Where Dim and Dark are emotional states, No Contact is a literal term. It's physical, verbal and textual. It doesn't mean that when your MLCer calls you'll speak briefly and refrain from a relationship discussion; it means that if you know it's your MLCer calling, you won't answer. There are exceptions for breaking the No Contact such as emergencies or necessary communication regarding the children or finances. But if these are regular communications, you aren't in a No Contact, but are more likely Dark.
I'm not an advocate of strict No Contact in early MLC which is often a fertile time for Paving the Way because MLCers disconnect gradually. Use this time to begin laying a foundation for a future return, because MLC gets worse and contact and communication may decrease, along with your opportunities for direct contact and communication to Pave the Way. If your goal is reconciliation, at some point you need to start rebuilding communication—even though rebuilding is a future event if this crisis is still new. The start of rebuilding isn't usually something that follows the crisis; it's during the crisis. If your MLCer cycles away again, you'll have added some safe paving stones to the way home and you can step back toward Dark or No Contact and continue to be patient. But each situation is different and everyone has different thresholds and triggers which affect detaching; do what works for you.
No Contact does not mean an MLCer will not try to contact you; it means you will not respond to their contact attempts and that you will not initiate a contact. To Monster it's a game and setting a rule can be providing Monster with something to resist. A benefit of being no contact without an official No Contact boundary is that if you initiate or respond to contact there is no need to explain why you broke your own rule a nd Monster did not get you to break a rule.
No Contact is an advanced tool mainly meant for later in the crisis when you have caught your breath—even though you may still feel wobbly. That does not mean you should never apply No Contact in the early days or weeks of the crisis, but the application is different and limited.
When to Use/Apply No Contact
Purposes for No Contact
I recommend the boundary last 3-4 weeks. A boundary is something you communicate to your MLCer; give them a start and end date. Be honest about your reason: you need time and space to heal. They may not abide by your request, but it's your responsibility to refuse to respond until the time limit is complete.MLCer Reactions
In early MLC you're not withholding contact because of their MLC transgressions (abandonment, infidelity, general Monster abuse...), but in later MLC they often feel reassured that you are there for them and cake-eating becomes abusive, they need consequences for their abuse and to fear losing you.
I love you and while you are unable to be an appropriate husband I can only love you from a distance. When you choose to be an appropriate husband/wife we can discuss what to do to repair our marriage.
An even better response would be to paste a previous explanation you have given with a list of conditions which you have already given previously. So use the above example and then if your MLCer tries to get you to respond to an email or text again, paste that answer again. Do not respond by verbally repeating a message, only do this in a written format.
Bomb Drop was a year ago and my MLCer comes home and does chores every week, but he seems to be cycling away and I think he moved in with
the alienator. When do I set a consequences No Contact and does it mean I can't allow him to come to the house to do chores even if I'm not there?
As for when to apply the escape clause that is about not being with two partner's or being an inappropriate spouse, that is not as clear—even though it may seem like a clear issue to outsiders. The indicator is reassurance. How reassured is your MLCer that you want to reconcile your marriage? How do you know when they feel reassured and how much reassurance is enough? One of the biggest indicators is cake-eating. Has your MLCer returned or tried to return a few times? Premature returning is another indicator and an attribute of cake-eating.
There comes a time when the Stander needs to draw the firm boundary line in the sand. That doesn't have to mean an ultimatum about never reconciling—though it can. When the alienator is still involved in the situation, I recommend that line be No Contact. Notice that I did not simply state that should be a boundary when an alienator is involved, but rather when an alienator is still involved. In the beginning the dynamics of the situation are not yet set. Is this an MLC affair or will it end quickly and will your spouse seek marital healing and do the work to repair? This may seem confusing, maybe Bomb Drop was your spouse leaving and moving in with an alienator—that sure seems like it won't end quickly and they are not interested in doing the work to repair, but you still need to allow the situation to settle so you can learn what methods will work in your unique situation.
Tell me what you are struggling with and maybe you will see your question answered as a future blog post.
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