What does no contact with an affair partner really mean?
‘Breaking Up with Your Affair Partner’ Series:
Part 1: 11 lies that sabotage your affair break up.
Part 2: Proven advice for breaking up with affair partner.
Part 3: Sample good-bye letter to affair partner.
Part 4: 6 simple reasons staying friends after your affair is disastrous.
>Part 5: What No Contact With Affair Partner Means.
Out of all the questions I get, a common one that often comes up is,
“what does no contact with my affair partner really mean?”
This usually comes right after she describes how much she’s missing her affair partner,
and wants to contact him again. I get it.
No Contact is one of the hardest parts of getting over an affair.
When affair withdrawal kicks in,
and the temptation to contact him is like a nagging 2 year old in your head,
it’s easy to start changing what NO CONTACT really means.
Until we’re asking things like:
“Can’t I just check in with him once in awhile?”
“Isn’t asking mutual friends about him, okay?”
“I’m going to keep my email address because I have to, and just in case he needs to contact me.”
- Although this is obvious to some, I’m being very specific because I minced words when my husband used to ask me
the dreaded question: “Have you talked to him?” I figured I wasn’t lying if I said no, but I’d actually texted or saw him.
Not proud of that now, but it shows the level of deception and manipulative one gets in while in an affair fog.
Adhering to the No Contact rule, after an affair, is so critical for your healing, and for your husband & marriage to heal.
Because the truth is, affair recovery is NOT possible, without strictly following a No Contact Plan.
Yes, it sounds very direct, but it’s that important for you.
So in this post I’ll define what No Contact really means,
how to apply it in your life, when to start, and why it’s so important.
Plus, what likely will happen, if you do contact him again.
Watch my video on dealing with triggers & withdrawal for helpful tips.
1. What does ‘No Contact with an affair partner’ really mean?
- ‘No Contact’ simply means you do not initiate any form of communication with your affair partner,
and you don’t respond to any contact from them if they try to communicate with you.
This applies in all circumstances.
There may be instances where contact may accidentally happen,
but setting up a plan ahead of time for those possibilities is important, which I’ll talk about in a minute.
- Also, No Contact must be permanent. If you’re serious about getting past this affair, then
realize, this is not a temporary rule.You cannot ever text, talk, chat in the hallway or store, or ‘check up’ on him ever again.
Maintaining No Contact with the AP also means cutting off contact with any of his relatives, friends and acquaintances.
Why? Isn’t that severe?
No it’s really not.
- All of these people connected to him, are potential ‘back door openings’ to resuming contact.
It’s another secret way you might like checking on how he is and what he’s doing.
But don’t deceive yourself, it’s still a way to stay connected, even through other people,
and could easily lead to resuming contact and destroying all your hard work of recovery.
So No Contact from your affair partner also means no contact with all associations with him.
That in itself isn’t contacting him,
But you’re walking a slippery slope and really setting yourself up for a relapse.
2. How to apply the No Contact rule in your life.
The answers may vary depending on your particular situation and access
your affair partner has to you. So I suggest writing down anything extra you can think of.
I believe there’s 10 main No Contact Rules after ending an affair:
- No Calling him. (either by phone or any internet methods).
- No texting him.
- Block his email or, better yet, close out the email account that he knows.
- Block him from all your social media sites; like facebook and FB messages, snapchat, facetime, twitter etc..
- You won’t answer, or reply to his texts, if your AP’s attempts to contact you.
Practice how you’ll end the call quickly if he use’s someone else’s phone.
- You won’t stalk your AP, retweet, snapchat, or re-post anything from him on social media sites.
- You commit to not going places where you’re likely to ‘accidentally’ bump into your AP,
and won’t communicate with him, if you do.
- You won’t stalk his house, place of work, or his friends or family on social media.
- You won’t ask any mutual friends to update you about your AP’s current status,
or ask if he’s seeing someone else.
- Consider changing jobs, churches, moving etc.. if you’ll likely be running into him a lot.
Remember, affair recovery is NOT possible without strictly following a No Contact Rule Plan.
It’s also why many affair recovery experts also suggest a complete cut-off of all contact with the affair partner.
Close any open doors for access that you have to the affair partner, or ones he has to you.
Before you continue the article,
did you get my free gift yet?
4 free printables on ending an affair
I created just for you! Just another tool
to for you to help you through this.
3. ‘When should No Contact start, and can’t I just text him sometimes?’
Think of it like this- if you got a neighborhood alert that there’s a guy going house to house on your street,
checking for unlocked doors to rob them. What would you do after getting an alert like that on your phone?
Would you go directly to your front door and be certain you double bolted the door? Or,
would you say “eh, it’s okay, he probably won’t come here.” ?
No, you likely would quickly check every possible access point of your home to make sure the intruder has no way to break in.
- We need to have that same urgency about No Contact with our affair partner, because (no matter how much you may not want to see this right now),
he is someone that will rob you.
He’ll rob you of your dignity and self-respect, your marriage, your kids respect, your intact family staying together, your reputation and your life’s purpose.
I know that sounds harsh, and I realize many of you are still right in the middle of the affair, or you’ve ended it, but you still have strong feelings for the guy.
I get it, I felt the same for a long time too.
But my healing only started to happen, when I got real about the danger he represented to me, my marriage and my family.
So, what do those ‘doors’ represent in your No Contact with your AP?
- Maintaining all those areas in #2
- They represent your cell phone– is his number blocked? Or can you change your number?
- Social media accounts and apps. For some women, keeping their social media accounts open as before, is too much of a temptation.
Yes, it sucks to deactivate or delete them, but recovery from your affair may mean closing them or changing the names.
At the very least, please block him.
(I still have my AP blocked on FB, and we didn’t even have FB when my affair started.
But I don’t take chances at all, and my husband knows this.
- Having a plan in place in case a social media ‘door’ opens. What do you do if he’s a friend of a friend of yours on FB?
The rules still apply, keep him blocked, his name won’t come up anywhere. If you have to unfollow that mutual friend, then do it.
- Plan for what you’ll do if you run into him somewhere.
Some of you still have to work with him, until you can get another job or move, a plan will be even more important for you.
What I mean by a plan is- look at various scenarios:
You see him walking down the hallway toward you at work, What will you do?
You see him in the grocery store, how will you respond?So, go check your ‘doors’ now. I’ll wait.
Okay, all locked up? Good.
Read this post in this series of my sample good-bye letter to an affair partner
where I include the 5 powerful reasons writing a letter is the best way to end it.
4. Remember why you ended it, when tempted to contact him.
- Look, the reality is, you’re going to face some temptation to call, text, or otherwise make contact with him.
A fight with your husband, affair withdrawal is kicking and screaming and wants its way or you just miss him.
Remembering the reasons you ended the affair in the first place is critical during those times.
- I talked about this more in my post the importance of understanding why you want to stop.
Everybody needs a strong WHY, and you’ll have to come back to your reasons over and over again, while adhering to No Contact.
- Remind yourself of a few things like, What’s your vision for the future?
What kind of woman do you really want to be?
Is this truly fulfilling you or numbing yourself from something else?
Let’s face it, some days hold more temptation than others, but you can get through it.
You can think you’re doing fine in your recovery, and then something triggers a set back, and you may want to contact him again.
That’s very normal. It’s what you do with those urges to contact him that’s critical.
The urge will pass, and you’ll get stronger and stronger each time you don’t give in.
Are you having a hard time even breaking up with your affair partner?
Read this helpful posts to become aware of the 11 lies we believe that sabotage your break up.
5. Avoid the ‘relapse emotional setbacks’.
- The general consensus with affair recovery specialists is- every time you relapse, (resuming contact with your affair partner),
you’ll experience a setback in your healing. That can look different for everyone, but all that effort and time you put into “No Contact” with him,
can suddenly bring up those feelings you had back in the beginning, if you give in to the urge to contact him.
- You’ll find yourself longing for him more, missing different things about him,
justifying how it’s okay to talk to him sometimes which only keeps you stuck and unable to get over it.
Plus the thoughts about him will begin flooding your mind more again,
which will lead your feelings down the opposite path that you wanted to go.
Think of it like a diet. You’ve lost most of the weight you wanted to lose.
It took dedication, focus and a plan to eat right and exercise.
But what if you ruined all that hard work by going back to your old habits of cake, fast food and wine?
It wouldn’t take long before the pounds came back, even though you were almost at your goal.
Resuming contact is an old habit that just puts you right back to the beginning of all those awful feelings you worked so hard to get over.
So just don’t do it. It’s not worth all the risk and setbacks. It gets easier, I promise.
How to prevent relapse of your affair.
7 bottom line reasons for affair relapse
Why ending an affair is so hard.
How to end an affair for good.
My letter to you, if you’ve been unfaithful wife.
Tisa Nothum says
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Charles Rios says
The information given above is highly applicable…
The Other Guy says
I have read a lot of this site with interest, but not as a woman who has just left an affair or is struggling to get over ending one. I’m the unfaithful guy, or the AP this page in particular talks about. My affair partner sent me that text – that it was over – and I watched as before my eyes I was blocked and removed from all of the usual apps and methods we used to contact each other. I’ve actually found this page helpful. I can honestly say that I felt the most pain in my life not only reading that message but not being able to respond to it in any way. So I really wasn’t sure that it was the kindest thing that could be done. Of course, it did get easier, very slowly. I would say it was a month of sheer hell, and you’re right – if I could speak to her in any way, I would do so at the drop of a hat. Her message was devoid of all the friendliness I associated with her – it was cold, without ‘dear’ or any other affectionate terminology. Maybe she read this page too! But, I have found a lot of useful help on this site, that I was struggling to find anywhere else. So, thank you for that.