Narcissistic Behavior 2: Pretends to Be Mr. Nice Guy/Hypocrisy

I’m very aware of the fact that not every narcissist acts the same way, that some characteristics are very prominent in the behavior of some narcissists and not in that of others, and that there are both overt and covert types of narcissists. I can only talk about the experiences I made with the narcissist I dated, and illustrate those characteristics of narcissistic behavior that were mirrored in the way he interacted with me. One characteristic of narcissism that was highly developed in him was hypocrisy, which became particularly evident in his penchant for pretending to be a nice guy and a model human being, who would never harm anyone.

This narcissistic mode of behavior can – as almost everything he does – be extremely harmful for those people interacting with him on a deeper level. Whenever they assure us of their innate goodness and tell us about their inability to hurt anyone, we desperately want to believe them. We have often been hurt many times in the past, and hearing him say that he would take good care of us and would never ever hurt our feelings, is like heart-balm and makes us feel like we just won the lottery. When we realize much later that he turned out to be a heartless, manipulating narcissist, our entire belief system is shattered. We were so convinced that we had finally found a guy who would never toy with our feelings and leave us heartbroken. Now we have to come to terms with the fact that we have been fooled and that what he presented us with was nothing more than a facade. Accepting that Mr. Nice Guy never existed is extremely painful, and we often cling to the hope that maybe if we are just patient enough, we will eventually get him back. The cold hard truth is: We won’t…

The narcissist I dated was a textbook hypocrit and a master at pretending to be a wonderful, caring human-being. On one of our first dates he even lamented that life was not easy for a guy who was so caring and worried about other people’s feelings. He said that because he was so caring he often had to fix the damage done by others (especially in relationships) and that it would therefore be so much easier to be more of an asshole. He even seemed to be genuinely upset about his inability to be cold and indifferent towards other people’s feelings. Whenever I asked him why he still lived with his exgirlfriend, he assured me it was because he was so worried about her feelings and didn’t want her to feel abandoned and let down. He made it seem as if he was always neglecting his own ambitions, plans and wishes, in order to please others and be considerate of their feelings. Everything he did was seemingly a product of his big and noble heart, and I was naive enough to believe him. I never would have thought that this model of selflessness would later turn out to be a textbook narcissist, a selfish monster who treated other people’s feelings with cold indifference.

At the beginning of our relationship he told me that he had the feeling I had sold myself short in the past due to my low self-esteem. He assured me I had every right to be more confident, as I was – according to him – extremely smart, pretty and kind. He knew that I still had to stuggle with trust issues due to an earlier relationship in which I was also used and manipulated. I found it hard to put my trust in Mr. Unavailable, because I feared being let down again. He was really upset about me having those trust issues, because for him it was just another proof of the fact that he had to fix the emotional damage done by others, as he was such a nice guy and others were just plain assholes. He assured me in every possible way that I could let those trust issues go with him, that he was not like the indifferent asshole I had last dated, and that he would always care about my feelings and treat me with the respect I deserved. He even got angry whenever my trust issues would come to the surface again and urge me to finally let them go. According to him, he was not like the asshole I last dated and it was unfair to let him suffer and to not trust him because of him.

Of course he made me feel extremely guilty and I was convinced that I was not being fair by letting my trust issues affect our relationship. I worked really hard on letting those issues go and was eventually able to do so. I began to really believe that Mr. Unavailable was indeed interested in me and worried about my feelings and my well-being. I found it save to put my trust in him and to let go of my suspicions. Looking back at the relationship now, I deeply regret that I believed him and that I let my guard down and made myself vulnerable. He basically urged me into trusting him just to manipulate and emotionally abuse me. I let my guard down and got nothing but heartbreak, disappointments and despair as a reward. I never would have thought that the guy who so vehemently assured me that he would always treat me right, would turn out to be the guy who would break my heart in the most painful way possible. I was so convinced he would never let me down and would always treat me with respect: In the end, he was the guy who disappointed me most in my entire life and the guy who caused me so much pain like no one else has ever done before.

His supposed innate goodness seemed to extend to everyone around him: He prepared coffee for his students, he went out to buy tea for his colleagues, he motivated his exgirlfriend to give up the job she hated so much and to upgrate her education (at least that is what he told me). One time he even told me how he talked to a prostitute in Costa Rica, trying to convince her to make more out of her life. Back then, I was impressed by those stories and believed that he was a model of nobility and selflessness. Now I’m extremely angry and find most of his stories ridiculous.

He would constantly assure me of his deep regard and respect for me, continually complimenting me for my good-looks, my intelligence, my kindness (blabla). He would motivate me to have more self-esteem and to believe in myself. He uttered sentences like “I never want you to have to worry about anything, baby” or “I always want you to feel cared for and protected.” I desperately wanted to believe him. I was convinced I finally found the perfect guy who would never dare to break my heart and let me down.

Because he was so talented at pretending to be Mr. Nice Guy all the people around him seemed to adore him. He was a very popular teacher and his students just loved him. His colleagues valued him for his good-manners and his conversational skills. Everyone had something nice and appreciative to say about him and it seemed as if he could do no wrong. After he had finally shown his true colors to me, it was extremely difficult to let go of the illusion that he was the perfect gentleman. Everyone adored him and so I questioned my own judgment. After all, how can someone who is so popular, be the monster you think he is? I found it extremely hard to believe that his nobility and goodness was a facade. He even managed to fool my family and friends: They all loved him after meeting him and my best friend even jokingly told me that she gave me permission to marry him. Letting go of the illusion is difficult and painful and I was very reluctant to do so. I didn’t believe in my own judgement. It was also nearly impossible to talk to others about the way he emotionally abused and manipulated me. They all still believed that he was the nice guy he pretended to be, and I feared they maybe wouldn’t believe me. Fortunately, I have a loving family and a great best friend and they believed and supported me unconditionally.

So to sum it up, the tendency of many narcissists to put on a facade of nobility and goodness is very harmful for their victims. We let down our guard and put our trust in them, only to be emotionally abused and manipulated. In the end they have not only broken our hearts, but completely destroyed our trust and left us feeling confused, angry and empty. It is difficult not to question our own judgments and to accept the fact that everything they presented us with was nothing but a facade. In addition to that, we often find it hard to reveal our feelings to others, as they are still convinced he is the model of goodness and nobility he pretended to be. We fear they won’t believe us, we fear that our judgment might be wrong and that we might be at fault…It is extremely confusing and painful.

Whenever you find yourself in this trap, you need to believe in your own judgement and free yourself from the unhealthy relationship to your narcissist. We should never hold on to them out of a misguided belief that we might be at fault or that they might at some point go back to being the nice, caring and loving guys they were at the beginning of your relationship. Face the cold hard facts and save yourself some time and energy: It was nothing but a facade!

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Reasons for Holding On 4: Fear of Feeling Abandoned and Lonely

Not being in a relationship, not having someone with whom you can share all your thoughts, dreams and time, can sometimes lead to a feeling of extreme melancholy, loneliness and abandonment. People with codependent tendencies suffer to a higher degree from not having a shoulder to lean on, someone who showers us with signs of their affection and appreciation. As we often have low self-esteem, we have a hard time being on our own and we depend on others to give us the love and affection that we deny ourselves. Additionally, not being in a relationship often makes us feel like pathetic losers: We are convinced there must be something wrong with us, that we are not lovable the way we are, that we are not attractive or interesting enough, and that we will have to grow old alone. Those feelings can become so strong that they turn into an obsession, and finding a partner can become our top priority, a task that needs to be fulfilled as fast as possible. Our desire to immediately find a partner often draws us into the arms of narcissistic and unavailable men. We do not assess the situation carefully and throroughly enough before we lunge into a relationship.

Once we find ourselves in an unhealthy, dramatic and emotionally draining relationship, we hold on for dear life because we fear being lonely and abandoned again. We are convinced that we will never find another partner, and that we therefore have to make do with what we have and try to make things work under all circumstances. Instead of facing the feeling of being by ourselves again, we debase ourselves trying to please a man who does not deserve our efforts, our love and our time. We are so afraid of being alone again and of feeling abandoned, that we allow men to trample all over us in our efforts to make things work. On some level we might have already realized that all we will ever get out of Mr. Unavailable is pain, broken promises, drama and exhaustion. Our fear of being lonely, however, keeps us from drawing boundaries and saving ourselves.

At the point where we realize that the man we are dating is unavailable for a healthy, serious and long-term relationship and unable to offer us the love, care and affection that we long for, we are often already in too deep. We have already invested so many emotions, so many feelings, so much energy, time, dedication and hopes that we just cannot bear the thought that all of this was in vain and never really appreciated or asked for. After having given so much and already painted scenarios for a future in our heads, we find it too painful to admit defeat and be on our own again. We think that if we just keep on being kind, patient, enduring and understanding, our partner will somehow turn into Mr. Available and give us what we so desperately need. We hope that giving him time will eventually make all our efforts worthwile and we will finally be in a healthy and committed relationship. This is probably not going to happen and therefore it would be more healthy to admit defeat right at the beginning and not waste more of our precious time and dedication on people who clearly don’t know how to value it. Let’s face it: giving all you have and loving a person with all your heart and dedication is the most painful thing ever, if the man those feelings are directed at has no use for them and treats you with disrespect.

By the time we realize that things will likely not get better, we have often already introduced him to our friends and family. This was also the case in my situation. He spent an entire weekend with me and my family. My mother worked her ass off trying to make him feel at home and comfortable. I also introduced him to my friends and we went out for drinks together and had a wonderful time. After having presented a man as your new partner, it is even more difficult to admit defeat and go on alone. It makes you feel like the biggest loser on earth to admit to your friends and family that things didn’t work out again. You would prefer to just hold on to him so that you don’t have to admit defeat. Fortunately, in my case, my friends and family knew how disrespectfully he treated me (even though he managed to leave a very good impression when he met them!). They knew how much I suffered from being with an unreliable and unavailable man and often advised me to leave him. So, when I finally managed to let go, they didn’t think of me as a loser, but as someone who has finally managed to save her last pieces of self-respect.

Another reason for not being able to admit defeat is that we often cling to the feelings of happiness and carefreeness we felt at the beginning of the relationship. We don’t want to let go of these feelings, we don’t want to be all alone again. However, we fail to realize that the happiness and carefreeness has been long gone and will likely never return. Holding on in our hope that these feelings might return at some point is a futile endeavor that should be abandoned immediately.

We also shouldn’t hold on to an unhealthy relationship just because we have already reached a certain age and feel like we need to commit as fast as possible or we will end up alone for the rest of our lives. We often have nagging thoughts like: “All of my friends are in loving and committed relationships. Why can’t I ever make it work? What is wrong with me? I will die alone…” By now I have realized that those thoughts are toxic and that I’d rather die alone than spend the rest of my life with a man who doesn’t value, respect and appreciate me.

So to sum it up, the fear of being alone and abandoned should never lead us to hold on to relationships that are emotionally draining and sucking the life out of us. Being alone is definitely better than being in a relationship with someone who makes you feel worthless and pathetic every single day. After I got out of my relationship with Mr. Unavailable I realized that being alone was exactly what I needed, that it felt so good to let go of all of the drama and uncertainty. Sometimes being in a relationship can make you feel so much more lonely and abandoned than actually being on your own!

Reasons For Holding On 3: “But we have so much in common…”

Even when the situation has already become almost intolerable, we still find reasons to hold on to our toxic relatioships with Mr. Unavailable instead of trying to save ourselves.They can be deceitful, break their promises, neglect you, ignore you and show you in thousands of other ways that they are not worthy of your time, energy and affection. We still often lack the strength and resolution to let go and try to rationalize our decision to hold on to them by dwelling on the most trivial aspects – such as for example on the fact that we have so much in common and therefore want to make an effort to make things work.

I was also a master of applying this kind of false rationality. Whenever my friends told me to leave him and pointed out to me that he didn’t even treat me with the bare minimum of respect, consideration and affection, I didn’t want to hear any of it. I would counter all of their sound arguments by telling them how much I and Mr. Unavailable had in common, how it is special to find someone with whom you share so much and that it would be ill-advised to just let him slip out of my hands. At the time, I was still convinced that that guy was the best thing that ever happened to me, that there was a special chemistry between the two of us, and that I will likely never find someone like him ever again. This kind of wishful thinking led me to stoically accept all of the disappointments, all of the lies and the mindfuckery. It seemed as if all of the drama and pain was a small price to pay for finally finding someone with whom you have so much in common.

And it was true: The two of us indeed shared common interests, common views and common tastes. I still look back at our first few dates and can’t help but smile at how happy I was back then, how easy-going everything was. Of course this was before I noticed all the manipulation and mindfuckery that was going on. We could sit opposite each other at a table and just talk for hours. Hours would pass and it felt like minutes. We never ran out of subjects to talk about. We shared a similar taste in music, movies, books; we seemed to have very similar personalities (this later turned out to be wrong); We even had the same scholarly interests: I am a student of American Studies, he already has a Master’s degree in the same field. He often recommended books for me to read, and I would devour them, being thankful that I had finally found someone with whom I could share my passion for American literature.

During those first few dates everything was still going fine: We laughed a lot together, he didn’t seem to be distracted or depressed, I felt as if I had his undivided attention and as if he was genuinely interested in me. As it turned out, I had to live on those first few carefree dates for the rest of our time together. Things soon began to change drastically: We almost never found the time and opportunity to have those kinds of conversations again. He was always distracted, his exgirlfriend was always in the back of his mind, looming like a shadow over our interactions. Additionally, his mood was irreversibly changed: Instead of still being the carefree, entertaining, funny guy I got to know on our first dates, he turned into a gloomy, depressed person who continually complained about his bad luck, his lack of perspective, his relation to his exgirlfriend, sister etc.

I refused to accept the cold hard facts and admit to myself that the person I got to know on our first few dates was nothing more than a facade. I clung to this early image I got from him and was reluctant to let it go and allow reality to catch up with it. I dreamed and hoped that things will once more become as easy-going, fun and relaxed as they were right at the beginning. Even after months of manipulations, broken promises, pain and heartbreak, I still believed that somewhere hidden inside of him was the guy I met on our first few dates. I reacted with patience, endurance and understanding to all of the disappointments, hoping that one day I would be rewarded for it, that I would get his other, better self back and things would finally be fun again.

If I had managed to let go of those naive hopes after he had overstepped the boundaries of decent behavior one too many times, I could have spared myself a lot of agony, heartbreak and disappointments. Narcissistic and unavailable men tend to be very charming and on their best behavior at the beginning. We are flattered by the attention and interest they are showing towards us and captured by their conversational skills, their intellect etc. It is hard to acknowledge later on that all of this was just a facade and that the fun person we got to know has transformed into a narcissistic manipulator.

I still firmly believe that sharing common interests, values and outlooks is crucial for a good relationship. I enjoyed being able to talk about my passions with a seemingly eager listener. However, having a similar taste in books, movies, music etc. does not make up for all the manipulation and mindfuckery, and there are aspects that are a lot more important for a healthy relationship – such as having a common understanding of decent behavior. Later on I got aware of the fact that while we seemed to have a good time and common interests, we definitely didn’t have the same morals, the same core values and the same behavioral patterns. And those aspects are a lot more important and decisive in defining the length and quality of a relationship.

So here is a word of final advice: Always be prepared to let go of your hopes and dreams when it comes to the behavior of narcissistic and unavailable men. Allow reality to catch up with your illusions. While narcissists might be masters at being charming and entertaining at the beginning, they will soon turn into manipulators, treating you with cold indifference. Refusing to acknowledge this will cause you more pain and heartbreak than necessary and only draws out the inevitable. They are not worthy of our time, energy and dedication, and no amount of common interests will ever be able to change that.

Reasons for Holding On 2: Lack of Self-Esteem and Self-Respect

In many of my previous posts I have commented on the lack of self-respect and self-esteem, and the part it plays in being abused by narcissistic, unavailable men. It affects our relationship to those men to such an enormous extent and on so many levels that I now decided to dedicate an entire post to it. I have already declared countless times that had I been more self-confident and self-assured, I would never have allowed a guy to treat me the way I was treated those past few months. Loving and respecting myself would have led me to see that this is not what I deserve and to set up some clear boundaries, which I should never allow a guy to overstep. I did such a poor job at being good to myself that I let the emotional abuse go on for far too long without acknowledging how much damage it did to me.

Having low self-esteem and finding it hard to love and respect ourselves affects our relationships in at least three different ways: First, it makes us more prone to enter into a relationship with narcissistic, unavailable men. Second, it leads us to accept the little breadcrumps of affection those men are throwing us, and last of all, it makes us shift all the blame to ourselves and think that we are at fault for the shitty treatment we receive at the hands of the narcissist. In this post, I will shortly comment on each of these aspects and point out how they were mirrored in my relationship to Mr. Unavailable.

For as long as I remember I have struggled with self-doubt and low self-esteem. I tend to question every decision I ever made in my life, I’m never really satisfied with anything I do, and I’m often inclined to put all the blame on myself whenever I face a conflict or difficulty. Being so hard on yourself all the time is emotionally draining and leads you to be dependent on others for love, approval and reassurance. Because of the low opinion I hold of myself, I’m addicted to the feeling of being valued and appreciated that (ideally) comes from being in a loving relationship. My addiction to approval and love often drives me into relationships with shady men. I’ve often felt that being in a relationship – no matter how painful – is better than being alone with all my self-doubts and inner conflicts. Lunging into a relationship without giving the matter much thought offers me the distraction and excitement I’m longing for. If I was just happy being on my own, I would not be so inclined to enter a relationship with the first guy that shows interest in me. However, I’m addicted to signs of affection and interest and therefore rarely assess the situation rationally before I am already in too deep.

The second reason why having a low self-esteem is an important factor in our relationships with narcissistic, unavailable men is that it makes us hold on for much longer than is healthy for us. We fear being abandoned so much that we keep going back to them and try to make things work (even though it is not really in our power to do so). We not only accept the little breadcrumps of affection they are throwing us, but often think that this is all we deserve. Having little self-respect we allow them to trample all over us and still come back for more of the humiliation and disregard. This was particularly true for me: I allowed him to cancel our dates in the last minute; I allowed him to prioritize his exgirlfriend and continually break his promises; I allowed him to ignore me for days, not answering to any of my messages. Still I came back for more, not wanting to be alone again, clinging to the little signs of affection he was showing me occasionally. I readily turned him into the center of my life and focused all my thoughts on him, while he was treating me like a secondary option, to be discarded whenever he felt like it. I was too blind and too addicted to being loved that I never really took a moment to question what was going on and what I allowed him to do to me.

Having little respect for ourselves we not only accept to be treated with less than the bare minimum of consideration and affection, but it also leads us to put all the blame on ourselves. If they ignore us for days, we think we did something wrong and thereby triggered their emotional distance. If we are put into a secondary position behind exgirlfriends, we question ourselves and believe that we are just not attractive, interesting, special enough to deserve his full attention. Sometimes rationality pushes through and we realize that we are getting less than we deserve. I’ve reached that point on numerous occasions and was once led to write him an email, telling him that I felt treated unfairly and dishonestly and how much I suffered from his disregard and neglect. I got an angry reply in which he shifted a lot of blame on me. Instead of telling him to fuck off (excuse the language!), I readily accepted the blame and wrote a long email in which I apologized and begged him to forgive me for my accusations. Looking back at it now, I can only shake my head at how readily I debased myself, how I accepted blame even though the only thing I did was voice my justified concerns. I was absolutely brainwashed at the time, so blind and dependend that I blamed myself for just being honest and standing up for myself…

Even when trying to cope with the effects of emotional abuse we are often affected by our lack of self-respect and self-assurance. We readily accept the label “codependent” and hold a firm belief that we were complicit in our own abuse. We often utter phrases like “It takes two to tango” and think that we are at least equally to blame for everything that happened. It was exactly the same for me: When I started to recover I blamed myself for allowing others to disrespect me and readily thought of myself as being a codependent who needs to reassess her behavior and mindset. I still think this is partly true, but I’m slowly starting to take a stand against this kind of thinking. No matter how low the opinion is that we have of ourselves, it doesn’t mean that we deserve to be emotionally abused and exposed to all that mindfuckery and manipulation. We need to put more blame on the narcissistic abusers who took advantage of our insecurities, doubts and need for affection in order to boost their own egos! Simply labelling ourselves as codependent and blaming our own insecurities is not right. We also have to see that others took advantage of us, manipulated us, wounded us and turned us into emotional wrecks, and that it is never right to be treated that way, no matter how little self-confidence you might have…

Effects of Being with Mr. Unavailable 6: Health Problems and Physical Complaints

It is a well-known fact that extreme emotional stress can cause episodes of severe depression in which every movement requires an unusual amount of energy and will-power. Whenever we feel depressed as a result of being (or having been) part of an unhealthy relationship, we are unable to function properly and neglect many of our daily tasks – sometimes even our hobbies and friends – because we somehow no longer find the strength for doing anything at all. I’ve been through many of these episodes of severe depression and always managed to find my way out of them eventually. I always thought I did a good job at dealing with the grief and at overcoming the painful experiences. As it turns out, I never did all the work that would have been necessary to fully recover and move on as a stronger person. This failure to give myself enough time to grief and recover has led me to keep on getting into relationships with unavailable men, who would eventually break my heart again.

My inability to tackle my insecurities and to deal with the emotional wounds that men have inflicted on me also drove me into the arms of the last Mr. Unavailable. My relationship with him would turn out to be the most painful, exhausting and damaging of all of them. In the course of our interactions, I made the experience that emotional stress and pain can not only lead to sadness and depression, but can actually have an enormous effect on your physical well-being. After having been with Mr. Unavailable for a few weeks, I noticed that my health was deteriorating as a result of the emotional rollercoaster I found myself in.

The experience of having my hopes crushed over and over again, of being disappointed numerous times and of being treated with less than the bare minimum of respect and consideration, has led me to feel physically exhausted. Basic tasks would require an enormous amount of energy for me and I sometimes spent entire days on the couch, covered by a blanket because I no longer wanted to move. The consistent feeling of pain and sadness completely paralysed me and made my limbs feel heavy and useless. What further added to the feeling of physical exhaustion was the fact that I often could not sleep at all. I spent entire nights lying awake, racking my brain and almost going insane. Not being able to sleep and regain some of my strength would leave me even more desperate. Sometimes I was feeling so depressed that it would make me tremble, and I would even have attacks of sweating.

On top of feeling tired and exhausted, I had to deal with a severe lack of appetite and even nausea. I often couldn’t bring myself to eat all day. I had to force down food and hope that I would be able to keep it down. As a result, I lost weight and given the fact that I was quite skinny to begin with, I felt alarmed. As you can imagine, not being able to eat enough further added to the feeling of exhaustion.

When I was suffering from a particularly intense episode of stress and depression I could actually feel a stinging pain in my chest. My heart would often begin to race and it could even lead me to have trouble breathing. Whenever this happened, I felt extremely anxious and alarmed. My body was giving me clear signs that he was overwhelmed with my sadness and the emotional stress I was exposed to. The pain in the chest would sometimes become so bad that I considered seeing my doctor about it. I never followed through with it though, as I didn’t want to talk about the source of my physical complaints.

After weeks of continual stress, it got so bad that my hair began to fall out. Whenever I took a shower, I noticed an immense amount of hair going down the shower drain. I started to take pills that were supposed to counteract the loss of hair, but they never led to a real effect. I could actually feel my hair getting lighter and thinner and it would make me completely freak out at times.

To cut a long story short, being with Mr. Unavailable turned me into a nervous and physical wreck: I suffered from exhaustion, listlessness, lack of appetite and nausea, stinging pains in the chest and loss of hair. My apathy sometimes got so severe that I didn’t even care about any of those physical complaints. I was too busy recking my braing over Mr. Unavailable and his changeable behavior that I completely forgot to look after myself. However, there were also times when those health problems would increasingly alarm me and cause me to reconsider the situation I found myself in.

I’m now slowly recovering from everything that I have been through. I’m shocked and angry at myself that I allowed things to get out of hand to such a disastrous extent. My lack of self-esteem and consideration for my own well-being has led me to turn myself into a human wreck. I was so unable to treat myself with love and care that I often felt the physical complaints were an appropriate punishment for my own stupidity and naivety. I’ve finally learned that no man on earth is worth all the drama and pain that I’ve put of with. Someone who loves you should not make you suffer and get sick, but make you feel save, appreciated and cared for.

And just to let you know: I’m already feeling better. My hair has stopped falling out, I gained some weight and the pain in the chest has also almost completely subsided. Besides, I no longer suffer from nausea and am able to sleep relatively well most of the nights. I never want to get sick again from loving someone too much – especially not someone who treats me disrespectully and tramples all over me.

I’m now done with talking about the effects of being with Mr. Unavailable. At this point I want to say thank you to all of you following my blog and commenting on my posts. I really appreciate your kind and encouraging words and it helps me tremendously on my road to recovery. Please keep on commenting and sharing your own experiences and opinions. It’s always a pleasure to get feedback.

Effects of Being with Mr. Unavailable 5: Anger

Being involved with a Mr. Unavailable cannot only cause you to get severely depressed, and to lose touch with yourself. It can also lead to feeling extremely angry. At times the anger may get so overwhelming and all-encompassing that you might fear you will choke on it unless you find an outlet for it. My feelings often changed from severe sadness and depression to almost uncontrollable anger within the course of a few minutes. The ensuing emotional rollercoaster was so confusing and irritating that I felt paralysed. At times I was covinced I had completely lost control over my emotions.

Feeling angry can at times even be a welcome distraction from being consistently enshrouded in sadness and despair. However, if the anger gets too strong and gains the upper hand, it can feel like you will burst at any second. Strong anger can be so crippling and painful that you feel like you are losing control. Whenever I felt angry at Mr. Unavailable, I would have just loved to scream all of the frustration I was feeling right into his face. I never dared to do so and therefore almost always ended up having to swallow it. At times I feared I might just choke on it.

In the course of my interactions with Mr. Unavailable I felt angry a lot. The experience of being pushed aside and disrespected, of having to deal with an hysteric exgirlfriend and a lot of other bullshit sparked my anger on many different occasions. Unfortunately, I almost always felt guilty for being angry. I thought I was being weak (or even unreasonable) by allowing myself to feel that way. Whenever I would start feeling angry, I immediately questioned myself or even felt ashamed for it. As a result, I never voiced my anger, but swallowed it instead.

Only on a few occasions did I actually dare to express it. Once I wrote him a long email (our chief channel of communication) and let off some steam. I never got nasty or insulting, but tried to stay matter-of-fact and dignified. The reply I got was defensive, angry and unsympathetic. Instead of addressing my concerns and the reasons that lay behind my anger, he turned the tables and got angry at me instead. I didn’t stand my ground but caved in. I felt deeply misunderstood and overlooked, but didn’t have the courage to just say so. To fend off further accusations, I gave in and even apologized for daring to voice my feelings. In the end, the problem wasn’t resolved, my anger was still very much alive and pulsating inside of me. And what was worst of all: I now also felt small and rejected. I reproached myself for having dared to give voice to my anger. In my eyes it was a sign of weakness and of losing self-control.

After this experience, I tried to restrain myself from showing my anger ever again. As you can imagine, this tactic only made matters worse. Swallowing down anger can never be a real solution. All of these hurtful feelings were now bottling up inside of me and I felt like I was about to burst. At the same time, I felt ashamed for the intense anger that I felt and was blaming myself for not being able to control my feelings.

In retrospect I can admit that my anger was absolutely valid. After being taken for granted, disrespected and treated with cold indifference, it is only natural to feel angry at times. Being with a narcissist who does not have any regard for the feelings and worries of others, can at times drive you to the brink of madness. I don’t think there is a single person out there who can keep a cool head when faced with a full-blown narcissist.

After my involvement with Mr. Unavailable has ended, anger is the feeling that is sometimes still pulsating inside of me (besides regret and self-doubt). Right now, anger has managed to take hold of me again. Today I had to find out that Mr. Unavailable has already left Germany and flown back to the U.S. without even having said goodbye to me. I haven’t heard from him in weeks. After everything I have done for him, all the time, dedication and love I invested, all the bullshit I put up with, a simple goodbye wouldn’t have been too much to ask. My family members welcomed him warmheartedly into their home and his way of repaying their hospitality is by being disrespectful. His cold indifference towards the feelings of others is shocking (even for a narcissist).

I know it is unreasonable to still expect decent behavior from a man like this. But I cannot help feeling hurt and made a fool of right now. I feel like he trampled all over me by not even having the decency to say goodbye to me. It’s like a final slap in the face, a final blow to my self-esteem, and a final proof of the fact that he never really cared about me at all. How could you treat someone you once cared about with such cold indifference? It’s just not possible. Despite of everything that has happened, I somehow still hoped that we could part in a decent and mature way and give a conciliatory ending to all that pain and drama. I know this would have helped me a lot and made me feel better. It would have allowed me to not look back at everything with nothing but regrets. The way he disrespected me even at the very end of our interactions is nothing but painful and robs me of the opportunity to finally make peace with everything that happened.

I know I will eventually find the strength to deal with this final insult and let go of the anger. I’m just disappointed things didn’t end in a different way. A miserable ending always leaves a bad taste in your mouth and makes you feel helpless, worthless and abandoned. Having people trample all over you and disregard your worth as a person cannot simply be ignored. I hope no one will judge me for apparently not being completely able to make peace with everything that happebed yet. As I wrote right at the beginning: I’m still on my journey to getting better, I’m in the middle of a healing process and I still have to deal with setbacks.

Effects of Being with Mr. Unavailable 3: Losing Touch With Yourself

In my last post, I have already dwelled on the fact that people with codependent behavioral patterns often have low self-esteem and tend to continually doubt themselves and their decisions. Our lack of self-love and self-acceptance leads us to search for love, recognition and appreciation in romantic relationships (or even other kinds of interactions). As we are unable to be satisfied with ourselves, we need others to make us feel loved and cared about. Being on our own makes us feel worthless, undeserving of love and alone.

Connected to all of these issues is the fact that people with low self-esteem tend to not devote enough time to their own needs, thoughts and wishes. As we are generally not satisfied with ourselves, we don’t want to occupy ourselves with our own personalities. Consequently, we are continually on the look for distraction, and painful and dramatic relationships offer us exactly the distraction we so desperately crave. As we don’t want to be let alone with our own thoughts, lunging into dramatic relationships keeps us busy and enables us to keep on denying us the attention we need. We spend all of our time and energy into dealing with Mr. Unavailables, and our thoughts are occupied with thinking about the relationship, and the wishes, needs and behavior of the emotionally unavailable person we are dating. In the course of racking our brains over all of the pain and drama, we completely lose touch with ourselves.

This is exactly what happened to me in my relationship with Mr. Unavailable. I have a really hard time not being in any relationship, as I tend to suffer from low self-esteem and to question almost every little aspect of my life. Not being in a relationship makes me feel unloved, unwanted, alone and sometimes even depressed. I’m addicted to the feeling of being loved that a romantic relationship ideally provides, as I have difficulties loving and accepting myself. This addiction often made me lunge into relationships with shady men, because being in a relationship – no matter how painful – was always considered to be better than being alone by me. My relationship with Mr. Unavailable provided me with so much pain, drama and emotional exhaustion that there was no more time left to think about my own wishes, hopes, and desires. I was getting the full-time distraction I was looking for.

Given the fact that my Mr. Unavailable had many narcissistic tendencies, I was during the course of our interactions almost completely kept from engaging with my own self. Our conversations tended to revolve around him, his problems, his unhappy childhood, his achievements, his setbacks etc. I never really had to bring my own thoughts, experiences and opinions into the conversation. Sometimes he would pretend to be interested in what I had to say and even ask me a question or two. But I soon realized that his interest was not strong enough to surpass his narcissistic tendencies. Consequently, he was dominant both in our interactions and conversations. In the beginning, it was a welcome distraction. After some time I felt like I was completely losing touch with myself. Having to realize that you are never really a part of the conversation makes you feel like you have nothing interesting to say, that you are unworthy of being listened and given attention to.

Another factor that made me lose touch with myself was that in the course of our relationship I felt like a dog running after his owner. Every single aspect of our relationship went according to his terms: He decided when to meet, where to meet, what to do. He was the one who almost never made time for me because he was – as he repeteadly pointed out – so busy. I was almost always the one having to do all the travelling. We lived quite some distance away from each other, and it took me more than an hour by train to meet with him. Sometimes we would only meet for such a short amount of time that I spent more time on the train than actually being with him. It was depressing, exhausting and made me seriously doubt my own behavior. Why was I doing all of this? Was it really worth it? Chasing after him like a dog, always waiting for a call, always waiting for him to tell me when we would finally see each other again, kept me absolutely distracted from myself. I was so busy evaluating his behavior, running after him and dealing with all the disappointments and drama, that I lost touch with myself. I kept chasing him, because it prevented me from spending time on my own, thinking about myself.

Another major contribution to all of it came from the fact that I was consistently treated like a secondary option, while his exgirlfriend got his undivided attention and always had priority. Some days he would complain about her being mentally unbalanced, on other days he pointed out to me that he respected her with all his heart and wanted her to forever stay in his life. Whenever she got hysteric and insulting or put him under pressure, he would yield and stay at home with her. I was continually pushed aside. I wasn’t allowed to give him a call, he wasn’t allowed to spend the night at my place etc: All of it would make her freak out. She went so far as to harrass me by giving me calls and sending me tons of text messages. He never interfered, and always talked about being considerate towards her feelings. My feelings never seemed to matter at all. In spite of all of it, I continued meeting with him. I gladly let myself be drawn into all this drama and ridiculousness because it kept me from being alone and devoting thoughts to myself. Of course I doubted my own behavior: Why was I allowing him to treat me like this? Why do I want to be part of so much drama? Am I really so worthless as to be treated like an option? Don’t I deserve to be treated with respect, care and consideration? I was completely losing touch with myself and my self-esteem was dealt a severe blow.

As usual I could go on and on, pointing out further examples for how being with Mr. Unavailable made me lose touch with myself. I think you got the picture: I let myself be treated with disrespect and disregard because I craved the distraction that came with being part of a dramatic relationship. I kept chasing him and debasing myself, because it prevented me from being alone and devoting time to thinking about myself and considering my needs. My low self-esteem and self-respect were the reason for why I didn’t opt out and save myself. The treatment I received from Mr. Unavailable only further lowered my self-esteem: it was a vicious circle.

In retrospect, I’m shocked because I allowed him to be so disrespectful and inconsiderate. Had I been more confident and strong, I would never have allowed this kind of behavior. Maybe this episode of my life presented me with the wake-up call I so obviously needed. I need to treat myself better and spend more time dealing with my own ambitions and wishes, in order to become a part of a healthy relationship.

Effects of Being with Mr. Unavailable 2: Self-Doubt and Self-Blame

This is definitely going to be one of the most important posts I will write, given the fact that I’ve been dealing with self-doubts and low self-esteem for most of my life. It is the reason for why I often end up with shady guys who not really have my best interests at heart. I search for recognition and appreciation in relationships, because I cannot give these things to myself. I’m addicted to being loved by others, because I have difficulties loving myself. However, the shady guys that codependent people with low self-esteem get into relationships with only make matters worse: They will eventually disappoint us, leave us heartbroken and therefore make us question our own part in the relationship. More often than not, this will only lower our self-esteem further and have us wonder if we are not worthy of being loved and treated with respect.

The most ironic part of my last relationship with Mr. Unavailable was that he told me right at the beginning that he had the feeling I had rather low self-esteem and tend to sell myself short when it comes to relationships. He also told me to be more confident, that I had all the reasons for believing more in myself, and that I should apply a more “careful screening process” when it came to guys. I felt like I had won the lottery: Had I finally found a guy who would be attentive to my feelings and treat me with appreciation? How was I supposed to know that he would turn into exactly that kind of guy he had warned me against? Was he unconsciously (or very consciously) warning me against himself? Looking at it in retrospect I can’t help spotting the irony…

In the end, Mr. Unavailable did absolutely nothing to help me improve my self-esteem. To the contrary, he shattered it to pieces and left me feeling like an empty shell, doubting everything about me (and especially my part in the relationship). Almost everything he did had me doubt myself, my behavior, even my own sanity.

The strongest source for my self-doubts came from the fact that he would often not call, leave a message or contact me in any other way for several days in a row. There were times when I wouldn’t get to see him for several weeks in a row. For me this was just heartbreaking and agitating. I would have loved to spend as much time with him as possible and it was affecting me that he didn’t seem to be able to make time for me. Agonizing thoughts were constantly revolving in my head: “Why doesn’t he call or leave a message? If he really cared about me, he would have contacted me. Is he interested in me at all? He must be really detached to not call at all…Or am I maybe asking for too much? Am I turning into an obsessive person?” My friends and family would repeatedly assure me that he is not treating me fairly by not calling me and not seeing me in weeks. I didn’t want to hear any of it. I preferred to put all the blame on myself and suppressed the suspicion that he might not be that interested after all.

Another source of self-doubt came from his continually voiced desire to leave the country and fly back to the U.S. I constantly blamed myself for not being able to stay more emotionally detached. Why did I invest all my heart, energy and time into someone who might be leaving soon? Why do I blame him for being more detached than I am? After all, isn’t this the reasonable way to handle all of it? But why does he even bother seeing me then? Why does he insist on continuing to go out with me? Why did he want to meet my parents, if he wants to leave? I couldn’t make any sense of his behavior and chose to blame myself for everything instead.

The fact that he still lived with his exgirlfriend and often pushed me aside because of her also didn’t add much to my self-esteem. I’ve already dedicated two entire posts to his hysteric, insulting exgirlfriend who did not allow him to see me. I therefore don’t need to go into further detail at this point. Allowing him to turn me into an option while his exgirlfriend still had priority had me seriously doubt my worth as a person. Why do I allow him to treat me like that? Am I only good enough to be a secondary option? Am I not deserving of the same care, appreciation and attention that she gets? Are the two of them secretly mocking me? Am I just the person he goes to to load off the emotional baggage from his last relationship? My mind seemed to be obsessively occupied with him and his exgirlfriend, painting the most painful scenarios. I felt absolutely worthless, disrespected and unappreciated because my feelings just never mattered as much as those of his exgirlfriend. It can leave you feeling so small…like a real loser.

I don’t think I have to go on pointing out more instances that caused me to seriously doubt myself. Suffice it to say that being with a Mr. Unavailable can be absolutely shattering to your sense of self worth. Through their emotional unavailability they have you doubt just about everything about yourself. Instead of accepting that they are to blame for not being able and willing to give us what we want, codependent people blame themselves and see themselves as not worthy of being respected, cared about and loved. We question our behavior throughout the entire relationship and keep wondering where everything went wrong. Instead of realizing that Mr. Unavailables won’t even give us the bare minimum of what we want, we see ourselves as too needy, too dependent and try to be satisfied with the little breadcrumps they are feeding us with.

Even if we manage to see through their shady and disrespectful behavior and realize that they are unwilling and unable to fulfill our emotional needs, we still find ways to blame ourselves: Why can’t I find the strength to free myself from this painful relationship? Why do I keep allowing him to disrespect me? Why do I still feel so much for a man who obviously doesn’t really respect and appreciate me? We are just really good at addressing reproaches to ourselves.

I’ve finally managed to see through the patterns that kept my self-esteem on a very low level. It doesn’t mean that I turned into a confident and self-assured person over night. I’m still struggling with self-doubt and find it hard to accept my flaws and the mistakes I make. I tend to be too hard on myself. But at least I’ve finally managed to realize all of it and I guess it’s the first step towards improvement…So if there is anything positive I can draw from all that pain, drama and suffering, it is that it really opened my eyes to the fact that I need to change my mindset. Only if we are good to ourselves can we have healthy relationships with people who also genuinely want to be good to us.

Effects of Being with Mr. Unavailable 1: Nagging Uncertainty

After having dwelled for quite some time on the different factors that turn a Mr. Unavailable into what he is – namely unavailabe – I will now use the next few posts to deal with what the effects of being with such a person are. I doubt that there is one single woman out there who possesses the mental strength and self-assurance to not be affected by the constant ups and downs that come with being with a Mr. Unavailable.

Especially codependent women are lacking in self-esteem and strength and are therefore especially affected by those men on two levels: First of all they are more prone to fall victim to them, because as they are not confident and happy with themselves they often attract shady guys who will only further lower their self-esteem. Secondly, as we don’t have the strongest personalities and depend on others for approval, we often are blind to the unjust treatment we receive, we are unable to free ourselves from unhealthy relationships and we tend to blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong. We often have to deal with nagging self-doubts and low self-esteem and that’s why the negative effects of being with a Mr. Unavailable hit us the hardest. We lack the self-assurance to tell ourselves that we deserve better and to free ourselves from unhealthy relationships as a consequence.

The first effect of being with Mr. Unavailables that I want to deal with is what I called “nagging uncertainty” in the title of this post. It’s one of the effects that I had to struggle with the most. I’ve already written about how changeable and fickle my Mr. Unavailable was. One day he would make promises about a bright future together…the other day he would threaten to leave the country and go back to the U.S. One day he would tell me he intended to move out of his exgirlfriend’s apartment, the other day I had to look at intimate pictures of the two of them on social media platforms. I could go on forever at this point, but I’ve already dedicated several posts to his faulty behavior and don’t want to repeat myself.

The effect of his changeableness was that I never really knew where the two of us were headed. I was in constant fear of losing him, as he continually threatened he might leave the country soon. I was never really allowed to touch upon the subject of what the future of our relationship would look like…if there was a future at all. I tried to talk to him about it, but all I good were evasive utterances and nothing that even came close to a satisfying answer.

As a result, I couldn’t even enjoy the time we spent together…not even when he spent an entire weekend at my place (which was a very special occasion as he usually had to stay at home with his exgirlfriend). There were always nagging thoughts in the back of my mind. I constantly had to remind myself that I should never allow myself to enjoy the time spent together and his presence too much. He might leave soon and it would make the farewell even more heartbreaking and devastating.

It was emotionally draining. I loved spending time with him so much, but at the same time couldn’t allow myself to enjoy it to the full extent. I even felt guilty and weak for enjoying it. I knew I was too emotionally involved and spending too much of my dedication, time and energy into a relationship that could just go down the drain at any moment. It is nerve-racking to be hanging in the air like this, not knowing where you are headed, dreading that all of your dedication and love will not be rewarded in the end, but will have been completely in vain.

Adding to this was the fact that I often wouldn’t hear from him for days. He would leave me hanging in the air, having agonizing thoughts about when I would see him again and why he didn’t leave me a message or call me. Sometimes I didn’t get to see him for several weeks. It didn’t seem to be bothering him and when I complained about feeling pushed aside he wouldn’t address my concerns. I started to realize that he was far more emotionally detached than I was, that he didn’t really allow himself to be too deeply involved with me and therefore tried to keep some distance. It made me feel even guiltier for not being able to be just as emotionally detached and to not let our interactions affect me so much. As it turned out, almost my entire being revolved around him and it was hard to bear being pushed aside and treated with distance and detachment. I clearly turned a guy into my priority who treated me like an option.

I’ve often asked myself why he even wanted to keep seeing me, given the fact that he was obviously not allowing himself to get too emotionally involved and that he must have realized how much he was hurting me through his changeable behavior. Only too late did I realize that being a textbook narcissist he didn’t really spend much time worrying about how I might feel or how much I might suffer from all of it. All he cared about was himself and apparently he found that I was too nice a distraction to just let me go out of consideration for my feelings…

As a result of all of this, I’ve spent the last five months feeling on edge. I could never fullly enjoy the time spent with him. I was never sure of where the relationship was headed. And I felt guilty for not managing to be more detached and for allowing myself to be so emotionally involved. As codependent people often do, I blamed myself for everything and tried to find the rationality behind the fact that he would often ignore me for days and keep me hanging in the air. I thought he was handling the entire situation in a more reasonable and mature way than I was and that I was the one to blame for my own misery.

Looking at it in retrospect, I realized that while I was certainly responsible for my misery to a certain extent, there were no excuses for his cold indifference. I now know that it was wrong of him to allow himself to even start dating me, given the uncertain situation he was in at the time. He should have known that he was only hurting my feelings by drawing me into his vagueness and uncertainties. He couldn’t have expected me to handle the situation in the same detached manner as he did…especially not after he was giving me hope by making plans for the future and repeatedly assuring me of his regard, respect and serious feelings for me. He was blowing hot and cold and sending me mixed messages: One day he seemed to be genuinely loving and caring, the other day he was detached and talking about leaving the country. I never knew how I should feel about any of it…

So to let you know the outcome: he is leaving the country in a few days. I’m starting to realize and accept that this is the best option for both of us. When I learned that he would leave I was at the same time utterly devastated and strangely relieved. Relieved because the exhausting and emotionally draining times of nagging uncertainties and agonizing thoughts would finally be over. I was on the verge of having a break down, because I couldn’t take it any longer. I feel strangely freed from a heavy burden that was weighing me down. Now I can finally start the healing process, take better care of myself and leave the painful emotional rollercoaster behind.

Unavailability Factor 5: Being Self-Obsessed and Narcissistic

Today I will turn to the last unavailability factor I intend to deal with for now: self-obsession and narcissism. Just because I decided to put it last does not mean that this is the factor I was least affected by. With time it also came to be a heavy burden and combined with all the rest of the unavailability factors it created a situation that – slowly but steadily – became unbearable. Back when I was still part of the relationship I didn’t assess the whole situation properly and therefore never had a deep understanding of why I was feeling so miserable and pushed aside. Only in retrospect was it possible for me to work out these five unavailability factors, and only after reading several books did the idea cross my mind that the guy I was dating might have been narcissistic as hell…

The idea didn’t cross my mind while I was still dating him. I just thought that he liked to talk a lot about himself. It never bothered me, because he always had interesting things to say and I enjoyed listening to him. In all of my past relationships and in my friendships I am used to doing a lot of the talking. So somehow it felt fine to be the listener for once. Only after having gone on several dates with him, I was beginning to have some slight doubts, as I noticed that I barely spoke a word because he was monopolizing the conversation.

In the beginning, I also didn’t really have a problem with the fact that he sometimes liked to talk in a very favorable way about himself. He made comments like: “I know I am a pretty good teacher”, “I know I can sing very well”, “I know I can be pretty attractive to some girls”. It never bothered me. I always thought: What is wrong with having self-confidence and with knowing what you are good at? Maybe this is exactly what I am missing?

To sum it up: I could have lived with those little quirks, I even found them endearing and thought there was nothing really wrong with it. I’m not a person who dwells on trivialities. So what if he likes to talk a lot, so what if he likes to talk favorably about himself? It was fine by me. It really started to bother me when I realized the other effects of his narcissistic behavior: I was taken for granted, my feelings were never really considered by him, he avoided conflicts by getting defensive, and he never sought the faults in his own behavior, but preferred to blame others for everything (right up to the fact that he was miserable with his own life). Nothing seemed to be his responisibility…It was always everyone else’s fault that he didn’t get ahead, that he was miserable and unable to make plans and decisions.

Due to the four other factors that I’ve already dwelled on in my last posts I was unhappy a lot in the course of our interactions. I felt disrespected, not taken seriously, even fooled at times. I swallowed most of my pain and doubts, but sometimes I would reach a point where I just couldn’t take anymore of it, and I dared to voice my concerns (always in a very nice and friendly tone). He immediately got defensive, blaming me for everything I listed and never even trying to consider the part he played in the poor state I was in emotionally. I tried the tactic of writing my concerns down and tell him about the things that were saddening me via email. In his replies he always shifted the focus away from me and instead started to dwell on his own problems, his own feelings of depression. I would get entire litanies of wailing and complaining about his situation, about how unhappy and miserable he was, about how he longed for profound change. It got to a point where I was sick and tired of always having to listen to him whining about everything. And I have to say at this point that I am a very patient listener and always take the concerns of the people I love very seriously…So if I ever got sick and tired, it must have been really really bad…

I just never felt appreciated and never thought that my feelings and concerns really mattered to him. If he had thought about me for just a second he would have had to realize how unhappy I must have been with the entire situation. As it turns out, he was always so busy thinking about himself that he never wanted to realize that I was slowly falling apart because of the treatment I received from him. He was going on making promises he couldn’t and didn’t want to keep. He was brilliant at doing what Natalie Lue called “Future Faking” in her book “Mr. Unavailable & The Fallback Girl”. Whenever he realized that I was unhappy he would make promises for a future that was never supposed to happen. However it worked and kept me going, as I was clinging to the hope that one day he would at least act up to one of his many promises.

So to sum it up: It was always okay for me that he liked to talk a lot about himself, that he often spoke very favorably of himself. It started to bother me when his narcissism led me to feel pushed aside, neglected and not taken seriously. He was always so immersed in his own misery and dealing with his self-image that my feelings and concerns never found a listening ear or were ever taken into consideration. I never really found the courage to address the issue. I thought that my feelings were obviously not valid and not worth being discussed. This way of thinking was in tune with my low self-esteem. And by pushing me aside and not appreciating my feelings he lowered my self-esteem even more. I was convinced that I didn’t have the right to be discontent, that I was being unreasonable and that no one would ever give a damn about what I felt.

Being with a narcissistic and self-obsessed person will probably always leave you feeling worthless, empty, alone and neglected. They tend to be so busy with themselves that your needs and hopes will never be met. And the worst part: They won’t accept blame for their behavior, but will redirect it to you. In the end you will not only feel miserable for being neglected, but you will also gladly accept the blame for it due to your low self-esteem…

I’m done for now with pointing out the factors that doomed my last relationship from the very beginning. I just failed to notice any of it with a clear mind, as I was not thinking reasonably while we were still dating. I let this miserable situation drag on for far too long without finding the strength and confidence to release myself. I allowed him to drag me down and instead of assessing the situation correctly, I tended to blame myself for everything that was going wrong. I was trying to make up for everything by being even more loving, patient and kind, which only added to my Frustration, as it wasn’t getting me anywhere.

You might probably have realized that almost all of the factors I elaborated on are somehow interconnected: Because he was immature, he couldn’t take a grip of his life, which lead to him being aimless and changeable. His aimlessness contributed greatly to his depression. All of these factors prevented him from moving ahead which also explains the fact that he couldn’t figure things out with his exgirlfriend and was still very involved with her…It was a vicious circle and of course I never had the power to do anything about it…Only too late did I realize that the problem was not with me…it was with him. And I never ever want to give someone the power to drag me down and shatter my sense of self-worth to the extent that he did!