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A comment on the concept of "not being able" to cut contact


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I haven't been on ENA in awhile, and in reading over some posts I've missed, I saw one theme that bothered me.

 

As pretty much everyone reading the "Getting Back Together" or "Healing After Break Up or Divorce" sections has probably noticed, many people on this forum advocate "No Contact" to help you move on from a relationship. I understand that the technique is not for everyone, but I think it does work to heal you in most cases if you need something drastic to cut emotional bonds (and most of us do).

 

The "theme" I mentioned is people claiming that they want to go "NC," as this practice is frequently abbreviated, but they "can't." Most of these people say that they "can't" because of their own weakness and desire to call/e-mail/facebook stalk their exes, and many are wise enough to force themselves to post on the forum when the urge to do so is going to overcome them. This version of not being "able" to cut contact is unfortunate, but it happens to most people who are hurt for at least awhile, and eventually, people wise up and let go. It may take a bit of time, but these people take responsibility for their own problems and work to combat them.

 

However, there seems to be a second "breed" of folks who claim that they "can't" cut contact because their ex keeps calling them. They're distressed because here they are, trying to heal, wanting to break contact, and that darn ex keeps calling to talk! "How cruel," "poor me," etc.

 

Personally, I find this attitude objectionable. Sure, your stupid ex may be calling because he/she is too much of a jerk to let you heal. However, to say that you "can't" go NC because an ex calls is simply not taking responsibility for your own weakness. You ALWAYS have the option to not answer your phone, delete e-mail, or even block numbers, etc. (Please note that I sympathize with folks who have shared children, etc, who REALLY are obligated to stay in some form of contact. Even those situations can be mitigated without contact if there is enough animosity, however. For the rest of you, though...) If you are in a position where you CANNOT break contact with an ex, that means your ex is physically confronting you. You are being stalked and/or assaulted, and you should call the police. However, if you are allowing your ex to get you on the phone, receive e-mails from you, etc, you are not somebody who "wants NC but can't get it." You are just not denying that you have control over the situation and using their (unkind!) contact as an excuse to not do what you think is best.

 

Either admit that you don't yet WANT to do the right thing and heal from this relationship, or take responsibility for your own mental health cut them off. You DO have a choice, even if they are the ones initiating contact.

 

Rant over Good luck to all!

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Im notoriously bad at NC, I dont blame him for it though i know ultimately its down to me. I have had times though when weve gone NC and after a week or so he begin calling and texting- its then that i find the NC much harder so i can understand people being frustrated when their ex does that. My ex would text things that he knows fine well that id want to reply to, pushing my buttons if you like. Iv was the dumper in my relationship but only because he treat me so badly i had no choice, i never wanted to split and thats why i struggle. At the end of the day i feel for people in NC its one of the hardest things for people to endure when theyve loved someone and have to completely let go.

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Thanks for this. My ex will call me every 4 weeks or so and beg to meet me. I will end up meeting him and regretting it. then I will not hear from him after another 4 weeks. He makes me miserable. I have the choice to change my number, yet I can't get myself to... it's like part of me likes it when he comes back and hurts me. It's really pathetic. I keep on saying this will be the last time he will probably contact me...then woop he contacts me again after 4 weeks.

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Thanks for this. My ex will call me every 4 weeks or so and beg to meet me. I will end up meeting him and regretting it. then I will not hear from him after another 4 weeks. He makes me miserable. I have the choice to change my number, yet I can't get myself to... it's like part of me likes it when he comes back and hurts me. It's really pathetic. I keep on saying this will be the last time he will probably contact me...then woop he contacts me again after 4 weeks.

 

I know the exact feeling, you dont wana let go but you do...

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I think part of me keeps thinking he will say "yes I want to spend the rest of my life with you... I don't know what I was thinking"

 

My ex actually has said that to me but unfortunately hes and emotional abuser/controller so all hes trying to do is regain control, i wish he was different and meant it properly, now apparently im a stupid fool cos i could have had everything.....

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My ex actually has said that to me but unfortunately hes and emotional abuser/controller so all hes trying to do is regain control, i wish he was different and meant it properly, now apparently im a stupid fool cos i could have had everything.....

 

I just keep on wondering why my ex keeps on coming back to me if he has clearly told he that he cannot see himself spending the rest of his life with me??

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I can't go NC with mine because I work with him.

 

Now, technically, I COULD ignore him at work, but that would be difficult, and it would be extremely obvious to our colleagues, and people would talk about it, for sure. Actually, I don't think anyone knows we ever dated. If they do know, no one has ever mentioned it. We have a pretty small workplace, though, so I'd probably know.

 

I don't contact him outside of work, really (though I have e-mailed him about fourtimes this past year -- twice it was work-related). He has contacted me a number of times, and yes, I have responded a few times. If I didn't see him at work, though, I doubt I'd respond.

 

I agree that people who CAN go NC, generally should, at least initially. NC doesn't have to be forever, of course. It can just be for a period of time until one feels better about things. Checking facebook, googling the person for info, "stalking" them on MSN to see when they're on, etc. is not NC, and it isn't conducive to healing.

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I don't believe in NC anymore.

 

I really don't think it matters whether you talk to them or not. If they want to have anything to do with you they won't mind communication

 

If you do do NC then they know your number, e-mail they know where you live and if they want to they can get ahold of you.

 

I think NC is if you want to heal yourself; however, if to help you heal if you need to say something to the ex say all you want send them letters or e-mails just don't get obsessive about it but speak your mind and let them deal with what you said

At least you spoke your mind

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I started NC a few weeks after the break went a few weeks then I would respond and be hurt. Go NC again for longer then respond and be hurt. Bad cycle so I changed it after 1.5 months. You are right we do not have to answer them when they try to initiate contact.

 

It took me a few times to realize that I was in a pattern that was just not getting me anywhere. Then I went NC for myself and no other reason. I am healing now. I think some people just have to realize it themselves that contact hurts them just as much as NC. But by staying in contact you will never heal.

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I started NC a few weeks after the break went a few weeks then I would respond and be hurt. Go NC again for longer then respond and be hurt. Bad cycle so I changed it after 1.5 months. You are right we do not have to answer them when they try to initiate contact.

 

It took me a few times to realize that I was in a pattern that was just not getting me anywhere. Then I went NC for myself and no other reason. I am healing now. I think some people just have to realize it themselves that contact hurts them just as much as NC. But by staying in contact you will never heal.

 

Even in the mist of a bad morning, this is very sound advice. I know why I need NC. If you survive a weak moment and maintain it, it makes you even stronger.

 

Each person is different. I think NC is needed for a painful break-up, which mine was. Others don't have as much hurt with them. Each person needs to find the healing tool that work for them. And sometimes it takes time to find what actually works to heal because it is simply time itself.

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My thought on this is he left me and knew how badly I was still hurting. Knew that contact would give me hope, knew I was not strong enough to let him go and did not WANT to let him go. thereforee, his contacting me was cruel. I take full responsibility that I wasn't strong enough to stop it - so while I take responsibility for my own weakness, he should have had the kindness to not make it so hard.

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I am guilty of this, or was in the beginning. I now realize that I just wasn't ready to let go. I knew I needed to, I just couldn't make myself. It scared me. In my case, my ex did keep calling/texting/emailing, even though I told him multiple times I needed space and why. But that's the thing. I told him more than once, which means that the first few times, I ended up answering his calls and talking to him again. I wasn't ready to let go and I did use his constant contact as an excuse.

 

So when I finally decided to really go NC and mean it, it was very difficult because he did keep up the calling/texting/emailing. And why wouldn't he, I had caved every other time before. I had to make myself ignore it. He kept it up for close to a month. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I wanted so badly to answer the phone or call him back. But I knew I couldn't. I would start sobbing every time he called or texted or whatever. But it did get easier and he did eventually get the hint. It was the best thing I could have done for myself. I only wish I would have had the strength to do it sooner. I do think that the ex continuing to contact when you've asked them to leave you alone is incredibly selfish and disrespectful on their part. But that's all the more reason to cut them off.

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