By Chris Seiter

Published on April 6th, 2023

Today’s success story is going to be unique.

Avid listeners of the podcast will have probably heard me say,

On again/off again relationships are among the easiest situations to succeed in but one of the hardest situations to keep together

Well, my interview with Kimberly today kind of proves this as she takes us through what it’s like to be in one of these situations. So, what starts as a success story kind of ends up as a pseudo coaching session by the end as we go over how to prevent an “off again” phase from happening.


Here’s a quick summary of our conversation:

  • The breakup and how she got her ex back
  • Rekindling the relationship after the breakup
  • Going over the factors that drew him back in
  • The on again/off again experience
  • Setting boundaries
  • Mystery vs. stability
  • Planning a spontaneous family outing
  • The importance of being ungettable

Interview Transcript

Chris Seiter 00:02
All right, today we have a success story interview with Kimberly. Kimberly ended up. I don’t know how we found you. Exactly. I think my wife found you instead of the interview between us. Yes, she did. Okay, so somehow my wife found Kimberly. So I’m just for the state of honesty here. I’m coming into this completely blind. I don’t know anything about Kimberly success story. So that’s gonna make for an excellent interview. But I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming on and doing this Kimberly. No problem. I’m excited. All right, so let’s go back to the Dark Ages back when you’re going obviously, through this breakup? Can you give us a little bit of a background on the breakup and how you came into the Ex Recovery orbit?

Kimberly 00:45
So we broke up and it was pretty bad one. I did the netting a lot of probably for about a month before I found the program. And I was just online looking up, you know, ways I could progress myself so that I could get him back. Or ways I could, you know, it was more manipulation, trying to get him back type thing. But I found the group or found the program I paid for it joined. And then immediately, well, within like half a month, maybe within joining the group, I went into no contact, I didn’t do very well with it, it was not a very good experience for me, I will get several times

Chris Seiter 01:28
how many is several times

Kimberly 01:31
I think it was three. Oh, since I joined the program. But it was within a short period of time. And the last time that I broke it, he actually put another girl on the phone who told me that she was his girlfriend, which I later found out she was not that he just did that to get me to leave him alone. But that’s kind of put it into it for me. And I was like Okay, so I’m going to I’m going to finish my new contact and I did the Trinity. I did the calendars. I had a calendar right next to my Work calendar, and I would do all the activities I put on it every day. I actually forgot to do my reach out. It was time for my reach out. And I had drafted it, put it in the group. But I was so busy doing stuff that I just completely forgot. And then I did it. He didn’t respond. I waited the time did another one he didn’t respond. And he and so I just decided not to do it any anymore. after that. I just I went you know without moving on.

Chris Seiter 02:37
Gave up base. Yeah. Do you? Do you recall what the reach outs were? Were they kind of like the ERP type reach outs or did you put your own? Yes,

Kimberly 02:45
they were the ERP. And they were his top interest it was in regards to recording music. Because he’s a DJ or he does DJ and does music. But I didn’t know he did not at all. I don’t know if he I don’t even know if he changed his number. At the time. I didn’t even know if he changed his number because I was hard blocked everywhere. I forgot to say that I was like everywhere, like tick tock, Snapchat, everything. He bought me everywhere. So he

Chris Seiter 03:15
blocked you. But you still felt like you had the phone. He didn’t block you texting wise.

Kimberly 03:23
He did. But I thought that maybe after all that time past, it was possible that he unblocked me. So I went ahead and did my reach outs via phone. But I could tell from other places that I was heart blocked. So I didn’t do it that way. I just did it over the phone. But he didn’t respond to either one. And then within like two months, he just reappeared. He was like, Hey, how you doing? You know, like, I just disappeared for eight months. But hey, so it was just kind of interesting, because that was the first time and then we broke up again. And I kind of messed that one up. I didn’t follow the

Chris Seiter 04:06
let’s, let’s hit the let’s hit the brakes here for a little bit. So he he basically has you heard locked everywhere. You’re not even sure if he even got the original DJ type text messages. And then after a couple of months, he just reaches out to you and you’re able to rekindle things and get back into a relationship. Yes. Okay. And then he breaks up with you again.

Kimberly 04:29
Yes. And he admitted that he got my texts. We did. Okay, so we’ve got my

Chris Seiter 04:35
blocked on the phone, you know, we kind of assumed correctly. But did he give any insight about why he didn’t respond to the texts?

Kimberly 04:45
He told me that he didn’t feel like he was in a good place to talk to me at the time. I think that his life was just going downhill. And he didn’t feel adequate enough. I guess he didn’t really say that but just the way that he told me If that’s what it seemed like, and then I gave up, and he told me that he could feel that pull away because of the fact that I reached out. And he didn’t respond and I stopped reaching out.

Chris Seiter 05:15
Were maybe in the past you had done that just came.

Kimberly 05:20
In the past, I was constantly like trying to get a conversation over with with him.

Chris Seiter 05:27
Okay, so obviously, you’re back together, yay. And then how long does that relationship lasts before you kind of hit the off again phase

Kimberly 05:34
that lasted four months, the first time we lived together the second time we did not. We took it, I took it a lot slower the second time. Not in the beginning. I didn’t, but we kind of slowed it down. And he actually wanted to take it slower as well. But I don’t know if he had some things going on in his life in the background that I didn’t know about. Because one day he was just like, this is way too much for me. And again,

Chris Seiter 06:02
any signs at all that you kind of picked up on or what for you? Was it out of the blue?

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Kimberly 06:09
Yeah, there were signs he started pulling away, he started not wanting to see me or canceling plans. He started not really talking as much because in the beginning, he was very much wanting to rekindle things and then he would kind of fall away.

Chris Seiter 06:27
How did you personally react to that? Were you did you kind of fall back into the anxious tendencies when he would pull away like that?

Kimberly 06:36
Sometimes I did. And sometimes I really stuck with being more secure and just let him have a space. It really depended on the issue. Like sometimes he was a little jealous about things, and then I would kind of get more anxious. But if it was just like, hey, I’m busy. I really can’t deal with this right now. I would give him a space.

Chris Seiter 06:59
The irony of the guy who put the fake girlfriend on the phone being jealous is funny to me. Yeah.

Kimberly 07:05
He’s an ironic man, for sure.

Chris Seiter 07:09
Okay, so basically, you’re going through another breakup, you’re kind of back to where you started again, what happens next.

Kimberly 07:16
I immediately when I went in, and a contact, he actually broke up with me over Facebook Messenger. And I didn’t actually get to see him. Because the first time we broke up, I physically saw him and we talked about it. But the second time, he was just completely in avoidant mode. And he just did it over text and blocked me immediately. So I didn’t try to reach out, I just left it at that. And we immediately went into no contact, did the process all over again. Did my reach outs I did to reach out, he didn’t respond. And this time, I think he changed. So it’s deja vu, right. And it’s kind of funny, because we were together eight months, the first time and apart eight months. And then we were together for months and apart for months.

Chris Seiter 08:02
Okay, you’re saying this guy’s got a pattern

Kimberly 08:05
he does. He definitely has a pattern. Um, but he didn’t reach at it and respond to either one of those, as well. And then he reached out to me within because it was added a month, no contact, and with it. So within three months, because we were apart for four months, he reached out to me from a different phone number, didn’t identify himself. And I think it was a burner phone number or like a text now phone number because I have a friend who has one of those apps that can pull it up. And it wouldn’t pull up who the owner was, while two days later, I didn’t respond to that. Two days later, he reached out again with his actual phone number and told me who he was. And then he

Chris Seiter 08:51
wanted to ever get some insight into why he did that. No,

Kimberly 08:55
I didn’t. I didn’t even ask him about it. Because I didn’t want to assume that it was him. But just the fact that he reached out two days later. Just told me it was him. So yeah.

Chris Seiter 09:09
He’s thinking about you for sure. So obviously, he reaches out. I’m assuming you begin to rekindle things from there.

Kimberly 09:18
Yes. And we are together right now. But we’re still we’re still having a lot of problems.

Chris Seiter 09:27
Okay, so this is interesting. So basically, you are together. How long have you been together?

Kimberly 09:34
We got together right after Thanksgiving. This past Thanksgiving.

Chris Seiter 09:39
So you’ve been together a pretty longer stint this time than last time. Yeah, the last off again face. So before we kind of go into the problem areas, I’m actually kind of curious into helping people listening to this understand what you did that You felt worked? Like? What were the factors that kept drawing him back in kept having him be the one to reach out first Do you feel made the biggest difference?

Kimberly 10:10
I think that giving him that space and focusing on myself, the whole idea of being ungettable is probably the biggest thing because I went skydiving, and I put that on Facebook. And I went to a concert. And I, you know, I put that on Facebook. And I think that he was watching me through that I were a no, he was watching me through that, because he knew I went skydiving when we work together. And so it’s, I really think that that’s it because he seems he’s always been the kind of guy who, like, wanted a girl who was a go getter. And that was not who I was when we first got together. And so I really worked on those things, when we broke up when I found the program. And I think that that is a big part of what drew him back in. Because the cutting and the the constantly needing reassurance type thing really is the biggest things that he would run from. But when that wasn’t what I was doing, he was coming back.

Chris Seiter 11:22
So it was sort of like you projecting that go getting ungettable attitude through the social media that would throw him back in. And I mean, obviously, we’re kind of also skipping a few parts here with the rekindling aspect. How did the actual texting phase meet up phase, all that stuff? Go? Did you have any special strategies or tricks or tips for anyone who’s sort of stuck in that Limbo area?

Kimberly 11:52
We didn’t see or I didn’t stick straight to the program in that phase. But I did take bits and pieces out of it. Like I didn’t meet up immediately. I kept him wandering on things, I took a while to respond back to texts.

Chris Seiter 12:08
You were like unavailable, right? Even when even when you were really available.

Kimberly 12:12
Right? I was really, and I’m always available. I’m a State lot. I work at home, and I’m a single mom. So I really don’t do a whole lot. But I look like a

Chris Seiter 12:24
single mom. I mean, I got two kids my own. And that’s like a full time gig right there on top of work. So don’t sell yourself short, you’re doing a lot.

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Kimberly 12:36
Well, I don’t do a lot of outside of that, I guess I should say. But in my process of becoming ungettable, I started to do more adding more things to my life. And so he kind of picked up on that when we first started talking again as well, because I wasn’t I wasn’t running to his every need. I wasn’t right there. Every time he wanted to see me I was doing things for myself doing things with my friends saying no to him, so I could go hang out with my friends. That was a big thing that I changed that I think really helped him realize I had made a change. And I think that’s a big part of why we rekindled but we did move a little bit too fast the second time. And this time has probably been even faster because he’s back living here with me. So

Chris Seiter 13:31
he’s living so the first time you didn’t. So you’ve been sort of the on again off again, couple four to go rounds. Now you’ve kind of went around that circle twice. So the first time was a four month stint. And you felt like you move pretty fast then but you’re even faster now. Yeah. With how things have progressed.

Kimberly 13:54
Yeah, cuz the first time we lived together for eight months, or we didn’t live together for eight months, we were together for eight months. And we’ve lived together for two months. And then he left and we were together for for the second time. And now we’ve been together for since November. And he’s been here for two months.

Chris Seiter 14:13
Interesting. Okay, so do you mind if I ask who asked who? For who back out of that sort of let’s be back together conversation unfold.

Kimberly 14:24
Oh, he asked those times. Both times.

Chris Seiter 14:29
Okay. So I guess what’s interesting is, this is a classic case of the on again off again, sort of situation being kind of one of the easier situations to get an ex back in, but I guess the problems that you’re having are well, how do I stop it from being off again? Is that do I have that kind of right? Yes, definitely. Okay. So what what is like the catalyst of these, these breakups that would occur?

Kimberly 14:54
I think the first time it was both of us, it was the A lot of pressure from me because I am a single mom, I have a mortgage, I have a car payment, I have all these things. And he I mean, he is responsible. But he doesn’t like he doesn’t have a child, he doesn’t have, you know, he doesn’t have a mortgage, he was only paying rent somewhere, and he just doesn’t have a lot of pressure on him. And when he was staying here, I was putting that pressure on, and I think he just couldn’t handle it. And so we were fighting, and I wasn’t handling this fights properly either.

Chris Seiter 15:34
Well, so he’s not the biological father of the child, right? Yeah. No. Okay. So the reason I say that is I was reading this really into, or rather, I was listening. Yesterday, I had to go fill my car up for gas. And I was listening to podcasts on the way to the gas station. And I was listening to this really interesting discussion about fatherhood. And what happens to the male brain when they see their child for the first time. And there’s like, there’s something that happens with the male brain where they become less impulsive. And they’re almost because they know like, Okay, well, that child’s reliant on me. And I kind of assume, I haven’t been able to verify this, but I assume the same thing kind of happens for women. But it’s interesting, because he’s not the biological father, he still might be caught in that zone, where he’s a little bit more wants to be more spontaneous. Do you feel like that’s a correct thing? Or is he kind of one of those, stay at home stay in type introvert individuals? Or is he always wanted to go out and you’re just not able to come? Is that a friction issue?

Kimberly 16:44
It is, he’s kind of a mix of both. He likes to be at home. But he also loves to be out with his friends doing things he loves to go to, he listens to drum and bass, and he loves to go to drum and bass shows. And I’m not real big on the club scene. So I’ve been to one with him. And that didn’t turn out very well for me and did for him, but not for me. But, so he’s a little mix of both. But he definitely has that spontaneous. He’s a very creative minded person. And he’s always got projects going on. And I’m like, I want to sit still, when I get off work, so we would clash in that area?

Chris Seiter 17:29
A lot. Yeah, I mean, I can come at it from your point of view, I’m a dad, I’m very close with my wife, I can kind of see what it’s like to be a mom, I sort of don’t want to go out a lot. You know, when you have kids, I think especially maybe you’ll resonate with this, you know, you’re working all day, and then you come home, and it feels kind of like you don’t ever get any off time. Because, you know, kids are kind of a 24 hour type deal on top of work. And I’m not sure he kind of understands that. So I think, really, the way to handle any kind of arguments about that situation isn’t necessarily to accuse him, but you help him understand your point of view a little bit better. But ultimately, for the relationship to thrive, you’re going to have to or both of you will have to compromise a little bit. I’m not saying you have to go out with him. But I’m saying well, if you go out with him, he should also do something that you want to do that he kinda doesn’t want to do. And but I think like when there’s a kid involved, you always should prioritize the kids well being and what I think probably will help the child is a more stable, consistent relationship. But it seems to me like you guys have lasted longer this stint this stint, I guess, what do you feel like has been the cause of that?

Kimberly 18:58
Ultimately, I think it’s the work that I’ve done on myself. And we had a discussion the second time we got back together or the after the first breakup, when we got back together about the fact that I was working on these things. I was in therapy. And I was like, you know, when we’re together, you’re gonna have to work on these things, too. And I think he actually picked that up a little bit and started working on some things he doesn’t know about the group. I’ve told him a little bit about attachment styles. So it’s always better

Chris Seiter 19:30
that it’s, it’s always better the attachment style stuff coming from someone else that’s not you. It’s like literally like a shoot the messenger type thing, because it can come off accusatory if you say it the wrong way. But if someone you know, like quickly explains it to them. Then it clicked for him. I found sorry, so sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt.

Kimberly 19:53
Oh, you’re fine. I’m sure that he probably did some research after I mentioned it. And that’s probably What sparked some of these changes? But I’m just speculating. He’s not very open about stuff like that. And that’s another big part of why we can’t talk about these things, because he’s not very emotionally open. But I really do you think that this time around, he did a lot of work, I did a lot of work, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. But he’s realizing that, when he make it makes a commitment like that he needs to stick to it. And I think that’s a big part of it. Well, I

Chris Seiter 20:36
think that goes back to the boundary thing. So if he doesn’t stick to it, you have to set the boundary of Well, I’m not going to be with someone who’s not willing to do that for me. And that’s kind of what a secure person would do anyways, they’re not going to allow themselves to be put in a situation where they’re taken advantage of, or things are kind of completely unfair, or one sided. So the scary The scary thing is, it’s one of those situations where if you find it’s completely one sided, then you might need set the boundary and basically be like, hey, look, like I get that you want to do all this stuff and go out and have fun. But I’m a mom, I can’t always do that. I’m happy to accommodate that every once in a while. But if you’re not going to get with the program, I can find someone else better. And being able to act on that and him feeling that can all can sort of create the boundary for what she can realize, oh, this is really serious. I need to buckle down a little bit here. So a lot of is going to be setting boundaries and setting healthy ones and fair ones. I mean, I’m sure one of the things that you’ve gotten a little bit better at is not giving into your anxious side, potentially when he starts pulling away. Have you felt like that has made a difference? This didn’t? Yes,

Kimberly 21:50
it definitely has. Cuz before it was, you know, I would lay on the texting the when he lived here, it was like I wanted to have that conversation right then. And he’s like, immediately I want to run away. And now it’s when he comes to me and he is expressing that he does not want to talk about something or he’s not ready to deal with something, I just find something else to do. Or I go and hang out with my friends. And it’s it’s really helped a lot because he will actually then turn around and come to me when he’s ready.

Chris Seiter 22:25
Yeah, I mean, I think kind of the thing I see people struggle with the most when they end up successfully getting their exes back as you have is that whole sort of idea of you know, when they pull away you pull away because it’s so hard for a naturally anxious person to do they just want to fix the problem write that in there. But the way I try to always explain it to clients is it’s a lot like speaking a dismissive avoidance language. Now I’m not sure if he’s dismissive avoidant he seems kind of dismissive avoidant to me, but did you ever kind of ask him to take one of those attachment style tests to see where he came he kind of came out as

Kimberly 23:07
I’ve asked him to, but he wouldn’t do it. And but I right. I told him that too. I was like, it’s fun to find out, you know, what’s your coping mechanisms are but he he wouldn’t do it but I did take one for him. Just so I could get a better idea and it came out dismissive avoidant.

Chris Seiter 23:29
Yeah, I mean, a lot of what you’ve described here is sort of very classic dismissive avoidant behavior especially on again off again, relationships for finding any kind of fearful avoidant and dismissive avoidant, they’ll tend to have specifically fearful avoidance actually more than dismissive avoidance tend to have more volatile on again, off again, relationships. But I have noticed certainly a pattern of dismissive avoidance falling into these on again, off again, relationships and really the thing that I think most people mess up with, is not being patient. With the dismissive avoidant, you almost have to learn to speak their language when they’re pulling away, the worst thing you can do is kind of badger them. It’s exactly what you’re doing is kind of you finding something else to do until they’re ready to have the conversation. So I mean, I think that is an important thing to do for the survivability of that relationship. But I also do think in order for it to work, you’re going to have to play around with that stability and mystery scale. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard me talk. Have you ever heard her? You talking about that before? Some Yeah. Okay, so Well, the reason I bring it up is he probably subconsciously views you as the Stability Mechanism. And that’s good, but what’s probably lacking is some of the adventure spontaneity, or whatever. And what’s interesting is he was drawn to you when you did those things. You’re posting the skydiving stuff. What else did you What else would you say you did? You posted? Not to comment.

Kimberly 25:00
hurts. Yeah, I went to concerts. We did like some mountain hiking, I posted that, just so a few things.

Chris Seiter 25:10
Yeah. But I mean, all those are very spontaneous, adventurous type things. And I’m assuming his soul yearns for those type of experiences. So I would say one of the smart things that you can do if you want to tap into that a little bit is do any kind of outdoor activity together like going on a hike together, like work those into the routine. So I think just by nature, you’re you’re a mom, you have a job, there’s a certain aspect of you that is just naturally going to be more stable than more mystery based. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sprinkle mystery in and I think that’s kind of what he’s yearning for. And I bet you what will happen is if you can come consistently create these patterns where you’re having the stable time, but also doing these small, adventurous type of spontaneity is spontaneous. I can’t talk today. You get what I’m saying? Spawn spontaneity type things, I bet you’ll find he starts to open up to you in a way that he hasn’t before. Especially if you kind of stick to the when he pulls back, you pull back type of coping mechanism for him. Because I think the real trust is built when you actually trust someone and dismissive avoidance takes a long time to build their trust to where they’re comfortable enough opening up. I kind of get the sense he’s not even open to going to any kind of therapy, like couples therapy together at all.

Kimberly 26:35
No, we’ve talked about it. And he, he agreed at one point to do like one of those apps where we would answer questions to communicate like that, but we never actually did it. I’m in therapy, he will not go to therapy. And I don’t know what his reasoning behind that is. He has a lot of trauma that’s caused his dismissive avoidant behavior. And I don’t know why he won’t get therapy, but it would be great if he would, because it would be really good for us.

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Chris Seiter 27:12
Yeah, I mean, I’ve I came out as a dismissive avoidant, I didn’t really have much of a traumatic childhood. But I did have a couple of very traumatic relationship experiences. And also some life experiences and different things throughout your life and experiences can can shape your attachment style. And I was even resistant to getting any kind of therapy. So the only thing I can really bring to you is my point of view. And as weird as it sounds, for dismissive avoidant, agreeing to go to therapy means you have a problem, and dismissive of what it’s like to be independent by nature. And they don’t like relying on other people for help. And that’s what therapy really is. So I think that’s kind of a difficult thing to go or agree to. But what I bet will happen is if you continue to gain his trust, that might be a step he’s willing to, to do. I mean, what what I think we have here is a classic. Yeah, your success story. But you’re also kind of worried about falling victim to that on again, off again, phase that I’m always talking about. You don’t you’ve already actually experienced it. So I think the challenge for you is, from what I’m hearing, you’re doing kind of the right things. I’m just wondering if maybe one changes, you can maybe plan some sort of family outing where you do something spontaneous, to kind of feed that aspect of him. Do you feel like you’ve done that? Or have you been pretty stay at home type? Since you’ve gotten back together?

Kimberly 28:54
Yeah, in the beginning, I did. But it’s been, especially with our fighting, it’s been pretty minimal, of even wanting to go out and do anything. And we seem to be on an opposite spectrum all the time. Like when I do want to go out he doesn’t. And when he wants to go, I don’t. So

Chris Seiter 29:13
I mean, sometimes you just kind of have to force them. My wife is a lot like that, you know, say I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to do that. And then she’ll force me into it. And I’ll hate it until I actually started doing it, then I love it. So sometimes you just have to kind of force it to happen, because it’s for his own good to get out there. Which is which is interesting that he doesn’t want to that you’re on the the opposite schedules. But I think it kind of goes down to having honest conversations with one another and you being able to understand his point of view and repeating that back to him and also articulating your point of view. And I’m wondering if the disconnects potentially happening there, but you seem to be taking all the correct steps. He seems to not be taking any steps So you have to kind of LoL him with like, the analogy that always comes into my head with these kinds of things is, is the dog whisperer, or he tries to low dogs, he won’t come out of the crate with like treats and stuff. That’s kind of that’s kind of what I feel like you’re gonna have to do if you want him to kind of play a little bit. God, I gotta get off the dog analogy he’s.

Kimberly 30:25
And that’s a good idea, though. I mean, in the heat of the moment, you don’t really think about that. So I really need to take some time to pre plan for stuff like that. But I completely agree, I think it would really do him some good. If I was able to be more spontaneous.

Chris Seiter 30:43
Yeah, I mean, you can include your, your kid in the outing as well, you can do something together to kind of bond together as a family. Because I think the other thing that you really want to do is going back to that podcast I was listening to as you want him to look at the child as if it’s his own, so that he will actually start to be less impulsive and less spontaneous and be more stable, which I think is, from what I’m seeing, from my point of view, that’s where the big disconnect is, I think he’s kind of wanting more adventure and stability, or adventure and spontaneity and mystery, and you want more stability. And so you’re coming at it from this end of the spectrum, and he’s coming out of this end of the spectrum, and you kind of have to figure a way to meet out in the middle. But here’s the thing I’ve always learned as I’ve gotten older in life is the adventure and spontaneity is fine, but only in small doses. Because it’s, it’s, you can’t maintain it forever. And if you do have too much of it, it actually becomes boring, and you want to crave more stability. So I think you’re kind of on the right end of the spectrum. If you asked my opinion. He just also is there an age gap between the two of you?

Kimberly 31:58
He’s 34. And I am 36 actually

Chris Seiter 32:03
a little bit older, does he have any, any kids of his own or z.

Kimberly 32:07
So I said he doesn’t have he doesn’t have kids, but he does have a daughter, he just doesn’t have rights to his daughter. He has a he has a past in drugs. And he lost her eight years ago when she was a baby. So he’s never been a parent. Except or, you know, the first few months of her life.

Chris Seiter 32:26
I’m assuming that also has an impact on his attachment style and his coping mechanism and regret and scared of getting close. I’m assuming he’s taking care of all the substance abuse issues. Yes. Okay. Has there been any of that type of a situation when you’ve been together? Had that been a fight? Or is that kind of a long gone thing?

Kimberly 32:51
I’m not really I’ve had some suspicions, just because I’ve been with an addict before and I know kind of some of the behavior but they never played out to be true. Just but I think it’s just, I think it was just his be your in general having, you know, being an addict. I don’t think he was actually using, but he still has some of the like, secrecy behaviors. And he, you know, he’ll keep secrets about things that don’t even matter type thing. And just not not opening up being really closed off. But we haven’t had any major issues from that.

Chris Seiter 33:32
Okay. So I’m assuming also your experience in the past has led to some trauma and anxiety as well. And so what’s probably happening is you’re, you’re projecting your great fears onto him, when you get suspicion which aggravates your own anxiety, which causes you to not back when you were nodding. I will say, for the most part, it seems like you’re doing everything correctly. I mean, it’s one of those just difficult things that will take time. It’s not going to happen overnight. And I think anyone who assumes that there’s like some sort of special trick to it is just lying to you or giving you a false hope. It just takes time of you consistently creating the power of the patterns. I will also say it’s really important for you to maintain your boundaries. So you need to have your non negotiables if there’s non negotiables are crossed, then you need to drop him immediately. And that will do you a world of good not only from him realizing oh, she’s serious, but also you realizing, Oh, I could do this. I am cool on my own.

Kimberly 34:43
Yeah, I definitely got to that point in this process, or I was like, I kind of like being by myself. But yeah, I also love him a lot. So there’s, well,

Chris Seiter 34:56
I mean, I think there’s enough there to where it’s like you You just need to keep doing what you’re doing in a weird way. Maybe add in the spontaneity aspects to kind of feed that beast a little bit. Is there like a common theme among the fighting that’s happening? Is it always about him wanting to do more, and you’re not being able to?

Kimberly 35:20
No, it’s, it’s some that and then it’s some there are things that I expect. And he’s not used to, like I said, he doesn’t, you know, he doesn’t have his child. He doesn’t, he was always renting, but he would have a roommate. So it’s not like, he doesn’t understand the doing everything on his own. And when he’s here, there’s a lot of things that I expect out of him other than just going to work. And when I come to him and talk to him about that, I think that a lot of times, he hears me in a view of his trauma. And he doesn’t hear I need you to do this, but he hears like, you’re not doing this, and you’re a piece of crap, because you’re not doing it. But that’s not what I’m saying. And that’s usually what we end up fighting about.

Chris Seiter 36:08
Do the fights get into yelling? Or is it just raised voices? Like, how, how bad are we getting here. Um,

Kimberly 36:16
so he has yelled before, and I have yelled before. But most of the time, it’s just a little bit of raised voice, and then he’ll walk away. And he’ll go either leave, or he has like a workshop in my crawlspace. And he will go down there, I have a walk in crawlspace. So he will go down there and work on his, his paintings or build something. And usually he comes back, and we talk later. But it’s, it’s like, any type of hearing, I need you to do something or I need you to do something you’re not doing currently triggers him. Yes,

Chris Seiter 36:55
he feels like he’s being attacked. The weirdest advice that I’m gonna give you today is to, like 99% of fights happen because of your tone of voice. If you come, like, if you come with an accusatory tone, that can trigger it. But if you come with a calm as if you’re not even upset tone, as you accuse him, he’s going to be actually a lot more receptive to that. So I actually think that’s one thing that you can do. But the other thing that’s really important for you to do is set your boundary just be like, look it, you don’t have to tell them the boundary. But like in your head, if, if you consistently see that you’re having these conversations with him, and he’s not, at least doing something positive to meet what you feel is fair. It’s okay to walk away. It’s okay to be like, Okay, I love you and everything, but this is not working out, I need to think about what’s best for myself. I’m a big believer into the show, don’t tell approach. So a lot of people like to fall victim to the I’m going to tell my ex or my boyfriend or husband or whatever, my boundaries, I’m going to tell them the boundaries, I’ll tell them, I’ll tell them, I’ll tell them. And then they tell them so much the person eventually tests the boundary, but then they don’t get any kind of consequence for for breaking the boundary, if you will. Now I’m not I’m not I’m suggesting that if things get really, you know, difficult and you’re fighting all the time, but I think probably the the idea here is to foster communication so that you can have an honest conversation about what you’re needing and what you need from him. And I think the important thing that’s maybe potentially missing is is literally understanding what he’s feeling and why he won’t do what you want him to do. And then just telling them that because what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to make him understand that you understand him better than anyone else and that’s what will get him to open up and maybe spark a change. I’ll say this one thing a lot of times it can feel really disheartening when you feel like you’ve done the things that I just said you still haven’t gotten the change but what’s interesting is I was recently actually just really posted a video on YouTube that’s actually doing pretty well usually my YouTube videos don’t do very well so so

Kimberly 39:36
think we froze faculties here. Hopefully we we come back.

Chris Seiter 39:49
But let’s hope Let’s hope I fix the Kimberley. Can you hear me? Yes. Where did our cut off for you. I’ll start over. Um,

Kimberly 40:03
you were talking about? I can’t even remember now. Oh, yeah, I was trying to fix this.

Chris Seiter 40:10
No, the problem is with me and my dumb computer, not you. So, basically, I was talking about this concept of change, and if eight exes are capable of change, and what they’ve found, especially with people who are trying to recover from addiction, is that relapses are a normal part of the process. So don’t expect your ex to change right away. And kind of like, you know, you’re like having a conversation with them, you want them to do something, it is normal for them to resist it at first, it’s a relapse type thing. But if you stay at it, and you have the right approach, then eventually change can be fostered and can occur. So I think the approach I would have for you is the tactical empathy bit where you’re repeating his worldview back to him, as well as the tone bit, just don’t come at it with almost come at it with the tone as if you’re not even bothered by it. But you’re gonna have this honest discussion with it. And I think probably you’ll find he’ll be a lot more receptive, then.

Kimberly 41:12
Yeah, that’s great advice. I’ve done a little bit of that. But sometimes it’s really hard to stick to when you’re, like, totally fed up with, yeah, what’s going on, but that he has reacted better to moments like that, than when we just fight. So I’m gonna work really hard to implement some more of that.

Chris Seiter 41:36
But overall, I mean, when we go back and look at your success story, I think what’s interesting is, or the thing that really sticks out to me is what you posted on social media, because you’re like, full out blocked, and each time you got him to unblock you. So I when I look back at your success story, and like kind of trying to pinpoint the hard stuff. So the hard stuff is actually keeping the relationship together as you’re finding out in these type of situations. But what’s interesting is you can always learn from what you did, and I think the posting of the ungettable type stuff, the Trinity work really worked well, in your in your case, do you? Do you feel on the mark with that statement?

Kimberly 42:20
Yes, it was a big part of it. I actually had one of his friends. That was friends with me. And I mean, I don’t know how much communication they had about my posts. But I’m sure that that was part of it. But yeah, I know that he told me, he felt my changes when we talked again, and he felt me pulling away and moving on. So I 100% Because I didn’t do a whole lot of dating. So I 100% know that that came from all the ungettable stuff I was doing.

Chris Seiter 42:56
Yeah, and I mean, it does also match up with what we know about avoidance, you know, avoidance don’t really begin to miss you until they feel that they that you’ve moved on from them. And then they give themselves permission to miss you. So I find that interesting that you posting those things, even though you didn’t date anyone else was a way of being like, well, I’m moving on with my life. And that’s what triggered him to reach out in these really interesting ways. But when you look back at like the actual success aspect of your success, where what do you feel like stood out as the most important part for you personally?

Kimberly 43:32
Definitely my own growth. I mean, I loved us, you know, getting back together, I love the fact that I was able to keep that relationship, but I found myself in that journey. And that was a really big part of it. And you know, the group and the people I’ve met in the group, were a big part of that because I am a very stable person, a very homebody person and pushing myself to get out and do more things really did help me grow and really did help my anxiety. And you know, it pushed me into therapy too. And which I go every two weeks and that has been amazing. I’ve found my perfect therapist first time. And so yeah, definitely. Yeah, that is pretty rare. And I actually plan on moving out of state in the next couple years, so I’m gonna leave here. No, no, not it’s kind of funny. I I’m moving to be near my battle, buddy. No, yeah. Yeah, me and her have become best friends. And she wasn’t my assigned battle buddy. But she was like my, my picked battle buddy, because my battle buddy was like in another country, and we were on different time zones, time zones, and so we never really talked a whole lot. But yeah, I actually love it, where she lives and I’m planning on moving there. But uh, uh, definitely, just that growth and getting myself out there like going to where she lives is the farthest I’ve traveled. And so it’s just, it’s definitely the whole idea of being ungettable was my biggest part of my success story, you know, yeah, I got my boyfriend back. But you know, that’s just like the icing on the cake, I guess you can say

Chris Seiter 45:23
that that’s a good way of looking at. It’s kind of like you got yourself back. And then as a result of that, the boyfriend came back and he’s just kind of like the sprinkles on top of that. So Kimberly, thank you so much for doing this.

Kimberly 45:38
No problem. I was excited to do it. I know. I’ve watched probably every single success story when I first joined the program when I was in that anxious like, looking for a way to get through this. So they’re definitely helpful and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Chris Seiter 45:54
Well, you’re gonna be the newest one. So congrats on that. Yay. And I again, thank you so much for coming in doing this.

Kimberly 46:05
You’re very welcome. Thank you for what you do as well.

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