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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 12th December 2018, 11:05 AM   #31
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Hi Beachead, thanks for reaching out. Yes, I totally agree with you. I wish I had walked away when it became clear that things were not going to work out as I wanted. I wish I had gone NC. I tried a few times to say that we should separate, but he would always reach out again and we would re-establish communication. I should have made it clear that I needed to really go NC to heal from how I felt about him. Unfortunately, I can't undo all that.

It hurts more to know that I could have lessened my pain by pulling back in the past few years, because I know I hurt myself a lot. But, I'm trying to do better now. When he tried to reach out again after I found out about this new woman, I did not reply. It is really hard to do that and I am working on my boundaries. But after reading what you said, I feel better to think about my lack of reply as a way of finally standing up for myself as I should have done 2 years ago. I deserve better than to be someone's fallback person or something.
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Old 12th December 2018, 2:04 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by nolanola View Post
Hi Beachead, thanks for reaching out. Yes, I totally agree with you. I wish I had walked away when it became clear that things were not going to work out as I wanted. I wish I had gone NC. I tried a few times to say that we should separate, but he would always reach out again and we would re-establish communication. I should have made it clear that I needed to really go NC to heal from how I felt about him. Unfortunately, I can't undo all that.

It hurts more to know that I could have lessened my pain by pulling back in the past few years, because I know I hurt myself a lot. But, I'm trying to do better now. When he tried to reach out again after I found out about this new woman, I did not reply. It is really hard to do that and I am working on my boundaries. But after reading what you said, I feel better to think about my lack of reply as a way of finally standing up for myself as I should have done 2 years ago. I deserve better than to be someone's fallback person or something.
No worries OP.

You do deserve better. Like you said, this guy is keeping you around as as a backup. By sticking around, you're disrespecting yourself and coincidently teaching him its okay for him to do so as well. He loses respect for you in the process because he knows he's getting away with things he wouldn't be tolerating if they were done to him. We will devalue ourselves to be close to them and in process, they lose respect for us. He knows you like him. Remember, if he wanted to be with you, he'd be with you. Simple as that. Its a good move that you didn't respond. I know it took a lot and I know how it feels. But don't beat yourself up. In hindsight, everything is also crystal clear but its pretty murky when you're in it at the time.

When we're in a relationship with someone we care for, we'll always look for solutions. There will always be one more thing we can do to make things work and we don't focus on the negatives because we're focusing on the positives. We're not looking for a way out because we're committed to the future with them. We're all in...as we should be when we love someone and are working on the relationship with them.

Because of this, we leave ourselves vulnerable. We naturally excuse the warning signs because at the time it was happening, we didn't see them as warning signs. We saw them as a bad day or a bad period of time. He lost a family member in his life so he's been going through a rough patch or she just changed jobs and is just stressed out at the moment trying to get her feet planted. Stuff like that.

You did the best you could given everything you knew at the time and at the time, it seemed like the right move. That's all you could ask of yourself.

My advice for you going forward is this:

Always communicate with the person you want to be with if you haven't done this in the past. Be upfront about your worries and concerns even if the other person is unwilling to have that conversation. Even if turns into an argument. See how they react. How they deal with the situation. See what they end up doing. Pay attention to whether things eventually change or remain the same? Give yourself a timeline for long you may tolerate these things for. It might also be a good idea to write down, deal-breakers and red flags in relationships for you. Writing has always done wonders for me. How much you are willing to tolerate and the duration of how long you'll tolerate it all depends on the situation but there should be a timeline and some boundaries.

If they care, no matter how bad of a fight it is, you two will work on those problems and move passed them because both people are committed to a future. People committed to a future will show love to one another in the form of forgiveness, patience, understanding, compromise, sacrifice etc.

In this way, if you don't receive any acknowledgement or change or any effort on their part and this persists for a long time when you have communicated your pain several times..you're clear to walk away. No guilt. No worries about whether you're making a mistake. You know you've done everything you could and this person is not invested.

- Beach
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Last edited by Beachead; 12th December 2018 at 4:29 PM..
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Old 19th December 2018, 5:55 PM   #33
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Just checking in, how are you coping Nolanola?
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Old 20th December 2018, 2:15 PM   #34
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Hey Charlierose30, I wrote you in your post, but thanks for checking in. I have been feeling a bit better, but still with some ups and downs. It is really hard to stop myself from Facebook stalking this woman that my ex may or may not be dating. Especially after he sent me a text at Thanksgiving. I so wanted to go look for proof that they were or weren't together. But between my best friend and my therapist, I have been able to avoid this. The chances of me seeing something that clears everything up for me are pretty slim and the chances that I will see something that will hurt me is good. So I am staying away.

I think the holidays are always hard because I sit and wonder if he will say something to me. Just like you said, I wonder why he says nothing to me. It is a very dumb thing, but I kind of wanted my lack of response to his last text to spur something from him, like an apology or explanation. I realize this is not the goal of NC, but it is a real thought that I have. Can't help it.

Just like you, I think having questions without answers is really hard. We can make ourselves insane with wondering why. I try to trust that someday I will understand better or that I won't care, but I am not there yet. I'm human and I'm doing the best I can.

Hugs to you. Post anytime that you need a boost. Sometimes just seeing that someone is having similar thoughts to mine is helpful.
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Old 20th December 2018, 8:30 PM   #35
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I am a big fan of NC. Either they come back or you move on. I even went NC on my deceased significant other! LOL. Five years after his death I threw away all his stuff and his pictures and bible. I regret it now, but it truly did help me heal.
These days, I still get calls from people I briefly met or briefly dated. I delete all those "Hi. How are you texts."
It's all routine now, but it will not get better unless you work on yourself in between relationships, especially after a toxic one. That's a great time to do something truly spectacular with your life. Regain yourself. You can suffer now and get it over with or drag it out over the course of these precious years you will never get back.
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Old 20th December 2018, 9:52 PM   #36
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I am right there with you... pacing around because I want to check Facebook. I was finally able to turned my phone back on but still have all my social media stuff deactivated. After the level of deceit I have experienced via social media I am not sure I will ever activate again.

One thing I have learned over the last few years about social media is that there is very little about it that is really real even the selfies people post now a days are fake due to all the apps that can be used to enhance them.

For me... The fact is that one post has the power to cause such a reaction on my part that I lost control and text vial things to another human being is enough to make me want to never log on again... I can only hope one day that person will forgive me.

Self work never gets any easier.... that is pretty much where I am at right now...
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Old 21st December 2018, 9:58 AM   #37
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Hi Rayce...I really get you. One thing that I have been very aware of is that my online stalking led me to a really bad place a few years ago. That's one of the reasons that I am staying away now. With a previous ex, I spent a lot of time online trying to figure things out and would text him with the craziest things. I felt like one of those women from that tv show "Snapped". It was horrible and I hated being that person.

I totally agree with your thoughts on social media, although it's tough to know this in the moment. When you see someone's selfies or pictures of the places they went, it is hard to see it as a tiny moment of their lives that's been filtered and adjusted. The first instinct is that their life is so wonderful and yours is...not. This woman that my ex may or may not be dating posts a lot of selfies of her in a sports bra. She actually posts a lot of pictures in general. I only looked at those things once, the night I found out about it. Now I can't get those images out of my head. In my mind, she's gorgeous and fun and everything I'm not.

My ex actually is not on social media and is very private, so I can only judge things from her page. It gets easier to not look, although I'm human and I get impulses all the time. But I keep telling myself that whatever I see will not clear anything up. If there aren't any pictures, it doesn't mean anything. It will only hurt me and cause me to sit here and obsess about it.
Ugh, ugh, ugh.
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Old 21st December 2018, 6:13 PM   #38
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Thank you nolanola… the closer we get to Christmas the harder it is. I woke up in the middle of the night last night with an urge to call him and leave him a voice message for today at work. I resisted and eventually fell back asleep. My stomach has been doing flip flops all day. There is no reason for this anxiety.
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Old 21st December 2018, 6:47 PM   #39
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@nolanola, as a coping technique, I just assume that my ex is with someone else, whether that is the reality or not. In a sense it makes the pain more emotionally palatable and it reminds me that I need to move on. Like I said in my own post about my breakup, I have no clue what's going on in her life. Definitely best that I keep it that way until I no longer care. I'm not happy that the process takes what feels like forever, but I'd much rather take forever than reopen the wound one time out of curiousity only to find I can't handle it. It sounds like you're doing a good job at staying away and in NC though. Another coping technique is coming to this site and reading the https://www.loveshack.org/forums/bre...ted-discussion guide. That was written before social media was anywhere near as big as it is now and yet we can still apply it to how we peruse social media. Example:


"2)You must treat your ex like he/she is a serial killing stalker. Avoid all (once again ALL) contact with them. Do not call, e-mail, PM, morse code, smoke signal your ex. You will go back to day one of your break up when you do this."

Sounds good to me. Keep it up! We're all doing great, even if it sucks!
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Old 21st December 2018, 8:29 PM   #40
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Thanks Endnote. Your posts have been such a source of strength for me. I am doing pretty well. So much better than the last big breakup I went through. The reason I'm doing as well as I'm doing is no doubt because I am NC and have stayed away from any kind of social media stalking. What you said about the process feeling like it takes forever -- YES!! I know it will get better with time, but waiting for that time to go by sucks. I was thinking today, as I was running (a great coping mechanism), that I hate the idea that I'm spending precious days and weeks of my life thinking about a man that hurt me so much. You can't get that time back. BUT...I think love and heartbreak are part of life and I'm hoping there will be important lessons that I'll learn from all this. One thing is for sure...I am beginning to respect myself a lot more by standing up for myself and trying to live by the idea that I deserve better.

Rayce, you know what's weird? I am actually looking forward to Christmas and New Years, not just because I will get to see my family. Every year for the past 4 years, my ex and I would contact each other for those days. This year he won't get anything from me and it kind of makes me happy to think about the possibility that he will wonder why not. That is probably super bitchy of me, but it keeps me going. I know how hard NC is...it is the worst!! But it's also the best, please trust. You will heal so much faster, although it will still feel like it takes a thousand years. I understand anxiety, I struggle with this too. Be as kind to yourself as possible. Try to do things that make you feel happy. For me, it's making a really good dinner, watching a favorite movie or tv show, going for a run or to my favorite Pilates class. I also love talking to my best friend or to my Dad and taking a nap with my cat. When I'm vulnerable to these feelings, I try to make sure I get in bed with time to get at least 8 hours and try to avoid eating a bunch of crap. That helps. Hugs to you...just keep going.
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Old 21st December 2018, 9:28 PM   #41
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Nolanola I am glad you are blessed with a loving family that helps so much. My father passed away Oct 2017 and my mom in 2007. I am the head of the family now. I will also be spending Christmas with my daughter, her husband and grandkids. Overall 2018 has been on of the best years I have ever had since I decided in 2000 to just be single. This last quarter though has been tough... losing my job, blowing up my relationship and being rejected by my own son... yeah tough.

Funny thing is that just before all this went down I was telling my now ex that I had 3 choices for job hunting and it would be really nice if God would just speak up right now and say hey go there... within a few weeks...
boom... I blew up my relationship and my son doesn't want me to live any where near him!

Lucky for me my daughter said... move closer...we want you! She is about 30 miles from me.

I have a strong faith and I am trusting things work out the way they are suppose too.

Last edited by Rayce; 21st December 2018 at 11:26 PM..
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Old 25th December 2018, 7:24 AM   #42
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Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you’re all able to enjoy the holidays as much as possible considering the circumstances. I actually had a nice couple of weeks. Several pre-Christmas parties, I also went to France with my family for a few days. I managed to get my mind of the break-up for a bit. I mean, of course I still thought about him every single day, but it felt nice to have a few carefree hours in between all the overthinking and regrets.



However, I hit a bit of a low point yesterday. Not even sure what triggered that. But I missed him so bad all of a sudden and before I even knew it I sent him a text message wishing him a merry Christmas and asking him if he was ok. It’s been more than a month of NC now and as you know … I was actually considering texting him for the holidays anyway … so it’s not the end of the world. My main concern had been that it would ruin my holidays to sit around anxiously waiting for him to reply. But he actually texted me back within seconds. He wrote that he had literally just been thinking about me and that he was so happy to hear from me. He said that he’s been ok recently and of course he asked me if I was ok as well and what I’ve been up to. I’ve been so focused on mentally preparing myself to not getting a reply from him at all (…or waiting forever) that I was completely shocked when he replied so quick. I read the message, turned off my phone, threw it into my purse and didn’t look at it again for 24 hours. And now I honestly don’t know what to do ☹



I really want to reply to his message and answer his question about how I have been. It would be so rude not to. And I want nothing more than to have him back in my life and to speak to him again. But I’m so worried that I will get my hopes up again and if I find out that nothing has changed for him or that he’s maybe even seeing somebody new – that would just kill me. What should I do? What should I text him? I’ve totally lost my gut feeling about this and I have the feeling that I can’t be trusted with making my own decisions anymore :/ But I really do want him back!
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Old 25th December 2018, 9:46 AM   #43
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@LauraXX, this is the trouble with getting in touch. It seems like he has warm feelings towards you and that is a good thing (he wrote you back quickly and seemed happy to hear from you), but you don't know any more than you did before. He didn't say anything about missing you or whatever. When you guys broke up, he wasn't ready to get into a relationship with you and it doesn't seem like he is now either (or at least he isn't saying that).

My question to you would not be about whether or not you should respond or how. It should be "what do you want and deserve in this situation"? You want to be in a relationship with this guy, right? Because I think you could easily wind up as his "friend" that he talks to from time to time and you guys might even see each other. But is that what you want or deserve? I think not. You cannot force this guy to realize he wants to be with you. One text message is not going to change that. My personal opinion? I think you should leave things where they are and try to keep moving forward like you were. Think about how you would feel if you wrote him back and then he didn't answer anything back afterwards. You'd feel good for a little while and then be back to the same place, wondering if you're going to hear from him again.
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Old 30th December 2018, 5:19 PM   #44
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I know, and I'm really not proud of myself. I'm aware that I'm setting myself up for a huge disappointment and I still can't help it. Of course I texted him back. We've been texting back and forth since Christmas and it's all very flirtuatious (but also quite superficial).

For me that is a sure sign that he hasn't changed his mind about the big picture. He could have said something like: "Look, we need to talk." But he didn't. Right now my guess would be that he would like to see me (and hook-up again) but that he still doesn't want a relationship with me.

Today he texted me sth. about a restaurant that we used to go to. It was kind of "our thing" and he wrote how much he misses going there. And without even thinking about it I texted him back: "Well, we'll have to go there again then." (He didn't reply yet).

Ugh, why am I like this. He's either going to tell me that it wouldn't be a good idea to start all over again. Or he'll be up for it and then we're back to point zero and I can prepare myself for another round of heartbreak in a few weeks/months. Either way, the ball is in his court now and that just sucks... the only thing that made this whole situation somehow bearable was the fact that I determined the rules of the game and walked out of that "relationship" with dignity. I totally messed that up.
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Old 30th December 2018, 6:14 PM   #45
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Hi LauraXX, good to hear from you again. It's so funny how people that I don't really know can start to feel like friends from reading stories on this board.

Please don't beat yourself up too much. Although we all do things we might regret or not feel very proud of, that doesn't define who we are as people. You like this guy and want to be with him. That's not a crime. It's a very human thing. BUT...I want you to think about something before you continue to chat with him. Is this what you want in your relationship with him? And I don't mean relationship as in "relationship", but just your interactions with him. Do you want to be his occasional text buddy that he might see sometimes and maybe hookup with?

My best friend always says that we teach people how to treat us. She is right, although practicing this in real time is HARD. You are sending the message to him that his current behavior (not getting into a relationship with you, texting occasionally, maybe meeting up) is ok with you. There's nothing wrong with that, other than it's not what you want. Over time, this behavior gets reinforced and is really hard to correct once its set.

I'm not going to judge you for communicating with this man, hell I kept in touch in a similar situation for over 2 years. But right now you're giving him the benefits of you without having to step up and commit to a relationship. His stakes in this situation are really low because he knows you'll interact with him at the current status quo. No need to put in more effort.

Is it possible that he might suddenly decide that he wants to take things up a notch? Of course. Please just hear my experience and see how broken hearted I am after 2 years of this with a man that I loved. I'm left sitting here feeling so rejected and foolish for allowing him to keep a minimum effort in my life instead of what I deserve, which is someone that wants to be with me without reservation.
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