How to determine if you are on the receiving end of no contact after an amicable breakup.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who recently ended a long-term relationship with his girlfriend about six months ago. She finally moved out of his house about a month ago and is dating someone new. At the very end, she became hostile towards him and started drama.
They still have dogs together, and she has become rude and ignores his messages sometimes. He asks if he is on the receiving end of no contact. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
This email brings up a good point, because as I’ve talked about in How To Be A 3% Man, if you truly love somebody and you care about them, you should should ideally be able to have an amicable breakup where you both go your separate ways and you end the relationship with love, without any kind of hostility and butt-hurt feelings.
And so, it brings up some good points about breakups and what you go through when you’re trying to disengage, especially with somebody that you lived with for a long time. You may own property together. Maybe you’ve got kids together. In this case, he’s got several dogs that he owns with her, so they still are going to share custody, if you will, of the dogs. And so, it requires them to be in each other’s lives, but you can imagine when you’re having to talk to each other and the other person’s kind of hostile or upset or hurt, it makes it really unpleasant.
The reality is you leave a relationship because your needs aren’t being met, you’re not happy, you’ve outgrown the other person, you no longer feel anything for them. You want to explore new things. It happens. I mean, a lot of people get married and have kids, and they’re together 10, 15, 20 years. The kids go off to college, and then they’re left with, “Who is this person? Do I even like hanging out with this person or spending time with them?” And a lot of couples end up splitting up after that. A lot of couples stay in it for the kids, and then when the kids grow up, then they split up and go their separate ways, even though the relationship had ended years before.
Long time listener, first time caller… Love your book and interested to hear you thoughts on this one! My partner of many years and I hadn’t been happy for quite a while, and mutually decided to go our separate ways about 6 months ago because clearly our time together had come to an end. The house is mine, but she asked to stay for a while, while she sorted out another place to stay, which was fine by me. She only moved out properly about a month ago…
I mean, just the fact that they broke up six months ago and she stayed there for four or five months after the breakup, if it was really eating at her and she really wanted to get away from him, she probably would have moved out quicker. But the fact is, she stuck around. And as we go through this, you can see, it seems like he was the one who really wanted the breakup and wanted her leave.
And she was probably, on some level, hoping that he was going to want to rekindle things. Then, at the end, when he really wanted her to leave and she realized that he was serious and didn’t want to stay with her, then she became nasty and angry. And remember, behind anger is always fear. And the two primary fears us human beings have is fear that we’re not enough, in other words, that we don’t have what it takes, and then fear that we won’t be loved. And, obviously, when she came to realize that she’s no longer going to be loved by her boyfriend, she reacted angrily.
…during which she made mention a few times as to whether we were ‘doing the right thing.’
So, right there, that tells you she was hoping there would be a reconciliation. Because when you have a breakup and then the other person seems to be able to move on, especially when women see that a guy is able to move on, it’s upsetting to them. But the reality is, most of the time, I think it’s like 70 to 75% of the time, women are the ones filing for divorce and breaking up with their boyfriends or their spouses.
And most women will stay with a guy long after their feelings are gone, to the point where they don’t feel anything. And so, by the time they finally do leave, it’s really over for them. They don’t feel anything. And then, that’s why it’s so much easier for them to move on. The guys tend to be in denial, “I didn’t think she was serious. I didn’t think she meant what she said.”
When I had to push a little harder for her to move out and to finalize our finances, the sweetness went away, and for what was supposedly a mutual breakup I was starting to feel like the bad guy.
Yeah, it’s obvious that he wanted the breakup, but she didn’t. She was still attached. And the reason she was being nice is because she was hoping for a reconciliation. I mean, just the fact that she’s saying, “Are we doing the right thing?” it shows you she probably wanted to stay together.
Loving, understanding conversations made way for terse, combative barbs that I can only assume were fired to get me to bite.
Well, it’s obvious she was hurting, and no one will ever do or say anything to you that isn’t a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves in a moment. And so, if she’s saying nasty things and calling you nasty names, what’s really going on is, that’s how she feels about herself on the inside and she’s projecting that. So, that’s why it’s so important – and this is important and essential for all of us, for our personal self esteem – that when somebody is nasty to us and calls us all kinds of nasty, mean names and says all kinds of nasty, mean things, the kind of stuff that I see every day in my social media, you’ve got to understand, that’s that person’s story.
That person is projecting what’s inside. And if they can label you with it or they can get you upset, then they feel better about themselves. It helps them disassociate from the pain that they’re feeling. In other words, if they can make you feel worse than they do, they feel better about themselves. As messed up as that is, that’s what’s going on. You know, Wayne Dyer used to say, “Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business.” And so, when somebody is really nasty and hostile, remember, it ain’t about you. It’s what’s on the inside of them.
Wayne Dyer had this analogy. He said, “When you squeeze an orange, what comes out? Orange juice. Why? Because it’s an orange. So, what happens when life squeezes you? What comes out? Anger, hostility.” And, obviously, in this case, a breakup is happening and the realization that he was serious about the breakup happened. And then, what she was really feeling on the inside came out, and that’s where all of the barbs came from.
I didn’t of course, but had to be assertive a few times, telling her to calm down and speak to me when she could do so like an adult.
So, he’s having to set and enforce healthy boundaries, and he’s not letting her treat him like a doormat.
Now though, she has started to selectively ignore my communications, most pertaining to our dogs, which is just annoying!
If you’ve got the dogs at the house and she’s not really replying, well guess what? You’re going to spend more time with your dogs. And if you’re getting hostility back or she’s ignoring you, then why put in the effort? She’s already mad, she’s hurting. She’s going to have to take time to get over it.
She even stated that one of my messages ‘didn’t require a response.’ To me, that sounds like something straight out of a no contact playbook!
Well, she’s mad and she’s hurting, probably wanting to punish you. It’s a little bit of passive aggressive behavior, but instead of chasing after her and trying to get her to take the dogs or do whatever it is that you guys are supposed to do, if that particular thing just involves the dogs, then don’t waste your time calling her. If all you’re going to get is anger and hostility, why stoop to her level?
No one will ever do or say anything to you that you don’t invite them to do, and she’s abusive every time you reach out, “Hey, what time are you coming to pick up the dogs for the weekend,” or however you guys are arranging that. I’ve had friends that have had pets as well, and they do that, they share custody of the dogs. And it can become a pain in the ass, especially if one of the people involved in the relationship doesn’t like the fact that it’s over.
We work for the same company, and I was hoping this split would stay amicable as I truly love this girl, always have and always will, and I want her to be happy.
Well, when you truly love somebody and you care about them, you want them to be happy, even if it’s not with you. But, obviously, she’s not happy. She didn’t want the breakup, and that’s why she was behaving that way. And so, she’s angry and hurt and she’s going to have to go through a grieving process. I mean, she’s got a new dude to help her, so he can help her with her grief therapy.
She’s seeing someone new, and by all accounts he’s a decent guy, which I’m really happy about. I guess that confuses me a little as to why if she’s moving on, she still feels the need to be so adversarial toward me?
Well, like I was saying earlier, it’s obvious she still cares and she doesn’t like the fact that you guys are broken up. And reading your email, the tone of it, you seem relieved, you seem glad, and it seems like you’re the one that was really driving the breakup. And she agreed to it and went along with it, but deep down, she doesn’t want to be broken up with you. She ideally would really still want to be with you. That’s why you’re getting all of this hostility, because it’s coming from a place of hurt and anger.
Maybe you can have a conversation with her. You can say, “Hey, every time we talk, it’s like you’re angry towards me, you’re hostile. Do you have some things you want to say to get off your chest? I’m happy to listen and hear what you’ve got to say, because I don’t appreciate the anger and the insults and the hostility and you trying to pick fights. I mean, it’s over between us. You’ve got a new guy. I’m dating someone new,” or “I’m seeing new girls,” whatever it happens to be, “But if we’re going to continue to share custody of the dogs and these other financial interests, we’ve got to be civil to one another.”
“I don’t look forward to calling you or texting you and having you ignore me, or have you cuss me out, or get angry and upset with me all of the time. That’s not fun. I’m not excited about when I have to engage with you at this point. I would rather us be calm and civil and kind to one another. I’m excited for you and the new guy that’s in your life, and I’d want you to be excited about the new women that are in my life and hope that I’m going to be happy with them, just like I hope you’re happy with the new guy.” Because he’s got to remain civil.
And it may come to the point where you have to disengage and just not get involved with sharing the dogs, or find a way, if you’ve got business interests together, to disengage completely where she has no reason to contact you. You’ve got to set and enforce healthy boundaries, because you can’t allow somebody to be abusive and berate you because you moved on and they haven’t. You’ve got to love yourself as well, and it’s not loving to continually, basically, be a doormat for her and let her wipe her feet on you and be hostile towards you because she’s still hurting that you, in essence, dumped her. Even though it’s supposedly mutual, based on what she said, it’s obvious she didn’t want the breakup.
Love to hear your thoughts on this one coach. Do you think I’m on the receiving end of no contact? Or perhaps am I just dealing with someone who needs to switch off in order to deal with her emotions?
Have a great day,
Well, I think in this particular case, because I’ve done similar emails on this, that it’s more passive aggressive type of behavior that you’re seeing from her. The thing with the dog, she is ignoring you on purpose just to be a pain in the ass, because she’s hurting and she wants you to be hurt. And you’re not hurting and you’re not letting her get under your skin, because you’re obviously being a charming James Bond like you learned in the book, which is exactly what you should be doing.
That’s what she’s trying to do. She’s trying to get under your skin and cause you to lose your shit, because she wants to know that you’re hurting and you feel bad as well, and it bothers her that you’re not. I mean, that’s like misery loves company. A lot of people in our lives, they’re happy for us and they want us to be happy, as long as we’re not happier than them. In this case, she perceives that you’re way happier and more excited about this breakup than she is. And if she can needle you with passive aggressive behavior or get you upset or angry, then on some level she feels better because she knows you’re hurting like she’s hurting.
And so, maybe you should be having a conversation with her and trying to open her up, “This can’t continue. Every time I text you, I don’t want to get ignored, I don’t want to get hostility back. I don’t want to get cussed out on the other end of the phone. I don’t want to get dirty looks when you come by to pick the dogs up, or whatever. You’ve got to be nice to me. And as long as you’re nice to me, we can be nice to each other. And if you’re going to be hostile, then I’m going to completely disengage and we’re just not going to speak, or we’ll have to speak through the attorneys,” or whatever it happens to be.
If you’re going through a divorce and you’re only speaking through the attorneys, the attorneys love that, because then they can keep the hostility and the friction going so they can drain your bank accounts dry. Because that’s what they do, they thrive on conflict. They get paid by the hour, and the more it drags on, the more money they make. They’re vultures. Most of them are vultures. They’re a necessary evil, but they thrive on conflict and you fighting as long as possible with your ex. Do whatever you can do to resolve things between you and your ex amicably without the attorneys involved. Then you can go to the attorneys and have them draw up the paperwork based on what you’ve agreed to. That’s the best way to go.
And so, with that said, if you’ve got a question or a challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.
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“When a breakup happens, the person doing the dumping usually feels way better than the person being dumped. When breakups are amicable, both parties can communicate and move on with love. When they are not, usually the person who doesn’t want to end the relationship often will become angry and hostile because they are emotionally hurting on the inside. It’s best to take time apart to heal as much as possible, especially if there are kids, pets or business interests that require exes to remain engaged in each other’s lives after the relationship ends. In addition to taking time to heal, the best way to truly get over someone is to find someone better who totally knocks your socks off.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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