Should I Go No Contact?

Ending a relationship with anyone is a huge decision, in particular when it comes to family members.  If you read anything about people who are victims of narcissistic abuse, they’re frequently told, “Just go no contact.”

No contact is a very viable option for victims, & usually the best one.  However, it also isn’t an easy solution.  I have yet to talk to one person who has implemented no contact that came to that decision easily.  It often came after months or even years of wondering if there was any other solution & much trying to turn a toxic relationship into a healthy one.

The purpose of this post today is to help you to gain some clarity on whether or not no contact is your best option.

To start with, I always recommend prayer.  Ask God to show you the truth about your relationship, what you should do, how to handle the situation & to give you strength, courage & wisdom to do what is best.

Then, consider your relationship.  There is a difference between someone who is abusive & someone with whom you just don’t get along.  Personality clashes can be very challenging & frustrating, but they also don’t leave a person feeling badly about themselves or even doubting their own sanity.  How does this relationship make you feel?

Are you the only one in the relationship who is trying to make it healthy?  If not, that’s great!  If so, that is a sign this person is toxic.

Does the other person make excuses or blame you for their bad behavior?  Do you come away from a confrontation feeling as if you’re the problem every single time?  That is a huge red flag!  Healthy people accept responsibility for what they do wrong.  They also apologize, try to fix things when possible & change their behavior.

How does the other person react to you setting reasonable boundaries?  Healthy people are fine with boundaries.  Unhealthy people, not so much.  They get angry, pout, behave in passive/aggressive ways, ignore & mock boundaries.

Probably by now, you have more clarity on whether or not you should end the relationship.  If you think you do need to end it, there are other things you should consider too, especially if this person is a family member.

Possibly the most important thing to consider is this.  If you go no contact, will you be able to stay no contact, no matter what?  Going no contact then later resuming a relationship with an abuser never ends well for the victim.  Reason being is abusers see this as a victim having weak boundaries that mean nothing.  They can be trampled over with no real consequences for the abuser.  This means an abuser will behave worse than ever when they understand this.

For your own peace of mind, I also believe it’s important to know you tried your best in the relationship.  No, one person can’t fix any relationship on their own.  However, having peace of mind knowing you did your best is very beneficial.  So many abusers do anything they can to make a victim think they didn’t do enough before severing ties or if they just would have done that one thing, the relationship wouldn’t have failed.  When you truly know you did your best, those sorts of tactics don’t work.

Going no contact also means losing friends & family who side with the abuser.  You need to be aware that will happen, even with those who you never expected to abandon you.

Lastly, what do you feel in your heart is the right move for you to make?  Instincts are a wonderful thing & I believe God’s still small voice speaking to us.  Trust what you feel in your heart, & you’ll know if no contact is the right decision for you.

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8 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

8 responses to “Should I Go No Contact?

  1. I think you may have mis-worded this paragraph: “Are you the only one in the relationship who is trying to make it healthy? If so, that is great! If not, that is a sign this person is toxic.”

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  2. ibikenyc

    “For your own peace of mind, I also believe it’s important to know you tried your best in the relationship.”

    As usual, you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one! I sat here nodding my head and (lovingly) rolling my eyes at myself about all the doubting and second-guessing I’ve done because of the tiniest idea that maybe I could have done more; as you say, “if [I] just would have done that one thing.”

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    • That is not a nice way to feel at all, is it? So sorry you’ve experienced that too. ❤

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      • ibikenyc

        Thank you, and I’m sorry you have.

        Why do we always hold ourselves to standards SO MUCH higher than the ones to which we hold others?

        Or maybe it would be better to ask why we accept so sadly little from others but expect so ridiculously much from ourselves?

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        • Thank you too.

          Valid questions.. Part of that no doubt is the INFJ personality but the rest? Not sure. Maybe because that’s how we were raised to think that way. I was telling hubby this morning how I was raised to do & accomplish, not because I was smart or talented or anything, but just because it’s expected. Also I wasn’t given praise for accomplishing things. It was just doing what I was supposed to do so it was unworthy of praise. I think such things make us expect way too much out of ourselves & not as much out of others.

          Liked by 2 people

          • ibikenyc

            Never thought to consider the INFJ thing. I’ll have to mull that over.

            You are right. Once I got into my adolescence and, teens I was given an endless list of chores to do, one at a time, as a way to control me: I was forbidden to go out until they were done, but as soon as I finished one, just like Colombo there was always “One more thing.”

            Of course, none of what I did was ever good enough.

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