Can people change? Yes. They most definitely can; even toxic people. But it’s not as easy as your fears and insecurities would like to believe.
I talk to people every day who are going through a breakup where they gave their all to a toxic person. They tell me how incredible their ex was in the beginning; they thought they had found their soulmate.
But then, it takes a very ugly and sad turn.
They go on to tell me how they found out they were being lied to, cheated on, and manipulated for months on end after the honeymoon phase wore off. They blame themselves and are convinced that they must have “done something” to make him/her change all of a sudden.
After telling me every detail and essentially, describing their ex to be: manipulative, dishonest, abusive, and incapable of an adult relationship, many (understandably) break down in tears.
But it’s not for the reasons you would think.
- “Can you believe she did this?”
- “How am I ever going to find someone like him?”
- “He was the greatest person I’ve ever known.”
- “What am I going to do without him?”
- “How can I get her back?”
- “You don’t understand Natasha. He made mistakes but he was so chivalrous in the beginning. I’ll never find anyone with looks and a personality like his.”
This is after telling me how much of a selfish a*shole their ex was.
And while I can empathize because I have so been there, these are my answers:
- “Yes. At this point, it’s very believable that she did this. I’m not shocked. You’ve basically told me that you found something with feathers, quacking in the pond, and can’t believe it’s a duck. I’m not surprised that it’s a duck.”
- “You’re right. You are never going to find someone like him again – that’s the whole point.”
- “He wasn’t the ‘greatest man you’ve ever known.’ You were the greatest you had ever been when you were with him. You struggle with boundaries and self-love, which is why you fall for men who make you love the person you are when you’re around them because you’re able to do things for them that you can’t do for yourself (like protect, nurture, encourage, and support). He is not the greatest. The idea that you had of him and what he represented was the greatest. And all that credit you are giving him… he didn’t earn it. Give yourself some credit for breaking free.”
- “You know what you’re going to do without him? Much BETTER.”
- “You get her back the moment you activate indifference (by accepting who she has revealed herself to be).
- “While it’s great to appreciate chivalry, good looks, and a winning personality, all you have is a chivalrous, good looking liar with a great personality who cheats. How is this attractive? Would you introduce this man to your younger self? Would you leave your younger self alone with him? Would you want your best friend or a family member to date someone like him?”
It’s one thing to be heartbroken over being taken for granted, used, and abused. It’s another thing to be heartbroken over no longer being with a toxic person who cheats, lies, and isn’t good for your mental health. All because you are convinced who they were, in the beginning, is who they really are.
It’s like crying because you just found out you’re cancer-free or beating yourself up for a life-long prison sentence being lifted over a crime you didn’t commit.
I know how much it hurts though. And I know how much it can eat away at you.
There is nothing more painful than realizing you invested in a relational Ponzi scheme. It would have been easier if this was a financial investment. Money can be earned back and you could file a lawsuit. And even if you didn’t get your money back, at the very least, it could be recognized by a court of law that what happened to you was not only wrong and unethical, but it was illegal. The other party would have egg all over their face and their reputation would be ruined.
But what happens when someone breaks relational laws and there’s no justice insight?
What happens when you invest your most breakable asset? Something that you don’t know for sure if you can ever get to unbreak or open up again…
Some of the smartest, most successful people have unknowingly invested in Ponzi schemes. And even when they weren’t getting their calls (and investments) returned, many continued to invest in hope that proving their loyalty and faith would somehow elicit a return. No one in history would have ever invested in a Ponzi scheme if it did not look so attractive and make so much sense in the beginning. So please, don’t beat yourself up.
When it comes to relational Ponzi schemes, even women who have their self-love and boundaries intact blame themselves after realizing they invested in one.
You’re not taking this so hard because you lost a real one. You’re taking this so hard because you suffer from the disease to please and because of this, can’t help but blame yourself. You’re convinced that you must have done something to scare your ex off and make them turn cold. As if catering to someone’s needs, wanting to know where the relationship is going, and having the expectation that they act in accordance with who they presented themselves to be would make a decent person completely drop their humanity, moral code, communication skills, and empathy.
You may have acted inappropriately and been suffocating or clingy, which isn’t good but even then, a person who isn’t toxic would not stay in the relationship with you and continue to use you without pressing pause, communicating what the issue was, and discussing what needed to change for the relationship to continue. Or, if they had truly hit their limit, they would at least communicate that it was over and be on their way.
When it comes to “can people change?” Remember this…
Everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning stages of dating. They present their best selves and are extra conscientious because things are new and this is where they have the most control over their image.
In this stage of dating, you’ll get more of an indication of who someone is, not by observing their treatment of you, but by observing how they treat everyone around you – their friends and family, your friends and family, children, animals, the staff at a restaurant, their coworkers, and people who can do nothing for them.
If you’re with someone who is not toxic, after a while, you’ll start to see that yes, they are human. They have their own habits and ways of doing things that might annoy you, but they have character, integrity, and empathy.
You can count on them to have your back in the same way they have their own (and in the same way you have your own; you both have healthy boundaries). They are relationally ambitious. Things continue to move forward and even though you both may have your bad days, there is mutual love, communication, and trust that supports growing intimacy and connection. You feel like you can (respectfully) say what’s on your mind and communicate your feelings without worrying about them recoiling, ghosting, getting freaked out, or judging you. And vice versa.
With people who are toxic, it’s a totally different story. It’s a complete Jekyll and Hyde. They look great on paper, will be incredible in the beginning, and show you that they have the capacity to be, say, and do everything you ever dreamed of. You see this as a preview of the Happily Ever After you’ve been waiting for and fall for all the potential – no matter how strong they initially come on and how okay they are with you compromising your own life to be a part of theirs.
Then one day (which could be weeks or months down the line), they’re no longer the same. They do a complete 180.
You work even harder to try to get things back to the way they were in the beginning and the “pressure” irritates them. They are then able to turn it around on you and make you feel like the criminal when you’re the one left with no more money in your emotional bank and no return on your investment.
The whole experience is traumatizing because it messes with your sense of reality and confidence in both yourself and your decision-making. When you start feeling ashamed for having an expectation of a standard that was set (and laid on so thick) in the beginning, you’ll start to become grateful for crumbs.
Can toxic people change? Can a narcissist change?
This isn’t to say that toxic/narcissistic people are not capable of change. I am living proof that they are capable of it. But that change wasn’t as simple as meeting a great guy (after being a total asshole to my ex), taking no time to self-reflect, and being fresh out of a relationship.
It took unplugging from patterns that produced such debilitating fear and loneliness, I didn’t think I would make it through the withdrawals. It took prioritizing my younger self and dedicating my life to being the parent and best friend she needed all those years ago. It took serving her before my ego.
Your ex doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way he is and operates, nor does he think he needs to change. He’s only capable of switching up a façade.
It’s tough because your own eyes and ears have experienced that he/she can be everything that they were in the beginning. And you worry about them consistently being that person with someone new (they won’t). But when someone has been shittier than they are kind and honest, more careless than they are caring, and more selfish than they are empathetic, why on earth would you think that you were powerful enough to be the sole cause of that discrepancy? No is powerful enough that they can scare, smother, love, irritate, or communicate the humanity and integrity out of someone else.
Stop telling yourself that he/she changed. They didn’t change. You didn’t know them in the beginning and you got to know them over time. People reveal who they are over time.
Your ex presented themselves as a bar of solid, twenty-four-carat gold and ended up tarnishing into a turd. Just because the gold coating faded and you’re left with a turd, that isn’t an indicator of your lack of worth. It’s an indicator that it was never solid, to begin with. It was full of sh*t and that you need to FLUSH. Immediately.
Your ex lacks character. And character is not just matching your words with your actions, It’s about being able to match those actions with consistent patterns over time.
They came on strong and ended up revealing. They didn’t come in genuine and end up changing.x Natasha+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.
This resonated with me greatly. I have just freed myself from a very short, intense, toxic relationship which has left me bewildered and wondering what the hell has just happened. To this day I cannot wrap my head around how I was treated by someone who at the beginning I thought was someone who I’ve been waiting for, instead he turned into someone I didn’t recognise. I feel duped, lied to and cheated of something I’ve been waiting for, for a very long time.
You are so correct when you say that I loved the person he made me feel at the beginning and I think I will now forever chase that feeling again. Even now I have times when I want him back, and try and think of ways I could do it. I literally have to stop and force myself to think of other things apart from him. The thought of him treating someone else better does haunt me and I have to remember that he will never change and he will treat her the same and it was nothing I did that caused him to give me silent treatments and disappear then reappear like nothing has happened.
I know I deserve so much better x
YES, YOU DO Claire!! 🙂
I’m so happy that the post served you. Never settle and know your worth.
You’re not alone. Love you soul sis. xxo
When you wrote that your realtionsh*t left you bewildered and wondering what the hell happened, please know I literally wrote the same words years ago. It has been 2 years since I left what can only be described as ……. Ha, I can’t even describe it. Two years later I often think about him and nothing makes sense. It wasn’t normal. Nothing about him was. Only in the beginning was he “normal.” He was a fraud. Hot and then COLD. Silence. Then warm when he wanted something. Repeat. I lost myself. I lost time. I lost reality.
So don’t beat yourself up. And PLEASE do not go back. He will reach out to you again. They always do. But nothing will change, the brief high and relief you feel will cost you your dignity. Stay on your white horse. Live your best life!
Thank you for this article. Years later I still struggle. Because nothing made sense. I would never want a single thing to do with him, but I got no justice. Maybe that’s why I still have triggers. I don’t know. I come to your blog often. You have no idea how much your insight helps others. You are one badass and I’m so grateful. And I LOVE that you are happy and have found true love. You rock!!
It’s so good to hear from you 🙂 I’m glad that the post was valuable <3 It's what I live for.
Yeah, no justice is one thing that has kept me completely stuck in the past. I found freedom when I realized that their "punnishment" was simply being who they are.
Thanks, sister. The only reason you can see what you do in me is because you radiate and emmanate it yourself.
Love you! xox
Christine. Please know this. Should if you struggle with “triggers” please buy ACA (12 Step) Yellow book and Big Red Book (BRB) because BRB being as a referral with deep elaboration or details suggested from yellow book. Hopefully this will help you to “let that go”. Surrender. Such as. I know it’s not easy especially whatsoever means A L O T to you. Fact. Nothing we can do to change or control with (blank you fill in). Yes it sadden to recognize fact of reality. Hard to accept in some case that means lot to you. I know… Discipline yourself to let it go. Surrender. Takes time. Hope one day you will complete rid of triggers and be free of it. Same with me. Yellow book (each page) is (example) July 23 with topic. One short page to read. With (example) refer to BRB page 150 whatsoever referred from yellow book per today topic. You will find approximate chapter/verses from yellow book. Some case it takes pages pages to read in BRB referred from that damn little yellow book! ? Geez Yellow book cost me $10 and BRB $20 new. It is VERY RELIGIOUS NEUTRAL (from Atheist to Buddish or Christian or Mormon or to Z….. whatever. Detail traits all in there. You will see whatsoever trait those ones you cared or cares have had went/go through. Including you. You will be surprise to realize that anyone with their belief with buddish or even atheist or Christian or even Mormon are all similar in traits. Traits are passable to next or surprisingly not that generation but next one! You won’t be disappointed. You seem smart enough to able to read “psychology” languages lol. Hope that helps you. Take easy. John.
I want to reiterate what Claire was expressing. YOU ARE A GODDESS! THANK YOU FOR BEING BRAVE AND SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCES AND LESSONS YOU’VE LEARNED. I just found your blog today and so much of what I’m feeling and experienced sounds familiar, as I read other’s comments and your story. I just cried and had about 50 A=HA moments. You are so smart and the world is brighter and better for your sharing how you moved out of your dark places/toxic thoughts/habits. I’ve over-the-moon right now for finding your site. Somebody out there is thinking of me and looking out for me. Thanks again. Please stay safe and healthy.
Hugs and Glitter, Jane
I am thinking of and looking out for you. We ALL are. You are supported, understood, and loved beyond measure.
And you are never alone.
Thank YOU for finding me and for being a part of this tribe. I am so happy and honored to have helped. All my love to you soul sister. I hope one day we can meet in person and I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy amid this unprecedented time. xx
I also was in a short relationship in which I was blindsided by the lack of care and empathy he showed me the end. I am only grateful that he revealed his true nature earlier than later. I’m still questioning myself because he blamed me- but reading this helps me to remember I do not have the power to change someone’s character. It was there before I ever met him.
So happy that it helped! You are not alone Emily. xox
Claire …. you took the words out of my mouth … it’s a real struggle
Im so fed up with this guy! He is so toxic i read your article and you are on point my relationship is done i need to let go! I want to so bad its killing mei believe its because i still love him and want him to changebut i gave him a ultimatum i told him by dec1,2020 if i dont get a ring on it im gone! But i really think hes waiting to say that day fk you! I keep telling myself you better than that you can do better this is a toxic relationship! Get out! My self-esteem is not quite shatter but i need a little push in the right direction ! Im so ready too cut him off but i keep giving him more rope but im killing myself in the process ! Im so DONE with him but its like i dont want to let go csuse i believe theirs HOPE! Please help me get pass this!?Once i get pass this its no turning back at all i need your help!
Oh honey you are SPOT ON as ever. Really I think one of the hardest things about someone totally screwing you over in a relationship is that it’s not TANGIBLE – you can’t say “look at my emotional bank balance, see all the withdrawals? Now I’m broke!” It can feel like the more you talk about it the more YOU sound like the crazy one. The world needs these articles and increased awareness of the simple facts you are stating. It drives you crazy because these narcissists usually move on immediately and leave you remembering how great they were in the beginning, thus adding the terror that they are going to now be like that FOREVER with someone new because it was YOUR FAULT they changed. Hurrah for the flushing. Flush flush and flush again!! Thanks my friend, you are awesome. xxx
YUP! Could not agree more! 🙂
And right back at you my dear friend/sister – Love you! xx
Yes! Spot on Natasha. Love it. Thank you.
Took me a long time to learn this, and I still need to remind myself of it now & then, but I would never have come to the realisation without this blog! You know how much I appreciate your – any guest writer’s – words Natasha.?
I think this one might become one of my favourites though, and very timely – but then I think that seems to be one of your best gifts; sending out the perfect post for how I might feel on a specific day! ?
I hope everyone out there is well. Keep fighting the good fight.
I can’t put into words how much this and you means to me. It took me a very long time to realize/learn this too.
But thankfully, it led us to each other. Thank you for taking the time to comment; for being you and for being here.
Love you. Stay healthy and safe. xxox
THIS IS EVERYTHING!!! 100% accurate and I absolutely love this post. Good god it took me a long time to start having my own back and stop letting fear and control make me collapse into this emotional time bomb. Boundaries, oh yeah, those had to be put in place in order to stop myself from becoming a walking, talking doormat. I am still a work in progress and continue to grow and learn from my past. I don’t put my hopes and happiness into someone else’s hands anymore and I will never let myself get back to the old way’s on thinking and doing things. I am much stronger these days and much more confident in myself to know that regardless of what happens good or bad, right or wrong, I will be okay.
I love you Natasha!! And i know I have said this a few times in the past, but you will never know just how much this blog helped me heal. You have a way of making us feel less alone, less crazy than our thoughts would have us believe. You inspire me to want more for myself… so thank you for being the beautiful shining light you are and being there for us on our paths.
blessings my dear sould sister… many many blessings.
AMEN!! SO glad you enjoyed it and that it helped! Thanks Vicki!
I love you too! And thank you so much for saying that <3 It's what I live for.
Hope that this finds you and yours safe and healthy. Thank you for existing. xox
Spot on! EXACT SENTIMENTS! FYI. Please check out book by Dave Ramsey. Stupid, toilet paper and worthless paper of MONEY is also a telltale. Just at exactly alongside with lists Natasha spotted on.
That exactly I went through. Yeah it hurts more than hell.
Thank you. It enlighten me. What a perfect month for this post. Free of oppressions! Thanks. John
So glad that it helped John 🙂 Your comments mean so much to me. All my love to you and your daughters.
thank you Natasha!! A perfect post at the perfect time. I am struggling with forgiving myself for all those times i saw the flags, saw his revealing and still allowed him to string me along… I finally said enough but i wish i stuck to that decision months earlier. Regardless, I’m trying to focus on that it could of been worse, i could of invested more in the scam…loosing myself. He is now fooling someone else…someone he had lined up for a while…good luck to them!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I know how hard it is but you’re not alone and you’ve got the right mindset. EXACTLY – good luck! 🙂
So glad that the post helped! Hope that this finds you and your family/loved ones healthy. xo
I wanted to post this comment anonymously. As a fellow “influencer” in the field of relationships for women, I wanted to commend you Natasha. I think you’re one of the very few (of not only) newer (as in the last 5 years) people in this market who have the courage to deliver unique content and unique products, written authentically by you.
Most people steal and copycat from more established people. You’re genuine. So refreshing to see a woman go her own way, instead of trying to ripoff other people’s businesses, products or ideas.
Wishing you all the best.
From a fellow coach in the field.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart. I feel like we’ve all been through so much; we all have infinite “material” within us. It can be really scary to share (and feel like you’re “doing it right”). It’s hard.
Your comment comes at such a perfect time. Sometimes I worry. I’ll think “everyone already knows this!” or, “this has been said before.” And yes, there are only so many ways to cook an egg, the fundamentals are not new but our delivery is unique to each of us. It’s scary to act on that awareness and it’s hard to be vulnerable. I look at some of my older blog posts and want to delete them – I’m horrified by how bad my writing was, how I over-explained, etc., but it’s OKAY 🙂
I think people can tell when someone genuinely cares and understands their pain. That’s the one thing that has *never* let me down – how much I care.
I stay in my own lane and just want to help as many people as I can out of pain, relational ambiguity, and suffering. You are able to recognize what you do in me and my work because you emanate and radiate the same.
Hope that this finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe. Thank you for your kindness, support, and for just being you. All my love and appreciation to you sister. xx
I would like you to know how much your insight, your honesty, your care, your vulnerability, and your opinions, no matter how “over-explained,” as you call them, have helped me in my life. *I* am horrified that you just put yourself and your writing down! I found your Post Male Syndrome website three years ago when I was suffering with self-blame and low self-esteem after the discovery of my husband’s infidelities and double life. I did not sleep through the night for two years and it was your beautiful, supportive and *real* writing that helped get me through the initial trauma, gaslighting, emotional abuse, and finally, I am proud to say, my divorcing of him.
Natasha, I sought out that pink text of yours in the middle of the night for two years, as your writing was the only thing that could comfort me in the middle of the night. Your “over-explaining,” as you call it, is what helped support me and propel me out of a toxic marriage. So, this is a very belated thank you. And please do not put yourself or your past writing down. Your written thoughts were healing then and they remain healing now.
I just came across your new (to me) site and it is beautiful. Congratulations and well done. Are your old posts from PMS still available to read?
I am so grateful for your words. Thank you. Xoxo
I am in tears. And I really hope that one day we can meet. Thank you for taking the time to write such a beautiful message that I can feel the love behind every word of. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this today. It’s amazing. You’re amazing.
Love you sister. xox
And YES! Every blog post that was on PMS is on here!
This was so perfect. Honestly, I was that person who tried to make it all better. I was in denial
about who I was with. I was not really myself. I did everything to please him. In the end it was a zero balance account that I was left with, I often thought there needs to be an emotional court to hear these cases of emotional law breaking. It would most likely be a busy and endless list of cases. It would be nice to see the narcissistic person admit their faults and mistake of committing an emotional crime against another. However, that’s a dream because narcissistic people cannot admit mistakes.
It’s been 3 years this month for me since that person made their exit but it is still tough done days. Thankfully i have the wisdom from you and others here to understand what really happened. Thank you Natasha for sharing and again providing clarity to me. I always need it ?
Love you and thank you for wisdom.
Be safe and well.
I love that the way you describe it. It’s so true.
Thank YOU for sharing Linda and for being here. Your guest post is still, one of the most popular posts on this blog.
My love and appreciation for you and our friendship is limitless. Love you sister. Glad that this post was helpful 🙂 xo
Linda, As a regular reader. I want you to know that I do appreciate your bravery and courage to share us your wisdoms as a female perspective. The same goes to people such as Drill Sergeant Natasha Adama, Christine, Irena, and a few others. Y’all are appreciated. Thanks. Take care. John.
Your comments mean the world to me. I appreciate and love you all too. So thankful for this tribe! ?
Thank you Natasha!
I read (and re-read) your blog almost every other day. It’s been almost a year since he broke my heart, after two years together. Just like you described, he was amazing at the beginning of the relationship. Then he turned cold and would ignore me for hours or days, as if my existence is a personal offense to him. He started criticizing every small thing I did: how I wash dishes, how I eat, how I breath, how I drink water. When we went out, if the food was not the best , the band was shitty or I got a bit tipsy, he would blame me for days for ruining his evening. He rarely came to my place, even though he knew it took me an hour in public transit to get to his. He didn’t want to cuddle after being intimate, no foreplay either. Everything had to be done his way. And yet it never occurred to me that something was off here – I was insanely in love. I wrote him little love notes, I rubbed his back, I planned adventures for us, I kept talking about the future, but also – I did give him space and was proud when he described me to his friends as “chill”. Whenever he was cold I brushed it off, thinking is was a just spell and he would revert back. A small number of times I told him that he hurt my feelings, and he mocked me, said he only criticized me because of who I am, and dismissed it. He broke my heart in the coldest way possible. He made it about me. He didn’t say sorry, not ever.
And now he’s dating somebody else. And I feel like I’m going crazy: after the breakup, at first I couldn’t see the selfish person he was for real, and it took months, a lot of therapy, and long chats with friends who knew him for years. And now I’m doubting my judgement again – what if he was just a normal person and I made him be a jerk somehow? Every single day I shift between those two perspectives hundreds of times, captive in this vicious cycle of analyzing him, then against all logic accepting his opinion about me as the absolute truth, hating myself, and then hating myself even more for daring to judge him. Then feeling scared that maybe now he dates his perfect girl, being a caring and decent human being, and proving me to be worthless?
Thank you so much for taking the time to share Ivy. I have felt this same way too – years after a breakup. This all boils down to capacities.
I doubt he has changed in the way you are thinking he has, but regardless – he has *already proven* to have the capacity to do things that don’t coincide with your relational value system and moral code. Remember this, know your worth, and never settle.
You won by losing him. She has to lose herself, as you once did, just to be in a relationship with him.
All my love to you. xx
Thank you Natasha for your kind words and support. This is the first time I admitted anywhere other than inside my head that something was wrong. I feel confused most of the time, and your blog really helps me see patterns and start realizing that maybe it’s not my fault. Somedays your blog is the difference between sitting for two hours and crying and taking care of myself with a cup of tea or planning a trip once the pandemic is over. I still have a lot of work to do, but so far almost every change I made was for the better, so I’m hopeful.
A really good friend sent me a link to your website and I’m so grateful she did. Your articles are amazing and explain so well what has happened to me and how I can try to move on from a terrible experience and broken heart.
My ex (a colleague at work) left a very long marriage (+30 years) to be with me. I was divorced, same age as him with 3 kids. At the beginning he was a brave, adventurous, attentive, kind, supportive and very loving. We had a very special year together, he started divorcing his wife, they sold the family home but 2 of his 3 sons disowned him. He told me I was his soul mate, that he had been unhappy for years and he’d never loved his wife like he loved me etc etc AS we approached a year together he changed, he did the 180 and without any discussion or warning he went back to her and I was ceremoniously dumped, with no explanation. I was heartbroken and couldn’t believe how he could change but I see now that he wasn’t really the person he portrayed in the beginning he was a fraud. He kept me dangling for 2 years after he went back, telling me he had made a mistake and he really wanted to be with me but he couldn’t leave again, he was stuck so to speak. They bought a new home together and really he had no intentions of leaving again and he was happy to keep me hanging on waiting for him. I feel such a fool that I allowed this to happen, I ignored all the red flags and I had no boundaries.
I’m trying to slowly move on and heal and this website has been great, I keep reading your articles every day and they are a great help. Thank you so much.
I still have to work with ex and that has not helped my recovery. I am trying to appear indifferent and stay on my white horse but it is so very hard and I occasionally fall off. Any tips to deal with seeing him in the corridor or staff room?
Thank you so much.
THANKS to both you and your referring friend for your love, sisterhood, and support 🙂 It means everything to me. I wish that I had the time to advise here in the comments (thank you for your kindness and understanding) but I will try to write about this soon. Do NOT react to anything. And just because you can’t apply No Contact in the traditional sense, you *can* go NO Contact emotionally by remembering who he unfolded to be and by remembering who the F you are. Wish I had the time to write more. Thank you for the topic suggestion! Will try to write about it soon 🙂 xo
Thank you so much for your response and I’m so grateful. I know exactly what I need to do and indifference is what I want to achieve. I’m reading so many of your articles and I cannot believe how amazing they are and so insightful. I just wish I had found your website 2 years ago as I feel like I could have recovered so much sooner and I’ve wasted so much time, in limbo and not getting on with my life.
I may have to be in lessons with my ex in September as we work in a school but I will be staying firmly on my white horse and holding my head up. Thanks again and I’m sorry that you have suffered as well. I hope you are in a much better place today. xo
Yes! You go girl.
Love you Sarah ?? You got this. Xox
I absolutely feel for you and he sounds awful. I’m getting over a terrible experience right now myself. I didn’t devote 2 years + of my life to my ex, but it hurts and what helps me lately is remembering how short life is…..I don’t want to give this creep anymore of my life, or love, or thoughts, or freedom, or hope, or kindness, or time, or money, or spirit, or beauty. Those are ALL OF MY GIFTS and boundary RE-established: I can share these things, but as soon as someone shows me they aren’t worthy, they DO NOT GIVE THEM ANYMORE. Their punishment? They suck and they have to live with themselves——what a sucky life that has to be….and it’s not yours! HAPPY DAY BABE!
I’m new to this blog (SO THANKFUL FOR FINDING IT NATASHA–THANKS) and I’m just going to say prayers and send you all good vibes, mental glitter, and happy Greek juju! You’re not alone and thank you to all for sharing, now I don’t feel alone or crazy. A smidge vengeful in my imagination (it has to stay there otherwise I’ll lose my job and get arrested), but at least I’m feeling creative again. 🙂 I work in a school as well and there’s enough stress there. I bet your students think you rock—–kids can usually pick out sucky people….I bet they think he sucks too. YOU GO GIRL–HANG IN THERE! Hugs and Glitter—Jane
Thank you so much for the support and sisterhood !!! I realise I have wasted so much of my time, love, energy, kindness, spirit and beauty on this guy. I gave him my heart and soul and he just tossed me away. So you are correct, no more !!! It hurts big time but I’m putting one foot in front of the other and slowly moving forward and getting on with my life. It is a killer still having to work in the same place (we are on school hols atm) but due to the pandemic I can’t leave atm. However having read lots of articles on this website I feel so much more prepared to deal with things in September. I will be firmly staying on my white horse. I hope you continue to make progress and I’m sorry you are also going through a tough time but we both deserve better, so much better. Hugs xo
Seeing this kind of love and support is what I love for. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Jane. xox
Thank you. Your posts have helped me (and still help me) cling to what was left of my sanity and scoop up my broken heart. Boy was I was broken.
I am recovering from a toxic man. His toxicity was slow, under the radar and now, some time has passed, I see so subtlety poisonous that 18 months post break up the thought of him makes me feel ill, poisoned.
He was clever about it and still, on the surface, swans about and people think he is lovely. I stayed on my white horse, clung on for dear life sometimes. My rage that he had got away with his behaviour, my goodness. It still feels like he has. But I know what he’s like even if his friends and associates don’t. A sick individual really.? your articles saved me. Especially the part about how one cannot love the integrity, care and kindness out of someone. They just weren’t nice to start with but did an expert job of hiding the nastiness until, in my case, I’d moved in. And then the cold ambiguous punishing begins.
These kind of toxic people really fuck people up. They’re like serial killers of other people’s hearts. Of course serial killers would never have any victims were they not charming and a certain kind of smart. I’m 48, pretty sorted in life, clever, not perfect, had decades of therapy, but this guy he did a number on me. It felt humiliating and shameful to have got someone so wrong.
But, your articles have got me through. And I thank you with all my heart for writing them.
Love, someone with a big heart ?
Thank you so much! I am a product of child abuse both verbally and physically. Your words helped provide insight and some validation that I was not crazy. I have been on my spiritual walk since 2014 which first was removing all those toxic and threat to me. My focus in on self-value, love, care, and forgiveness. I have come a long way in knowing my worth and value but more work to be done. I have to identify all my triggers especially.
I echo the comments of the other readers and wish all of you peace, love, and light. You are ALL BEAUTIFUL souls and have MUCH to offer.
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. This kind of love, connection, support, and inclusion is what I live for. I just want to give everything that I wish I would have had. Thank you for being my family on a soul level; for taking the time to comment and for being a part of this tribe.
You are loved, understood, supported, believed in, and never, EVER alone. xox
My ex husband with whom I share a child, lied to me about finances. He was borrowing money from cash title loans to fulfill lies about how much money he had. He was foreclosing on our rental without telling me. He owed the IRS and didn’t tell me. I was wiling to work through this until I found out he told these same lies to his ex and he was calling her again, to tell her he missed her and wanted to meet up with her. After he moved out I still wanted to reconnect but it was more women and more lies. I started another relationship, however always felt I needed my ex and my family back. I broke it off 2 times with my boyfriend only to find out my ex was lying again. He finally got help at a facility, he said he wanted his family back, I again broke up with my boyfriend for my ex only to find out he met a girl at the facility and now he is with her. He’s introducing her to our son and its killing me. Why has he changed for her, why is he happy with her.. why cant I get over the feeling that I want my family together.
I have a relationship with my husband he has a mother and sister that don’t like me and are really hypnotized by him . He has been in relationships like none. He has no understanding of where I come from and how I support myself. I have always deafferented . I am wondering about the white horse. I feel like sometimes giving up on him because he doesn’t understand me. I say that his mom and sister have issues too they don’t face . But I feel like under the low they could be getting into my personal space and also wrecking my civil rights as a person I am having to freedom of speech and I feel like there always on top of me and what I am doing. No one in this world knows when we are going to pass . And his mom and sister make me feel like a person of wrong attitudes like there out to rob me for my youth and how I grew up as a individual maybe there mad or jealous. I don’t know I am wanting something more.
so much of this article resonates with me. I’m a few months out of a 16 year relationship. The only boundary I had was if he wanted me to leave him/or if I left him then that would be it. I would not be coming back. (I’m us. He’s uk.)
The weird thing for me is that since we split, without exaggeration, every friend and family member (parents and siblings included) of his that I have spoken to, has told me they were uncomfortable with the way he spoke to me, didn’t like the way he treated me, that I deserve better, and to not go back to him. I didn’t see any of this until the final 3 months of the relationship. And more so after the split.
Despite all of that, I currently find myself wondering if the breakdown was my fault. (It wasnt. He has been using cocaine 3-4 nights a week in our apartment for the last 6 years. I only found out just before covid)Worrying that his family think it’s my fault (he’s told Them he was doing the drugs because of me and it was his escape) Wondering if his girlfriend of 2 months (he met her 3 weeks after counting the condoms in my bedroom)is the person he’ll change for and thereby reinforcing that his family might think the same. (He miraculously seems to have stopped taking cocaine and drinking 3-4 nights a week since he met this new woman).
I bet she is getting the same treatment I got in the beginning of our relationship. He was charming, kind, sweet, funny, open and honest and I can say up until the last 3 months of our relationship I know he never cheated on me. He seems to be treating his family better at the moment as well. (I only know this as I am currently staying with his mother. I am trying to save money for a flight home. You see, all my money went towards the bills. So, when we split, he said he would help me get home. I’m sure I don’t need to say where the money went.)
I type all this and can see how ridiculous it sounds, but I still can’t help but wonder if it was something I did.
It’s slow but I have taken back some of myself. I think once I can get home it will be easier, but your articles are by far the beat I have found. Thank you
Thank you *so much* for taking the time to share (and by doing so, helping countless others who are too shy to comment/can’t find the words feel less alone in this world). And thank you for being a part of this tribe/community.
I live to give what I wish I had and am so happy that the articles have helped.
It doesn’t sound ridiculous at all. Everything that you are feeling is very normal. Please know (I know you know but remind yourself) that this was NOT YOUR FAULT whatsoever. This sounds like a bullet that was dodged.
All my love to you, soul sister. Read my book if you haven’t – it will help further. Xxx