Have you recently endured a breakup or divorce and you’re wondering if going “no contact” with your ex is the right decision for you? Here’s what to consider:
There is a History of Manipulation or Abuse
At its core, abuse is about power and control. Especially if your ex was gaslighting you or was emotionally abusive, it is critical that you get distance from them in order to begin to heal from their manipulations. When you maintain contact before you have an opportunity to find your strength and learn to listen to your inner voice, it’s too easy to again fall victim of their crazy-making influence.
This can be a very difficult separation; when there is emotional abuse, you have often been led to believe that you cannot live without them. Which is exactly why you need to prove to yourself that you can.
The Relationship Has a Pattern of Cycling
When it’s good, it’s great. And when it’s bad, it’s terrible. If you’re in an on-again, off-again relationship that keeps running through the same cycles, it may be time to take a break. A real one.
When you know that they are just out of reach, it’s too easy to close that gap whenever you’re feeling sad or lonely. The problem becomes telling the difference between taking them back because you want them and taking them back because you don’t want to be alone. One of the best ways to tell the difference is to remove them from your life for an extended period of time (enough time for the initial sadness and isolation to pass) to see if you really miss them.
You Find Yourself Obsessing About Your Ex
If you feel powerless to control your thoughts – or your behaviors – around your ex, it can be a sign that you need a complete and total removal. Think of it like keeping ice cream out of the house when you’re trying to lose weight.
One of the more common ways that this obsession manifests is through social media. Are you constantly checking up on your ex’s posts and profile? Are you scanning their pictures looking for signs that they miss you or that they have a new crush? It is impossible for you to move forward if you’re putting this much energy into your past.
You Experience Anxiety Around Contact (Or the Thought of Contact) With Your Ex
Are you nervous at the thought of speaking with or seeing your ex? Does the sight of their name on your phone cause your stomach to plummet and your heart to race? If they are still able to trigger this much emotion in you, it can be a sign that you need some time to disconnect and recenter before you consider contact.
You Feel Regret After Contact
Do you have a tendency to reach out to your ex when you’re feeling low and then you regret it soon after? Maybe you’re hoping that they’ve changed and their harsh or dismissive words have wounded you all over again. Or, perhaps you were looking for a closing conversation and instead, you find yourself on the receiving end of an angry rant.
Regardless, listen to your emotions. If you’re feeling regret, it’s a sign that you’re doing something that isn’t right for you.
Your Ex Takes Up a Lot of Mental Space
Is your ex out of your physical life but still living in your headspace? This is a sign that you may need to cut off all contact in order to complete the eviction. We only have so much energy. When you’re electing to spend a majority of it on your ex, it means that you’re neglecting other areas of your life. Remember – whatever you nurture, grows.
Going “No Contact?”
Read the rest of the series: