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Day 3 No Contact - Help!


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My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years. Some of it has been rocky (especially the last 3 months). The last 3 months, it has been like a moving target. He needed less texting during work for his stress levels. He never got to process his divorce. He decided I was texting someone else (I wasn’t....we were going on a trip, I had some work emergencies arise, and I was trying to “shield” him from that, which may have indeed looked like me putting down the phone whenever he approached). I found a GPS tracker on my car a few days later. After that, he agreed to go to therapy to work through his issues surrounding his divorce, insecurities arising from it, etc. We started doing things we enjoyed again, and I thought things were going better. Last week, he jumped on the tiniest issue and said we needed to call it off. We were back and forth some, and finally I asked to see him in person. We had a good conversation, but then he said he doesn’t think he can do stepkids, (my kids are 15 & 17 and like him very much) and he also doesn’t think his son (22) will ever accept me. His son graduates college next week, and I find the timing of all this interesting. After all the unrest of the past few weeks, I told him I felt like we hadn’t been “all in” in quite some time. He said he can’t be “all in” right now, that maybe he can sometime in the future. I left, and didn’t contact him. The next day, he sent me a text saying he had found some clarity and wanted to talk to me, which I responded to after some time and told him I felt like we needed to stick with our agreement. The next day, I felt bad (one of the “targets” was we talk about my life and not his, so I felt like I had done that again by not allowing him to talk to me) and we texted for a long time. I felt him slowing down his responses, so I sent him a last text, telling him I was proud of his efforts in therapy and I hoped he continued, but that I felt like we needed to cut the communication off. After a day, he contacted me again with the following: “I know I’m breaking our agreement. I wanted you to know I’m missing you and I’m continuing to read and see (my therapist). I hope you are doing ok. I just wanted to let you know those things. I don’t expect a reply.”

I never replied to this one, as it’s clearly a breadcrumb. Now it has been another 24 hours with nothing. When does it get easier?? And what is everyone’s perspective on this situation? I have alternated between feeling like I have a lot of growth to do, and being in deep despair. I have worked out a lot, read a lot, stepped up my yoga practice, but most of the time I can barely eat, I’ve hiked into the mountains and sobbed under a tree, I can’t tolerate being in public at all. I just need perspective.

We have an age difference (I’m 38, he’s 57) and I think that is playing into is as well. He feels this extreme pressure to “get it right” because he feels he is losing his “value”. Also, his ex wife of 27 years basically made him think she was only with him for the lifestyle he provided, and I think that has done a huge number on him. He has this need to “be sure”, but life isn’t sure. Not with me, not with anyone. I catch myself constantly checking his Instagram profile (he still has our pic on it). I know it’s going to be devastating if he changes it.

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I'm going by some cues in your write up such as him jumping on the tiniest issue and calling it off, the issues with the kids, the age difference, his low sense of self (low self-esteem), his issues surrounding vulnerabilities or feeling victimized in some way/taken advantaged of by his previous wife and so on. Those are all signs that a person is not ready to date or welcome someone NEW into their life fully. It doesn't really matter about the piece of paper. My husband wasn't fully divorced yet from his first wife when we met. You should be very sure that this man is ready and he is NOT ready. I definitely do not like telling someone this because it's really between two people but I've got to tell it to you straight without beating around the bush or making wide generalizations either. In THIS case, he is not ready. Eyes wide open here and call a spade a spade. Don't be afraid. The only person you're going to fool is yourself.


Wanting solitude is natural when we're in pain. I once had the strangest desire to visit a cemetary where I spent hours and hours and hours doing photography. I also kayaked tons and didn't come home for days and camped. We all handle intense pain differently. You don't need to hide that or think that there's something wrong with you for wanting a private moment to cry under a tree in the solitude of the mountains. What you should be checking though is your nutrition levels and remaining hydrated. I hope you are drinking a lot of water whether you want to or not. Grab a large 1-2L water bottle and refill it everywhere you go. Keep drinking even around the house. I'm glad you're into yoga too. I would delete him off your social media when you're ready. It is not healthy to have him there to check up on. I think your kids deserve their mum happy and motivated again (I'm assuming you're female but you may not be - no difference anyway to the above). Would you ever betray your kids' trust the way that he has your confidence? No. So pick yourself up and learn from your mistakes. There are better men out there. Trust me, I found one of them.

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Thank you for the response. He keeps saying he never got to process this huge life change unencumbered. I can’t imagine it, but i terrorize myself with the thought that he has found someone else and that’s his excuse. That fear probably made me react badly when he first asked for space after starting therapy.


He didn’t have the ability to be alone for most of the relationship, and would get really down at night when we weren’t together. The sudden need for space was a complete 180, so I reacted by clinging or getting upset. I have a hard time believing he has turned into a person who CHOSE to be alone now.


Just last week, he was meeting with a travel agent to talk about a trip for us.

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It's too hot/cold and inconsistent. For your peace of mind, I wouldn't judge him as a bad person. Just take it with a grain of salt and learn that people are not themselves when they're going through life changes like this. I wouldn't go back to him if he tries to contact you again and pursue a relationship.


Stop living in fear if he decides to see someone else. Keep reminding yourself that if this is any proper excuse of a relationship he would have shown himself to be a better fit for you and a better partner. That he isn't is clarity enough that your life is far more peaceful without him. You're panicking and having anxiety attacks because of his inconsistency. We react to behaviours like this because we are already programmed to know when situations are dangerous and unhealthy to us.


This is not a healthy situation at all and neither is the way he's treating you. If you do decide to keep in contact with each other somewhere down the line, know what you're up against and just take things on a case by case scenario. I think he has a lot of personal healing to do. I repeat: this is not a healthy relationship and your high anxiety is a very basic litmus test for what's going on around you. Start paying attention to your gut instincts and your emotions. They will guide you.

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A GPS tracker in your car?


Was he previously cheated on or what was that all about? That's a pretty extreme measure for a previously trustworthy partnership. I would feel completely insulted by the implication behind that if I had done nothing to warrant such an invasive breach of trust and privacy.


He is either very paranoid, or he's projecting because he wasn't behaving himself when your head was turned. Either way, he is really not on the same page as you at all anymore. It will hurt, but I really think you need to let go of him. Something is up and it's not conducive to a long-term relationship.

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I was furious when I found the tracker. We had a huge fight over it, because it was completely unwarranted.


After a few days of no contact, he decided he wanted to be with me. Said he’s 100% sure, that he realized he was miserable without me and doesn’t want to ever feel that way again. Then I receive an anonymous text from a fake number saying he’s been seen with another woman. It’s a little suspicious since it’s anonymous and there were no details and no pictures. It’s all just crazy.

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He sounds like a toxic man. He is at the epicenter of all the craziness. You are doing the right things taking care of yourself. Focus on you and your kids and leave this paranoid control freak in the past.

I was furious when I found the tracker. Then I receive an anonymous text from a fake number saying he’s been seen with another woman. It’s a little suspicious since it’s anonymous and there were no details and no pictures. It’s all just crazy.
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No way has a few days of NC changed his issues.


I would run, but that's just me. He's got a ton of red flags waving at you that he's not ready for a healthy relationship.


You're just going to drain yourself if you keep going back.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After a month of being back together, I find myself being drained like you all said. During no contact, I was totally devastated, but beginning to see flashes of the person who could grow and be stronger. I was dedicated to not being powerless in this “new” relationship we started up, and i find myself again today with no power. We had plans with my son today. Last night, we went to a graduation party for a friend’s son, out to dinner, and back to my house. There was a minor issue, I was awake until 3:00, finally went to the couch and fell asleep. At 5:00 AM, he woke me up and wanted me to come back to bed. I was so exhausted, but did. Then he decided he was going to go home since I was so tired, and couldn’t find his keys. That turned into me getting up, searching for keys with him, and finally telling him to take my car home to get his extra ones. I wake up again at 8:00 and he’s back at my house. I get up and make coffee, then he wants to nap so that he feels like going riding with my son, but he INSISTED I go lie there with him while he sleeps. By this time, I’m wired up and told him for my own mental well-being, I needed to have some quiet time, drink my coffee, and re-group - not lie down trying to be quiet and staring at the ceiling after having already done so most of the night. According to him, I’m being selfish, not willing to do something for him OR my son, so he basically takes his toys and goes back home, making the executive decision that NONE of us are going riding.


It just doesn’t change. He was used to someone who did everything he wanted to keep the peace. I can’t be that person.

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  • 1 month later...

I went against all your advice and took him back in early May. Things had been terrific until the last couple of weeks. We had been communicating, disagreements were handled easily, etc.


Today he forwarded me an email that contained information about his business having purchased property. I’m a real estate agent, and he had failed to mention a high level commercial property transaction. When I asked about it, he said “oh we don’t need to talk about that. It’s boring” and tried to change the subject. When I told him that I didn’t think he understood how upset I was, he sent an eye roll emoji and said I was trying to start an argument, also saying “if you want to cancel our plans tonight, just let me know”. Then proceeded to text the other couple to cancel. I told him it upsets me that he would hide something like that, and it makes me question what else he will hide. He then called me a “ who will make his life miserable”, and said he would have “no further dealings with me”. He proceeded to block me on social media and text. I know the answers that are coming, but I just need to vent this evening and maybe someone will have some insight into this extreme and childish reaction.

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  • 4 months later...

Hey! I know it’s several months later, but I think all too often, people never get to read “the end” of these stories. I lapsed back into the relationship, and went through so many cycles of breaking up and getting back together. We both went to counseling. Things would improve for awhile, then fall apart again. He began picking fights over nothing, then escalating them and blocking my number. He did this to me on Thanksgiving Day. Two days later, I got the usual email, apologizing for his behavior, blah, blah, blah. I was still extremely hurt and upset by his behavior, so I ignored it. Later that day, I got my answers. I pulled up my calendar, and there, on his shared calendar, was a hotel booking 2 hours away. I let him know I knew, and I have been absolutely no contact ever since. The info, as it always does, started flowing in. This person saw him trying to pick up women at the gym. This person saw this or that. Fortunately, I think I’ve been inwardly letting go for a while, so it has been hard but I have leaned on my female friends, made new friends, journaled, booked a cool trip for my birthday, and have been reading “Getting Past Your Breakup” by Susan Elliott and doing the work recommended there.


I say all this to tell you I wish I had listened months ago. I kept thinking “if only....”. If only I try this, things will get better. Things don’t get better when only one person is trying. If you’re in a dysfunctional relationship, there is no “if only”. Listen to the people here. They are being objective. Don’t look back months later and say “I wish”. Thanks to everyone who tried to warn me. I’m doing well most days now, but if there is one person who will leave behind an unhealthy relationship because of this post, then those extra months will have been worth it. Stay strong and develop good boundaries!

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The advice this board gives is spot-on, I think. People have to go through their own heartache to learn lessons though, I think. And often times we want to hang onto that 0.002% chance the odds might work in our favor, so we risk it just to see, to have that chance. I am victim to this as well.


Anyway, it takes months of therapy for people to change, and ultimately, a foundational desire to actually change - not just empty words claiming they have.

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Hey! I know it’s several months later, but I think all too often, people never get to read “the end” of these stories. I lapsed back into the relationship, and went through so many cycles of breaking up and getting back together. We both went to counseling. Things would improve for awhile, then fall apart again.


It sounds like your no contact was so short it wasn't really no contact at all, in the sense that this man never had the chance to miss you, and was not spurred to examine his own obsessive controlling behaviors by a little shot of separation anxiety.


Perhaps not being able to communicate with you over the Xmas -new year period will supply that. I expect you'll get some communication on Xmas day, etc - stay strong and do not respond.

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He started emailing me a couple of days ago. I could tell from the preview they were malicious emails. I deleted them without opening. He then started sending attached images, which I also deleted without opening. The next morning, I woke up to several junk emails and one from someone unknown, which I opened. He had created a new email account under a different name to send an attachment. It was a screenshot of a conversation with an old neighbor of mine from like 15-20 years ago. They were maliciously gossiping about me, with the one screenshot I opened being 100% untrue. I didn’t respond to the ex at all. However, I did message the neighbor to let him know his “friend” was sending their communication to me, and that while I have made mistakes in my life, I have also owned them and grown from them, and surrounded myself with people who view overcoming obstacles as admirable. I also said that the one screenshot I saw was completely untrue, but that I understand a 20 year old gossip chain would be subject to some additions and deletions.


It amazes me that someone would go so far to try to reach out to people and “uncover” something from 20 years ago to justify their own current behavior. I’m at 23 days no contact, and while the holidays are a little sad, it’s not because of him. He liked to pick fights on holidays and any major events, so I remembered that I actually spent last Christmas alone as well. He has apparently been diagnosed by a therapist with BPD / NPD. His behavior is fairly textbook, when viewed through that lens.

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Good you deleted this. He's a psycho. His actual diagnosis is irrelevant. What is relevant is that stalking and harassing are illegal in many jurisdictions and you need a restraining order. Abusers general escalate until you forcefully stop them. Send one final communication advising him that you will be getting a cease/desist and restraining orders if this harassment campaign persists. Keep a copy of that communication.


You need to nip this in the bud very firmly. You have children and yourself to protect. Stop pondering the wherefores and whys. Just read up on abusive relationship. Textbook case here. Never open strange emails and reset all your devises and apps and programs to maximum security and privacy. Yes. You Are In An Abusive Relationship. You need to understand this.

He started emailing me a couple of days ago. I could tell from the preview they were malicious emails. I deleted them without opening. He then started sending attached images, which I also deleted without opening. The next morning, I woke up to several junk emails and one from someone unknown, which I opened.
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I have heard nothing since the emails, and I have stayed no contact. 25 days now, and I find myself thinking less about him each day. I went out on a “kind of” date with a friend who was home for Christmas yesterday...just a hike and out to dinner. It was strange sometimes to glance over and see someone different beside me, but he was just so easy to be with. He was polite and appreciative to all the staff at dinner, and was interested in what I had to say, not just what he had to say. It was a one-time occurrence, as he will he going home and I am by no means ready to actually date, but it gave me such insight into how easily things should flow when it’s time. A first date test run with someone I’ve known a long time, but never spent any one on one time with.


I also travel a lot for work, and it’s such a relief to not have to pacify someone who is completely insecure and always creating drama during my work trips, as a form of abuse to keep me off balance. I’m finding reasons to be grateful, and it truly helps.

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