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Success Story: Contact vs. No-Contact

The no-contact rule.

An outstanding concept in theory, yet so difficult to put into action. No other rule shapes the outcome of our recovery more than this one, the rule is a precondition for our survival.

But why is it so hard to follow? Why do we come up with excuses NOT to follow it, even if we know how important it is?

The addiction to one person is not easy to overcome. It takes determination, strength and foremost -the insight on a deeper level that we cannot go on like this any more, without losing ourself completely.

The following success story from AJ is about following and NOT following the no-contact rule, and how important a support system can be:

Dear Eddie,

Several years ago I did the stupidest thing possible. I started dating my boss. My company had a strict no dating policy for its employees, but my boss convinced me that no one needed to find out. He pursued me like crazy, until I gave in.

We were together over six years and amazingly (as far as I know) no one ever knew about it. We were very careful–my boss bordering on paranoid sometimes. I only told one friend about it, although I never told my boss that I shared our secret. Once the newness of the relationship wore off, he was terrified of losing his job and extremely careful about everything. Even his mother didn’t know about me!

As anyone but me might have expected, he eventually decided he could no longer “live the lie.” Rather than looking for a new job or helping me to find one, he chose to break off the relationship. I was devastated. Of course I had very little support, since I hadn’t told most of my friends or any of my coworkers about him. His office was next to mine and I’d hear him laughing and joking with other women through the thin walls. It was beyond horrible. I can’t even describe the sick, sinking feeling I’d get in my stomach every day.

He took another job a year later, but I still saw him occasionally because we traveled in the same business circles. And I’d like to say that business meetings were the only times I had to deal with this guy, but I was my own worst enemy. I called him for the stupidest reasons. I’d linger after meetings hoping to speak with him. But he’d walk right past me and I’d inwardly fall apart. No matter how much time passed, the feelings of devastation were always the same. I can’t tell you how many times I sat in my car and cried in parking lots. And it went on for over a year.

I tried not to call him, but I’d always give in. You would think I’d have learned from the horrible way I felt after each of these calls, but I didn’t. The worst of it was that sometimes he’d give me a little grain of hope (“let’s meet for lunch”). My entire world would come crashing down when the hope got dashed. (“Sorry. Something came up. I’ll call you in the next month or so.”). Talk about letting someone else determine my happiness! I should have just given him a remote control.

Finally, my friend said, “Look. Calling this guy isn’t getting you anywhere except that it makes you feel terrible. So I’ll tell you what. Next time you want to call him, call me instead. I’ll pretend to be him–I think I can reject you as well as he can, you’ll get the same results but feel better about it.” I didn’t put much stock in her idea, but I was desperate enough to try anything. So, the next time I wanted to call the guy, I called my friend. She was so like him, so coldly rejecting and horrible that I had to laugh. It was so much more fun than calling him ever was. I’d hang up laughing instead of feeling like a spineless rejected glob.

It still wasn’t easy. The only thing that helped was that I kept telling myself he’d be expecting my calls. I reasoned that every time his phone rang, he’d expect it to be me. But it wouldn’t be! I didn’t want him to even see my number on his cell phone or caller ID. Nothing. I thought it might bother him that I’d dropped out of his life so quickly. I don’t know if it bothered him at all, but it sure made me feel like I had some power back. I think that feeling powerless was the worst part of our breakup.

I took a job in another city, which also made me feel better, probably because I stopped hearing his name. I started dating again. I worked hard to stay busy so I’d have no energy left over for worrying about him.

Within a few months I was pretty happy with my life, something I never would have believed possible. But then (and this is, to me, the important part) I ran into my ex-boyfriend at a business convention. By now a lot of time had passed–over two years. I accepted his invitation to dinner, thinking I was past my feelings for him. But, as usual when it came to this guy, I was completely wrong. By the time the conference ended, I was the same needy person I’d been two years before. My ex-boyfriend gave off mixed signals, but I figured out pretty quickly that he didn’t want a serious relationship with me. He wanted me to get him a better job (I professionally outranked him now).

Anyway, it was heartbreak all over again! I couldn’t believe the feelings came back so quickly and that all the work I’d done hadn’t moved me past him. I didn’t have to quite start over, but it was way too close! I learned then and there that breaking the no contact rule ever (!) is a really bad idea. I also learned that logic and reasoning have nothing to do with how you feel. They can help control your actions, but there was nothing I could do to talk myself out of my attraction to him once he was in front of me. And boy oh boy did it hurt when I figured out the real reason for the dinner.

My friend, who had been quoting to me from your website, finally told me to read it for myself. So I followed her advice. Reading about the reasons for no contact, as well as learning from the stories of others, helped me. So did the newsletters–I learned something from every one. I recovered a second time. Even so, I have finally learned why it’s important to never see or speak with my ex-boyfriend again. He’s called me a few times (must still be job hunting!), but I don’t pick up when I recognize the number. I delete his messages without listening to them–way fun! I figure maybe it’s some sort of addiction, like alcohol. Whatever it is, not seeing this guy at all, ever, is the best thing I can do for myself. I’m engaged to a great man now –and very happy, but still not taking any chances.

Apart from having lived the benefits of no contact, I want to say that if I can recover and be happy again, then so can anyone. I was about as far gone as a person can get. Needy, dependent, desperate, begging–those all described me–and over a prolonged period too!

Getting myself out of the cycle of contacting him, having hope and getting crushed was the best thing I ever did. It gave me my sense of power back. And, most importantly, it worked. Thanks for being there for all of us, Eddie. I’ve definitely learned that your advice is right on.


I hope AJ’s story gave you some inspiration and insight about the importance of the no-contact rule, and that you are one step closer to following it with the necessary devotion.

Your friend,

, , , ,


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96 Responses to Success Story: Contact vs. No-Contact

  1. ie December 2, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    Well folks almost at month nine had the worst weekend ever missing him …last year. This weekend we had was the best .I hate myself for still loving him how could he not miss me I’m so tired of feeling this bad and with Christmas new years both our birthdays and Valentine’s day all amazing days we spent together last year I hope the dear lord has mercy on me cause its going to be torture …I just want him backiI havwnt healed at all I’m as raw as day one …I must be pitiful no wonder he’s gone …sorry folks venting a bit just feeling real bad maybe next month will bring sweet relief

  2. Die June 19, 2014 at 4:33 am #

    I been there i got a no contact order rule from a married man , his wife was fine for the one night stand part. I didn’t know he had kids and a wife he lied about his past relationships. After I found out i was used I slapped him and left. Two yrs later I ran into him and my heart broke. So I decided to just keep ignoring is stupid signs cause he’s a player. I realized my mom married a player cause I know my dad is fooling around with youngsters at work. I should be very aware of this too. It’s best not to date someone with unknown or too much information.

    Next time when I date someone I need to know all there web chat status first if I’m not on any of his chats then I’d leave. I was careless completely careless. Now his friends are laughing at me every time I see them , but I’m going to accept any dates now after this happened . His family was rude posting mans right for rejection sure easy to say. So I decided to follow this no contact rule so I won’t be sued by him for mentioning his names very mean girls is time to act up and accept good guys

  3. Verity Broadhurst October 6, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    I am currently 2 weeks 4 days into my breakup. I was with him 2 years and at the time I didn’t no how much he mentally abused me. Only now since we have split have I recognised it. It contacted me in the first week I stupidly I responsed and it made me feel worse. I was the one who broke up with him because I thought he was cheating and he made my life hell. I suffer from depression and anxiety and lost all my friends and family and even my home because of him. I have been doing the no contact rule now for 10 days and I am slowly rebuilding my life. But at the same time I am so confused with my feelings as I want him to beg and he hasn’t, it’s like I never existed to him. I don’t want him back because it as affected my children him being in our lives, I just want him to realise what he as done. Please help

  4. TF October 27, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    My breakup happened on September 4th. We had only been dating/hanging out for seven months. And though I knew it wasn’t super serious. No I love you’s or anything like that, but when she gave the dreaded, “We need to talk”, “It’s not you, it’s me,” I was taken by surprise and hurt more than I would have ever guessed. I was quite a bit older than her, and it started as more of a friends with benefits thing. Over time, however, we spent more time together. I met her friends, family, etc. We spent the night at each other’s places several nights a week. When she ended things I handled it very well. I was nice, and she even said, “Should I be hurt that you don’t even seem upset?” I was more in shock than anything ,and I didn’t want to be a jerk. She asked if we could still hang out, and I said I didn’t think it was a good idea. Then as she walked out she cried and said, “Am I ever going to see you again?” I just said that we should take things one day at a time. It is almost two months later and neither of us has contacted one another. However, we did remain Facebook friends for over a month. I do not recommend that. I would try to avoid checking her profile, but it was like crack, I could not keep myself from checking it. Thankfully, she isn’t a frequent poster. For someone like me, who is a bit neurotic, it was torture. I even felt weird if I posted anything. Would it be noticed? Read into? Stupud, I know. She eventually posted a fairily amusing video. I didn’t even know if I could/should like it. Unsure of the etiquete. I “liked” it. Only a few others did. A few days later she deleted it. I wondered if it was because I “liked” it. Could have had nothing to do with me. Still, it’s the online not knowing intent. Awful. Then her birthday came, and I debated posting a message. Wisely, I did nothing. The reason I am sharing is that 10 days ago, I deactivated my profile. It has helped me. I feel more sane and in control. Highly recommend it.

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