realized my mistake when I thought about what he said and realized that it’s the same answer (I’m just not ready for that) that I’ve been getting for a year. Nothing has changed at all. Now I’m too embarrassed to mention it to my friends since they are tired of hearing me repeat the same stories as he repeats his behavior. I’m going to try NC again, I hope it works.

  7. tulipa says:

    I sat across the dinner table at a restaurant not too long ago it was just after he had told me he had had sex with another woman.. my voice said during part of the conversation ‘you have hurt me” and he said “I don’t know what to say to you”
    That struck me has very odd at the time because if someone said to me I had hurt them with either my words or actions I’m pretty sure my next words would be “I’m sorry.” So anyway after a while I told him again how his actions had hurt me and how I was feeling etc. again very little response still no apology except a sacastic one…. The next time he rang he tried to bring up my feelings but I cut him off and said was I?? I don’t recall that at all… there is no point to talking and telling these guys .. they don’t give a toss at the end of the day and like NML says if they were decent guys in the first place then we wouldn’t have endured their unacceptable behaviour…. They will only change when they want to and not before and not for anyone except themselves..

  8. ivyowl says:

    I made this mistake countless times with other guys. So When I made this mistake with Steve I was aware of what I was doing. I knew the talks we were having was just me delaying what needed to be done, and what needed to be done is us breaking up. I was in denial and still trying to fix it.

    I guess never giving up on something is a good thing. Things are hard but problems can be overcome. I am impaired mentally so sometimes I have to take a class twice to get a good grade. I have to try and try again.

    Thing about guys though, you have to know when to quit trying to fix things. I personally try for far too long.

  9. wendy levy says:

    Sometimes when I read Natalie’s posts, I just think WOW! Perfect! So Clear! And even though of course I feel that way about this one, this one really made me cringe inside. I was that very woman six months ago,and had been for close to two years with a really awful EUM. I used to talk to him until I was blue in the face and most of the time, he was watching TV while we talked. Or he’d be lying on a couch, staring at me with a blank look on his face, and he’d say absolutely nothing at the end of my very well thought out persuasive explanation of why whatever the dreadful thing he had just done to me, was in fact dreadful. And when I was done, he’d go back to his book, or his TV show, and I was left feeling unheard and uncared for. And I did this over and over again. He actually more than once, told me if I ever had a relationship talk with him again, he’d leave me. And he did a few times, or he’d yell at me. And I always ended up apologizing, saying I love you, and grovelling my way back into his good (or not so good) graces. And just like Natalie says, when I couldn’t talk about it, I’d think it to death. All I thought about was him, our problems,how to fix it, what I could do to change him,or change me….
    The only way I got over him was because we broke up with such intense drama that it was undeniably clear he was not worth my time, energy and love. It was an incredibly painful breakup nonetheless. But I’ve got to tell you, I did no contact all the way, and now, I’m so over him. I only think about him in terms of lessons I’ve learned from being in relationship with him. I now find it appalling I accepted his crummy behavior and told friends and family I loved him. How embarrassing in retrospect. No wonder all my friends told me to run! And so, articles like this one do make me cringe but keep me vigilant. thank you Natalie.

  10. lisaq says:

    I’ve been there more times than I care to count! In the past these scenarios were the rule rather than the exception. It amazes me that I actually thought I could get through! It’s like trying to dig through a cement wall with a piece of licorice. Completely futile! Honestly, I have more luck talking to my cats. This is just one of the patterns you’ve helped me break NML! And thank goodness!

  11. keri says:

    Ok.. seems like we all have this in common.. I can tell you my story of wanting SO badly to text my EUM and ask him if he’s happier now without me..with this new girl than me? I also talked and talked and cried and begged to his face.. with NO response…

    my question is… now that we KNOW that it’s really because we don’t love ourselves..

    HOW do we take the steps, (besides NC) to NEVER LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN!!
    That’s where I am… I FIRMLY can see that I’ve continually pined for men who don’t want me as a way of validating i’m not worthy… Ok.. I see it.. I acknowledge it and CANNOT deny it..

    where I am now is WRACKING my brain to find a way to break down this wall of self loathing… THAT is what we need to focus on.. that I would love an answer too..

    I am also one that thinks too much and talks too much… ok.. we all recognize that.. now…


    that’s where I’m plagued as of late.. Help?

  12. keri says:

    But let me say that I am SOOOO grateful that this website and all of you are out there… after reading all this… has totally shifted my almost obsession to wanting the EUM to “answer me!” to realizing that it wouldn’t matter WHAT i did… I’m always going to end up dissapointed.

    Thank You all!!! and Thank You Natalie!!!

  13. Kim2 says:

    Good post.

    I left EUM a year ago. See him all the time though as we live in small town. Last night I heard he has talked to others about intimate things we did. It wasn’t negative – he was bragging but WHAT A BA$TARD!! I am so tempted to put a fake add on Craigslist for him – but I won’t. I won’t do or say anything because I won’t give him the satisfaction of knowing it hurt me.

  14. SuzieQ says:

    I am also guilty of this. I would write long e mails to my EUM and I would ask him about his view of the relationship and his feelings. I would get one line answers such as “that was well said”. The last one I wrote was about how I wanted him to give just a little teensy bit more or else I was going to have to move on. His reply was “I understand”. Not “ok, I will try” or “ok, move on”. He couldn’t even give just that little bit, couldn’t even let me know which direction I should go in. After almost 3 years of this I finally had enough. I changed my phone number and deleted my e mail account. I know that I am weak and will give in if he contacts me. I had to do this. I agree with Keri, now that I have taken the steps to get out of this relationship, how do I make sure I stay out and what steps can I take to make sure I don’t get into this situation again?

  15. Astelle says:

    Kim2, he places personal ads on Craigslist?? How do you know it is him posting? What a trash site!

  16. Astelle says:

    SuzieQ, he gave you a “direction” by saying “I understand”, he said: I know you are not leaving, I know you will stick around.
    And you did and I did, we all did and some of us are still there.
    I am glad you finally had enough and hope you are not responding if he makes contact. Don’t let him suck you back in!!!

  17. Kim2 says:

    Astelle — no he doesn’t place ads or probably even know what Craigslist is…. I thought about putting an ad there for revenge. I am not going to do it but thinking about placing a personal for “man seeking man” entertained me for awhile. Not worth the effort though.

  18. wendy levy says:

    Suzie, My EUM did the same as yours. I’d send a really expressive e-mail that I had put alot of work into trying to explain to him, and he’d say “well written”. Or, “I understand”, which was a lie.Or maybe he did understand but just didn’t care. Who knows. Amazing how there are so many of these men walking around appearing to be “normal”,until we are hooked and sinking. My EUM seemed so “nice”. From a good family, (but he was a huge mama’s boy), a good dad, a high school teacher with a few long time friends…. they just disguise themselves well.
    My EUM was my second. I got involved with him shortly after my divorce from my 25 yr long marriage to an EUM. The second one, who I’ve been referring to, was in some ways even worse than my ex-husband.
    Now I’m involved with a non-EUM but he is also a sort of people pleaser. But he tries. I’m not totally sure about him.Its been about 3+ months now. I can communicate with him and he listens. But the people pleasing thing is hard for me. This is him- what can I do for you today? What do you want to do? What can make you for dinner? What restaurant do you want to go to? and it goes on. But at least he tries to please me, in and out of bed, and this is a first for me. And we’ve had talks about his people pleasing ways. and he actually listens closely and we talk and he shares…But sometimes it almost feels like the reverse of an EUM- I’m still doing some of his work when I have to make the choices. But I am able to explain this to him, and he doesn’t come to it from a bad place. Just not sure if its right or not…… Hard to know after all the crap

    What is making a huge difference for me is continually checking in with myself about this person, vs.how I felt about myself with my ex-H and the more recent EUM. With them I always felt I had to do more, try harder, felt badly about myself, was humiliated or embarrassed or felt degraded. I don’t feel this way about myself with my current guy. I think if I had a bad feeling about myself with a new guy, after all I’ve gone through, I’d run.
    Perhaps just being aware of how we are feeling is a first step? I journalled alot too, at Natalie’s suggestion and that helped alot. Six months later I have recently gone back and read what I wrote back then. I can barely believe I was in a relationship where I felt so terrible about myself that I let a man treat me that way.
    Natalie, if you are around, I’d love it if you could pursue these issues- after the breakup how do we stay healthy in our relationships?

  19. SuzieQ says:

    Wendy, same thing with my guy – excellent father, longtime friends, admired at work. Maybe by the time he got around to me there just wasn’t anything left. I’m not sure. I made excuses for him for years, but the fact is, I am very busy too (single mom) and I didn’t ask for much from him at all. I would have been satisfied with only seeing him once in a while if he made me feel wanted in between. For example if he didn’t have time to see me but just sent me a little text saying “i miss you even though I can’t be with you” . But in the end he wasn’t even doing that. I would get an e mail or a text around wed saying “lets go out Sat” then on Sat morning I would get a text saying “be there at 6”. That was my only communication in between. And sometimes he would have to work on the weekend and not bother telling me. Crumbs! I was accepting crumbs! Now that I am out of it I can look at it more objectively and I can’t believe I put up with that.

    I have dated really nice men in the past and just wasn’t interested, so I know where you are coming from. Try and give him a chance. I know for me, after what I have been through the next guy is going to have it so easy. He will only have to be halfway decent and will seem like a God in comparison to the last EUM!

  20. Kim2 says:

    Thats funny… if the next guy is halfway decent he will seem like a god… FOR SURE! I won’t know what to do with myself if the guy is actually kind, respectful and fun (and passionate)

  21. brook says:

    God…I have to say something here..I just felt when I read this post that NML was actually referring to me…I would always make it a point to explain to my EUM how much he hurts me by his actions,how much I like him…hoping that he would understand…Not once has he reciprocated the way I would have liked him to.He would instead get annoyed with me…accuse me of emotional warfare..and stop talking to me for a couple of days…and suddenly he would appear out of the blue..and the fool that I am,I would end up answering his call hoping that this time things would be better only to realize that nothing will change…Not once has he cared to appreciate the emotion or pain in my words…my messages…Sometimes he wouldn’t reply…and i would feel like a fool at the end of it..Cursing myself for expressing my feelings to a stone hearted man and being ashamed of myself for having done so…This has happened so many times now that I have lost track..nice article..I just hope i can follow whatever is written here…

  22. Kim2 says:

    The thing I cannot figure out is since these men do not really CARE why they get mad when the woman calls it quits. Mine did that and put on the quite the show flirting with other women in front of me – which I simply ignored. I don’t talk to him and he doesn’t talk to me but I know he talks ABOUT me to other people. The last thing he said to me (a few months ago) was to “go talk to your boyfriend” about a guy friend of mine. He acted jealous but I don’t know why since he didn’t want to have a relationship with me. I haven’t gotten involved with anyone else YET but when I meet someone right I will. What’s the deal with the anger when you leave?

  23. JC says:

    I often mistake the anger when I start NC, as my EUM caring, but it’s not. It’s an ego thing. I keep telling myself that if he decided to stop calling me for some reason he just would, he would have no problem ignoring my calls and texts so I need to treat him the same way.

    But I’d like to know what happens after? I met the nicest guy (totally on accident, I was actually celebrating my NC before I broke it) and he’s treating me so well that I don’t even know how to behave! He calls, texts, tells me I look great and listens. He commits to plans with me days in advance (actually shows up) and is genuinely interested in my life. I can feel myself shutting down a bit cause I’m thinking “my EUM didn’t care about any of this stuff so why do you?” So how do you deal with the poor guy who comes along after an EUM?

  24. Kim2 says:

    JC — I’d like to know that too. I have gone on a few dates this past year with nice men but I shut down too. They bore me and I start thinking I’d rather be home watching tv by myself. I don’t want the EUM back…. in fact his anger and trying to make me look bad to mutual friends is actually helping me. I don’t know what to do with a genuine nice guy either. Isn’t that sad?

  25. wendy levy says:


    I am so grateful to you for writing that. I don’t know if you caught my post a few above yours, but I’m having that exact same situation with my nicest guy. The man I’m seeing makes dinners for me, wants sex to be good for me, wants to help me out in my day, is great to my kids, listens, cares, I feel heard…. and there is that nasty snippy little part inside of me thinking “what is wrong with you?
    And when I think about that voice in me, its that part of myself thats been treated so badly for all my life by men that I think any guy who cares this much about me is a loser.
    My ex- EUM had all his clothes in my closet but didn’t actually live with me. He had his own place. He stayed in his place Monday nights and would tell me he “cherished his time alone”. He’d get furious if I called him monday nights. And he had his kids with him friday nights. He’d go back to his place after work, do e-mail and whatever, come over to my place, eat dinner I cooked him,I’d make him lunch for the next day, I’d do his wash, and he’d be asleep by 9pm. Friday to sat. evenings with his kids, sunday was golf day all day with his buddies. He got mad if I wanted to have relationship talks, he’d threaten me. Sex was horrible. He’d just stick it in, and even though I ultimately talked to him about it heart to heart, after trying to show him, he ignored me there too. I always felt so used, but evidently had so little self esteem, it didn’t matter.. When I wanted him to give of himself, and asked for something, he’d call me “pushy” or ‘needy”. He told me things like he could not make a commitment to ever live together, and just wanted to live the days. If I asked him if he saw my in his next Christmas or Valentines Day, he’d get furious. After my mom died, he left me because he told me I had “too many problems”. I had asked for more of a commitment and he refused straight out to give me a commitment. Creepy huh???

    So along comes the nice guy, who listens, cares, wants to make my life better. On the surface, that sounds so fabulous. But I’m not used to that.

    How do we deal with the guy who comes along after the EUM?????? It really isn’t as easy as it seems it should be.

  26. wendy levy says:

    ps… Kim2,

    Oh good grief. I so relate to what you said. With my nice guy I too thought”BORING”.
    But what I realized was just like that whole series of posts Natalie wrote some time ago, I was horrendously addicted to the drama. It was the total lack of drama that was boring to me. And seriously, my EUM was such a boring man. Teacher by day, addicted to golf on TV at night. He was as anal as they can get. He had to wake up at 4am every weekday to go work out before teaching, he had cheerios in his classroom every morning. The first year I knew him he took a 1/2 bologna sandwich and an apple and chips to work for lunch, every day. SERIOUSLY. The year we were together he switched to peanut butter and honey. Every day. I made it for him. He was incredibly shut down and a mama’s boy to boot.
    Besides all the personal degradation and misery he brought to my life, he was so boring. But there was drama!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was me trying to change him.

    So now I’m with the nice guy. Who loves me for the person I am.No drama. Boring? Well, I’m getting used to the lack of drama now. It took a while. I still have my own EU issues that I’m really trying to deal with.

    This is such a great topic, so glad other women are experiencing the same stuff!
    Thanks for listening and sharing.

  27. NML says:

    I will write about the next guy tomorrow. Thanks for all of your comments which have given me plenty of topics! x

  28. SuzieQ says:

    Hey ladies, my guy was boring too. If he were to ever smile or have a good time I think his face would crack. BUT, the sex was amazing. That is what kept me hooked. And of course the drama. I am definitely addicted to the drama. In fact I have never had a relationship that lasted more than a few dates that didn’t include some sort of drama. I am embarressed to admit that but it is true…I have never had a lasting relationship without drama and I am 40 years old. How sad is that!

  29. wendy levy says:

    Natalie, Thanks for saying you’ll write about “the next one” . You are such a lifesaver. I really attribute my success for getting over my EUM, to you, your listening, support and advice.
    Suzie, I’m 56. I got divorced from my ex-H 3 years ago and then had that dreadful 2 yr relationship with the EUM/heartbreaker afterwards. So you’re lucky! And it seriously can get better. I’m really seeing it now…. but its still hard and still work , to make a relationship with a “nice guy”work.
    Wish there were drugs to help us get off the addiction to the drama!
    This may sound a bit sappy but its really nice and I use it kind of over and over again. I do alot of yoga and a friend of mine ended a class a few months ago saying “love as you wish to be loved”…. that kind of turned it around in my head a different way. I’m not the sappy sort, but I do want t o see myself not being impatient and bored with the new nice guy, even though there is no drama involved. So I’m trying.
    Take care everyone, Wendy

  30. JC says:

    It’s so new with my nice guy that I haven’t gotten bored yet, but I now realize that my EUM was incredibly boring. We never did anything, he’d watch TV, sleep or play on the computer when I was around. So why is it that when the new guy calls I hesitate just a bit before answering, even though I know we’ll have a great conversation, but when the EUM calls I jump only for him to talk for maybe two minutes before he rushes me off the phone? I’ve had normal, loving relationships before, this was my first real EUM so I’m not sure how I even got into this mess, but I’ll be out of it soon. I’m going to resist the urge to have another “talk” with him, he doesn’t deserve to know why I’m not answering the phone and I’m all talked out! Wish me luck with the nice guy.

  31. wendy levy says:

    I’m feeling so angry with myself tonight. My nice guy was over this evening. He actually made dinner for me and brought it over with a movie that I’ve been wanting to see for a long time. I was feeling very disconnected from him and not attracted to him at all tonight. It didn’ t help that I found out I have a huge tooth cavity and need a root canal monday. But that aside, sometimes his very niceness, turns me off.

    I hate to admit this, but in some ways, I am being the EUM and he is me.
    Oh good grief, does it get any worse???!!!! I seriously don’t want to be this way!!!!

    Wishing you all the very best, Wendy

  32. Gerog says:

    Oh my God, it’s as if this post was written about me – a few months back, at least.

    My attentive, affectionate long-distance bf morphed into a douchebag. After 3 months, he suddenyl became ‘too tired/busy’ to talk, and I found myself begging for attention and affection. He’d say he wanted to be with me or spend time with me. Of course, I jumped at the chance. Then he’d be ‘too tired’ for sex or just a cold fish in general.

    After a period of NC we went on holiday together and I raised concerns that without us re-starting our relationship, the trip would be a waste of time. His response was ‘I don’t want to go there right now’, and ‘let’s not put too much weight on it’. My response was to keep talking. I’d ask him to call me, and he’d say ‘OK’, then not call me.

    Funny how he was never too busy to leave messages on another woman’s MySpace asking her if she was around that weekend to meet up, but was too busy to find out if I’d got home safely after we’d both got home from a holiday in the Caribbean (arranged months in advance).

    Long story short, I never should have talked to him as much as I did. Perhaps I should have listened to his signals that he didn;t want me, but when I challenged him on this, and his behaviour, he’d say ‘I don’t want to break up’ and basically pussy his way out of saying: ‘You’re right – it;s not working and we should break up’, when I told him as much. He also denied treating me like crap and said I was talking rubbish, when it was blatantly true.

    He was the kind of man that needed to have the last word; when we were on the phone he wouldn’t let me go when I had to, but when he wanted to go, that was it. Bye. Same with the relationship; I made it clear I wasn’t happy and that for both our sakes it should end, but it only ended on his terms, or so he thinks. I got an email saying he’d wanted me around, but I hadn’t picked up on his hints (he kept dropping hints that he wanted to see me and I deliberately took the bait to see how he’d react, which was by suddenly being ‘too busy’ to discuss it) and therefore we should leave it. Me, I was busy getting over him and Not Contacting him because I knew it was over.

    I’ve been in good relationships that went sour and relationships that started off without a solid foundation. Now I’ve met a guy who, so far, has been wonderful (I’ve learned not to bet on potential!). Based on my experiences, what I would say to anyone who loves to hear the sound of their own voice with their EUM is this: Shut up and walk away.

    It’s that simple. It’s good to talk, but if you find yourself having to ‘sell’ the idea of a relationship with you, or point out certain obviously unacceptable behaviours, then why are you bothering? You can give him The Lecture all you like, but he will NEVER CHANGE. And he DOES NOT CARE. So I’ll reiterate: Shut your mouth, and walk away. You’ll be glad you did.

  33. Gerog says:

    BTW: I’ve been reading the comments again and noticed that we don’t know what to do when we get a ‘nice guy’. I nearly fell into the trap of thinking that after a while, my new bf will get bored and start being a dickhead – and told him so!
    We talked about our relationship history and he was a little paranoid that I’d cheat, as he’d been cheated on twice. So both of us talked about our insecurities and oddly, it bonded us. Those neuroses have been left in the past, where they belong.

    Be open about your experiences and realise that in matters of the heart, men break as easily as we do – they show it differently. A good man will listen and take your insecurities on board, rather than dismiss them or ‘come to the rescue’. Remember that we deserve to find someone who loves us the way we are, and will support us through tough times – not cause them.

  34. Karen says:

    Gerog – I just read your posts! Thank you! Your comment “It’s that simple. It’s good to talk, but if you find yourself having to ’sell’ the idea of a relationship with you, or point out certain obviously unacceptable behaviours, then why are you bothering?” That is what goes over and over in my head……. “to what end?” Each of us at one point thought our EUM was just a tad different and that we could fix them/it and that we could show that it could be done…… and we are all here saying – Nope sweety is just not worth our time.

    There’s a certain sense of failure that we have to overcome, that we were not able to be the one that changed him.

    There’s a certain amount of trust we have to hang onto, that yes there are nice guys out there that we will be involved with.

    If our logic could be instantly be transposed into emotions, none of us would be here.

    These posts have given me a strength that I haven’t needed in years. Thank you all!

  35. Sabrina says:

    Been there, done that. Maybe if you explain one more time he’ll understand? Not!

    I dated a guy a few years ago where I was talking too much and he was doing too little. Then I wised up and stopped believing his crap and watched his actions. In a nutshell, I covered my ears, opened my eyes and shut my gob. Worked a treat.

    This allowed me to watch his actions and see him for what he really was – selfish and not having my interest at heart. My only regret is putting up with as much as I did!

    You remind your partner to take out the bins. Pick up some milk. You shouldn’t have to remind them to call you, treat you better, be there for you, include you in their plans or love you. If you been having the same old discussion over & over, it’s time to bail out. These men will suck the life out of you! It will hurt like a bit@h, but you’ll get over it.

    Shut up and run as fast as you can in the opposite direction!

  36. brooke says:

    Dear friends,
    would be greatful if any of you could advise me…NML would be happy i you could respond…I have written about my EUM earlier.He is insensitive,rude and just dosen’t understand me.We were supposed to meet 10 days back but in the last minute he backed out citing some office work.I was really upset cos’ I hardly get to meet him.I sent him messages expressing my hurt and after a while he responded saying that he was tired of my emotional warfare and could not stand me anymore,had reached a tipping point and so on.We have had fights before…all for the same reason…I would want to meet him but he would give some excuse or the other…Two days after this I tried calling him to set things right.He did not answer my calls and when I texyed him saying that I wanted to talk to him he sent me some rude responses saying that he did not want to talk with me after all the emotional trauma that i had give him.I was really hurt but still expressed hope that things would get better.For a week I did not contact him though I hoped everyday that he would get in touch with me…Yesterday I got the shock of my life when I came to know from a common friend that my EUM was quitting his job and relocating to the neighbouring city.I was shocked taht he did not care to inform me.Something as important as this and i was kept in the dark…i could not digest it.I texted him(since he had stopped answeing my calls)saying that i had come to know of his plans and wanted to wish him luck though I hoped that he would call me and try and explain things.He coolly replied back wishing me luck too.I could not take it anymore.I sent him a message saying how angry i was that he did not care to inform me and that i did not want ti see him ever agin..he replied that it was because of my negativity that he did that…I was not on his mind anymore nad that’s why he did not tell me.I sent him another message trying to explian how hurt i was,how i could never forgive him,how i had always valued him…you know what his response was-LEAVE ME ALONE PLEASE.AM REALLY FED UP OF YOU.Not to be left out,i asked him to get lost.Since then I have been feeling lost,foolish,humiliated and miserable.I seriously do not know what I have done wrong.I have only liked this man nothing else.I have always wished him well and apart from asking him for his precious time to interact with me more often I have not demanded anything.This is what I get to hear now.I want to give him a piece of my mind…but there is no way i can contact him now.I want him to realise what a grave mistake he is comitting by treating me like this…Above all I feel hurt that the one I liked so much is putting me through this…what should i do…lambast him…remain silent…apologise to him…please tell me…

  37. brooke says:

    And you know what…after all this I still feel sad that he is leaving.Even when he was in the same city we met just thrice in the last 10 months and all the 3 meetings were initiated by me.They turned out to be good but the next day he would go back to his cold,distant self…I would wonder what exactly was happening here..was this the same person I had met only yesterday…He would accuse me all the time of being demanding…when he knew how much i liked him and still do….

  38. wendy levy says:

    Hi Brooke,

    We’ve all been there. Please do not apologize and please don’t lambast him, at least to his face. You can lambast him on this site, in your journaling and with your friends who are willing to listen. He has c learly told you by his actions, inactions and words, he is not interested in having a relationship with you. Even though you do not feel strong about this inside yourself, act as though you are strong and do not contact him at all in any way. Not directly and not through mutual friends. Don’t text, don’t e-mail, don’t call.
    When my EUM dumped me he just moved on. He was back dating on internet sites not even 24 hours later, and we were living together, sorta, had been together close to two years, and my mom had just died. He didn’t care.
    We saw one another about two months later to return stuff to each other. He looked me in the eye and said “I feel nothing to you and never really loved you.”
    Its hard to fathom how this sort of human being exists, and its hard to figure out your guy and how they think and feel. So read everything you can Natalie has written on these boards, read her books, and don’t contact him. Just dont.
    Hugs to you, Wendy

  39. Astelle says:

    Brooke, you need to calm down. Stop chasing this man – he is not interested.
    Read NMl’s advice to me in the Archives under January 2008. I just cut the contact and YOU need to do the same.
    You said: want him to realise what a grave mistake he is comitting by treating me like this…
    What do you mean by that sentence? Leave this man alone, no txt, no calling, no nothing.
    He said: LEAVE ME ALONE, yikes, what more do you need to hear?
    Don’t apologise either – he may not respond and you will be crushed again.
    Take what dignity you have left and leave him alone.

    The only thing that you did “wrong” was making contact with him over and over and him just blowing you off.

  40. Kez says:

    Been there done that!!

    I have learnt that with EMU men, they really just don’t have the emotional intelligence to GET IT anyway, so there is no point in wasting your precious time and energy on trying to discuss the relationship or trying to fix them or be their therapist…I’ve tried it ALL and it HAS cost me my health, and at times almost my sanity!

    I am learning to put myself first now…healthy and happy relationships should not be this stressful and difficult.

  41. Kim2 says:

    So glad the site is backup because I have been in withdrawal!!

    I have a question for all of you. My ex-EUM was a total assclown – to me. He has a new woman now and it appears he is quite nice and decent to her. Drives me crazy and I am totally over-thinking this and trying to figure out if he changed or if there is something just so special about her that he can be good to her but he couldn’t to me.

    Now I am not a delusional 300lb toothless troll that thinks I look like Elle McPherson — but I look just fine, no one has ever complained about the sex, I have manners, work at a college, own my own home and have a great sense of humor. Yet he was never interested in having an actual relationship with me and that is why I quit the whole thing. I am still very attracted to him physically.

    I doubt these assclowns actually change but what is going on when they appear to treat the next woman great? I see him all the time and it is like a slap in the face. I was a doormat but this woman is a prize? Does make sense since she is still married (hubby #2) and recently filed bankruptcy. She is nice enough but I can’t for the life of me figure out why her and not me.

  42. keri says:

    Kim2.. I hear ya.. NML wrote a post on this “Don’t envy the other woman” Easier said than done I know!!! I am in the same boat.. wondering if he’s treating her better.. I’m not an ugly baboon either.. but I’m wondering if he’s magically able to give her what he couldn’t give me..

    I know the answer.. it’s NO. he’s not.. he’s not giving her what he gave you.. He’s on his best behaviour and eventually he’ll go back to his emotionally ill equipt ways.. but he’s putting his best foot forward now.. trying to impress her and have her in the same trance that WE were in..

    Still sucks… that feeling..knawing at your stomach.. and heart.. waking you up at nite.. Yea.. I understand.. You’re not alone.

  43. SuzieQ says:

    Hi Kim2 – There are several reasons he might be treating her better, maybe he views her as not as good as him, where maybe you were too good. Sometimes guys need to feel superior. Did you ever hear that saying that misery loves company? The guy I just broke up with treated me terriable. But he was married for 18 years to a women he worshiped. She was a drunk a drug addict and cheated on him over and over, yet he still worships her. I couldn’t figure out why. But he turned out to be a lousy boyfriend, just like she was a lousy wife. She was more on his level then I was. They were two miserable people who could party together. He could get drunk and be hung over all the time and she wouldn’t judge because she was doing the same thing.

  44. Kim2 says:

    Thank you Keri and SuzieQ. The guy was a jerk to me and I don’t know why I am so miserable over him. He promised everything but delivered nothing. Always flirting with other women… telling me intimate details about other women he’d been with. Yet he would get jealous if I talked too much to another man. Didn’t want to do anything with me like go on a normal date. Said he was too busy, liked to be alone, didn’t want any strings. In the beginning he told me he’d only loved three women in his life – his mother, his girlfriend, and a mutual friend of ours that he had known all his life. Said he would never be divorced because he would never get married… but at the same time said he wanted a little boy that would look like him. [GAG] and I still stuck around. Now that I see him being nice to this new woman I am torturing myself wondering if that could have been me. After I walked out he was very angry and put on a show of flirting with women. Now I hear he has been bad mouthing me – this after a year of not being together. He has said some terrible things about me and I don’t know why. He said he liked to be alone – I let him have that so why the anger? With me he wanted to be ALONE so he wouldn’t have to actually be involved and could have other women. It appears he has changed his mind now. Could it be this new woman is the right one?

    She is not better than me but I beat myself up daily wondering about this. Why her and not me? Maybe he has found his happiness and I just wasn’t it. Can a man go from “no strings” to wanting the real deal with someone else? I suppose he can. He is a waste of my time and energy. It is my self-esteem that is damaged.

  45. De says:

    Hi NML,

    i recieved you mail last night, thank you sso much for taking the time. I don’t even thing about the ex eum anymore, moved on and happy.

    I love this post, thank you so much.

    Reading everyones comments I wondered what I could write,you all seem to have
    written it for me :) I decided to write about my new flatmate. She’s 25 sassy and empowered. I’m 45 and still trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. I watch her and I learn. She met up with this very cute guy and he was all over her for a couple of weeks, then she realized everytime they went out he would open up a bag of drugs…hmmm she said to me ‘red flag one! then she asked him not to contact her for two days cause she had some intense deadline (and I know she did) she needed to get down and concentrate 24hrs to get the work load done. when she turned her phone on halfway through the work there were something like 17 messages from him, some drunk, then he turned up at the door. She went out with him but came home furious, she said he had not respected or listened to her needs. The next day she called him and said… “strike three you’re out”!! She never mentioned or spoke of him again and was out the next night finding someone more suitable. I like the strike three rule and have put it into practice. Three redflags and they are out!

    I’m so glad she is in my life watching her took my attention off assman and just being her cheering audience gives me power and a refreshing look at how we don’t have to be the victim. We can do to them as they do unto us.

    xx keep strong find someone that gives them what they deserve, watch laugh and learn and stop wasting time on time wasters, life is too short!!

    xx De

  46. Cosmos says:

    Hey Ladies,
    I was reading through the posts on ‘Emotionally Unavailable Men’. I am married to such kind of guy; and getting hurt from last 3 years.

    But is leaving the only solution? Nothing can be done to save the realtionship??

  47. Alika says:


    I love your post!!! I used to “explain my feelings” to my EUM for 8 months and he didnt pay any attention….he didnt really care that I was unhappy with our relationship, and he didnt change and do anything!

    So three weeks ago – I dumped him without any explanations and feel much better!!!

    Escandor – приветик!!!!!

    Why should I waist my time for assclown like him?

  48. Aphrogirl says:

    ashley wisely wrote..

    So – my comment on the “diareha of the mouth talking about an unhealthy relationship” is that – when you cut out the talk – if it’s an unhealthy relationship with an EUM – you are left with – nothing.
    Maybe it’s all the “talk” that keeps us there. Keeps us hoping things can change for the better.

    An odd thing happened to me with my EUM-freind, I found I had the ability to write, volumes, coherant, like preaching to a lost lamby-childe, trying to get him to quit whining, take resposibility for his happiness, get over his fears, note his avoidance..etc etcc

    and yes, just like ashley said, take that away andf there was not much else, he did like to listen, but not take anything I said to action

    I will say one thing. All that time I was writing I was astounded by how much I grew to know my own strengths and weaknesses, by writing to him. A lot can be learned by difficult people, that which does not kill us, makes us wiser and stronger.

    Still, he always left me…empty, and sadly, I came to believe that it was because he is empty, and a clown, and an ass.

    Love this site, it is awesome.

  49. Astelle says:

    Aphrogirl, yes he is empty, he is not a difficult person, he is so emotionally fu**ed up, you can’t help him, but you can help yourself by staying AWAY!

  50. Tina says:

    I suppose with a normal person you have a discussion and then work something out but these aren’t normal people.

    My first husband was a mean drunk and I thought that if I just explained to him in the right way, he would stop what he was doing and treat me right. Wrong!

    I was assuming they didn’t know they were being rotten. They know. They just don’t care.

    I was reading over on the mars venus forum about the cave. This is the excuse the women use when a guy blows them off for days, weeks. They say he is just busy and in the cave and time for men is different than time for women.

    With this last AC, I didn’t have nearly as many talks as I did with my ex husband. I guess I was just tired.

    I figure I tell somebody once they should get it.Why on earth should I be asking someone who is supposed to be my boyfriend to call me more than once a week? I shouldn’t have to.

    People generally do what they want to do.

    The truth is the reason he didn’t call me more than once a week is because he didn’t want to.

    So the real reason he didn’t do anything of the things I wanted him to do was because he didn’t want to.

    I remember the last time I was over his house and I was just getting sick thinking about things. I realized that lately the only time he called was when he wanted something. A ride somewhere, to borrow something, to come over and use my washer. The last weekend we were together he was so hot to get over my house. He wanted sex and I didn’t feel like it. Good for me!

  51. Dee says:

    Hi all,
    I really need some advice. I have read all the comments and seen how strong all you ladies are after suffering from these issues. I am new to this dite so am not sure what some of the abbreviations mean. an EUM?. Basically, my b/f and I have been living together around 5 months. Last night we had an argument in a long line of little arguments of the same kind. I say something that he doesnt like and he gets upset and ignores me. I do the talking toooo much until its sorted out which just seems to bug him as he wants “space” to cool off. I recognize my downfall. I panic and try sooo hard to get him to talk and I apologize and say things like “I love you” and all i get is a cold stone face and he ignores me. Last night was different though. He said we need time apart and space and said he will be back to get some clothes. I asked for how long?, what does this mean?, please dont leave etc. I then asked if this means we are breaking up and he said “If you keep talking like that then yes we will” and he left. I was in a state. I cried and begged him not to go and was on my knees. He just ignored me and walked out. I am in such an emotional mess. Im 23 with a mond state of a child. My father is dieing in hospital. My b/f has been supportive and even text me to say that he gets upset to see me hurting about my father and he supports me and he loves me. but how is it that the next day its so easy for him to walk out like that?… PLease help me! Im completely confused and in such a state. I feel so alone and empty and I have nobody to turn to. My mom who is my rock lives abroad now and told me to come to baggagereclaim as she has used this site to help her be the strong person she is today. I am a complete mess. I need to know that someone has been in a similar situation and how they have gotten through it.. Does this mean we are still together or broken up or what?..

    • NML says:

      Hi Dee. I am sorry to hear of what has been happening. As Karen has explained, yes EUM is what people have been using for emotionally unavailable men. This is an incredibly difficult situation and it must be quite to comprehend what on earth is happening.
      Certain types of men get to going when they feel that they’re needed emotionally more than they are capable of giving (or prepared to). You are right to feel confused. Whilst I wouldn’t suggest that someone should stay in a relationship because their partners parent is dying, at the same time, it’s quite a leap to go from claiming to support you one day and then breaking it off with you the next. Not very compassionate or supportive.
      That said, sometimes people do strange things in arguments and the key is what they do afterwards. If he is still putting himself first and not recognising that right now, you need some emotional support from him, this is not a good sign. Whilst some people don’t know what to do with a difficult emotional situation, it costs nothing to be kind and bite your tongue. His style of arguing and communication is a combo of passive aggressive and aggressive and so yes, whilst the answer is not to creep round him and throw all your love at him and panic, you’re actually doing this in response to the fact he gets you to back off by cutting you off. His behaviour is extremely childish and manipulative. Now he’s gone up a step and aside from playing the ‘I’m going to ignore you till you learn that I control what’s said around here’ game, he’s now doing the ‘If you keep talking, this is over’ game which is a way to silence you but also quite a ploy where the responsibility for his part in the issues becomes yours because he’s trying to convince you it’s all because of what you said.

      It’s not and don’t let him pull this rinky dinky stuff on you. You’re supposed to be in a relationship, you live together, and with that comes expectations such as basic communication and behaving with thought and care towards each other.

      I do know of other people who have been through a similar situation and the one thing I would say is that at this point, you being with your father and making the most of that last bit of time is pivotal because if you don’t, whatever happens, you’re going to end up feeling guilty and you’ll regret not putting your energy where it’s deserved – with your father.

      The best thing you could do right now is back off. Don’t chase him, give him space, and essentially, don’t do anything that he expects. Tough in your situation I know, but there is no point in wanting and needing the support of someone who doesn’t want to give it to you right now. He knows your situation. Let him cool off and give him space. Sit on your hands if necessary but don’t chase him and give him the excuse to claim he’s crowded and just take what he says at face value – he needs space. He’s clearly wound up right now, let him cool off, and just see what happens because if you guys are breaking up, he’ll have to say so because you do actually live together.

      I feel so sorry that you feel alone and empty right now, but trust me, in light of what is happening with you both, you’ll feel this way with or without him at your side in his current state – the difference is that you’ll actually feel worse if he’s there begrudgingly and being unsupportive.

      At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. Nobody can tell you they’re supportive – they have to reflect it in their actions.

      Whatever happens, you need to step back when you do have these arguments and resist the urge to throw all your love at him and over talk, because discussing masks inaction in these situations. Sometimes people need space to get their thoughts together If you’re arguing about a lot of the same little things, it is a sign that the core thing is not being dealt with. The answer to arguments is not to say ‘I love you’ because it only works a few times. It’s also not the answer to back down everytime because you feel backed into a corner by him blanking you because a pattern will be established where you have no voice in the relationship. I doubt you always like what he says but you don’t try to silence him because at the end of the day, relationships are a two way street, not one way, or the highway.

      I hope that this helps x

  52. Karen says:

    Hi Dee…

    First and foremost—- the abbreviations are from NML’s book and the many articles/posts that she has on this site dealing with Emotionally Unavailable Men (thus the abbreviation for EUM). What most of us have gathered from coming here and downloading NML’s book (which I strongly suggest you read ASAP!!! It will help you understand everything you are going through tremendously!!!!) that we have been dating men that are for one reason or another “unavailable”. What I gather from your post and your story is that you are in a similar situation and would benefit greatly from this site and what NML has to say— so I will repeat again— READ HER BOOK right away!!!!

    I also think that there are other’s here who can truly help you better than I can but I wanted to respond to you to assure you that you are being heard and that yes— many of us are going through the same thing (myself included — if you were to read my posts from yesterday– you would see that I was having a “MOMENT”)

    That being said— can someone please respond to Dee…. someone who can help her get through this– and answer some of her questions?? Don’t think I am the best person to do that right now

    Don’t worry Dee…. you’ll get through this!! Hang in there for now

  53. Karen says:

    On another note– can someone help Dee? She posted on the forum “Women who think too much” seems like she can use a lot of support right now and you guys have been great with me…. so maybe someone can help?

  54. Karen says:

    oops– meant to post that on a different forum….where everyone was responding to me yesterday. Will respost there

  55. Dee says:

    Thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for your advice and conclusion about what is happening..
    I can tell you that from when I wrote the post this morning he texted me and came home… We had a long conversation about it and we’ve sorted it out. There was something else going on with him from work and also he felt that he needed space as he wasnt able to think properly being at home (we live in a small 1 bedroom flat so theres not much place to go)…
    Although things are now ok with us.. I am very aware that this is the way he deals with things and reacts..
    I am prepared for the next issue to pop up and the possibility of it going down the same route. I hope that knowing this I will be more strong and aware of how to deal with the situation and my emotions but who knows as half the tiem im not sure what im feeling and my emotions are all over the place (with my dad, struggling to find work, realtionship etc)
    I reallllly appreciate your responses as I feel that I can now start understanding more about myself and build up my self confidence. I now have somewhere where people understand me and write back to me!
    Thank you..Will keep you updated!

  56. Aphrogirl says:

    I am an older woman who was in a steady relationship for decades with a pretty normal guy. He was a slightly EUM, but I was a slightly EUW, so we got aong well. Very little drama or pain, and we had a good life together. We just outgrew each other and split up in a natural way on good terms.

    I am here because I fell for a guy who is a dramatic EUM, cannot take any confrontation, refuses to communicate and yet I kept cutting him slack !

    Dee, the fact that your man came back, and was willing to talk about it, is a sign that he is willing to deal with his overwhelming emotions when they come up. This is a good thing.

    Some men have Mom issues that they unknowingly play out with all the women in their lives. Some are perceptive enough to see this, and try to understand how Mom issues affect their behavior. Others are just glad to be free from Mom and bring that juvenile sense of rebellious freedom with them to relationships with women.

    The fact that you came here right away, and are willing to deal with your own emotions is a good sign too, I have to admit I was a bit floored by your begging, that is so foreign to me. But girl, the fact that you noticed it and wrote about it is so important. Of course you should be treated well. But when not, it is so important to retain dignity, which is not at all the same as demanding or begging for respect.

    Gosh, do guys have these kind of forums? I find this site so supportive as I struggle to cut off contact with a man who is probably borderline schizo. I was brought up Christian, to an extreme. I was taught to sacrifice, live like Jesus and turn the other cheek.

    Luckily, in my life, I lived forty blessed years without ever bumping into an assclown. And then whammo, I got in deep with one that is a bit looney too. He is not a lover, but a friend that I share the oddest one sided relationship with. It seems he feeds off my strength, and I find strength in his weakness. Smart as hell, and I think he realizes all this too.

    The last ten years has been all talk from me, and all listening and whining from him and no action on his part to getting out.

    My best friend who struggles with a few ass clowns in her family said it so well when she said “I am so tired of people who enjoy being sick.”

    Sometimes, no matter how much you wish it was different, no matter how much you hope someone will wake up, you have to say F**ck it and shut up. And, if the relaltionship is based on you talking out problems, this very well will likely end the whole relationship.

    As hard as this is to swallow, you have to remember that what is ending is not a relationship, it is not much of anything but a lot of talk and frustration. I know all this and it is still hard to let it go.

    I am learning so much all the posts all over this site.
    Thanks for sharing.

  57. Brad K. says:


    You asked “Does this mean we are still together or broken up or what?” That is actually two question. The first, “Am I still attached to him?” is a simple yes or no, has nothing to do with him. Do you feel attached to him?

    The other half of the question, is “do I have a relationship with him?” And this is completely unrelated to whether you feel attached. You can decide, for yourself, “no”. You have to depend on him to help decide if you really have a “yes, there is a relationship”.

    Another book you might look for, maybe in the library, “You just don’t understand!” – pointing out that men and women communicate differently.

    This guy is troubled, is poorly equipped to communicate, and may be confused or disheartened about being understood. If you have been together for several months, and he isn’t prone to rage fits or long absences, this may be an issue with poor communication skills – yours and his – rather than the emotional availability issues that Baggage Reclaim usually addresses. I am making big assumptions here, on very little information. Forgive me if I misunderstood what happened.

    What struck me about him walking out – was that he ran out rather than stay and get more angry – or cause you more distress. I consider this a lesser evil. Best would have been to not have the confrontation, next best would be to resolve things. Worst is undisciplined rage and anger outbursts. Leaving may have been the best he could manage at the time.

    As for the arguments – you are nagging. Repeating the same thing, and it isn’t working. I suspect you are on the wrong topic. Your issues are yours, his are his – and neither of you are helping the other address what matters most, to you, at the moment. He may be bothered by something – and your reassurance that you care, that your affections are strong, that you love him – are inappropriate. If he is worried about the car, about bills, about how to make time to visit your Dad – then you are distracting the discussion. You aren’t respecting his needs. You aren’t helping him express what is stopping his thoughts – you are interfering. It is easy to say at that point you should be quiet until he is ready to speak – but taken to extremes that leaves you both silent, resentful, sulking – and never getting anywhere healthy.

    I would recommend that you address with him – that you aren’t as sure of his happiness, his contentment with the relationship – with his affection for you – as you would like. That isn’t something he can say, and have meaning. That is something you have to believe, as you live with his trust and respect over weeks and months. You do *not* want him to tell you whatever he *thinks* you *want* to hear – you need truth and respect and honor.

    And you need to work out with him, over time, how he can let you know that you are on the wrong topic. Even when you both discuss, say, a particular bill or purchase – you might be thinking about how useful (or not!) the item is, he might be concerned about whether you or he should be making the decision to buy that particular item. Such a discussion is a ticket to disaster.

    As you found out. Frustration is a powerful force. When he was unable to express what was bothering him – either you didn’t understand him (and didn’t allow him to explain, or request an explanation), or he was unable to express his problem, couldn’t find the words, or was trying to find non-inflammatory words – he was uncomfortable with you being so distraught. By leaving, he would not be responsible for making you act even more distraught.

    When he goes silent, when he clams up – think to yourself, “This is not working. I have to do something different.” Let him know he has your attention. Wait 20 seconds when he says something, and consider all the things that might mean to him (first), before responding. “When you speak loudly, they hear your voice. Speak softly, and they hear your words.” I read that somewhere (“Fox Running”).

    The words “I love you” are not a chain, they don’t bind someone to you. They won’t fix anything that is broken, or mend a hurt feeling. “Thank you”, and “I’m sorry” can mend fences, can open doors. “I don’t understand”, “What can I do?”, “Please help me” are immensely powerful.

    Best wishes for your Dad, for you, and your b/f.

  58. TS says:

    Hey Brad,
    I am always inspired by your posts. But, can I say, they come from a very certain point of view? Thank you for giving your opinion, it is always appreciated. Although, life is complicated, and sometimes there are no real answers, except the ones we find for ourselves.
    Best to you.

  59. Dee says:

    Dear Aphrogirl and Brad,
    Many many thanks for your posts. They have helped me tremendously and have opened my eyes to many things that I do wrong in the relationship as well as him.
    I am aware that I have many issues of my own and may not be as secure in the relationship as I would like as I feel it is “too good to be true”
    I am starting to address this and am making myself aware of it everyday and reminding myself not to get into that negative state of mind.
    As for him, we have discussed it and decided together that as we live together and spend every second of every day with eachother that we both need to give one another space which is healthy.
    I need to go out with friends more and spend time with my Dad and other people in my life and he needs to have more time away from me where he can work and deal with everything in peace and quiet.
    I understand now that him walking out maybe was a better solution than him shouting and screaming at me because inside he was frustrated and annoyed at what was happening. I now also know that during that day there were alot of work issues and he was trying to hide them from me as he did not want to spend the day out together in a negative mood.
    I thank you all for your support and advice and no doubt will keep checking this site to ask advice when I need and to give advice if I can when needed..
    Thank you all so much!

    • NML says:

      Hi Everyone. Due to a technical fault with the previous service which notifies you by email when I publish a new post, I have had to move to a new provider. The error means you will now need to sign up to the Feedblitz service if you want to start receiving emails again. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. Thanks Natalie/NML

  60. Ms Leo says:

    Dear Everyone..

    I am faced with the same scenario. A guy who gives me excuses everytime he said he would turn up.. once he ends up being caught by cops, the other time, his mum fall sick..and the other time..his sister took his car, and the other time..he just never answered or replied.. well, there’s just way too many excuses in the past two years. I felt really annoyed with his habits, but at times.. he was seriously nice. He would turn up if he promised to help me with work… or something really important to me. He would make the call to wake me up for 5am in the morning, just coz i dont trust the alarm clock, and send me off to the airport. Yes, indeed he melts me with such behaviours. But, after sending me off to airport and there he disappears into perfect Mr.Unavailable characteristics. HE doesnt reply a text, and doesnt even answer my call for like two weeks. And I do go into woman-who-thinks-too-much.. and gosh.. it makes me lose my mind. I gave him a week time to reply me, and after tat I replied him saying..”You might as well be dead to me.” .. I dunno, this whole game was just pissing me off. (It’s far distance relationship anyway… he’s bout 2 hours drive away from me..) He fits the bill rite? The Mr.Unavailable?

  61. Gaynor says:


    Dump this loser!!!!

  62. Ms Leo says:

    Awww… You seriously think so too?

  63. Gaynor says:


    The signs are there. Big time!!!!

    I could ‘maybe’ excuse someone for not showing up for a date for the first time but if it happened again I would not waste my time. Huge red flag!!! This shows he does not respect others or their time, and the fact that he didn’t call really makes him a complete douche bag!! Those times he was nice, so what, i would be inclined to believe that the bad far outweighed the good. You deserve soooooooo much better!

    Another indicator is the fact that he doesn’t respond to your calls in a timely manner shows he is not invested in you or any type of relationship. Sorry. I would suggest that you take control of the situation and go NC immediately- there is no need to tell him you’re going NC, he’ll get the hint.

    Remember, the actions say it all, and his scream his involvement.

  64. Ms Leo says:

    Graynor.. seriously… this is so helpful. Makes me relieved speaking bout it, and makes it more clearer… I am certain at least for now.. I have moved on for few days.. and will move on better this time after actually reading bout it.

    Great post!

  65. Gaynor says:


    Did you say one of his excuses was “once he ends up being caught by the cops?” This is not good!!!! Has this guy been incarcerated??? Ladies, what are we settling for?? Yikes!

    This guy sounds like a bum, you certainly deserve much better.

    Please come back if you’re having a weak moment.

  66. Fi says:

    Wow…What a light bulb moment… This was so me with my Ex! I remember talking to him til i was blue in the face about issues or things he had done that i thought were uncool. And his respones each time was ‘just tell me what you want me to do and i’ll do it’ (i guess he just wanted to shut me up) but he never did change, i just thought he was stupid and didnt know any better yet i continued to point out to him how it was uncool that he flirted all the times with my friends, or how he’d stay out all night rather than come home early to spend time with me and many more issues… but the bottom line is he nerver treated me right and i spent all my time trying to talk him into changing his behaviours…. Now i know this next sentence is going to sound so stupid given what i have just said… But i still miss him and want him back! I dont know what my problem is or why i’m addicted to this toxic relationship but i suspect it has to do with the fact he left me and the felling of rejection…stupid i know!

  67. Gaynor says:


    What is it you actually miss and want back? Is the flirting with your friends, the disrespect, staying “out all night,” and the constant drama and confusion? How long were you involved with this guy?

  68. Fi says:


    We were together three and a half years… I know it sounds so stupid when i say it and think about wanting him back after some of the stuff he does/did or the way he made me feel so crap… but i cant switch off, i was in love with him for so long and i guess i got used to over looking the bad stuff… I miss him in general, i miss his company, i miss the affection and just being in a relationship i guess… again i know its not logical but love never is i guess…

  69. Gaynor says:


    That’s a long time but don’t let it be a factor.

    I miss the man I thought I knew, unfortunately that was not the real person (honeymoon phase). We know these men will not change-unless they choose too-therefore holding on to the good memories is senseless. How much of the time were you questioning his actions and the stability of the relationship? How much of the time were you unhappy, is all the grief worth what little he can provide for you?

    I’m curious, did he leave you for another?

  70. Fi says:


    I know what your saying is correct, i know i do tend to look back at the relationship in a better light than it actually was however in all honesty we did have lots of good times together and he had many good qualities too (asides the crap stuff that is)… and i guess i just looked at it like you cant have everything can you??

    He called it off out the blue, we had lots of plans for the future together and i didnt see it coming, it was not something i would ever see him doing as he had a real insecure side… But i did later find out a few days after that he had been txting and talking to a girl, so i believe thats why he had the strength and ability to leave because he kind of had a back up, otherwise its not something he would have been able to do (he was quite dependant on me).. this is the first time in our relationship we have ever had a problem, or break up or any big issue so it was a huge thing to have happened out the blue..

    I believe that when things fall through with her or he gets bored with her the reality will set in and he will realise the enormity of what he has done he’ll come cawling back… but its been about 7 weeks now and i’m getting stronger and dont think i can forgive him for this now…

  71. Gaynor says:


    I think you also need to ask yourself why you would want to be with a man who is so clingy and insecure? Too much work!!! If I remember correctly, it was about all of problems and issues? Who wants that??
    Why not look for a man who is secure and not one that constantly needs to reenforced?

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  73. gretamandisson says:

    I’m new here on the forum, found it by searching google. I look forward to chatting about various topics with all of you.

  74. wideawake says:

    This woke me up.

    I’ve been having the same chat with my man for about 7 years………It has been on, it has been off, he’s blown hot, he’s blown cold, he’s disappeared, he’s reappeared, he’s cheated, he’s lied, he’s pleaded he’s changed, I’ve taken his BS and gone back to him time and time again, I have driven my friends demented asking the same questions, when will he change? Never! But he is different? No he’s not. Then one morning when i woke it..a light went on. NO.MORE.

    Life is too short. Don’t waste your time on assclowns when there are millions of single men just waiting for you to snap them up!! They arent that great, the sun does not shine out of their bums, they talk a good game and never ever follow it up! These men don’t need women. They have themselves and that is enough! As NML pointed out, these men are overgrown babies with the brain span of a nut!

    Cut the contact and don’t look back. I did and I have never been happier! And guess what? He hasnt contacted me once. He really couldnt give a stuff about me!

  75. triedsohard says:

    i came across this website this morning and have found it very helpful. to this point, i had not found any reading material online that so accurately described the situation i have found myself in for the past year.

    I have been seeing a man for the past 4 years that i have know for over half of my life (I’m 31). For the past year he has gradually pulled away from me citing that he doesn’t know how to get what he wants with me. His calls became so infrequent and i began saying that i felt like i have to chase him. When we are together the chemistry is amazing and the friendship is deep. i have become increasing frustrated by how he no longer feels that need to call me with any frequency and never initiates seeing me. He says he believes he loves me but he wants space because he isn’t feeling passionate anything anymore. I always give him the benefit of the doubt but my gut tells me that he is no longer in love with me. I feel like i am fighting a battle for someone that doesn’t want to fought for. all because i see such potential for us.
    two weeks ago i put in place the no contact rule. but i broke it today when i sent him a funny email i thought he would enjoy. he never responded. i am on the verge of sending him an email again and need the support and strength not too. i am a very sad person.

  76. Linda NYC says:

    HI. I found your website recently and can’t get over how helpful it is from all your comments and experiences. I also feel a bit better knowing I am not alone with this crazy situation, and that there is hope once I gain the strength to leave this clown…and the addictive highs and lows of the crazy behavior I’ve tolerated for 7 years. My guy lost his wife 9/11. He was very open and vulnerable emotionally- in the beginning and that’s what sucked me in. But the red flags were waiving like the UN even in the beginning and I didn’t listen to my heart. He complained about his deceased wife – not wanting him to have a drink with the boys and who was SHE to tell him he had to be home for dinner?? He stated once he felt ‘guilty’ for ‘not missing her’ because the sex was so good with me. I wanted to throw up and..really, knew this could not possibly be a man who was capable of loving a woman. BUT, I excused all this to his ‘shock’ about her death. Now I feel it was simply a convenience for him. Isn’t that sad.

    I met him 9 months after her death. My gut feelings told me it was too soon for him. I didn’t listen but now, I’m not sure it would even have made a difference. It took me over 3 years to finally ‘fall’ for him and once I was hooked and he sensed he was he had no competition, his behavior towards me dramatically changed. I helped him through a great deal of life changes but when I went through my own, he backed off from me and/or most of the time became EXTREMELY critical. The recent episode is with tennis. He is the President of his tennis club. I am the daughter of a university coach and no slouch myself. I have asked him many times to play with me. In 7 years I’ve gotten 3 hours of his time. When I take lessons on my own, he tells me I am wasting my money, or will NEVER become good at it only playing once a week, on and on.

    He can be as sweet as anything when he feels he is losing me, and be as cold as an iced heart when I express to him how he hurts me. He involved himself in my life a number of times, only to pull back…just as things were getting real with us. He told my father he wanted to go t he distance with this and have them in his life. He also told my father he would never get married to me, only to turn around a week later to tell me we will be together…that my girlfriend would not be the only one getting married this year. I am the light of his eye one week and then he tells me ‘we are not working’ the next. His birthday card to me stated I was the center of his world and he loved me, and the very next day, he said the words meant NOTHING, that he just had to get a card that said something to shut me up.

    We bought a vacation home together in Argentina and the day after I came back from fixing it up and getting renters in there, he complained that my teaching job was a joke and that I did not earn enough money. I might add, he made out considerably due to the unfortunate death of his wife, so much so that he quit his job, floundered around for 1.5 years and finally found something he loves, but only works part time. When I asked for more time with him, he cited my long hours in the office as a problem for him. When I lost this particular job due to layoffs, he went and hooked up with another woman the very same week and claimed she had a career and would never be in the position I am in..that he liked where she was at in life and that she was a GREAT tennis player. He erased all evidence of my existance in his house (a house I spent a great deal of time last years)..just to bring her in. All this happened in the middle of another real estate venture we are buying….(we close next week). I am beyond devastated. The new girl broke up with him recently when she discovered he was not as ‘free’ as he relayed, and he took about one hour before he called me to tell me he was ‘free and solo again.’ No reflection of his own contributions to the relationship mess at all. I have become physically sick over this relationship and have been in counseling for sometime. It hurts. I know where this has to end. I just pray I can get to the other side of this pain and soon. I asked myself over and over how a man can run so hot and cold; so in love and all over me (in public) one day and won’t speak a word to me the next. Tells me we have a ‘special’ connection the day of our co-op board meeting…and we will always be together, and then shhe is there in the house her her there day before, and day after……..and obviously, so little regard for my feelings and the pain when I have once again begged him. I never had any trouble walking away from a relationship before. With this one, I’ve gone from being very secure and the strong one to an absolute pity party that even I can’t recognize. I cannot believe I have changed like this over THIS man. Thanks for your website. I feel some strength here….I know what I need to do. I just hope I can get through these next weeks and get my life back. My self esteem has hit rock bottom right now.

  77. Gayle says:


    That’s what these guys do, they suck the life out of you. This guy has repeatedly shown you that he is incapable of a loving, normal relationship through hot/cold behavior, deception, lies, cheating, non-support etc….. This man will not change, he has to have some idea that of how much hurt he has caused-I’m assuming you have conveyed the amount of destruction he caused in your life-and yet they don’t seem to care. From one New Yorker to another, please move on from this man as he will only continue to deplete you of any self-esteem you may have left.

    I’m sorry for your pain. Hugs.

  78. aphrogirl says:

    Linda, what Gayle said… keep reading here. Its a bad addicitive dynamic with these guys, brought on by their inconsistency.

    You cannot talk, rationalize or argue logically with someone whose character is built on shifting sand. I was 50 when I first had a run in with this peculiar type of lunacy. And that is what it is…. lunacy of a kind that is contagious, makes you crazy. Worse, the crazy making can reduce a strong woman to a weak woman.

    You can recover, but you need to get away and stay away. Read about NC. It is hard, can take a good long while, but is so worth it. Good luck and another hug from a New Yorker.

  79. Flicker says:


    I’m so sorry for what you went through and I know how much it could hurt. You dont need to hear my story, but know this – IT WILL PASS. You just need to brace yourself because the pain will get worse and you will be weak and hope for small doses of him to temporarily ease the pain, but please be strong and know it will pass. Once on the other side, you’ll never look back, you’ll learn to recognise these types in an instant and come out a much stronger woman.

    It will pass. I promise. Please dont give up on yourself.


  80. rishu says:

    These posts have been so useful for me….
    thanks ladies…

  81. not again says:

    Hi everybody

    I need to hear stories od success, i woudl love to hear from women who have moved on and gotten over allof this pain and delusional thinking, please tell me there is life on the other side!


Start any of my courses within the next 48 hours and take advantage of the low prices in my summer sale. Current courses include Build Your Self Esteem, The Pattern Breaker and The People Pleasing Diet.


Start any of my courses within the next 48 hours and take advantage of the low prices in my summer sale. Current courses include Build Your Self Esteem, The Pattern Breaker and The People Pleasing Diet.