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Expectations, Control & Manipulation

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

Are you considering No Contact as a manipulative tactic with expectations rather than as something for your personal mental and emotional health? You are not alone.

Will No Contact make alienator feel as though she has nothing to fear and thus drop her mask?
Absolutely; I love it when that happens. But she may relax and be less controlling since you've apparently given up, relieving her of fear and worry--somewhat. But such a benefit is a byproduct and is not meant to be the motivating force for contact limitations.

On the flip, are you afraid limiting contact will fail because it will push him closer to the alienator? Forget your MLCer and marriage for a moment. Limiting contact helps you learn to validate your Self, teaching you that you are valuable; it will enable you to become strong, learn you are worthy and to survive without him. That doesn't mean you will have to survive without him, he may return, but you can. .

Is this really going to make him curious, or is it just to help me?
Do everything for yourself first. If you are limiting contact only for a certain reaction (whether visible to you or not) from him, you are attempting to manipulate the situation; that is not letting go!

If I cut off the daily stuff, I feel like I am losing my best friend. What are the benefits of limiting contact?
What benefits are you seeking? Are you concerned with the benefits to your Stand and future relationship, or are you concerned with the personal benefits to your well-being? Most who ask this are less concerned with themselves than they are with how limiting contact will affect the relationship. I know I've said this already, but it bears repeating: If interacting with your MLCer does not benefit you and is harmful rather than neutral it will also be harmful to your Stand.

Going Dark or No Contact drives a greater wedge between us.
What are you focusing on during the No Contact periods? It would seem to me that a wedge is indicative that you are over-analyzing, worrying, or getting angry at your MLCer and the situation. It would seem that you are not focusing on your Self. It sounds as though for you No Contact is a manipulative tactic to get your MLCer to end his MLC and move home. The midlife crisis and his avoidance and denial create the wedge, not the contact level. The wedge becomes greater because the midlife crisis Monster doesn't like it when you exercise your right to your own choice and control your time and how you want to communicate.

I think No Contact will alienate him more, limiting contact has already created more distance between us, not less.
You miss the point. Of course No Contact will send him away. It may also yo-yo him back and forth--as he becomes scared at No Contact. But in MLC he is going to go farther away anyway. It is part of the process. He must separate so he can return. He has to go through the MLC tunnel without you.

A part of me wants to go on and not communicate with him except for kids, yet another part of me doesn't want to lose him.
Not communicating--No Contact--and losing him do not go together. No Contact helps in letting-go. And letting go is a requirement for not losing. Consider limiting contact so you do not lose him.

I don't think limiting contact is right for my situation. Leaving him alone is not the answer. That's what he wants, but I'm afraid that is to ease his pain and guilt and make it easier for him to end things. I've always initiated contact and affection--kissing, hugging, cuddling, talking...
What you are saying is that you are a Pursuer. Your MLCer wants you to go Dark and you still don't think you should. Basically, it sounds like he wants space and you think offering space is a bad idea. Oddly, many Newbies feel this way: how can giving him space and leaving him alone make him come back someday? MLCers are allergic to their spouses and your previous life no longer works in the present circumstances.

Magic Beans
Be careful, if you want your MLCer home, you might get your wish. But if he has not gone through his crisis--all the way through--he will fee-fi-fo-fum like a giant Monster and the odds are not slight that he will leave again.

If I limit contact will he miss me enough to come home?
So going Dark or No Contact isn't really for you, but to get a reaction from him? He may miss you, he may even miss you enough to come home. Getting your MLCer to change his mind is not the point of limiting contact--it can be a byproduct, but even then it is often too soon and may be brief.

If I limit contact will my MLCer come home? It seems many on forums are still waiting; the tactics don't seem to be working.
Go No Contact for you. If you are doing it for a reaction, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. He may pursue more, or not. He may get angry because he liked it when you were his beck-and-call-girl. He may do nothing outward because he is relieved. The possibilities are endless. Do it for you. I went No Contact because I didn't feel it was his infidelity was appropriate. It wasn't fair that he treat the alienator or me that way. She would bitch and moan and put a leash on him, but also kept compromising on the doormat when he kept leaving her. The alienator may not be acting within your moral standards, but they are human and do not deserve to be disrespected. No Contact can make it easier to focus on your Self and separate from the MLC drama.

I have tried to go dark in the hopes she would start thinking about me but it has not worked; she is not thinking of me or missing me at all. I have tried to go dark, not be at her beckon call, limit contact, be upbeat and she still filed.
You have linked your hopes to expectations and are thus trying to manipulate your wife and her crisis. You can't see inside her head; maybe you are constantly in her thoughts. I have not said that an MLCer won't file because you appropriately use a Standing Action. The Standing Actions might prevent an MLCer from filing--or not. Your MLCer's crisis is not going to happen on your timeline. If you are limiting contact with expectations and manipulative intentions, your motivations are not appropriate. It isn't wrong for your motivation to be to save your marriage, but it must go beyond that. Change for yourself.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
Are you tired of hearing...
  • Once a cheater always a cheater?
  • You're better off without him?
  • She doesn't deserve you?
  • I guess it just wasn't meant to last?
  • Divorce is no big deal?
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