The Benefits of Maintaining No-Contact

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It has been 3 years now since my narcissistic ex-wife left for the final time.  It has also been approximately 2.5 years that I have known about narcissism, and 2 years since I implemented No Contact in earnest.

Let me begin by saying that things DO get easier over time.  The first year or so after she left, I was absolutely devastated, didn’t know if I was coming or going, and was convinced that I couldn’t live without her and/or would never find anyone else.  Having no communication with her was NOT what I wanted but I knew that I had to do it.  It was incredibly difficult and, of course, she could not understand why I was doing it, even after lying to me for months and seeing someone else behind my back.

It has gotten to the point that we do not even acknowledge one another.  The fact that we continue to work at the same facility presents many opportunities for us to run into each other, and we do every few weeks.  That I have ignored her every single time has resulted in her applying the same technique (even though she doesn’t know WHY she is doing it).  I cannot actually recall the last time that we spoke face-to-face and it has definitely been over 2 years ago.  It feels really odd to say that let alone do it considering how close and inseparable we were for so many years.  It almost seems inhuman.

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I have also been successful in my responses to her “inquiring” phone calls.  The last one was back in February of this year when she called my work phone to inquire about license plate tabs for her car that I am still paying for following the divorce.  She didn’t need to call as it has never been an issue.  She also didn’t call or text my cell phone because she knew that I wouldn’t respond.  Anyway, the call lasted 30 seconds at the most as every question she asked I simply answered with a yes or a no and added no additional or supporting information.  I could feel the inability to understand in her voice, as if she was saying “Don’t you realize who this is?  You HAVE to want to talk to me!”  I didn’t budge.

Since then, she has not tried to contact me.  In fact, because she doesn’t want to experience the rejection that I have heaped upon her, she calls other people to ask me questions that she might have that no one else can answer.  It happened just this week where she had a legitimate work related question but rather than call me and get an impersonal and abbreviated response underlining my rejection of her, she called an administrative person that sits across from me who then had to come over,ask me the question, and relay the information.  How immature is that???

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Here’s the thing – the fact that I haven’t had to interact with her and that I look the other way when I see her has accelerated my ability to see things realistically and has lessened the sting and pain of the memories.  In the past, when I would see or look at her, all those loving, incredible memories would flood in.  Having no contact and no interaction with her has allowed me to more easily see the “real” her, the person that was with me but was actually using me and the rest of the world for her own needs and selfish desires.  I can more easily see how she did things that I thought we were doing together were nothing of the sort.  Anything and everything we did together was simply another chance for her to look for new or additional opportunity, for something that she could use immediately or later on, including new partners.

I have finally removed pretty much everything associated with her from my house.  If I hadn’t so staunchly implemented no contact, I would like feel like I still had some kind of connection with her and would have been unable to get rid of things.  The fact that she moved on to someone new so quickly didn’t prevent me at the time from thinking one day she would be back.  Not knowing about narcissism at the time, I would’ve welcomed her return (which would have been the 5th time she would have come back).  Oh, she has left that poor bastard too for what appears to be the final time after leaving him and returning to him several times in the way that narcissists do.  I don’t need to imagine what he is thinking right now as I’ve been there.

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My dating life has also changed as a result of no-contact being successful.  I previously dated just to prove to myself that I was worthwhile and also in an attempt to get over my ex.  Now, I date at a slower pace and don’t get freaked out if I don’t have any prospects at a given time.  That has actually resulted in multiple, simultaneous opportunities where I have to actually choose rather than forcing myself into a situation.

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I will admit that some of the improvements in my life are simply due to the amount of time that I have been away from my ex.  I will also admit there are still times where I do have pleasant thoughts about her, things that I miss that we did.  However, if I had broken no-contact, I am certain that I wouldn’t be where I am as she would be taking every opportunity to try to control me in any way that she could.  Remember, once you belong to a narcissist, in their mind you belong to them until the day you die, even if you aren’t with them.  I am pretty certain at this point that my ex DOES NOT see a way back in, that the barriers I have erected are pretty impenetrable.

It’s truly not how I want it to be.  It is how it has to be.

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6 thoughts on “The Benefits of Maintaining No-Contact

  1. Your post came at the perfect time. For some reason, I had the crappies week where I was feeling sorry for myself and mostly so pissed that my ex seems to be on my mind 24/7. Then on top of it, every trigger seemed to appear. For example, I got a new car with a Bluetooth system and was playing music from my phone when an old phone message that I didn’t know I had came through. Also, after getting a text last month from my ex saying that the gf/ my replacement moved out, I saw a bunch of pics of the two working out together. I knew she didn’t move out, (prob just a fight) and I could never go back to him but man, it bugged me. Did your ex go back and forth with your replacement? I wonder if she contacts him at all to see if she can get a reaction. I know you answered your ex’s phone call because you didn’t know it was her but did she ever text you? (especially in the beginning when she didn’t know you’d ignore her) I can’t say I’ve gone totally no contact (clearly since I saw the twitter pics) My ex and his gf are nowhere on social media but sometimes show up on his work’s twitter. I have responded to his sporatic texts, although have been brief and haven’t said much. I know I should ignore his texts but it’s like I’m curious about what he’ll say and some times it has helped to sit back and watch him try his tactics just to look at it objectively like, “wow, he really is pathetic!” I just can’t believe a guy who I have zero respect for still pulls at my heartstrings after almost 2 years. I feel disappointed in myself.

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    • My ex did text me in the beginning and continued to until I stopped. And yes, according to mutual friends, I have been told that she left and returned to the poor fool that she glommed onto after me multiple times.

      Here’s something that helped me get my mind a little straighter. I have gone through the episodes of thinking maybe she wasn’t so bad. All those bad things that I think she is doing, well maybe that is just my imagination and she isn’t really doing those things. On top of that, maybe I deserved it. I wasn’t perfect and made plenty of mistakes and maybe that is why the whole thing happened. I thought that many times, over and over.

      But then I started looking at it this way – She moved out the first time without telling me and I came home to an empty house. Then she moved back in telling me it would never happen again (and keep in mind that she did NOT apologize or admit any wrongdoing). And her moving back in was completely contingent on ME and only me making a bunch of changes. Then she moves out again and is seen in the area with a new guy, while we are still married. Then she is absolutely brutal during the divorce, taking everything she can possibly take and not in a “nice” way. There were lots of other things that she did too and after all of that tried to talk to me and treat me as if nothing happened.

      I had to ask myself – Would someone that is decent and that truly cares about me do things like that? The answer is absolutely not! They fool us into believing they are the greatest human beings on the planet, and we WANT to believe it. When you stand back and look at who and how they really are, they are evil, dysfunctional, self-serving, lying, actors and actresses. My ex simply does not have the capacity or the ability to care, at least not about anyone but herself. When I look at her in that way it is so easy to see.

      I highly suspect that your ex is the same way. Would someone that really “loves” you do the things he has done, hurt you the way he has, and on top of it expect you to be with them whenever they want? Absolutely not. You have to look at him for what he IS and not what you WANT him to be, because he is not that person and never will be.

      I really hope you can stay away from him. It takes time for the feelings to change, and you have to be away from him for that to happen. Keep trying and don’t give up. You deserve better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you and you’re so right, he is a sick D-BAG and I do deserve better. I have stayed away (have not seen him) the whole time but I have answered his texts. I don’t even know why he texts, he doesn’t say anything about getting back together ( he probably knows I wouldn’t and he’s right, I wouldn’t!) He tries to use the same funny banter he used when we were together and tells me “I’ll always be sorry, you are great..” bla, bla, bla…And like u said, it is like 2 different people, they can be great but really, if they were great, they’d never do the horrible things they do! I read somewhere, it’s like if you described someone and said, “Johnny helps the homeless, robs banks and rescues animals.” Those 3 don’t go together, same with narcs, you can’t be a good person and sometimes do horrific and cruel things! Is your ex back with your replacement now or was this an earlier time she went back to him? Didn’t she move back to her hometown?

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    • I believe at this point she has cast him aside for the final time (unless she needs something I would expect). I try not to have anything to do with her but it seems Iike people just have to give me updates whether I want them or not. If he’s history, that means she has someone else somewhere. I have also noticed that she seems to have an ever-expanding group of underlings at work that follow her around like a bunch of baby ducks. I am sure she gets tons of supply from them.

      She did move back to her hometown which means she is 40+ miles away from me and the guy that came after me. That is even further evidence that she must have someone nearby since she isn’t traveling out this way anymore. It’s incredible just how predicatable her behavior and the sequence of events goes. Right now, she is in the place where it is a little too soon to go public with the new guy as that would make it appear that she is simply going from one guy to the next. So she will keep it under wraps for a little while until people start to feel sorry for her because she is “alone” and she can suck up all that supply and next thing you know, she has met the greatest man that has ever lived… for awhile until he too gets cast aside.

      They are emotionless robots that repeat the cycle over and over. We just have to be smart enough to get off their treadmill and not keep getting on and then thrown off. We can do it.

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      • It really is interesting to sit back and watch. At first it’s not interesting, it’s just confusing and painful. Once you have time, distance and knowledge, it feels like you’re watching a show (and let’s face it, they’re good actors!) I always read how fast narcs move but mine seemed to take a long time grooming me while going back and forth between his ex and me. When they were finally done, he made my presence known. People prob thought, “geez, he moves fast. He just broke up with his girlfriend!” Same with my replacement, we broke up and 3 months later he moved her and got engaged. Most likely she had been being groomed for a while behind my back. My ex always acted like he was so bad – ass and didn’t need anybody, but really, he overlaps everyone so there is never one second alone! Getting to skip the heart ache sounds nice but it’s all so shallow. We may be the ones alone now but we have an opportunity for something real and deep, something our ex’s will never experience.

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      • You are exactly right. The tough part is convincing yourself that is the truth and not waffling and thinking “well, maybe that’s not the truth”. It is the truth, we have seen it over and over and have NEVER seen it NOT happen with the NARC. They are what they are and the sooner we accept it, the sooner we can get on with our lives. It is certainly a learning experience and something that I would rather not have known about, but it is better to know than not know at this point.

        Keep your focus on the facts, on the repeating cycle and the lies, and keep moving forward. Always remember, you deserve better and it IS out there somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

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