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Contact Types

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

What Contact Type is your MLCer? These are unrelated to whether an MLCer is high-energy, low energy, Antihero or Accommodater.

  1. Boomerang
  2. This MLCer stays in contact--sometimes because you have children, but not always and often the children provide a convenient excuse. The contact may be Monster spew, it may be clingy and seeking reassurance, it may be cake-eating, but even when it seems they will just go away, they bounces back.
  3. Off-and-On
  4. This MLCer contacts in small bites, perhaps an email or other contact every few months. Touch-n-Goes are smaller or shorter than with a Boomerang. It may feel like a reopening of old wounds with each new contact which may increase during special dates and holidays. They may send gifts but offer no information other than a note--or may send no note. Touch-n-Goes where there is two-way communication are often tests and feelers to determine how you will treat them, what you want from them and whether you are judging them.
  5. Vanisher
  6. Is my spouse dead? You may know they are alive and how they seem to be doing because of the grapevine, or you may not. This MLCer seems to drop off the earth. They may contact on occasion, but contact is rare. Do not pursue, if you try to contact or follow your MLCer they will find a new hideout and bury themselves deeper, and blame you more. By leaving them alone you are allowing them the time to heal and to choose how they will heal even if you disapprove of their choices.

Like so many things, the Contact Types run along a spectrum with Boomerang at one end, Off-and-On in the center and Vanisher at the far end. MLCers may move on the spectrum--though they remain relatively static most of the time. When they move, they usually stay in a contact type for long periods. Some are Boomerangs in early and even late MLC but may Vanish once things seem finished--the divorce is final and either of you may have a new relationship. This may include vanishing from your children's lives.

The most common Contact Type is the Boomerang. This MLCer may act as though he never left home, coming and going as though he still lives in the house, walking in without invitation or knocking. He may stay for meals and play with the kids. He may or may not communicate with his spouse. Boomerangs who are in Monster are usually displaying typical MLC narcissistic tendencies and the purpose of contact is often to engage the spouse in arguments. Only a fish bites the bait. If they fail to incite, they may eventually settle into a Boomerang who seeks a more cordial relationship or they will take their projections somewhere else. Narcissistic MLCers are usually Boomerangs unless they are getting their narcissistic supply from someone other than the spouse.

Boomerangs' cycling is the most obvious because the left behind spouse can see and experience the changing minds and moods. This means that detachment may be more difficult because the spouse does not know what to think, feel or believe. It may seem like a love-hate cycle. Other Boomerangs may be Clingers who say they want to leave or want a divorce without acting, if they move out they continue to act as though they want a relationship and seek reassurance from the left behind spouse. They may show their emotions, crying or seeming agitated more than others. Though Accommodaters hide their emotions more than Antiheroes, either may be a Clinger. They have a codependent relationship with their spouse.

Left Behind Spouses whose MLCers are Off-and-Ons or Vanishers may question whether it is MLC since their spouse does not look like the other MLCers they are reading about. They are at both an advantage and a disadvantage. The space away from their MLCer provides better conditions for releasing--detachment, but the lack of information may initially send them into panic.

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