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Not letting yourself break NC...common problems


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Hi, I noticed a huge no. of people here are slugging it out painfully trying to maintain NC with their exes. This forum is rife with instances where dumpees have tried hard to get where they got but some (usually idiotic) things led them to break NC and it was back to square one. Of course they regret doing this later and it takes another massive effort, not to mention valuable time, to redo all the good work. Astonishingly, the same reasons prompt different people to break NC, over and over again. It could be coming accross a new picture that an ex put up on his/her facebook with some new person. Or some silly text from an ex that we couldn't help but respond to, even though we knew it was nothing important. Or some info from a common friend that kills us and makes us text our ex to 'just say hi' or something like that. We have all done this and then regretted doing it. I came accross some new pics my ex has put up on her facebook today. They have her and this guy all laughing it up and holding each other and the works. And it killed me.


To be honest, NC is not so difficult to maintain all the time. Its basically inaction, so it can't be difficult to 'do' by definition. The difficult part in an NC comes only when circumstances seem to extract an action out of you, when the saner part of your brain asks you to refrain. It is this conflict between emotion and rationale that leads most of us to break NC. If this part can somehow be handled, NC would be much easier and the benefits would be much easier to get. It would be great if we could all come together and pitch in with ideas that can help us maintain NC in times like these. It would be tremendous if somehow we could design a 'mechanism' of sorts that helps us tide over these tough times. We are all aware of the benefits of NC. So if something could be devised to help us not break NC, it would go a long way in healing.


Personally, I do a few things, whenever I start to feel like my emotions are going to get the better of me. A few of you are probably doing these already, but for the benefit of those who are looking for answers, I am jotting them down:


1. Log off the internet. I have observed that the internet is a very tempting media. It entices you into making stupid mistakes. When you know you are approaching that moment when you are likely to do something crazy, just get up and log off. If you don't chances are you will do something stupid and end up more messed up than before. And it is very easy to know when these moments of madness are approaching. It can start with something like 'Let me check her email. I am sure I can guess her password.' And you start keying in passwords based on what you know of her, pets names, birthdays etc etc. Or it can start with visiting her facebook/myspace and going through her snaps of last weekends party. The possibilities for doing something stupid are endless. I have even thought of hacking her email so that I can get the inside dope. Stupid!

So basically, although the internet is a major help for broken hearts, its just as dangerous when you are not thinking straight.


2. Think of the ugly stuff they did to you. I am not suggesting you develop a hatred towards your ex (obviously not, especially if you want them back). But remember the moments when they had pissed you off. Remember the times when they had acted completely unreasonably. The idea here is to balance out the misery in your heart by looking at stuff that makes you feel 'Good Riddance'. You should get to a point where you hate them in that moment. Maybe even swear at them in your mind and curse them thinking, 'Go ahead. Indulge in as much stupidity as you want. I couldn't care less. I am just glad I am out.' Although you will truly never mean it, it saves the moment. I have somehow mastered this technique. I remember the times when she acted completely unreasonably simply because she was having some work problems and then refused to apologize later. Things like that.


3. This is just an extension of the previous point. I have identified some chat conversations where we had fought and argued (while we were together). The topic of the fight is irrelevant. I have identified only those conversations where my ex was being completely adamant and unreasonable. I tried to speak all kinds of sense but to no avail. That had pissed me off then. I have marked these conversations and read them whenever I feel like I am going weak emotionally. It reminds you that your ex is not all good. Their is a side to them that will still irritate the crap out of you. And that kind of makes you see some positive side of not being with them. However, this can be a double edged sword for a lot of people as sometimes reading old chats can bring some other related memories flooding back and make you weaker. So beware of that.


4. Another thing I find very useful is writing. It can be extremely therapeutic. Whenever I get mad at my ex, or jealous, or depressed or any of that, I just log in to my blog and start typing whatever I am feeling. I don't necessarily publish it, but keep saving the posts. Trust me, it sounds like a lot of work, but it helps you clear your mind like nothing else. If what you have written turns out to be good, you can publish it on your blog and well...you have a new hobby on your hands! Double benefit. I have seen how well people here on ENA can voice their thoughts and I don't think I am anywhere close to that. So if I can write a blog, trust me, most of you can. You clearly don't have to be a good writer or anything (yours truly is a prime example). Just pen down whatever comes to your head, about your ex, the memories, the stuff that pisses you off now...all of it...good, bad or ugly. Believe me, its addictive, once you get to it.


5. Sometimes, when something starts bothering me or tickling that part of my brain that makes me do stupid things, I just get up, stop whatever I am doing and go for a jog. Run like you love doing it. Focus on the air as it goes in and out of you. You feel start feeling better in a few minutes.


6. If you are into sports at all, then I don't need to mention this. Playing a sport is the best thing you can do to get over your ex. I doubt anything else gives me that big a high. I don't think any other activity will make you forget about your ex completely for that whole hour or so. And even after you are done playing, your mind won't get back to that sick sulky state where you just want to get it touch with them and ruin your good work.


7. There is another thing I discovered recently that helped me gain some control over myself and stopped me from doing something I would have regretted later. I was feeling really low and was this close to calling my ex to 'just say hi' on a weekend. I was trying not to do it, when the movie 'Seven Pounds' came on TV. I sat through it, watched it, and it had a completely unexpected effect on me. I just started thinking of completely different stuff.


I realized what it was. Today, we are miserable because we are broken up. However, to be honest, our problems are anything but huge. We are all little self-involved, delicate little individuals if we can manage to focus on our own little world 24x7. I mean, there are real problems in this world, real issues that people have to deal with in their lives, day in and day out. Our issues of 'who is that new guy kissing her on her facebook' are nothing. Think of the kids who die of hunger in Africa. Think of people who have lost everything, everyone they knew in one terrorist attack in the Middle East. Think of those unfortunate people who are born with disabilities that permanently prevent them from enjoying life. If they can pull through and find enough reason to live, then we are being plain * * * * * * * . If one break up can set us back for months, then I can't imagine how useless we would be to anyone who is having real problems. That should make you feel sick about yourself. It should make you feel like you need to get up and be glad for what you have instead of brooding endlessly over what you have lost. And really, what the frick have we lost? A person who chose to not be with us? Thats our loss? Well, not for me...


8. This is a slightly weird way of looking at things, but it does help sometimes. Whenever, I feel like I HAVE to contact my ex to see whats up with her or how she has been or anything like that, I imagine myself in a hypothetical situation.

Imagine you, your ex, and his/her new SO are sitting in a room. All of a sudden, there is a 'hostage' situation that develops in that room. A psychotic person carrying a gun enters the room and takes you and that new SO hostage. He asks your ex just one question: "One of these two is going to die. Either your ex (which is you) or your new SO. You pick the one you would rather see dead." Who do you think your ex will pick? Now if my ex is as much in love as she claims to be with this new guy, I am sure she will want him to live. So she will pick me to die. After all the years of sacrifice and love, she will basically pick me to die! To save this guy she has known for all of three months. I imagine her saying it aloud. "Kill this guy. But let the new guy in my life live please." And that just makes me sick. If this girl is not going to come through for me when its a issue of life and death, and is going to pick some new guy over me because he is showing her a good time right now, then well, I have my answer. I have better things to do than brood over her. She and the new guy can both go to hell. I couldn't care less. Not if she can't make a choice to save my life.


I understand this is a very warped way of looking at things, but the idea here is to keep yourself from doing something you don't want to do. You don't have to *sound* fair and sensible as long as you *do* something sensible. You are doing this for yourself. Thats the bottom line.


So yea. These are some of the things I do to stay NC during periods when I am vulnerable and susceptible to breaking NC. So far, it has worked. I am just about a month into NC. Hoping to go as long as it takes. I am sure there are people out there who have their own means of dealing with the moments that make you emotional. I would love to hear them. Do post.

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Thanks, very good posts. Loneliness is the biggest enemy for me to act stupid, especially during holidays. Sent a text to say happy holiday and then regretted three hours later. But his silence actually helps me heal, so I'm grateful for his cruelty. I'm a foreigner and just moved from another city to here last year. No family and no close friends in this city.


Well, have to really stick to NC. Not sure how to deal with being lonely though. Dating seems not a good route because when I just want to be friends guys leave. Even want to go to Plentyoffish to get some gal friends but it ended up attracting ones who want more.

Tried to go to meetup groups but still couldn't find a good friend. Many people seem very aloof here and I wonder if it's because of me. I feel like an outcast sometimes lol.


Your point of our pain comparing to many others' seems trivial struck me. I've been thinking to volunteer to help people, and I might be able to make some friends through that way?


Learning to enjoy solitude is hard for me, given growing up in a big family. What will be your suggestion of dealing with loneliness and can't make some good friends? My best friends are not here.

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Thornbirds, to be honest, I am pretty much facing the same situation. I am not a foreigner or anything. Just that over the last three years while I was with her, I had given up most of my friends (stupid thing to do I know, but she felt insecure sharing me! Look who the jokes on now!). The ones I am in touch with are either abroad or too busy with their own thing.


I would suggest you stop looking to make friends and instead focus on stuff you want to do. Let people find you through the activities you do. That way you will meet people who are more likely to be like-minded. Its not very easy to make friends when you need them the most. I joined a gym to get back in shape and just started doing my own thing. And then I made a couple of friends there. Not that they are very close or anything. But good enough to hang around a coffee shop for an hour or so after working out. And if you notice, your closest friends will be those who you didn't set out to befriend. They just happened to find you and you hit it off. Keep it that way.


Volunteer work in fact might be a great idea. Not only will the activity be satisfying in itself, but chances are that the people you meet there will have similar perspectives about a few things.


All the best.

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I realized another thing that triggers the irresistible urge to contact my ex today. Basically, I have noticed that after a cruel breakup, we tend to associate all disappointments in our life, no matter how unrelated they are to the break up itself, with our ex.


I was supposed to meet this friend today and made my way through quite a bit of traffic and a few other hassles. I waited for around 30 mins and then I got a call from him saying he had to turn around mid-way and get back home and so wouldn't be able to come (for some valid reason). I was quite pissed at the whole situation. As I was on my way back, I was just feeling very angry, bitter and depressed. I couldn't help but wonder, how I could feel so pissed at a friend standing me up. I mean its annoying and all, but I don't think it would have bothered me so much a few months ago. It was then that I realized. I was feeling overly annoyed because at the back of my mind, I could imagine my ex enjoying her Saturday evening with that new guy (probably having day long sex) while I was stuck in traffic because of someone who didn't even bother to show up. The (assumed) contrast in our situations, made me all the more miserable and turned my mood more sour. After I realized what was happening, I could see how irrational my behavior was and that I was feeling irritated over something that wasn't that huge.


Bottomline, we need to be able to ask ourselves questions about what is really making us feel miserable. Its understandable that it might not be possible to dissociate the various causes of our misery so categorically. But we need to make sure that we aren't somehow relating all negative feelings (from every place) to that one major negative event in our life and making ourselves even more depressed.


Just thought I'd share this.

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this has been happening to me too, moonbug. i remember reading somewhere when you're going through a break up it's common to be more irritable than normal. yesterday i got angry just because i couldn't find a piece of paper. lol I think if ppl really care they know you are dealing with the five stages of grief and aren't yourself.

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