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Limited Contact Levels

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

Is it true about absence and fonder hearts? Perhaps in limited quantities, but extended absence can also create greater emotional distance. This has positive and negative benefits and you want to maximize the positive benefits while minimizing or eliminating the negatives. It's important that your primary concern be for your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. It is be beneficial to Paving the Way to maintain contact, even at limited levels, but sometimes the detriments to contact outweigh the benefits. Contact and communication with an MLCer cycling in Monster can be unhealthy for you and can obstruct detachment. What can you handle? How strong are you? Without a foundation for your new and wobbly strength, you may lose it when interacting with your MLCer.

Focus on you, then consider what will benefit your Stand; something that's harmful to you personally is harmful to your Stand. Let your MLCer miss you. But at the same time, the situation may benefit from some contact; they'll see you moving on with your life, your strength, growth and positive changes. They may need a balance of missing you and seeing that you've changed, then missing the changed you.

Applying a contact limitation is often only applicable for those of you whose MLCers are Close Contacters. Distant Contacters rarely initiate contact and do not include their Left Behind Spouse in their dramatics, much of what I say about limiting contact may not apply to situations with a Distant Contacter.

Right after Bomb Drop, you're at your most vulnerable and need to limit contact in order to gather your Self together to gain strength and detach. Consider the various levels of limited contact: Dim, Dark and No Contact. The first two may involve contact, but limited communication, as you can use them when living in the same household; No Contact is a boundary and it means absolutely No Contact; you will not initiate contact or respond to your MLCer's attempts to contact you. Apply No Contact with caution in early MLC.

Learn about all three before determining which level is appropriate at the present time in your situation. Consider what you want now and what you want in the future. If you're Standing for your marriage, what do you need to do to get to reconciliation? Will cutting off contact alienate your MLCer more, or will it deny you the opportunity to learn valuable communication skills with a difficult person? Consider the balance of contact and communication that will benefit both your Self and your marriage. Each person needs to use contact limitation for the value it provides them personally.

Though Dim and Dark allow for communication, MLCers still react with anger when you limit contact. What they aren't consciously realizing or admitting is that they want to lean on you. But you aren't his beck-and-call girl or his mommy; it's not your job to come when called or wipe his boo-boos. You aren't her knight in shining armor; she has to slay the dragon herself. When you make yourself unavailable, your MLCer may become meaner, more manipulative or try to provoke you by playing games. You proved a point, your MLCer needs you, but it won't make them turn around in the MLC tunnel.

Limiting contact helps you separate from the emotional drama and gives you space for gaining strength and finding peace. It's not because you want to end the relationship, but the monstering and cycling emotions drag you down. Sometimes you can only regain your strength through emotional or physical separation.

Limiting contact will give your MLCer space to deal with their demons. Often they don't feel they have breathing room, thus some may appreciate the distance for a while. Let your MLCer go through the crisis and make your time and space about you. With an MLCer in the throes of Escape & Avoid, you need to separate from the drama for your own mental well-being. Regular contact will make it too easy for you to cycle emotionally with Monster. Space gives your MLCer time to go through the crisis separate from the guilt they may have when seeing your pain, which may hold them back if you aren't emotionally detached.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
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