If you cannot quit them cold turkey or keep failing the No Contact rule
Although the NC rule is the best tool to extricate them from your life AND your system completely - and we all understand it in theory – I find that it can be difficult to pull off for some. It is a great tool, yes, but it is not for everybody.
If you are in a relationship with a monster who you love-hate, then you are probably at the bottom of a swamp suffering from an intoxicating cocktail of painful love. The highs, the haze, the pain (which is oh so comforting), the dreams… You love them one minute and hate them the next. Will there be an end to this?
If you are sick and tired of your current 1 star relationship, have failed the No Contact rule multiple times, but would still love to quit them regardless, then this article is for you.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU: Affordable online counseling and therapy with a licensed professional
First of all, stop feeling bad for failing the NC rule. And second, I want you to know that there is still an exit. I call this method ‘a gradual withdrawal’. Just like with the NC rule, you would still have to put an effort into it, but it won’t be as painful and gut wrenching as with a drastic NC rule.
Honestly, you may even like it. This process will help you to see him in a different light which will result in your changed feelings for him. You want to feel differently about him. Once you do, it will be much easier to leave.
What is a gradual withdrawal? The paramount word for you to focus on here is ‘GRADUAL’.
You see, a sudden removal of something or someone from our life creates a void. In the case of breakups it is not just the void, it is a painful void that feels like a huge black hole or an entire Universe. Now, if you add depression, sleepless nights, tears, and other side effects of a breakup, it is no wonder why people slip. Many times we break the NC rule to just relieve the pain!
With the ‘gradual’ method there will be no sense of void and the pain will be minimal.
Before you embark on this journey, however, you need to ask yourself this: Do I really want to leave this relationship for good? Do I really want to break up?
If you do, then let’s get started.
1. Phone calls and the quality of your conversations: Decrease the amount of time you talk to them, plus stop being so engaging and involved. I am not saying you should become rude or behave like a bitch. Simply stop being THAT interested in their life and what they have got to say. In addition to this, stop returning their every freaking call, a text message or email. Make it all ’vanilla’ and as ‘bland’ and boring as possible. Pretend they are a stranger (because they soon will be) and dedicate your emotional efforts accordingly.
The end result?
~ If they are the kind of a person who gives you anxiety and makes you feel bad about yourself, then being less engaged will restore your sense of well-being. Your anxiety levels should go down and once you love the feeling, you won’t want to go back to that crazy old schedule of talking to them all the time. Guaranteed.
An interesting note from a beluckyinlove.net reader:
“He was pulled away by his business partners and was out of the country for 3 weeks. I did not even have to try that hard to cut on our contact, BUT I was surprised how much better and calmer I felt when he was gone”
If they notice the change simply throw the ‘I’m busy’ or ‘I am not in the mood’ line. They never seem to bother to explain themselves when in a ‘I’m in my cave, do not approach me' mood, do they?
~ Quite often stepping aside helps to get perspective. You may start seeing, sensing, and feeling what you have not seen, sensed, and felt before. Stepping aside is like sobering up or waking up from a hazy dream. As the fog dissipates and your mind gets clarity, things become ‘different’ and our feelings change. Give yourself the chance to experience this as it will be your turning point.
2. Your meetings and time together: Stop agreeing with his plans and cut on your time together. Do not let this 'soon to become stranger' monopolize your time.
Seriously, how much of your personal time are you willing to spend on a lost case? Seems like such a waste to me. Switch your daily meetings to ‘every other day’ and 'weekly meetings' to ‘every other week’. Cut it all short if you can, because honestly, if there is NO FUTURE here, there shouldn’t be a motivation to invest in it. What is the point anyway? It is all a dead end, you know…
3. Dealing with an emerging sense of void: Going through steps 1 and 2 WILL bring some sense of void. Since every relationship is different (like attachments styles etc.) I will speak in general terms. Look, even if you are not that close, cutting them off by let’s say only 10% WILL still create a sense of void and discomfort.
You have to be prepared to feel this way and it is OK. Having this sense of a void is a signal that it’s time to shift focus onto you and start pleasing yourself.
I am willing to make a bet that because of this relationship you ditched/neglected/abandoned some of your friends, hobbies, interests and many other things that YOU used to enjoy big time, but forgot about entirely.
What are they??
I suggest you do a little homework called ‘It is a ME time’ and come up with things that bring your pleasure and make your heart smile. You know yourself well and therefore it should not be a problem. Replace that emerging ugly sense of void with your smiley hearts. And, perhaps some sparkles too. It does not have to be a drastic change however, start with something small. Fill that small void with something small and make it a habit.
As time goes on, you will develop new habits and a comfortable routine which DOES NOT include him. Yes, it is a gradual process, but it is still a process and you have to put an effort into it. Just give it some time and one day you will realize that you are READY to cut him off completely and permanently.
4. Dealing with his reaction: You see, it does not matter if you cut him off right away or piece by piece. He will still sense it. This is another reason why many No Contact attempts fail. As soon as they are in danger of losing freebees, they put on the right moves and bug you nonstop. Sticking to the NC is hard enough, but dealing with their serenades under the Moon, roses and chocolate after that? See what I am saying?
If you have been reading this blog regularly, or if you have been stuck in a breaking up – making up cycle, then you know already how all those seductive stunts of theirs are nothing but a huge pile of stinky, toxic, destructive BS covered up by a perfumy layer of freshly cut flowers, gifts, sparkly post cards, and fake diamonds.
They do this because:
~ they are out of control
~ they do not know how to deal with the anxiety induced by separation
~ their inflated ego cannot handle rejection
~ they think you are their property
~ they are in panic mode, insecure, and are scared
~ they got used to it being their way and suddenly it is not
They DO NOT do this because:
~ of you
~ they are so darn dying to be with you
If there was some other woman making the exact same moves on them they would behave in the exact same manner. It is not about you, it is just their personal response to being rejected. Again, do not let that flattery (like unexpected love letters – yeah right) hijack your brain or interrupt your journey. Stop worrying what they feel and worry about YOU only. You have to remember to keep focus on YOU at all times.
Other possible scenarios:
~ they get mad, call you names, pick fights and your relationship takes a nose dive… which makes it oh so much easier to see the ugly side of them and to get rid of them entirely
~ they disappear on you to punish your new behavior (they secretly hope you will panic and come running after them)
~ they become distant themselves. They think you are going through ‘something’ and your new behavior is temporary. These types like to come back again and again, and it may take some time for them to realize that you are different now.
Again, depending on your personal situation and the relationship, it may not be an easy ride to wean them off YOU gradually. If you find yourself constantly struggling with their stressful antics, then perhaps the cold turkey method would be your next best choice.
Just remember to keep the focus on YOU at all times.
YOU MA ALSO LIKE: Articles - When you finally kick him to the curb and I cannot stop thinking about him or my empowering e-Book When you are DESPERATE FOR HIS LOVE how to leave your bad relationship without feeling like you are going against yourself (it will reprogram your brain!)