1/2/17 CHECK IN THREAD!

2017 (3d rendering) new year gold color  in perspective room with sparkling bokeh wall and wooden plank floor,leave space for display of product.


It’s Jan 2nd! First Check in Thread of 2017. Share your status and plans for 2017!


I was away and had a brutal work schedule all through December so I truly appreciate the help and support you guys have given each other. Schedule has died down now and I’m back. Thank you for taking care of each other in my absence. If you’re new, please post in this check-in thread and let us know how you are!!!

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79 Responses to 1/2/17 CHECK IN THREAD!

  1. junegemini says:

    hae guyz ..i am grateful to God for the new year.
    i am two weeks NC and doing great with no plans of talking to cheater/abuser EVER.
    i made THE TURN &im glad i did.this is what triggered the turn.he sent my son&I’s belongings&as expected he packed the woman he cheated with personal belongings wd my stuff&even put a packet of condoms among them.it was pure humiliation&disrespect &i realised hes not worth it.my son is ok without a parent like him.in our last converstn he admitted he hs no fatherly love for our son.i rem. someone here replying to my comment that as long as im ok my son will be ok.so my aim this year is to be OK no matter what.and i will be.

    This year mid year im going back to school.paying my own fees through my savings and i know its a good investment.

    i have had 2interviews during the holidays which is a good sign.im reporting to my old job tommorow.
    My son turns 2 on jan 17th and as usual im assuming his dad is nonexistent so ill celebrate with him just the 2of us.im buying him a bycicle.

    i can do this guyz.im okay no matter what.

    and YES i got the book women who love too much hence the positive vibes.
    im going to be ok.i have been sad long enough.since i had my son in 2014.always begging4love.acceptance by in laws but not anymore.

    IM doing NOTHING.i still hurt just by rem the things i went through.but it gives me motivation to strive and heal.coz as long as im okay my son will be okay.

    • livealittle says:

      Congrats on NC and your decision to go back to school! I’m sure your son will be inspired by your decision to take care of yourself and heal. Best of luck to you in 2017!

      I like your attitude. You’re okay no matter what.

    • Susan J. Elliott says:

      Read – devour – memorize Women Who Love Too Much…YOU CAN DO THIS!! Let us know how you are!

      • junegemini says:

        thanks..
        my main challenge is that i often remember what cheater/abuser put me through.
        ill be watching a great movie then maybe the character has the name of the woman he cheated with &all of a sudden ill feel sick&the pain would come pouring.

        or i see a lady of the same profession as cheater&just remember what he did with the colleague&ill get hurt all over a sudden.
        i just cant stop remembering how he hurt me.
        im really determined to heal but the hurtful memories keep on flooding my mind mocking me.

        • Susan J. Elliott says:

          they are not mocking you, they are saying HEAL ME! They want attention to be healed and put away. They are a reminder that unresolved grief doesn’t heal. It festers. What you are experiencing is festering. How much of the work have you done?

          • junegemini says:

            i guess i still have lots of work to do.my favourite part of the work is journalling because i get to vent especially when i remember the hurt.i have also joined various online support groups.i have grieved my relationship and not yet done grieving.i do the affirmations,read various self help books.
            generally im still along way from fully healing.it will take me a while especially as i have to engage with cheater/abuser monthly for childsupport which he gives but after constant reminder&persuasion.many times i have let him be and struggle to support my son because engaging with him is exhausting.(i tried going to court for the support but he threatened me&i dropped the case.some countries pursuring things like this is just too draining.

            • Susan J. Elliott says:

              Why don’t you just have the child support garnished? I finally did that after EIGHT years of fighting for it and he was almost 20k in arrears and he paid next to nothing. I wish I had done it sooner. I suggest you do that and do it QUICKLY.

              • kurtune says:

                My 21 year old son is going through a lot with my soon to be x as she is not being a good mother to him. He asked me if there Is a support group like this for older children going through divorcing parents. Any ideas?

                • jazzcanary says:

                  Hey Kurtune,

                  I went to reddit.com and typed in “children of divorcing parents” and got results from several different threads. I don’t know if there’s an ongoing forum there specific to what your son is looking for, but he can search and find out. What do you mean she’s not being a good mother? I know you’re really upset with her right now, and your kids certainly didn’t ask for a divorce. On the other hand, people often go a little crazy at times like this. I mean…has she generally been a good parent in the past, because if so, she will most probably return to being more present as things settle down. Regardless, though, counseling might be the best for your son, especially if it is geared towards supporting him in finding ways to talk to his mother and resolve problems directly.

  2. topf says:

    We survived December!
    I had 4 weeks of super low contact (we still have stuff to take care of. We don’t speak about feelings or our lives, just practical matters) I was really good at it. Until last week. I got angry because he kept ignoring things that needed to be done. We had a huge talk on the phone. The same talk we have had many times over the course of several months about the emotional abuse he started inflicting upon me in September. But at least I dared tell him a couple of things I had been wanting to say. Not that it solves anything. It doesn’t. There’s no closure in telling him how impossible it is to dominate me through belittling me. I still just want to stay away from him. I’m back to the lowest contact possible. I just want to weather through this until I can finally go NC completely. Now I’ll be careful with my anger. He can’t get the impression he only needs to get me angry for me to talk to him.

    I thought a little and noticed his abusive behavior started shortly after a major achievement of mine. This is so cliché… and sad.

    My plans… I noticed his dominant personality and his presence made it more difficult for me to listen to my inner voice. I am looking forward to his influence being gone, and discovering those parts of me that were silent. I am looking forward to having only myself to answer to. The ex is extremely intelligent. People like that sometimes just don’t accept aspects of your individuality if you can’t present them in way that matches their logic. People like that get used to arguing about everything. It becomes a sport, and they always have to be the winner.

    He is also doing social justice stuff (which I ironically introduced him to). Now he doesn’t only have to be the most intelligent person in the room, he also has to be the most ethical. He started to question the ethics of everything I did. I care about other people and the planet but I also know social justice lingo can be used to bully people. I want to explore my intuition more and more now that I don’t have to pack it in a shiny intellectual/ethical package. I want to find my place in the world, the way in which I can contribute without having to seem like I am self-destructing to become a martyr for the sins of the world. I also don’t want to have to contribute. I want to do things naturally. I want my own journey with this. I am convinced you can only really give if you have cultivated something inside of you. A mere obligation to humanity doesn’t mean you have something to give. Someone winning an argument over how bad you are doesn’t mean you have something to give. And my happiness matters too. I won’t let anyone tell me it doesn’t.

    • Susan J. Elliott says:

      That is interesting. It’s so narcissistic. It also sounds cult-like or Scientology like. Or someone once told me they washed the stairs down at a homeless shelter and were all like, “Oh look at me! I’m so humble!” Ironic. Narcissists will take good will and turn it about THEM. Non-narcissists won’t. Sounds like you dodged a HUGE bullet!!! Keep up the good work!

      • topf says:

        Thanks, Susan!
        It does sound cult-like. He started getting involved with new people. I don’t know these people but his behavior has been changing ever since he started relating to them. He told me about how they treated people and… ugh. I didn’t think he would start treating me like that. I thought he needed to explore his beliefs and what people do out of them, so I said nothing. I am super super shocked at how easy it is to take what I thought was a normal person and… I don’t know if he had this in him or if they did this to him, you know?

        I am sure that I need to protect myself no matter the answer to this. Still. So shocked.

        • Susan J. Elliott says:

          When people are easily influenced and they are people we know well and we can’t believe it, it’s hard to get our brains around it. How could they do this? Were they always this way?

          I had a relationship break up when my partner went to a group *I* suggested to him as he was struggling with some issues. He suddenly needed to be OUT of a relationship and was going on trips and retreats with this group who were vehemently against people struggling with enmeshed relationships (with their parents) to be IN a relationship. We had a GREAT relationship and a nice life and this SHOCKED me.

          I think he was always easily influenced…in fact he joined the group at my behest! I had to think about it — he took my influence without question. So of course he was now taking someone else’s! I wasn’t as special as I thought! It’s hard to think about our partners having this easily influenced part that we can no longer connect with but it is what it is.

          I was taken aback with the event but I met the love of my life later on and so it all worked out!

          • topf says:

            Yes. He was easily influenced by me too. I was the center of his life until he met this group of people.

            Thank you. Knowing that people have experienced similar things calms me somehow. It’s very helpful. I will continue to take care of me, get out of this mess completely and carry on with my life.

    • kurtune says:

      I recently posted my first blog on my soon to be ex wife and was reading your situation. Your paragraph with “the ex is extremely intelligent” really resonated with me as my soon to be ex fits that same description. Sometimes intelligence gets in the way of morals, common sense, happiness, going with the flow, acceptance and peace of mind. Hang in there and know you are not alone:)

      • topf says:

        Thanks kurtune =). You said it very well. Intelligence can reaaaally get in the way. It makes it difficult to assert yourself against someone like that but it is possible. It sounds like it’s for you too, so hang in there too and stick to what you know to be true.

  3. whms375 says:

    Hi, everyone,
    I was broken up with four weeks ago tomorrow after a three-year relationship. I have been NC for three weeks. He put a card in my mailbox on Christmas, but I didn’t respond. I was devastated by this breakup which totally blind-sided me. I was barely eating or sleeping for the first couple of weeks, and had to take time off from work due to exhaustion. The day after Christmas I was a wreck, but ever since then I have been much, much better. I’ve been reading a lot, as well as listening to the GYPB audiobook while driving. I now can see so many things that I ignored over the past three years, and that this relationship did need to end. I’m feeling so much better that I’m worried that I’m going to be hit like a bomb one of these days and be knocked to my knees. Any thoughts?

    • Susan J. Elliott says:

      It’s true that recovery happens in waves and there are recycling occurrences…when you think you’re okay and then back in the soup. I’m glad you are beginning to see things more clearly and there will still be grief to be felt….not love for him but grief for what you thought you had, grief for what you thought you COULD have had and grief for being in denial for so long. It’s okay…enjoy the good days, know you can get through the bad days and be good to YOU. You can do this!!!

      • michelle48 says:

        Hello everyone and Susan –
        I am new to this blog, and I’m writing because I bought your book Susan.

        I am in the midst of paralyzing grief over the loss of my 18-year marriage with someone I have known for over 35 years. I don’t even know where to start. My husband and I have had our share of ups and downs. We got together when I was really needy and desperate, which I feel set a poor stage. He is a rescuer you see. Anyway, we raised 5 kids together (or I did) while he worked. I have been carrying unresolved grief from the death of two sons, and guilt over being an alcoholic in our early years. I am sober now, and when I started to grow and see that maybe our values were different, he would shame and guilt me. I responded immaturely and would rage. Two years ago, his father died and he told me, ‘I love you, but I’m not in live with you anymore.” I was devastated. I loved and still love this man with all my heart, and I know my weaknesses and faults which he is very good at pinpointing. He has never acknowledged anything that I was concerned with and always turned it around and blamed me. These last two years have been a pathetic attempt on my part to “win him back.” At the cost of all my self-esteem and self-worth. I would have moments of clarity and I finally filed for divorce last August when he told me he was dating someone at work. We have been separated for two years. But even then, I thought somewhere in the back of my mind that is wasn’t real, and that we had a deep profound love for each other (which we once did). The finality came on January 2nd when I went over to this house and he met me in the driveway to tell me his “friend” was over. I completely lost it. We had text messaging back and forth where he said I had to move on and that he had done the same. This is after Christmas presents and contact from his every two months or so to state that he would always love me and why can’t we be good friends. I have always tried to defend, explain, beg, talk, etc…to get his to understand that I cannot be just his friend right now, but he doesn’t get it. It’s easier for him because he’s moved on with a girl half his age from work.

        So here I sit, completely devastated, knowing that it is really over, 48-years old with no self-esteem, no self-worth and paralyzed by grief. I am so afraid that my own issues have caused all this breakup because that is was he has said. I have deep pain that comes our irrational when I am hurt. I realized that. I have lost so much, that all the grief makes me feel like I can’t go on. I haven’t slept in a week, and all I do is cry and beg God to help me. I thought I knew him, but i have found out all kinds of things that he has said about younger women. My husband is a misogynist and a narcissist who has NEVER owned his part in our relationship, and still I love him.

        This constant rumination and ass-kicking is making me lose my sanity. Please help me.

        Michelle

        • jazzcanary says:

          Michelle, I’m so sorry to hear you’re in such pain. I found reading Susan’s book so very helpful when I was in an emotional abyss, because it offers a way to work through the pain and the loss. It’s constructive and involves you in the process of healing yourself. If you haven’t yet, I urge you to get the book and start reading and working on it. For the short term, I offer some ideas that helped me. One, go No Contact and stay that way when at all possible. If your ex wants to engage over divorce stuff, let your lawyer deal with it. You cannot and should not be friends with your ex. It will ONLY cause you more pain, period. You do not need to explain or defend yourself to him. Just. Stop. Two, stop taking full responsbility for the demise of the relationship. You are not the “bad guy”. Maybe no one is the “bad guy”. Right now it doesn’t really matter. Third, be very kind and loving to yourself. It will help your self-esteem and you’ll be practicing treating yourself as worthy of love and consideration. Buy soft tissues for when you cry. Get a pillow or stuffed animal to hug – I unabashedly admit I have a stuffed animal! Buy cozy pjs. Pamper yourself however you can. This loss has triggered the loss of your sons, and I cannot begin to imagine your pain. I don’t know if you see a counselor, but if you don’t, this sounds like a time to get that extra guidance and support. Hugs to you.

        • jae says:

          Hi Michelle,
          I feel your pain. Im so sorry that you are going through this. I am only a few months ahead of you in a similar thing. We are also similar in a age. Things do get better. I still get kind of sick of hearing people say that they will get better and that i will get through it and that it takes time, but I have come to realize that all that is true. At first, it is simply getting through each hour. Just use very practical ways to get from hour to hour – blog, journal, go for a walk, talk on the phone, sing a song – the smallest of things to get through each hour. Fake it till you make it kind of thing. I agree with Jazzcanary too in that you must stop blaming yourself. The demise of a relationship takes both people. The affair was totally his fault. These two points are facts. He is happy to have you take the blame – which is a filthy move by him anyway. It is not your fault. Your guilt is self imposed. Do not let him give you that guilt and responsibility. It is not your fault. That will be difficult for you to believe right now but if you can get to where you believe that, it will help. Just imagine for a minute “what if its not my fault?” and go with that thought or possibility for a while. Be kind to yourself. We are often hardest on ourselves. We would be much kinder to a friend going through the same stuff. So pretend like you are comforting a friend instead of yourself. What would you say to a friend going through this? What would you advise her to do to help herself? Be really really really kind to yourself. Baby yourself. pamper yourself. You need to be nurtured. You deserve to be nurtured. Lean on your older kids and girlfriends and helpful family members. DO NOT EVER be friends with him. He is not a healthy friend. You would never start a friendship with someone who treated you this way. Put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward through each hour. You must be strong if you got past alcoholism. Use some of the strategies you used to get through each hour back then. Better days do lie ahead. my thoughts are with you.

          • michelle48 says:

            Dearest Jazzcanary and Jae –
            Thank you so much for your kind words. I hear everything you’re saying, and I know time will heal, but like you said, I want it right now. I don’t want to think of him as soon as I wake up and all throughout the day. I realize it takes two, and he has some deep-seated issues. It is really my ego that is rejected and bruised. Loss of a way of life and the familiar. Also a heavy dose of fear about being alone in middle age. That said, I will just cry until I don’t anymore and accept what is.

            I have gone no contact and put it in my head that it’s over. The divorce will be final in April and he can have his 20-something girlfriend. I will spend my time healing and moving on while doing the work in Susan’s book. I have been through worse and survived before. This just shook me to my soul again. In AA, they say, One Day at a Time, and that is all I can do today. God Bless and thank you so much. Now I will go and cry some more 🙂

  4. Coppergirl says:

    Whms
    Recovery goes in waves and that’s ok. Sounds like you’re ding re work to see what went wrong, red flags, etc. Some days you’ll have tons of insights, some days crushing loneliness and regret. When the sad times come, feel them, embrace the sadness, do something active at these times whether it’s something at work to getting out for a brisk walk. Above all, stay NC; this person is now dead to you.

  5. whms375 says:

    Thank you for your replies. I will continue to work on myself and ride out the bad times when they come.

  6. Ellie says:

    I’ve been reading a lot of self-help books recommended by this page as well as some I thought would be interesting and more applicable to my life so far. I feel pretty afraid because I honestly might be too young to actually be here, reading all of this material and trying to source for help and support groups. It’s very frustrating since there doesn’t seem to be a lot of help available where I live or even so I’m too young or too afraid to give it a shot. However, I have tried an app which does work for me so that’s good.

    Anyway, I decided to minimise contact with a friend of mine who kept updating me on my first ex. I know she meant no harm but I’m really annoyed with her for doing so despite me telling her several times not to do so. I feel bad but I know it’s for the best if I truly want to go full NC. It’s been hard for me to finally shake myself awake from the fantasy that my family is “perfect” and that my past was “better” than my current situation but I think I’ve finally accepted that I’m pretty content with what I have.

    I hope everyone is doing alright and happy belated 2017!

    • jae says:

      Hi Ellie,
      I don’t know how old you are but you are never too old or too young to learn how to better yourself and to make yourself stronger. I only wish I had learned how to set healthy boundaries, as you have with your friend, at a young age. Learning how to heal yourself and how to set boundaries now may save you a lot of pain in the future. Good on you for reaching out for help and guidance. You’ve done the right thing by setting a healthy boundary – and breakups hurt at all ages.

  7. junegemini says:

    i guess i still have lots of work to do.8months since break up and 2weeks complete NC.

  8. livealittle says:

    We made it past Jan 2. Thank god for that. Took about a week to get over the surprise email from my ex. My moods are still fluctuating but they tend to do that around this time of year.

    After a rough Christmas, I had one of the best NYE’s that I’ve had in a long time. I finally got to do what I wanted to do instead of spending NYE with my ex and his annoying family and/or friends. NYE was a lot of journalling, colouring, meditating and working out. I was in bed early with hot cocoa and the movie ‘Princess Bride.’ May sound kind of dorky but it was great. New year’s day was spent with friends and singing karaoke. All in all, I’m quite pleased about the start to 2017.

    This year, I’m working on being kinder to myself and trying not to push so hard to do more and more. I feel like I wasted so much time on my ex and have been racing to catch up with where/what I “should” be over the past year. I’ve also been struggling with being kinder to myself since…well…forever. I still feel guilty about taking time for myself even though I know it’s going to be beneficial in the long run. Anyway, that’s my goal for 2017.

    Thanks for all your support everyone!

  9. jae says:

    I’m fairly new to the blog. I had a pretty rough first holiday season after a 14 year relationship. I cried almost every day between his birthday on dec 20 and new years eve. Then I had 6 days tear free. Friday morning I actually woke up happy for the first time since the break up. I was thinking that all the work I’ve done, the journals, the inventory, the examination, had finally helped me get through. Then today the waves of depression came. I am really struggling with these waves. I feel so foolish when I just start crying for no obvious reason. I was in a yoga class today and just started bawling. I often feel like a burden on those around me and then once I start, I can’t seem to stop. Then the anger comes. I just want to hurt him so badly. I have violent dreams about beating him up. I had one during my nap this afternoon. Again, it seems to take hours for the two to subside. Then my mood just goes flat. its tiring. I feel like a crazy person. Today i talked things through with a new friend a bit. I began to view our relationship in yet another different light. Im never sure whether these different ways of viewing things are just part of the process or whether my mind is searching for a different way to understand things until one resonates. We seem to see things more clearly in hindsight but is that the way they really were? I thought he was so wonderful and kind and thoughtful. Now I’m wondering if he really only did those thoughtful things for narcissistic reasons, to get something back (usually my admiration and affirmation of him as a wonderful man and other ‘resources’ I brought into his world) and once my reserves were so depleted from stroking his ego constantly, he found someone else to do it instead. Oddly enough, since he has been gone my stress level is lower, I sleep better and most of the ‘aches and pains’ I had have gone. just gone. Its all so very confusing and I seem to be obsessed with it 24/7.

    • topf says:

      Jae, it’s great your work is bearing some fruit, but you need to remain patient. The work you do doesn’t erase all the feelings that are part of healing. Rage and pain are part of it. They are uncomfortable but they’re part of the process. Try to be consciously compassionate with yourself. If any friend of yours were going through this, you might not expect them to stop being sad or angry after a couple of weeks. So don’t do that to yourself. Yoga is great. Other ways to help you endure the intense feelings is great. Be kind kind kind to yourself. You deserve it!

    • Hopeful28 says:

      Hi Jae,
      You don’t sound crazy – just normal. I am almost 6 months out and I still have sad and teary moments, but no more ugly crying like the first couple of weeks! I guess each person recycles through the grief, pain, anger, sadness, etc in their own way, at their own pace. After a couple of months, I started to ask new questions about our relationship – was my ex a total narcissist, was any of it real, why did I settle for less than I deserved? I don’t think the answers actually make me feel better, but they help me move on. I always try to remember that the main emotion I felt immediately after the break-up was relief. My subconscious must have known something that I never wanted to face. Nowadays, I eat and sleep better but I still think about my ex often. I’m now starting to accept the time we had together, the good things that came out of it, but we are better off apart. I try to turn the focus back to me with my self-care and grief work. Just take care of yourself and hang in there!

      • jae says:

        Thank you Hopeful28. This is helpful and I’d like to hear more about your process since you are just a little way ahead of me. I am 3+ months out after a 14 year relationship. He cheated and just ran off after I found out, so I’m dealing with both the grief and the betrayal. The betrayal is more difficult. I don’t think I will ever fully trust someone again. It is somehow discouraging to hear that teary moments still happen at 6 months out; but also encouraging to know that these waves of sadness, deep sadness and anger are normal. The anger is intense. The fear of loneliness can come in intense waves too. Ive done a lot of the more ‘cognitive’ work but I guess the emotions do their own thing. I have started to ask some of these different questions about our relationship. I have not really reached a point where I can see much good from it. I miss him surprisingly little, but I miss someone. What other changes did you experience in your process of healing?

        • Hopeful28 says:

          Hi Jae – I read a lot of self-help books at the start. I am so glad I came across Susan’s books, the workbook, and this blog. The concepts in the materials help me understand what’s happening and prepare for what could happen. That’s why teary moments at this point don’t freak me out – Susan says to just let it (sadness, anger, etc) happen and then move on – just don’t act on them! The books that were strictly about narcissism were not so helpful and made me have doubts that “I” was one! It’s apparently a huge spectrum and everyone has some level of it – so, not very enlightening.
          At the start, I had a genuine fear that I’d be alone forever. I didn’t really miss my ex either, probably my anger phase, but I wanted “someone” in my life so badly. I don’t feel that way anymore. My daily affirmations are responsible for that, I think. I’m slowly learning to self-soothe and be ok on my own. It is hard being alone, but I just do what I want to do and it’s mostly fun, sometimes lonely, but I always feel that I’m moving forward.
          Journaling has helped with No Contact, although I am still working on 100% NC. We were together for 10 years so it’s been difficult adjusting to this new reality where he is not a constant presence in my life. While my ex never admitted to physically cheating, I have a feeling he checked out emotionally and was definitely flirting on social media. When I confronted him about his behavior, that’s when he started on how he felt we’ve been drifting apart, he wasn’t the man I wanted him to be (whatever that means), and all these crazy reasons. Instead of owning his bad behavior, he left. I hope that you will be able to trust someone again. When you are healed and find another healthy person, just think how great that could be 🙂 You deserve someone who loves you, wants to be with you, and appreciates you.

          • jae says:

            Thanks Hopeful 28. I’d like to be ok alone and not feel lonely. It’s one of my goals. I was toying with the idea of trying some online dating, but then realized that I was nowhere close to ready. I am totally stuck on the betrayal, the cheating and his nasty cruel and cold behavior during the months he was cheating before I found out. I totally trusted him. Its very hard to imagine ever trusting again. I feel so humiliated and angry. We even went to couples therapy for three months and he was cheating the whole time we were in therapy without me knowing. I now realize that he was trying to get me to end it so that he didn’t have to and he was hoping that I would never find out. What really stings is that he now has gone on his merry way with no apparent consequences for the pain he has caused me, our kids, our parents, etc. I pick up 1000 pieces of my heart and console our kids while he is happily prancing around with a much younger woman and her three little kids. I know life isn’t fair, but really? I just can’t seem to get past the betrayal. any tips?

            • Hopeful28 says:

              Hi Jae – Do you think you are putting too much pressure on yourself to ‘get past’ the betrayal? You were hurt by someone you trusted, and maybe it will always remain with you. But, you can move on and have a good life by taking care of yourself and your kids. Focusing on these important things might just keep you busy enough to stop thinking about your ex. When negative thoughts sneak in, change the subject. Don’t go crazy over what your ex is doing and with whom. I bet you were once the happy couple that they ‘seem’ to be now, and after seeing who/what he really is, do you really envy her or want him back? I know this isn’t very helpful but there really is nothing anyone, including your ex, can say or do to give you closure. Try to watch Susan’s youtube videos – they are like little pep talks. This quote from “The Four Agreements” has also stuck with me – “If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. It may hurt, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want.”

              • jae says:

                good points. My sister also says I’m putting too much pressure on myself to heal faster. I will take a peek at the youtube videos. I can use a few good pep talks. And you’re right, i don’t want him back at all. the betrayal and anger are just rough right now.

  10. kurtune says:

    I have never blogged in my life so apologize if I’m not in the right place. I have read your book Susan and it has had a tremendous impact on helping me get through my divorce. I am 59 years old and have been married for 22 years and currently going through the divorce. Have 2 wonderful boys, one a senior in college and the other a senior in high school.I have been a musician my entire life as well as having what society would call real jobs. I gave everything to my Family and am dealing with the breakup up of Family and losing one of the most important people in my world, my wife and Mother of my children.. This is my soon to be ex’s decision to divorce. It is so helpful to share experiences with other like minded humans going through similar fates. I have wonderful friends and Family but don’t want to overload them with my experience. The Holidays were tough. She is already seeing someone before divorce final and introduced him to my boys and even took them all out to where we would eat on previous Family Christmas Eves She has also left our Family dogs who she was incredibly close to with me. She has distanced herself from my college son-tough love. She comes from a dysfunctional Family and even though she is beautiful, educated and accomplished she gets the disconnect and easy to move on ability honestly. I understand the need to grieve but it hurts like hell as I am in our house and its a strange empty feeling . We have rental properties and she has moved into one of them. My high school boy is with me a lot and I’m blessed with great relationships with both my boys. It’s gonna hurt through this process but misery loves company so I’m bearing it all here. Appreciate any guidance to where to go within this blog process to be with the right topic group. Thanks in advance!

  11. jae says:

    Hi Kurtune,
    You are in the right place. I am new to blogging too – just started last week. I found the book helpful. My husband was cheating and then ran off with a much younger woman and I am working to recover from that. He just left everything. I guess the goal here is to support each other and to help each other overcome some hurdles we face as we navigate the healing process. It has certainly been a lot more difficult than I ever imagined.
    I hope this blog will help u.

    • kurtune says:

      Thanks Jae,
      This is terribly hard and I do appreciate you taking the time to respond as it does help to know that we have support along this dark road that will lead to light.
      I have been doing NC for 3 weeks as the courts and lawyers are so slow (don’t get me going on that) The furnace went out in our rental she is living in temporarily and she let herself in to the house I’m in, unannounced ,and demanded a check to fix furnace. The law says the houses are ours so she can come in whenever. I would never go in her house unannounced. Anyways for the first time in 22 years she actually got to me and I told her how I really feel. I knew it would have no meaning , or bearing, or make the situation better but I finally verbally snapped. I am not a violent person and would never hurt anyone but I was amazed how she finally pushed that button to get me to that point. I think she actually enjoyed it. Oh well 2 steps forward, one step back. I guess I am human and suppose she will marvel that I’m such an ass:) Approaching 9 months of divorce process and praying for the day I am free of all the negativity. I never thought it possible but I really have come to despise her and will be the challenge of my life to someday forgive her. I do know I’ll forgive her one day in private to myself as Susan suggests. Again Jae, thanks for listening and thanks for hanging in there while I vented:)

      • jae says:

        I totally understand. They know where your buttons are and when you are hurt and stressed, you can just snap in a way that you never would under normal circumstances. I have also said some of the meanest things that have ever come out of my mouth to my ex recently, and I’m sure he uses it as a way to further justify his cheating and running off with someone else. But my verbal abuse towards him for what he has done has come from a place of such pain. I even have violent dreams where I am beating him up which is not who I am at all. I’m actually very easy going and kind. I’m just in so much pain and am so angry about his betrayal. Like you said, two steps forward and one step back. Sometimes I don’t feel like I am making progress at all.
        Hang in there. Journaling has helped me think through things. and talking with friends. Don’t be hard on yourself.

      • jazzcanary says:

        Kurtune, I’m flabbergasted she just let herself in, and I imagine you felt violated. Change your locks. You have the right to privacy. I’m sure your ex wouldn’t tolerate you walking into her place unannounced and uninvited.

        I truly believe living well is the best revenge. There is nothing better than feeling indifferent towards an ex who used to incite anger and resentment. I believe it’s easier to come to forgiveness as we regain more control over our lives. It’s hard to forgive if you’re feeling abused or otherwise harrassed or just plain wronged by the other party.

        You still have your family within your relationshp with your two sons, and next year’s holidays will be easier. I let my most recent ex ruin two holiday seasons in a row, and this year I vowed I would make better memories for myself, and it was a good year. I had two gigs on New Year’s, and second one was in a beautiful venue with great musicians. It takes time and effort, but it gets better.

        • kurtune says:

          Jae,
          I totally understand the feeling out of character by acting on your anger even if verbally or through a dream. I’ve thought about the other night and there is no way I could have ever had a normal, meaningful conversation with her and been able to say what I really wanted her to hear. I’m sure it’s not the prescribed procedure but I at least know that I ‘ve stated my peace and can put that penned up speech away forever as only needed to be said once even for just my sanity.
          I honestly do feel for you with the hurt your feeling from his cheating . We arent divorced yet and she’s seeing someone and as much as I say it doesn’t matter – it does. I’m not an organized religion guy but I have strong beliefs and am a man of my word so wedding vows mean a lot. Anymore it’s not til death do us part=it’s until someone pays a lawyer. One thing we always had was trust even through the hard times. Now that is gone. It sounds as you are dealing with the stages head on and hurting is part of it. You will be so much better off to be free of someone who lacks the decency to break it off with respect. There are people out there who will treat you the way you want to be treated. I witnessed it through my parents and I look forward to getting to that place and am going to have a damn good time on the way. Chin up, smiles, cry every once in a while, and have some fun- I’ll do my best to follow my own advice:)

  12. spec says:

    Susan,

    When is your new book based on “when the person you love does not love you” coming out?

  13. jazzcanary says:

    I am planning to make some major changes in the next year and half. I was considering moving back to my home state and hometown a couple of years ago, but I wasn’t quite ready. Now I am, although I am taking time to save more money and finish school before I move.

    I also, at least right now, feel like I’ve moved past the desire for a relationship. I was fortunate to have a wonderful partner for a couple of years who died unexpectedly in 2010. At that time I recall this feeling that the part of my life that included a partner was over. I chalked my feelings about it to the shock and grief I was experiencing, and after three years I was open to the idea of a partner again. Then I was diagnosed with cancer, and a year was given to treatment and recover. The relationship I entered afterwards was incredibly painful. I finally realized he was very emotionally abusive, which included the worst verbal abuse I had ever experienced. I felt overwhelming pain; I felt addicted to him at times. I experienced suicidal ideation, because the dynamics of the relationship were so much like the dynamics of the my relationship with my alcoholic and sex and love addicted parents. Getting past it required me to revisit all the abandonment and shame of my childhood and early adulthood. Crazy as it might sound, I believe it all was a process I had to go through to get to where I am today. I thought I would never feel okay. On top of it all, I started going through menopause!

    I’ve learned to be alone and enjoy it most of the time. I certainly prefer it to being in a dysfunctional relationship. I don’t feel like my friends are “just” friends and therefore the relationships aren’t as fulfilling as having a boyfriend. Those relationships have been better. I’m very focused now on how I want to build my life from now until retirement in seventeen to twenty years. This last visit home I felt good to be there, and I truly believe my last relationship was totally clouding my feelings. My mom has been sober thirty years. My son, my sister, and my nieces are there. I still have close friends from my 20s I’ve been visiting every year, too. Sorry, I don’t know how to describe the feelings of being on another path and feeling good on it. I never thought it would happen.

    I’m not saying I’m closing myself off from a future relationship, but it just isn’t on my list of life priorities anymore, and I can’t imagine changing those priorities to accommodate a relationship, either. I’ve been on a couple of casual dates with a guy I dated a few years ago, and I really enjoyed it. He and I are both clear we’re not wanting anything serious, and at the same time he has treated me like a friend. I don’t even know if we’re going to go out again, and I’m okay with it. I spent decades trying to build a family. I started as a single mom, and two serious relationships and two marriages later, I was still a single mom. My son and I are still a family, and I’m grateful for it, but I regret the energy I wasted on the relationships. I kept thinking I really wanted someone to share life with after my son became an adult, but I don’t see the need. I have family and friends to share with, plus I like my own company, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s a big change in perspective.

    • junegemini says:

      hallo Jazz..
      it was nice reading your post.i bealive you are a strong person and will be able to accomplish all your future plans and goals

      just to still appreciate your wonderful encouragement in previous check in thread.i still read it.thanks.

    • kurtune says:

      Jazz,
      First off, thanks for responding to my post as meant a lot to hear your words of encouragement and nice to hear from a fellow musician.
      You have dealt with a lot and wanted to share that I was away from my home for 20 years and made the big move back 17 years ago when kids were young. It was scary but I’ve never regretted it. In my past as now I spent many moments as a single guy and even though can get lonely I had some of the most wonderful experiences and really got to know myself and feel comfortable. It really is true that’s when you attract people. The lesson I need to really learn is to not ignore early signs of incompatibility even when you’re in love early on. Forge ahead, don’t look back, play some tunes, jam some smiles and live some life. You are gonna be great as I can tell that is your goal!!

      • jazzcanary says:

        Thanks, kurtune. Coincidentally, I think my homestate is the same as yours if you’re now living in your homestate. I kind of take it as a small sign that I’m looking in the right direction in that I need the reminder that there are friends to be found there, too. I’ve made wonderful friends here, and I’ve worried about finding those connections again after moving. As it is, I already have some wonderful life-long friends there, so my anxiety had no real basis.

        • kurtune says:

          Well Jazz, Ohio is my home state – round on the end-hi in the middle O.. H…I.. O 🙂 All my years on the road as a musician I moved so many times. Kinda like 2 magnets. Very hard to pull them apart and the further apart they get your magnet will pull toward the new magnet and they connect. Keeping occupied with new adventures and people will help erase those memories. I know this sounds simple and quick – it’s not – but it does work if you keep your eye on the prize. Godspeed Jazz –

          • jazzcanary says:

            Yep, that’s where I’m planning to head back. I was going to do it right after I finished cancer treatment, but wanted to stay close to my healthcare team, and then I met my most recent ex. My adult son moved there in the meantime. I’ve felt that pull to return many time, but this is the first time it felt like moving towards something rather than running away from painful things where I am. I’ve got at least a year to work and plan, though, so have to focus on what is in front of me in the meantime! Thanks, kertune, for the kind words.

    • Hopeful28 says:

      Thanks for posting and bringing such positivity here 🙂 Good luck with everything. I’m happy for you!

  14. jazzcanary says:

    Thank you for the kind words! I’m glad you’re staying strong and doing well!

  15. kurtune says:

    Hopeful- love the nameSeems as if all of us on here are the ones left out to dry
    What’s cool is we are all reaching out finding answers, meaning to the insanity and in the long run it will make us strong and content so we can move on to a healthy fulfilling life. So many of the dumpers never take time to reboot and flow through cold waters like a shark From my observations most of these people including my soon to be ex aren’t truly happy or fulfilled- they just can’t feel complete alone. As much as this sucks including for me I’m reminded of a very simple powerful statement a good ol boy told me”there’s 2 kinds of people- my kind and the other kind”. Face it- some people suck and we just happen to find out after we’ve been in love with them. I’m determined to be smarter next time and yes I will get over my soon to be ex. I was supppsed to be in court with her and lawyers and was notified her lawyer filed motion to be dismissed from case. She’s even cutting her lawyer offHang in there everyone- we can do this!!

    • jae says:

      I agree. The dumpers don’t seem to stop long enough to really figure out who they are alone. I know that the time we spend healing and rebuilding will be beneficial in the long run.
      well said.

      • kurtune says:

        Thanks Jae & Hopeful. Well had another huge emotional punch to get through. My wife started this divorce while my youngest boy went into his senior year . He is an incredible young man, star athlete, good academics, loves everyone(thank God , one thing my wife and I were good at was parenting). These are his glory days and I knew how difficult this would be: walking him across playing fields for senior recognition, prom, graduation, you know what I mean. Here’s Mom and Dad who cant even talk walking me in front of my whole world. He has loads of friends, a girlfriend and yes his Mom treats him well. Last night at the basketball game there I was sitting with some friends and she walks in with her happily divorced girlfriend(by the way it’s so comical as that friend loves having a hot soon to be divorced woman to hang out with and is also her divorce advisor- like high school all over). I knew this was coming but there it was like a dinosaur in the room. I got through it as love watching my son play ball. Damn it hurt as was thinking what must be going through my sons head. It’s the first of many of these instances to come. Then he goes to college on a baseball scholarship and hopefully I’ll be more used to it by then. The next punch will be when she sits with her boyfriend at a game. Hoping she has enough sense to not do this the remainder of his senior year. We aren’t divorced yet. I have vowed to be strong for my sons during this time but man I can’t wait to not have to be in her presence. Hard to move on when constantly reminded in a bad way but I will. Got some Hall and Oates cranked up and loading up the strength again – thats what we must do and we will prevail. I actually listen to my own advise sometimes:) Stay strong everyone and make it a great day!!!

    • Hopeful28 says:

      Smart advice kurtune – to learn to not ignore the red flags in the beginning. Looking back, they were definitely there…Live and learn. Have a great weekend, everyone!

  16. JB102 says:

    Hello all, I am completely new to this site and recently suffered a heartbreaking split with my girlfriend. I have ordered Susan’s book and am anxious to read it. I was also wondering if some people on here could impart their wisdom on my situation and how to appropriately handle it.

    My girlfriend and I met and the beginning of last year and ‘took things slow’ for about two months. We gradually grew to see we were actually very compatible and had similar interests and matched each other intellectually. However, she grew up in a single parent household and her mother went through a string of relationships while she was growing up. She never had a father figure and was extremely reserved with her emotions. She often appeared ‘very icy.’ But she had her moments when she came out of her shell and warmed up.

    Long story short, when we met she had recently exited a relationship with a man who was alcoholic and verbally abusive — I’m pretty sure this girl was serially monogamous. Ive been sober 4 years, so I think this came off as refreshing to her. Also, we both have had troubled pasts — she was sexually abused and I suffered from drug and alcohol addiction — so we were able to match each other’s “depth,” if that makes sense.
    
Anyways, we start dating and things are going pretty well. Lack of affection on her part became noticeable, though. She also kept in contact with all her exes, even the one she just broke up with and had recently left rehab. As far as I know, she never engaged in any inappropriate messaging and would encourage me to look through her phone if I didn’t believe her.

    6 months later she confronts me about an issue of “things being off.” We talk about it and pinpoint that it’s because I haven’t been addressing her language of love, which is gift giving. I’m invested in this relationship, so I start reading up on the five languages of love and buy her nice little gifts to show that I appreciate her.

    3 months later things are still the same. The affection from her is non-existent and I keep trying to make her happy. She keeps a bevy of male friends around, and because I’m not receiving any affection, I start to get jealous and suspicious. Mind you, I’m not really a jealous guy, but I also didn’t even think about her actions and how they were inappropriate and boundary breaking.

    Also, I’d like to point out that we never argue or yell at each other. But at this point I’ve told her I loved 2 her months ago and she hasn’t said it back yet. I become depressed and no longer trust her. She calls me out on my behavior and says that “something is missing” in the relationship and she doesn’t know what it is. We talk about it, but it seems like she wants to break up because of mild chemistry. I pull the trigger because I know she has issues with hurting guys feelings.

    I’m heartbroken at this point and go no contact. 4 days later she leaves me a long note right before I go home for the holidays. She says she’s willing to do whatever to make this work and that she loves me. I honestly was not expecting a letter. I thought she didn’t care. We reconcile and agree everything deserves a second chance. Later that month, we end up taking a really nice vacation to Charleston for New Years. We have a great time and I can tell she’s trying to be more affectionate.

    But when we return from break, we end up having the same conversation after I take her out to dinner. She’s crying in my car saying the “something missing feeling is still there” and that “I’m perfect on paper” but she doesn’t know whats wrong. I ask if she thinks that she’s depressed — she sleeps a lot — and she says no. I offer to get her support for this because I think she really doesn’t know what a mature relationship is supposed to be. She basically refuses and breaks up with me. I get angry then call her a selfish coward for not trying to make this work. I go no contact again. That was over a week ago.

    I just need help. My mind is so screwed up from all of this and I’ve never been through something like this before. I go from hating her to missing her and feel crazy.

    This is one of the only sites I’ve found that I think deals with breakups maturely. The other ones I have visited are basically scams and manipulations to get your ex back. I want to smash that hope because that hope is causing me too much pain. She wanted to “be friends” and didn’t “want to lose me,” but I know better than that.

    Thank you for any advice. This has really thrown me for a loop and disrupted my work and life schedule.

    • topf says:

      Hi JB.
      She sounds like she doesn’t know what she wants. And like she has a lot of stuff to sort out. Coming from an abusive relationship is heavy and complex. I don’t think she has the head space to start a healthy relationship. Something in her is even letting her know that she’s not ready. She is also not being very considerate with you. She knew something was missing and still decided to ask you back. Stay away from her. She is not ready to accept that she’s in no place to be in a relationship and will jank you around as long as you let her. NC is the right choice. Continue doing NC and stay strong for when she tries to get you back again (which sounds like she will try).

      • jazzcanary says:

        I think your observations are excellent, topf. JB, I think her “something is missing” is something missing within herself. She also had barriers up from the start and did not make efforts to let them down. There are a lot of good books and articles out there, including Susan’s, that talk about boundaries and how they moderate how close we get to people and how close we let them get to us. It sounds like she had some very damaged boundaries she wasn’t addressing as evidenced that she stayed in touch with an abusive ex, but held you at arm’s length. I know it’s hard, but keep up the NC. Yes, you’re feeling some grief, but I believe you’ll see through doing some journaling and inventorying that there wasn’t a whole lot of a relationship going on, at least on her side. Save your energy for yourself and for someone who is emotionally available.

    • jae says:

      Wow. I can see why you are confused. I agree with what topf and jazz canary have said. She has a lot to sort out on her own and is herself, very confused. However, I think you would serve yourself well to think about how, and if any further relationship with someone like this serves you. What I mean to say is that, you speak of how you were starved for affection at the best times in your relationship. Your needs were not being met in the relationship and her issues were negatively impacting you. You were twisting yourself up trying to please her. I think it’s a healthy choice on your part to go NC and to do your best to move on. You may never really understand the stuff that goes on in her head or the stuff that drives her. Focus on you! With your substance abuse history, the priority has to be on taking care of yourself in a healthy way. This girl will drive you nutty. Put your energy into healing yourself and try to stay NC. She is not healthy in herself and cannot be healthy for you. Im sorry if this sounds a little harsh. Build new friends, find new interests, journal, practice self-care and affirmations and whatever you don, don’t become one of her ‘guys in waiting’. That will kills you. Be strong. Hang in there. Heal and then find someone who is healthy in themselves.

  17. MaryNYC says:

    Hi,
    I just started the book & am new to the blog. In a “monogamous” rel’p for several years, I just broke up w/him a week ago after finding out he was on dating sites & other activity, he’s trying to pull me back in & I’m overwhelmed. Despite the rel’ps with other women which should not have been a surprise with his history of chronic cheating on his ex-wife, there have been problems with the rel’p since the start…problems that I ignored while I was busily trying to please him & be the cool, sexy girlfriend I thought he wanted. Everything has been increasingly about him, his children, his interests, his home. He’s loving at times & hostile at others if I do something that’s not the way he thinks it should be done. I’ve been extremely jealous for most of the rel’p as he annoyedly tells me I have a jealousy problem.

    Knowing that proving his cheating would give me the strength to leave, I easily found out what he was up to & thought it was over when I broke up with him last week but now he’s sent me a lengthy introspective (yet still self-centered) email & shipped 2 separate boxes to my home (the 1st w/my belongs & the 2nd one just arrived tonight & I haven’t the guts to open it yet), I am wavering, sick, woozy, & confused. Part of me wants to go & be with him just one more time. Most of me knows that wold be a disaster & a return to the unhappiness & doubt I’ve been living with for a while. I don’t know what to do & my friends have been amazing but they don’t understand why I don’t just ignore him. It’s not that easy. I hope you can offer some advice…I can’t cry & think about this all day anymore. I have children & family who need me, a job I need to do, & a home that needs to be tended to.
    Thanks
    Mary

    • jazzcanary says:

      Although it is really hard, ignore him. Go no contact and stay no contact unless absolutely necessary for any money and possessions to be exchanged or real estate to be settled. It’s good you have your things. I believe we’re tempted to go back one more time because we’re hoping this person we’ve loved and feel great attachment to will change and be the person we want.

      Remember, this guy not only cheated on you, he tried to gaslight you about your completely valid feelings of jealousy! That is NOT OKAY. That is not loving behavior! You recognized that even his latest email was self-centered. Sadly, he is not going to change and be the type of partner you want and deserve. Given his history, don’t be surprised if he seems to quickly move on to someone else, which is all the more reason to go and remain no contact. You don’t need or want to be an audience to that kind of dysfunctional behavior from an ex.

      Block his emails, block him on social media, block his number on your phone. Read Susan’s book and start the work. It’s just really hard, there is no way around it, but you have made a healthy decision for yourself. You deserve better than what you had with this man. Let your feelings come. I cried every single morning and night for awhile, and time is a great healer, but you have to stay no contact for it to work. In the meantime, do as many self-nurturing things for yourself as you can. You’ve been catering to the relationship, and now it’s time to cater to yourself. Keep sharing here, too. There are a lot of great people who can relate. Hugs to you.

      • MaryNYC says:

        Thank you! I needed that, esp. about catering to the relationship for so long. He will definitely move on quickly (he already has a roster of women in the wings so that shouldn’t be hard) and that will make it easier. Like you, I’m crying frequently but I’m glad to hear that’s not a permanent state.

        I am mostly NC (shipped his things back to him today which interestingly, was only 4 items after a 4 yr rel’p with no note) and am resisting the urge to reread his last email. I’d only read it to have a connection and I need to move on. Thank you again so much!

  18. canvas3 says:

    Hey guys,

    I got triggered by a comment I saw from my ex, regarding some important paperwork that he needed to take care of, which I inquired about indirectly through a 3rd people. I don’t know if that counts as breaking NC, but I hope I didn’t break it. He didn’t directly send his comment to me, but through another party and the way he phrased it was indirect. But it has sent me into a limbo, even though he didn’t refer to me directly in the comment. Anyhow, his comment was so nonchalant, and I started going crazy and interpreting it that he has moved on, he doesn’t care about me, he got away with what I faced in our relationship (mostly emotional abuse) etc, and now, I just feel like I am going through some grief recycling – heavy, painful stuff, akin to the pain I felt earlier days after the breakup. I feel like I have regressed. And the way that my concern was handled reminded me of our marital days, so immature.

    I thought I was doing well. I am kind of judging myself for feeling so emotional. 🙁 I just hope I didn’t break NC even though it’s through a 3rd person, but this has taught me one thing, I am still grieving, it’s painful and it will take time. It’ll be 2 months since our separation, and there’s some minimal back and forth between the 3rd person/mediater for divorce papers etc. I know I need to start the relationship inventory one of these days. But this minimal connection isn’t helping. It’s annoying having to be reminded of him.

    I feel that this road to recovering from emotional abuse is going to be a long one. I feel like there’s some anger I feel towards him and it has been making me a bitter person – which I don’t want to be.

    I’m very sensitive and emotional right now, I guess I feel very triggered. 🙁

    • jae says:

      Hang in there Canvas3, I too am cycling through the waves of emotions (3 months out) and what seems like regression. It is so frustrating. From what you have said, i don’t think you broke NC. But if you did, learn from it, forget it and move forward starting NC again. Don’t be hard on yourself. Emotional abuse is something I dealt with too in a previous ex relationship. Its tough. It cuts deep. I found it helpful to really understand how it was abuse and to then look at many of my effects of the abuse as abuse effects and trying to find alternate ways of looking at it. For me, i had and still have a very healthy relationship with my dad and so I would catch myself believing something mean my ex had said or done and recognize it as abuse and then ask “would my dad have every said or done that to me or my sisters or my mother?” this helped me put the abuse where it belonged as abuse. perhaps this will help you. As for them getting away with it – they do. The best we can do is learn how to guard against it next time. ANY attempt i made to get him to recognize his poor treatment of me or to show any remorse was like swimming in quicksand – it just made it worse. I hope this helps a little. stay strong.

      • canvas3 says:

        Thanks so much for your quick and comforting reply, Jae! I am definitely in the thick of it right now, going thru divorce papers. I know I need to let the wave of emotion pass, I feel like I just want to cry, but it’s like despair-type of crying. It’s devastation over a loss of so many hopes/dreams – with a person I thought I loved, and who I thought accepted me completely. I hope it will end. It feels like it won’t. 🙁

        And thanks for sharing what you said about emotional abuse. It’s really important to have examples of healthy relationships to contrast. What I experienced was not a normal, healthy relationship – my ex withdrew from me in all levels, emotionally, physically, etc due to his own personal baggage that he never owned up to/was in denial of because he thought he was over it. Objectively (through me getting help,) I know it was never about me, but it’s just so hard not to personalize the loss and blame it on my own self worth.

        Yes, they feel justified in doing what they do to you, even though they may show little remorse afterwards or want things to be “normal” all of a sudden, and for you to get over it fast, but they end up blaming you for the way they behave. Ack. They never own up to it. And the cycle repeats again and again. Insanity!

        Hope you’re hanging in there as well, Jae! We’ll get through it.

  19. bwhee91 says:

    Hello, all.
    I thought I could do this on my own, but I quickly realized how damaged I was when basic functions were gargantuan tasks and I would have bouts of despair and anxiety that would paralyze me. I sought answers, I needed help. I bought the book and have read it and have begun the inventories.
    She came into my life at a turbulent time 7 years ago. Freshly divorced from a loveless marriage, bankrupt and having lost 3 jobs in 18 months (thank you housing market crash), I was struggling to make it and still help support my young daughter. I had been able to keep a polite and cordial relationship with my ex-wife, something that always rubbed my former gf the wrong way. I have NO feelings for my ex-wife, but the former gf would often wonder why I didn’t fight with my ex-wife more. I explained that it’s about choosing your battles and that as parents, we were on the same page. That didn’t sit well.

    My former gf was otherwise fairly supportive for quite a while, but was struggling to maintain her career as well. She also has parents who never approved of who she was, so was constantly trying to validate herself, but could never measure up. She didn’t stand up to them and they did not approve of me either. She’d not tell them when we’d go out of town together, etc and I was never invited to the home in 6 years of dating. Should have been a red flag, I suppose, but I thought she’d outgrow it and stand up to them.
    We struggled through together, and at one point were living apart for 2.5 years, doing the long distance thing, visiting each other on weekends and holidays, calling, writing, texting, staying connected while we tried to get ourselves together and back on track. She finally found a great (yet terribly demanding and stressful) job in law enforcement and moved in with me. We were finally together but working opposite hours. Add in the stress of living in an apartment packed to the gills with our stuff (freshly out of storage) and no room to live…it was a recipe for disaster.
    Other factors included was her jealousy of my daughter and her disinterest in my family and friends. What’s crazy is I have an amazing support system and they would have brought her into their hearts just as I did, if she’d only let them. She was convinced they all liked my ex more than her, which was ludicrous.
    She wanted to be number one and didn’t feel she was with my daughter around. I told her that making me choose would be a losing game, and that there was room in my heart for both of them.
    I loved her with all my heart, but I am so hurt that she didn’t…I don’t know…grow up.
    Then it happened. She told me “love is not enough”. Those words cut me to the bone. She knew I was raised believing that ‘all you need is love’. She even had the guts to call me the ‘perfect boyfriend’, but that she didn’t think I’d be there for her if she needed me to be. I had always been there for her, thick or thin. We were a team, or so I thought. She told me she was moving out of our apartment, so in a daze from the blinding pain, I left first and moved in with a friend. (I went NC before I even knew what it was). But she kept contacting me. I was hoping for reconciliation so we’d meet up and we’d act like nothing had happened for a couple hours, then she’d apologize for ‘being a turd’ and leave me alone again.
    She did this off and on for nearly a year, and it was killing me. She also lied about where she was living, later revealing her lie. She said she didn’t want to tell me where she lived because she worried about what I would do. Absolutely absurd and she knew it, as I would have never lifted a finger to hurt her or show up uninvited and unannounced. I now realize in reality she’d become the terrorist, not me.

    I told her I couldn’t do this anymore, that she was breaking my heart over and over again. Then she ghosted me. Cut off all contact without warning. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even LinkedIn. Gone. Blocked. I dealt with it for a while, but something was nagging at me. I wondered about closure. I stupidly contacted her and she said she couldn’t trust me anymore. She said it was never about a lack of love. But I’d not lied to her or deceived her once and had done nothing to garner her mistrust. She said she’s moved on and is happy and excited for her future. I wished her well and vowed to never contact her again. I then realized there wasn’t much she could say to give me closure and that I needed to fix myself before I did something stupid. That was a week ago. I feel raw and very vulnerable. I don’t want this to ever happen again. I want to be healthy and happy. Thanks for listening to my rambling story.

    • Susan J. Elliott says:

      When someone tells you who they are, believe them. Have you seen my YouTube video on this? If anyone was ever jealous of one of my kids, it would have been splitsville pronto. Why expect someone to grow up? If they’re not as baked as you want them to be when you meet them, you can’t insist on it. It’s not any of your business, basically, how much or how little they decide to mature while you’re together. It sounds like you were in love with her potential not with who she really was. The problem with potential is that it rarely, if ever, turns into concrete stuff.

  20. jazzcanary says:

    Bwhee91 – wow. My overall impression of your ex is she was very, very, and I mean VERY, insecure and wanted 100% of your time and attention. I have no idea what her emptiness was about, but I can guarantee nothing you could ever do would have filled it.

    There is no closure because you were never in a full relationship. Your ex kept up barriers and did not include you fully in her life. Susan’s book has some good wisdom about closure, and I believe it comes with time and with reflection. I see it as a lesson, and once I’ve learned what I need from the lesson, I have my closure and can move on. Something you will probably learn from this is to not continue to invest in a relationship with someone who is not equally invested. Expecting an emotionally unavailable person to do so is like writing checks on an empty account. They just do not have the capacity. It has nothing to do with our worth, but it is so easy to think if we just give more, love more, try harder, listen more, understand more, etc. the other party will recognize our efforts and our worth. I’ve had a few partners with trust issues, and gaining trust from someone unable or unwilling to be emotionally vulnerable is an impossible task. We end up making ourselves incredibly vulnerable and taking all the risks, and we get hurt.

    You can and will be healthy and happy. This is your time to heal and reflect and decide what you want for your future. The exercises in the book really help, and in the meantime take care of you. Be nice to you. Stay with no contact, no matter what. You are deserving of love and connection.

  21. jae says:

    Im struggling a little today. So many ups and downs in mood. My downs aren’t as low as they used to be but I am not really having many happy times either. I am becoming frustrated with well-meaning people giving me advice on what to do all the time – “you should move”, “you need to forget him”, “you should choose to be happy”, “you need to get over your anger at him”, “you should have forgotten him by now” etc. etc. These pieces of advice come from people who have not been through this and can’t really understand what I am going through. They can be quite forceful with their opinions too. They mean well and want the best for me, but I can’t help feeling that I’m not doing the right things as I go through this process or something weird like that. I begin to doubt that Im OK. I wonder if they think I should be further along in the grieving process. Perhaps they think I’m losing it or something. I know my emotions are raw and so I am probably over-reacting. How exactly are you supposed to recover from being cheated on and then being left for a younger woman? Do they think that I wouldn’t choose to just be happy if I could? Has anyone else had these experiences? just venting I guess.

    • Susan J. Elliott says:

      Most people don’t even know what the grieving process is. In the Boundary sections of both books and the workbooks, it talks about using I language and letting people know this is unwelcomed feedbak. Such as, “I know you care about me, but I’m working it out in my own time, thank you.” It lets them know that you don’t want their input. Don’t let anyone should on you. Do it as you need to do it. You can do this.

  22. junegemini says:

    i feel like posting…
    my son turned 2 today.and as expected he doesn’t remember he had a son.he gets amnesia when it comes to him.
    and this is a major achievement for me.i did it on my own for 2yrs.i never thought i would but i did it.

    today i am happy.my breakup was very humiliating his family and him treated me like a stray dog.i was unemployed,broke,living with a cheating,abusive BH.
    things are looking up for me.i no longer hurt as much as i used to.i look forward to waking up and completing another day on my own.without anyone putting me down for things beyond my control.

    you can do this.the end will be great and if its not great its not the end.(i hope i put that phrase correctly

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