I was married to my husband for six years. When our youngest was six months old I caught him cheating with his assistant. After a few weeks of back and forth, I kicked him out for good.
I’ve had some bad boyfriends since. The worst being my most recent breakup — Ben. I met Ben through work and he asked me out. He was going through a divorce, that he initiated because he didn’t love his wife anymore — but I ignored the red flag. We dated a few months and he ended it without any notice. He blamed his divorce saying he wasn’t ready.
Since the first breakup we have broken up and gotten back together ten times in ten months. Every 30 days he has some crisis. First it was the divorce, then he didn’t like that we worked together, and he ends it. Within two weeks he’s emailing and asking me back saying how screwed up he is and that he wants what we have. I give it another go around and I’m back where I started 30 days later. Over the course of our many breakups he has been online dating and hanging out with other women. He says he only likes to have female friends and regularly takes them hiking. He also texts daily with a few females including two who make me uncomfortable.
When we got back together after the eighth time, I asked if he’d slept with one of these friends. He denied it and insisted I’m jealous and needy from being cheated on in my marriage. They continued to text and I eventually became suspicious. Looking in his phone I discovered they’d slept together during one of our breaks (hard to say if they were still doing it).
We broke up for what I hope is the final time this week. It was my birthday and he didn’t take me out or even get me a present or card, much less see me. Then a friend of mine told him off and he ended it over email saying this was just too much.
This is a guy who insists on only having female friends and calls me jealous and blames my divorce when I become uncomfortable. He is constantly going out alone with these women.
My question is this — how do I go no contact? How do I convince myself that he is a true narcissist and these women are just kibble? Why can’t I move on?
You kicked the father of your children out after a “few weeks” of post D-Day back and forth, and you give this idiot ten months? And he’s not the only bad boyfriend you’ve dated?
We have a “fix your picker” problem here, Kat.
We broke up for what I hope is the final time this week.
What you hope? Like, you don’t get a say in this? Like, you hope the break up will stick this time, but if he comes sniffing around your door, you’ll succumb to his dubious charms?
Kat, slap yourself. You don’t need this loser, you need some deal breakers. Let me suggest a few.
1. If he’s “going through a divorce,” he’s not available to date. Either this is a line a cheater is giving you (he’s still very much married), or he’s too fresh from the drama to be emotionally available. The only caveat I would give here are for the poor souls who live in those dreadful states like Virginia where you must have physical separation of one year and a DAY before you can even file. If you’re in one of those It Takes Years To Get a Divorce states, then I’d want convincing evidence that it is OVER. Separate residences and a lot of emotional maturity.
But as a general rule? Be wary of “going through a divorce” guys.
2. If the reason for his divorce is something nebulous like “he fell out of love with her,” that’s a red flag. People divorce for REASONS. She was cheating with her boss. She’s a drug addict. She has a serious mental illness and refuses to treat it. See, those are sad, painful reasons people get divorced. I’m not saying people don’t divorce for lesser reasons, but the vagaries of “we grew apart” or “we fell out of love” are often concealing ugly truths like — I was cheating with my boss, I’m a drug addict, I have a serious mental illness and refuse to treat it.
Chumps have sad reasons and heart breaking stories of trying to fix it. People with poor character usually have euphemisms.
Of course skilled liars can come up with reasons and heart-breaking stories (my cheating ex told me his two ex-wives cheated on him). My advice there is take your time to check out the story and see if it adds up. Mine was always fuzzy on the timelines of these traumatic events. In retrospect, there were a lot of inconsistencies.
3. When someone shows you who they are — believe them. The first time.
Since the first breakup we have broken up and gotten back together ten times in ten months.
Kat, he’s not entitled to as many shots at this as he wants. Why are you allowing this? Where are your boundaries?
He’s dating other people and cruising for women online while he’s going out with you — that’s either acceptable to you, or it is not. You don’t need to convince yourself that he’s a narcissist. You need to know WHAT YOUR DEAL BREAKERS ARE. Is this guy good enough to be your boyfriend? What are the qualifications that the candidate must possess for the job? Start putting yourself in the driver seat here.
He forgot your birthday, he sleeps and sexts with other women — he sucks. Please draw this conclusion.
It’s okay to be alone for awhile. Work on that picker. Know your worth, and don’t waste your precious time on anyone undeserving of you. Period.
This one ran before.