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Detaching From a Malignant Man




Excerpted from
Don't Text That Man! A Guide To Self Protective Dating in the Age of Technology
By Rhonda Findling

Disengaging from a man you love, like or are infatuated with, takes a lot of self-discipline and emotional strength. It's like going against the force of gravity. It is counterintuitive. It's traumatic. It's not a natural process. It defies our human instinct to attach.

Getting over a man can take several months to several years, depending upon how attached you were to him, how much you idealized him, your childhood history, your past traumas and your opportunities to meet new men. Your feelings need to be cognitively understood, mourned, grieved and worked through.

During this time, you need to be resilient, patient and compassionate with yourself. You have to have the ability to adapt. Take as long as you need. There is no time limit. This is not a race. You must have faith and vision that you will get over him. This process does take will power and commitment. You will have to be creative, inventive and clear about your intention to detach.

Keep a Recovery Journal

Keep a recovery journal - take notes as you proceed through this journey. You will also use your journal for writing exercises at the end of the chapters. You will be able to refer to your own journal for advice and tips.

Fifteen Step Program to Detach From a Malignant Man

Here are the fifteen most important, immediate things to do to detach from a Malignant Man you've decided to end a relationship with, or who has broken up with you.

Stop All Communication with Him

Every time you communicate with him, you are sabotaging the detachment process. You are also taking the risk of getting hurt and will have to work that much harder to get over him again.

So don't call that man. Don't email that man. Don't text that man. Don't jog by that man's apartment. Don't go to nightclubs where you know that man hangs out. Don't go to some area close to his job, hoping to accidentally run into him.


If you have to talk to your ex Malignant Man at work, keep it strictly about work issues. Only say hello if you feel obligated or to be professional. Don't have any social discussions with him.


If you co-parent with him, only talk about children issues. Do not get into any personal discussions. Just keep it focused on the kids.

Social Events

Don't go to any parties, events or places where you know you are going to run into him. You don't need to show you're "over him" by going somewhere you know he'll turn up. You don't get a badge for suffering when you have to see him flirting with other women or a date he brought. And the worst scenario - if he doesn't respond the way you want when he sees you, you'll feel hurt all over again.

Don't Talk To His Friends, Relatives or Colleagues If At All Possible

Don't vent about him to people in his life. It will get back to him and inflame the situation. If you talk to his friends or relatives, there's always the possibility they could give you info that could upset you.

Don't Ever Beg For Love

Don't grovel. Begging only makes you look pathetic, lonely and desperate. Any desire he had for you will completely disappear. Your clinging could make him feel smothered, engulfed and cause him to distance further. As I explained in the previous chapter, when you are desperately pursuing a man you have broken up with, you are putting yourself in the masochist position. You want to do whatever it takes to avoid degrading yourself.

Detaching Is On A Daily Basis

Detaching is a choice and intention made on a daily basis. It's not just one permanent decision. It's the work that's done from hour to hour, minute to minute, second to second. Think of it like you would be working out or taking a shower. You don't just clean yourself one time and that's it. You don't just work out one time at the gym and that's it. You have to do it regularly to see results.

Don't Beat Yourself Up!

Don't beat yourself up for having gotten involved with him. It just shows you have the capacity to love. You took a chance, a risk. There's nothing wrong with that. That was then and this is now. The famous Ramm Dass, author of the 6o's bestseller Be Here Now, says that we have different incarnations in one life so just think of this past relationship as an incarnation - a learning experience. My niece Samantha, who is a collegial athlete, says that softball is a game of errors. Well dating is also a game of errors. You did the best you could under the circumstances and with the knowledge you had then. Of course if you could jump into a time machine and have a do-over, you may have done things differently, but that's because you have lived through it and now have more information. Beating yourself up is self-abusive. Self-hatred. Aggression against yourself. It's a waste of your precious time and energy. It's also a way of trying to control what happened and hoping that there would have been a different outcome. Don't use his hurtful behaviors as an excuse to punish yourself.

Be The Woman Who Got Away

In my practice, I've discovered that the women who disappear and move on (even if it's just an act and their hearts are broken) are the ones men often think about and ruminate over. Maybe the loss of you will provoke him to work on himself. Don't show him that you will accept his devaluing, dysfunctional, insulting behavior. Let him miss you. Let him feel your absence. Be the girl who got away. The one who didn't play games or wouldn't take scraps. The one who wanted more and walked. Then he will never forget you.



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