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Ugh, NC never gets any easier


Coping Learning to deal with one's emotions and loss.

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Old 29th November 2018, 3:03 AM   #16
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I found that at times when your ex attempts to contact you that it usually only makes you feel worse if you respond. I've even been in the position where my ex contacted me wanting to reconcile and I accepted and within a couple days things were over again! So even if your ex is extending what appears to be a serious Olive Branch towards reconciliation you're still running the risk of getting hurt again.

Using your ex's attempt to contact you as a means to communicate how you feel or to tell them off may feel good in the moment but it doesn't take long to start feeling the pain you had prior to speaking to them again. I remember telling my ex-wife a bunch of things to make her feel bad and guilt trip her into working things out. Not only did that not change her mind down the road it made me realize how foolish I looked saying anything to her. Hell, I sent her lyrics of a band we both liked in the hopes that she would realize that those lyrics reflected how I was feeling. In retrospect I look back and realize those lyrics weren't meant for her they were meant for me! I can imagine she told her friends the kind of **** I said and did and they probably said something like thank God you got rid of that guy.

No contact/silence protects you from looking foolish and most importantly it conveys to your ex that you value yourself too much to give them your time. By cutting off communication and starting the healing process you can look back on something to be proud of. I applaud nolanola for not responding. Keep it up and one day you'll look back and say I'm so glad I didn't respond to that bull****.

Charlierose30, if I were in your position I'd leave it as it is and stick to NC. It's not what any of us want to hear but I think that it's definitely what helps the most.I miss my ex too and I still wonder how she could have just walked away so easily and not really giving me any thing to go off of. The feelings and questions you have about why your ex did what he did and why he's doing what he's doing aren't going to be answered satisfactorily and it's probably not going to change the way you feel either. I found that it's seems to be best to start the process of grieving the relationship and hoping you get to acceptance of the end of it sooner rather than later. Prolonging the pain by speaking to your ex and expecting something good to come of it it's only going to make that process harder.

I really feel for you guys I'm going through the same emotions but I can tell you that I'm so much happier with how I've handled this breakup than with how I handled my divorce by sticking to NC. It has given me resolve I forgot I had. Instead of acting on my emotions I have allowed them to exist and just felt them. There are good and bad times ahead, hopefully more good, but right now I'm just taking the time to move on. we may not like that process but it's what we have to do to survive these tumultuous times and become greater people.
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Old 29th November 2018, 10:47 AM   #17
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Thank you, endnote. You are totally right about that. I have appreciated your posts a lot. I took a screenshot of one to help me when I felt so torn up imagining my ex with someone new.

I know I deserve a lot better than some generic BS text. I mean, texting is officially the laziest way to communicate with someone. I have a feeling that he is trying to "take my temperature" to see if I am still upset with him. Over the 5 years that I've know him, I've gotten upset with him a few times and we've stopped talking for a few weeks, but I've always responded when he reached out again.

It's super scary for me to not reply, but the whole thing also makes me feel better about the situation. I mean, in my imagination, he was practically engaged to this new person so the fact that he's trying to reconnect with me doesn't say much for that whatever relationship.

There is a quote from a tv show that I try to think of. One of the characters is trying to decide whether or not to go on a trip. The other character says "Sometimes in life if you take a chance, good things happen. Sometimes bad things happen. But if you don't take a chance, nothing happens". So thinking of that in this situation.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 2:24 AM   #18
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Hi guys,
Thanks for your responses. The last few days have been rough, Iíve been trying to maintain NC but itís like he senses it! As soon as I stop responding he persists more, which drags me right back into it. Iíve decided to tell him to stop contacting me, I think itís the only way heíll stop with the push/pull dynamic that heís got going on. We still have a few practicalities left to iron out but I can farm them off to other people so I donít have to interact with him.
The funny thing is, and I feel like youíll understand this Nolanola, that I already feel guilty about telling him to back off. Itís so ridiculous, even though he has ended our relationship I feel bad about setting boundaries for myself in order to properly heal.
How are you doing? Endnote, I really wish I could get some of your strength to rub off on me. I feel like Iím nearly there.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 9:43 PM   #19
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Guilt as an emotion can be very healthy, but it's very complex. You don't want to hurt someone that brought you happiness for a long period of time. It's hard for your mind and body to not think of your ex in that sense. You probably feel guilty because your ex gave you such purpose in the past that the idea of hurting him even now can be excruciating, despite what's actually happening. I've been able to avoid guilt in my current breakup because I can look back on my past divorce with a lot of clarity.

When I was still in contact with my ex-wife, I said and did things that not only looked desperate and foolish, but was an attempt to salvage the relationship at any cost, despite the fact that it was a horrible relationship to be in. My emotional survival depended on it at the time. But it wasn't until I went and stayed no contact with my ex did I feel guilty about some of the things I said and did. Going no contact made the message clear to my ex-wife that her behavior was unacceptable and no longer allowed in my life. Calling her names, making her feel guilty, telling her off, asking her to consider my emotions, it did nothing to change what had happened, and it sure as hell didn't make me feel better.

Ultimately I feel guilt for the things I said and did while in contact with her, but I can look back on going NC and honestly, I look back on that time in my life fondly. That's what's given me the strength to do the same now, despite the much different context of this breakup. And I'll say, it has been a much better, much more emotionally sensical journey. Focus on you, @Charlierose30, consider all that you can do to let your mind override your emotions to go NC and trust me, with time you will get a to better place much sooner.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 9:23 AM   #20
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Yes, yes, yes to everything that @endnote said.

Boundaries are really tough for some people (like me). I keep thinking about what my therapist told me, that it always feels uncomfortable to do something new. But I totally agree with with the idea that you have to teach someone that what they've done is unacceptable to you. And if they respond negatively to that, that's on them.

My best friend always reminds me that we teach people how to treat us and I think that is very true. In my most recent relationship, I taught my ex that I wasn't going anywhere, even when he took me for granted and decreased his efforts over time. When the latest thing happened, a lot of people in my life said that he hadn't really done anything "wrong". We aren't in an exclusive relationship, so he's allowed to see other people. And that is true. But it's not ok with me for him to keep stringing me along while he sees other people. So even though I had doubts about how I approached things with calling him out on this, I don't regret it overall because it's way past time for me to stand up for myself and to show him that this is not ok. And when he sent me a BS nothing text a week ago, that's not ok with me. I deserve better than that crap.

Don't be afraid to go NC. You will start to respect yourself more and more as you do it and honor what you say. If nothing else, keep focused on the idea that you need to teach this person what is acceptable to you and what is unacceptable. He may never let you know anything, but I promise it will affect him.

Of course he won't like it!! That is a sign that you're doing the right thing. He wants to have some control over you and to know that you're still "there". DON'T GIVE HIM THAT SATISFACTION. Let him sit there and sweat and wonder what you're doing without him. Even if you're sitting at home in your bathrobe watching Netflix, he doesn't know that because you aren't talking to him. This keeps me going a lot. And keep posting. We will get through this and be stronger, happier, and respect ourselves more.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 10:50 AM   #21
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I just wanted to say thank you for this thread. I'm on day 13 of NC and it's hard. Not because I'm tempted to reach out to him - I don't have anything to say to him right now. It's just that I had really hoped he'd get in touch with me and it hurts that he didn't.


I ended things with him because he got out of a long relationship right before we met and wasn't willing to become exclusive after six months of dating me. When he left, he said that he had a lot to think about and that he was hoping I'd still be there when he was ready to be in a relationship again. And while I told myself I'd never see him again, a small (narcissistic) part of me was convinced he'd be back in no time.


I just can't let this go. I'm still interpreting little things that should be totally irrelevant by now. For example: He wanted to send me a book and a cable that I left at his place the last time I was there (and that I can't just replace). It's fair to assume that he just forgot about it. But a little voice tries to tell me that he's probably thinking we'll see each other soon and he can just give it to me then. I started to upload Insta stories because I want to be able to see if he visited my profile (he didn't).


The most difficult part for me is that he didn't really do anything wrong. I've been heartbroken before and it always helped to focus on being mad at the guy, instead of sad about the break-up. But the way he dealt with this whole situation and the things he said to me before he left made me like him even more if that makes sense.


And you know what I find extremely annoying: During the past six months, all of my girlfriends were against this "relationship". My best friend met him and just didn't like him very much. My sister and my other friends liked him alright, but didn't see a future for us because there were so many red flags.
And now that I ended things and I'm hurting they're all like: "But why did you end this then? He just got out of a relationship - it's completely normal that he doesn't want to commit right away. You should have given him more time. You have no reason to complain when you're the one who suddenly changed the rules of the game." Ugh.... I just miss him so bad

Last edited by LauraXX; 3rd December 2018 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 3rd December 2018, 2:33 PM   #22
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LauraXX, I totally feel you. If it makes you feel any better, I was in a similar situation to you, except that once I "ended it" I stayed in communication with the guy. I thought he was the most wonderful person I had ever met and wanted to stay "friends". Of course, what I really hoped was that he would see how amazing I was and decide that he was ready to move forward to a more serious relationship. All that did was cause me to become more attached to him and more afraid of losing him, while giving him the comfort of having me there, idolizing him.

I think you did the right thing. At least in your situation, you walk away with your dignity and respect and you two are on good terms. He likely thinks of you as someone with standards and self respect. I dearly wish I had taken some NC time a while back with my guy. As it stands, we stayed "friends" and he started dating someone else. At least I think he did -- he has never confirmed this to me and I have decided to avoid social media, although it is extremely difficult. My feelings were crushed and I basically told him this. I cannot see how we could be friends again because I am so hurt. So I think you did the right thing, even though it probably feels wrong right now.

I respect your ability to set and stick to your boundaries, as you can see from reading this thread, this is something a lot of us struggle with. Who knows what might happen with this guy? You might run into him in 6 months and decide to see each other again. Or you might get over him and meet someone wonderful. Please keep posting -- I get a lot out of reading the posts of others in similar situations.

ETA: Don't be so sure you won't hear from him. They have a way of popping back up right about the time you're feeling better and not thinking about them. It's like bat radar or something.
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Old 5th December 2018, 6:43 AM   #23
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LauraXX, I totally feel you. If it makes you feel any better, I was in a similar situation to you, except that once I "ended it" I stayed in communication with the guy. I thought he was the most wonderful person I had ever met and wanted to stay "friends". Of course, what I really hoped was that he would see how amazing I was and decide that he was ready to move forward to a more serious relationship. All that did was cause me to become more attached to him and more afraid of losing him, while giving him the comfort of having me there, idolizing him.
.
Yeah, I’ve been there. I’m approaching 40 now and I’ve had my fair share of “relationships” where I didn’t clearly communicate my needs and basically allowed the guy to drag me along until he finally met someone better. You live for the highs when you’re together and everything feels perfect and when you’re not together you suffer like a drug addict on withdrawal. I’ve promised myself not to do that anymore.

But it was definitely naÔve to believe, that if I just communicate my needs in a straightforward yet charming way, the guy would realize what he’s about to lose and gladly agree to anything I suggest . He made me feel like I was his top priority in the past six months and now it turns out that I was just good enough for sex and comfort on the weekends, but not someone he’d even delete his stupid Tinder profile for. I’ve been rejected before and it always hurt, but this time it’s worse because (1) he made me believe that I meant the world to him and (2) I didn’t even ask for much.

My problem now is (in addition to dealing with this terrible sadness) that I’m still not really looking for a serious relationship myself. I still believe that something like a casual relationship would be ideal for me. I basically want exactly what I had with him plus the exclusivity. And I have the feeling that everybody out there (especially on Tinder) is either looking for something very serious (just went on a first date with a guy who told me that he wants to become a father asap) or sex. So now I’m trying to get over a relationship while trying to find that exact same relationship again. Great :/

I’m still thinking that I might get in touch with him at one point. But it would be dangerous to do that in my current state of mind. I’d probably agree to anything he suggests (if he’d reply at all) and then we’d be in the same situation as before. Somehow, I’m hoping that I’ll “fall out of love” with him in the next few weeks. And that he’ll go on some terrible dates and realize how good he had it with me ��. And then we’ll just continue where we left off with him being more committed and me not being as emotionally involved as before. Yes, of course I know that that’s not going to happen. But a girl can dream, right?

(Sorry about any spelling mistakes etc. English is not my first language).
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Old 5th December 2018, 2:03 PM   #24
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LauraXX, I can relate to everything you said. I am 42 now and like my life in a lot of ways. I have a good job and a home and can take care of myself. I would love to find a partner to share life's experiences with, because some days it just feels lonely. But, I don't feel that urge to jump into a serious relationship and to be honest, I'm sure I will still compare everyone to my most recent ex, who is brilliant. It is so hard to think about trusting someone ever again.

The longer this NC goes on (I've stopped counting the actual days, but I think we are approaching 6 weeks next week), I do start to feel a little bit better I think. But I still sit and think about him and wonder what's he doing or what he's thinking. I think it's a very human thing to hope that they come back someday, even if our logical brains tell is it's not the best thing for us. Being rejected is just soul crushing and I guess this is how we deal.

In my experience, almost all of my exes have come back at some point. One of them about 20 years after he dumped me (via Facebook, of course). Not all of them wanted to get back together, sometimes they seemed to just be curious or just to want to say hi. I think that is really common. When you care about someone (and I know you think he doesn't care about you, but I really doubt he doesn't care at all), I think it's natural to wonder how they are from time to time. And you are probably right. Once the initial time period after your breakup is over, he may start to wonder more about you and what happened to you.

If I were you, I would not contact him. Not unless you feel completely over him. I'm just thinking of myself here, but if I were to reach out to my guy, I would be on pins and needles wondering when he was going to reply. Sometimes he takes a while to write back if he's at work and I would probably drive myself nuts wondering why he didn't answer me and if it means he hates me or something. So I know I'm not ready to contact him.
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Old 10th December 2018, 7:03 PM   #25
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Hi Everyone,
Thought I would check in and see how everyone is doing?

Quick update from me - my ex has been acting very angry and cold towards me ever since I put up boundaries and asked that I have some space. He is not respecting my wishes, and he seems shocked that his power over me is not what it used to be... in the past if he was ever angry or upset I would bend myself into a pretzel trying to make him feel better. The small amount of contact we have had (him contacting me about the remainder of our furniture/belongings) has been really rude and short from his end. Makes it easier for me not to respond.

It's so sad that we have come to be this way with each other, however I need to keep reminding myself that this is out of my control. He chose to end the relationship and I need to do what is best for me, even if he tries to manipulate me into feeling bad for it. I can't help thinking about how much we once loved each other and my heart aches.
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Old 10th December 2018, 9:23 PM   #26
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Hi Charlierose30, glad to hear you are doing ok. Good for you for setting boundaries for yourself!! My therapist told me that the other person usually does not like it when you set a boundary, especially if you've been letting them get away with things for a long time. In her words, she said "don't expect them to throw you a parade". That makes sense to me and I think it can make you question whether you're doing the right thing, especially if your ex is being manipulative. But this makes sense to me as he likely thinks he's losing control. Stay strong. I hope you feel good about what you've done -- you are building respect for yourself.

I am struggling a bit, to be honest. I have struggled with depression in the past and am worried it's coming back. I was invited to a holiday party tonight but didn't want to go. I'm still NC, today makes 6 weeks since the initial blow-up (I call it the day the bomb went off). It's been two weeks since he tried to reach out to me and I ignored him. He has made no attempts since that time. To be honest, I've been questioning myself a lot. As far as, should I have ignored him? My best friend says that this is absolutely the right thing to do and my therapist agrees. So I try to keep my focus on trying to stay NC, knowing that this is the thing that has helped me the most in the past.

When I met with my therapist today, she brought up a point that I may have been misinterpreting my communication with my ex over the past 2 years (when we've been "friends") and it made me feel terrible. No one wants to feel that the person that they care about doesn't care about them. It's something I am still struggling with, because I tend to extrapolate a small comment or thought into a major issue and just perseverate on that at the expense of my mental health. It's been an overall rough day and I'm struggling. But I do feel like I'm a tiny bit better overall today than I was a month ago. So I'm trying to hold onto that.

Thanks for posting. Hearing other people's struggles and triumphs (staying NC and setting boundaries is absolutely a triumph!!) helps me a lot and gives me hope that I can get better too.
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Old 10th December 2018, 9:53 PM   #27
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Hi Nolanola,
Your therapist is so right. Ever since Iíve started putting my needs first (albeit very very gently!), his behaviour has changed and I get the impression he isnít happy about it. I must admit though, Iíve been feeling so so guilty ever since, and feeling like Iíve pushed him away. My logical head knows thatís ridiculous and he has done this to me, but my emotions are trying to convince me otherwise.

Iím sorry that you are struggling. Please remember how well you are doing and how far you have come. Everyday you get to tick off without being in contact with him is a huge achievement. We are in a rotten situation, and we need to remember to cut ourselves some slack and be kind to ourselves. Iíve also had some mental health battles in the past, mostly with anxiety, and am almost hyper aware of this returning given my current state. Self care is so important Nolanola, please keep posting here as Iím always here to listen. Have you spoken to your therapist about the depression?
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Old 11th December 2018, 6:02 AM   #28
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Hi Everyone,
Thought I would check in and see how everyone is doing?

Could be better. Went on a short vacation with a bunch of friends. We do that every year in December and it's always pretty awesome. This year however, I was the only single in the group and spending a cozy weekend in a cabin as the only single with six couples.... well. It was still kind of nice (we've all been friends since highschool), but also difficult. Especially since I had planned to bring my guy along this year and everybody was like "Hey, so where is XY?"



The whole thing had one positive aspect though. I realized that my guy would have been "out of place" there. I didn't even see that before. I was convinced that he'd get along great with all my friends and that they would like him as well. But I think he would have been annoyed by a lot of peculiarities of our circle of friends and that would have made me anxious. So that made me realize that he wasn't 100% perfect for me and in the end it was probably good that he wasn't there.



Still thinking about contacting him around Christmas. That would be more than 30 days of NC. A part of me thinks it would be the right thing to do. I mean... we didn't fight and ended on good terms. So why should I just ignore him around Christmas when I usually send Christmas greetings to pretty much everybody I know :/ But on the other hand... I'm definitely not over him yet and I agree with what Nolanola said: I'd definitely be on pins and needles waiting for his reply. And I don't want that to ruin my holidays.
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Old 11th December 2018, 4:48 PM   #29
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Hi LauraXX,

Iím sorry your vacation was difficult to handle. That must have been so hard to be there in your own. Most of my friends are also in relationships and I can totally understand what youíre saying. Itís hard isnít it?

Regarding reaching out at Christmas, I think you should wait it out and decide closer to the time. Your feelings may change between now and then, and youíre right, you donít want to ruin your holidays waiting for him to respond.

Iím having a bad day today. I couldnít sleep last night and couldnít stop thinking about my ex. I canít believe he just doesnít care about me anymore. I feel so so sad today. I know the bad sleep is contributing but Iím feeling like I did in the earlier stages of my break up, constantly questioning why this is happened and how he could do this to me. Itís horrible and Iím stuck. Can anyone offer me any words of wisdom?
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Old 11th December 2018, 4:57 PM   #30
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Hey OP,

I realize you started this thread a long time ago but I see this thread is still going so I think I can add some additional insight for you.

To genuinely be friends, the feelings have to go. Both people have to go their separate ways and relearn how to find their smile on their own, without one another. Learn how to stand on their own two feet again. Only then, can a friendship be considered. It takes time. A year maybe..but likely more. The irony is sometimes by then, there's no need to reconnect because you're happy without them.

When someone walks away, it means they took the best you had to give, evaluated it in terms of its value in their life and decided it wasn't what they wanted and therefore they chose not to be with you or invest in a future with you. If it was a somewhat amicable breakup, then it just means they weren't willing to compromise or sacrifice anymore. In choosing that, they choose to be with someone else or to find someone new which will happen. When they do find someone new, they will distance from you and perhaps even cut you out. No current girlfriend/boyfriend wants an ex lingering around and he'll respect that because he's invested in her..assuming there is a gf.

That all it comes down to. It's just that we are in so much pain at the time we break up with someone that we deceive ourselves into believing that we can remain friends with this person or at the very least, keep them in our lives. Decisions like this are born from fear and weakness and are fueled not by love, but by addiction and attachment and it comes from a self-serving place and is less about whats best for the other person and more about how to quiet the immediate pain you feel. These are just temporary painkillers. At the end of the day, they want out and truth will always force its way out of the denial and remind you of it.

If you keep an ex in your life, you're going to see them move on and it'll hurt you because you have feelings. It'll also prolong your healing and even stop it from beginning. If you lie to yourself, you wind up in this boat so going forward, when breaking up (Hope you never go through it again though), say your peace and walk away. In my books, its better to heal and move passed the situation while in pain than to be stagnant and in pain because either way, you'll be in pain. Might as well be moving forward. Atleast first one gets you somewhere new and opens up new opportunities that can provide additional support for your healing journey. And because its painful as it is, you'll need all your energy for yourself to grieve your loss and to get back on your feet.

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