What NOT To Do When Trying To Lose Your Narc: Be Flexible About No Contact

Going No Contact, for the most part, is a revolutionary move when dealing with disordered individuals. But, as with so many things in life…

Bush Doing it Wrong

Every situation is different and has to be approached with due care and attention. Sometimes total No Contact isn’t even possible; you may have kids with the dude and have shared custody, for example, and have to be in contact on some level. That said, however you implement No Contact has to be solidly defined and carried out accordingly.

As far as No Contact goes with Psychopath #2, once I understood what No Contact was, I enacted it very strictly, as closely as possible as described here. I haven’t had contact with him since late 2010. I have not emailed or texted him, stalked him on Facebook, or asked anyone about him. Having said that, I am married to to Psychopath #2’s cousin, which has complicated matters considerably.

I thought I’d been reasonable with my husband about all of this… But two and a half years later, we are still in the same stupid cycle regarding his cousin. Knowing what I know now, I left things way too open-ended and trusted my husband far too much to “do the right thing” by me.

My original rules:

  • Don’t talk to me about Asshat, or Pollyanna (his fiancee), by extension
  • Do not talk to Asshat about me or us
  • Be civil, say hello if you bump into each other, but keep some distance from Asshat
  • Do not attend family functions held in Asshat’s honour (ie. his birthday)
  • I will not go to any family functions where Asshat is expected to be
  • I will leave family functions immediately if Asshat shows up
  • Otherwise, go to whatever family functions you want to on your own, only Asshat is to be avoided

A few months later, I found out that Hubby called up Asshat about the ice fishing spots on a particular lake near Asshat’s home, and they ended up on the lake together.

Then a few months after that, we got invitations to their wedding, bridal shower, stag party, etc. I shredded the invitation to the bridal shower. Hubby wanted to go to the wedding! We fought about it, he even booked an appointment with a counsellor about whether or not to go to the wedding, and the counsellor basically told him, “Who are you married to, your wife or your cousin?” He didn’t go to the wedding.

A few months later, after attending the family Christmas party alone, Hubby said he figured Pollyanna was trying to hide a pregnant belly. I told him not to talk to me about her or Asshat. A couple of weeks later, my best friend contacted me to warn me that Asshat and Pollyanna had announced their pregnancy on FaceBook (I didn’t realize she’d had them on her friend list). I told her not to talk to me about Pollyanna or Asshat, either, as I didn’t care to hear whether they were alive or dead or anything in between, and I explained the No Contact concept to her. My best friend subsequently defriended them on FaceBook (I didn’t ask her to, either).

I have found out recently, that since No Contact, Asshat has approached Hubby about making amends a few times. (I gave Asshat an opportunity to do so before total No Contact, but after not hearing from him for six weeks, I decided to cut him off. I had a life to get on with.) I didn’t choose to go No Contact lightly, it was not over one or two minor incidents, it was about months, no, years, of generally stealthy but very real exploitation, manipulation, and disrespect towards me and others, especially Pollyanna. But I don’t think Hubby actually grasps that. In a sense, he is fighting “family opinion” – I get that, and I totally understand that likely none of them will grasp my point of view because none of them (other than Pollyanna, and she is still deeply in denial) have been sexually exploited by him. Based on my experience with Asshat, however, I don’t ever want to see him alive again, as he has proven again and again that he cannot be trusted, and I am not going to budge.


If I knew then what I know now, this is what the rules would look like:

  • Don’t talk to me about Asshat, or Pollyanna (his fiancee), by extension
  • Do not talk to Asshat about me or us
  • Do not phone up Asshat for any reason, not even about fishing
  • Be civil, say hello if you bump into each other, but keep some distance from Asshat
  • Do not attend family functions held in Asshat’s honour (ie. his birthday)
  • I will not go to any family functions where Asshat is expected to be
  • I will leave family functions immediately if Asshat shows up
  • Otherwise, go to whatever family functions you want to on your own, only Asshat is to be avoided
  • Tell Asshat that you will be civil, but that he is not to call or contact either of us in any way, for any reason, ever

The last point is the most salient. I didn’t ask Hubby to stand up for me. I thought he would on his own, but he didn’t. Hubby needed to be proactive and stake out some boundaries with Asshat early on, but he did not, and this situation still haunts us, years later. Asshat has been trying to weasel his way back in all along; maybe after Hubby stakes his claim, Asshat will continue to do so (if he is the sociopath he claimed to be, he surely will), but then again, maybe he won’t. The most recent appointment with our therapist, the therapist outright told him he needed to be firm and transparent and tell Asshat exactly what the expectations were, whether by phone or by letter. This communication has yet to happen. But I am hopeful that it happens soon, and that it is the elusive solution.

5 comments on “What NOT To Do When Trying To Lose Your Narc: Be Flexible About No Contact

  1. Except for the children, I had to establish No Contact with my narc, too. Luckily, my kids are teen/preteen, so they are totally capable of talking to their father without me intervening, including informing me when their father is coming to pick them up for visits and when he’s bringing them back. Sadly, I am still good friends with his first cousin’s wife and so every once in a while (not that often, thankfully), she drops little bombs of gossip and I have to admit that it bothers me a lot (I know the man despises me, do I really need to be reminded about his latest FB rants?), but it never occurred to me to ask her not to relay the information. This post has given me much food for thought, though now it feels silly that I never thought of it myself.

    • Aptly phrased – “little bombs of gossip”. I get less upset than I used to, hearing about him, because I’ve had some time to heal (mostly thanks to the degree of No Contact I’ve managed to maintain). But depending what the news I do occasionally receive entails, it can derail me for a few days sometimes, thus “the bomb” part.

      I don’t get upset by what I hear about what’s going on in Asshat’s life (not that I care to know, his life is none of my business any more than mine is his). But what gets my hackles up now is learning of Asshat’s attempts to get back into my life, to “make amends”, which he has tried to do through my husband. I feel threatened. I don’t want my life to go back to the way it was when Asshat was in it, no how, no way. But if I so much as email Asshat and tell him to back off, I break No Contact and give him ammunition to use against me, as much as I want to verbally eviscerate him.

      I fully expect that even if my husband stands up to him, Asshat will attempt to get mileage out of that, too – probably by discrediting me further, and likely my husband.

      I’m fairly sure my mother-in-law is aware that Asshat has made attempts to “make amends”… I did inform her I had to send an unopened Christmas card “back to sender” – to which she immediately said, “But weren’t you even curious about what was in it?” (My thought – why would there be anything in it other than some lame Christmas card from people I want nothing to do with?) I later found out from Hubby, after Asshat complained to him that it had been returned, that it contained some kind of letter expressing a supposed desire to “make amends”. Subsequently, after our therapist had Hubby contact Asshat a few weeks ago to ask Asshat about his willingness to “make amends”, Asshat said yes, but only to “Sane Janice”. Considering the very private nature of this matter, letting other people outside of the four of us (me, hubby, Pollyanna, Asshat) know of his attempts to “make amends” tells me he is doing it for show. That he implied to my husband that I am (or was) insane further betrays his attitude and motivation.

  2. I’ve had to change phone numbers to maintain the no contact. It’s a dance for sure.

  3. Did you ever consider that “hubby” likes the way “asshat” makes him feel and will continue to default to that feeling instead of heeding your warning? You are trying to keep him out of manipulating your life by way of your “hubby”, but isn’t he just attempting to manipulate hubby for his own purposes? That would be a clear explanationation to me as to why he hasn’t set boundaries… because, having you, he hasn’t fully had the experience of needing them. I don’t know what his relationship with him was like before you, that could be considered as well…

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