Understanding The No Contact Rule And 5 Grief Stages


What To Expect

  • This is unbelievable.
  • Are you curious if it is possible to give them another chance?
  • It was hard to tell the difference between real and fake.
  • Analyzing what was said and done, and sometimes blaming oneself for the actions of others is a form of denial that takes away responsibility. It is tempting to break the No Contact Rule.
  • Feeling as though you are in a fog.
  • Try to be their friend.
  • Waiting for the I Made A Mistake Call… text/email/tweet/Facebook message

You will feel denial regardless of whether you are triggered by anger or simply because you know you cannot take another day dealing with this person. It may vary depending on your situation. This stage may be present before you started the No Contact Rule. It starts with trying to accept that this is happening and to decide to do something about it. If this has been going for a while you may have realized something was wrong, but didn’t want to admit it. You might also be worried about making a mistake, or feeling guilty for their behavior.

It might have been a difficult time, even though it was prolonged. You might not have been able to accept that you aren’t in a relationship that you can be friends with immediately. Or, perhaps you underestimated your ability to cope. Sometimes, it is as easy as not being able to accept that you aren’t compatible.

If you’re not aware of the seriousness of the problems in your relationship, it is possible to lose sight of the No Contact Rule and fall off the wagon.

If you are in denial about the end of the relationship, it can be detrimental to your No Contact Rule efforts. You may openly or quietly seek validation from them to ensure you don’t feel rejected.

This stage is where you may feel the realization that you are done for or feel rejected. You will likely feel a lot of emotions, including anger, frustration, and shame.

It is an important part of grieving. This is your mind’s way to do a little shuffle and allow yourself to process reality in smaller, more digestible chunks. This stage of grieving is only possible if you aren’t someone who views truths that don’t fit your agenda as unacceptable.

Your self-esteem and ability to deal with disappointment, rejection, or abandonment can drop, and it can become more difficult. This is due to the lies you tell yourself about yourself and the person you are blaming for their actions.

If you have been rationalizing, minimizing, minimizing, and exacerbating things you didn’t need to be, then the No Contact Rule and the subsequent breakup can be difficult. It’s similar to doing end-of-year accounts and having all your receipts and paperwork thrown out. It’s partly about reconciling your perception of things with reality. There can be some very painful realizations. This is why it may be easier to pursue the relationship against all odds than confront the truth.


What To Expect

  • Be angry at yourself.
  • They are very angry.
  • It is tempting to tell others all about yourself and lash out.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by your emotions
  • Perhaps you are thinking of revenge.
  • Ruminating is a habit that you do at night or when your mind is at rest. If you respond, it may lead to you texting or calling your loved ones.
  • Feeling like you can’t move on.
  • Feeling depressed, bitter, or even convinced that you are miserable, while Riley lives the Riley life.
  • If they have moved on, why not me?
  • Resolving past hurts and rejections, and sometimes even getting angry at your family for childhood problems.

Anger is a natural emotion but is often misunderstood. It comes from feeling wronged, offended or denied, and can also be triggered by denial. Although this stage could have started before the end of your relationship, you may have kept your true feelings hidden or been arguing with your partner. Sometimes, it can be a delayed reaction or realization to certain truths. Other times, it may just be anger at the fact that your expectations and hopes for the relationship failed to materialize.

Anger is a valid, normal emotion that everyone experiences. It helps us make sense of our thoughts and feelings. Recognizing our anger and allowing ourselves the space to express it, even if they are to ourselves, helps us to better understand ourselves and validate ourselves. Anger is a normal emotion that is part of grieving for the loss of a relationship. It is okay to get angry if you are wronged or do things that are not in your best interest. Anger is normal.

Many people feel shameful or even snobbery about anger. They believe that only certain people can get mad or that it is wrong to feel angry. Or that anger all equals rage. This is false. Rage is uncontrollable, violent anger. Anger is often associated with early or very difficult experiences. This can impact your ability to express anger and also to experience anger as part of grieving. It is possible to feel guilty or angry for feeling it. This No Contact Rule period can be a great time to learn how to accept your feelings and to work with anger.

This stage can be difficult because of the painful realizations you may have after stepping into reality. It will be clear that the more you are able to please and turn to green-light behavior into a positive, the more you feel hurt and angry. You may also feel like a pressure cooker if you’ve been subject to humiliation, deception, or rejection.

  • It may be easier to be angry at yourself than with your ex. This is what can lead you into blame and shame territory.
  • If you suppress your desires, needs, and expectations, you might be surprised at how angry you feel.
  • It is possible to feel angry all the time, especially if you continue feeding it with shame, blame, or snooping. This can make it hard to get over it. It can lead to anger about the fact you are angry.
  • Your anger may lead you to take control of your emotions and then act on them. This could lead to you feeling embarrassed or humiliated.
  • This can cause you to be angry at a lot of people.

There are a few key reasons why you might feel angry.

  • Feeling unloved, neglected, and disregarded because you felt undervalued. No Contact helps you value yourself.
  • You feel frustrated, unloved/uncared-for, and disregarded because you trust others. No Contact helps you distance yourself from the source of your pain, and teaches you how to trust yourself and set boundaries.
  • Shame can make you feel frustrated, unloved/uncared-for, and disregarded. No Contact encourages you to not take responsibility for the actions of others and to learn from them instead.
  • You feel unloved/uncaring and disregarded because you feel rejected. No Contact helps you get rid of the root cause of your pain, and allows you to be present and focused on yourself.

This is the feeling of injustice. You want to make things better and feel that you aren’t getting your chance. You may become obsessed with injustice and feel that it is about you or you’re worth. This is when you might feel tempted to tell your ex everything about yourself. You might end up with an entire list of angry drafts and texts, or you may find yourself halfway to their home ready to confront them only for your eyes to well up. You may end up destroying every photo in your collection and feeling remorseful and regretful.

This stage may be overwhelming and may last for a while. Or you might find yourself oscillating between the other stages. This is normal. It could mean that you are trying to get rid of some of the grief issues that you have or that you need to make a conscious effort to let go of something you keep reliving. It’s not necessary to ignore your feelings. However, if you continue to ruminate over the same issue but don’t move beyond it, anger can become a security blanket and reinforce a story that you tell yourself.

It is important to learn how to manage anger, have bad days, and come out on the other side. Every time you do this, you discover a little more about yourself. Talking and writing about the problem can help you get it out of your head. It’s trying to make sense of it, crying, and sometimes screaming when there’s no one home.

Recognize that anger does not mean you have the right perceptions or are correct in your assessment of the situation. It is about acknowledging that these feelings are valid and valid. You are in control of your emotions. You can be angry if you are able to accept it. Then you will understand why it happened, how to deal with it, and ultimately, what you can do to improve your ability to serve your needs, desires, and expectations.

You won’t feel your emotions during the No Contact Rule or beyond. This will make it difficult to recognize what was missing in this relationship and how you can cultivate them.

It is important to learn how to move past your anger, rather than being stuck in it. It will rattle around inside your head, causing distortions in your perception and perspective and eating away at your sense of self. It’s not going to go away. This anger must go somewhere. Right now, it’s in your head.


What To Expect

  • You can come up with new ideas to help you return to your relationship.
  • Pray that if X happens, you’ll do it Y.
  • In an effort to enter into negotiations, it is possible to break the No Contact Rule.
  • Ruminating on the ‘If only.

Bargaining is something you’ll have experienced since the end of a relationship. It’s where you negotiate and reach compromises with your partner or in private.

If you are still in a relationship and have started the No Contact Rule, you will come up with a compromise. It is likely to be a compromise that requires you to compromise your own self. If I don’t lose him/her, I might be able to try an open relationship.

You may bargain with the person you believe in, with you, or with this person, making promises about what to do if your prayers are granted.

You could bargain with the person to try to negotiate a better deal, e.g. You can stay if I don’t make any demands.

If you have experienced anger and denial after cutting contact, you may feel the urge to break No Contact Rule. This is because you are either bargaining with your self or with a higher power you believe in. If you do fall off the wagon you will end up bargaining with yourself, them, or both. This will most likely lead to you being compromised as you are not coming from a place that is logic or dignity. Your ego, possibly even desperation, drives the desire for bargaining.

You may feel buoyant when you get to the bargaining stage. Even if you’re tinged by shame and blame, such as “If I’d been thinner then they wouldn’t want to look elsewhere” or the “If I’d answered that phone that night” or the “If I hadn’t listened [to my] concerns] friends and family.”

Even if this is only for a brief time, it can make you feel hopeful. Unfortunately, this will set you up to experience disappointment again.

It’s possible to feel tempted to break the No Contact Rule at this point. Many people find this confusing as they think, “Well, I’ve been through anger and denial so why now?” Sometimes, when we recognize that we are processing and distancing our emotions from someone, we self-sabotage to avoid facing the changes and possibly uncomfortable feelings. It’s easier to be scared than to put your faith in someone else to change.

This is not the stage to stay in. You may decide to try to buy time so you can come up with a plan.

We are not trying to end contact if we feel tempted. However, our decisions are often made in isolation and are often not based upon reality. Instead, we look at a unique set of circumstances that must be met if the other party is to change.

The bargaining stage is when you feel trapped by your grief. You can try to stop feeling rejected by the loss and seek out attention from your ex.

You will be tempted to bargain and make deals that will give you the freedom to have the relationship on whatever terms you want. This will lead to you being complicit to your own detriment and will also expose you to pain that may embarrass you or humiliate you.

I would rather have him on all terms than without him. It’s possible that things will work out. He’ll be more understanding, and when I get back in touch, he’ll be relieved.


What To Expect

  • Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming to be caught off guard by the loss.
  • Crying suddenly
  • Feeling despondent.
  • Feeling rejected – I wasn’t good enough to …”
  • You may feel sad about the past loss or anger you didn’t resolve.
  • Blaming yourself.
  • Realizing that it has been X number of weeks or months since the No Contact Rule was started and feeling guilty about not having done it sooner.
  • Feel like you have lost your investment.
  • Remorse.
  • You feel like you can’t get over it, even though you may have forgotten that you actually felt better for getting out of this situation.
  • You don’t have to feel guilty, but you do.
  • Fear of not thinking about them enough and then becoming overwhelmed by thinking.
  • Fear of moving on, whether secretly or openly, and being able to continue your life with a new purpose and get on with your life.

Depression is unresolved anger that has been turned inside. It can also be a deep sadness or disappointment that you don’t know how to deal with. After you have gone through all the stages, and realized that the relationship is over, the No Contact Rule is necessary and that the other person won’t change, depression will occur. This understanding can cause you to feel very down. It can be very disheartening to realize that any bargains you make with others or yourself are a waste or very painful.

No Contact Rule can help you regain your power, rebuild your life and you might feel sad that you don’t have enough power over them to make them remorseful, change their ways or feel enough regret to attempt to remove your No Contact Rule walls.

It can be difficult to cope with this feeling if you are able to see how toxic the person is, but still feel a strong attraction to them. It’s easy to feel a lot of shame and blame. But, the truth is you are human and loved. You may be able to recognize that the person was certain things, but it’s still grieving. It takes time for your feelings to adjust to the new reality. It won’t help to be impatient with yourself and judge yourself for not getting over it sooner.

Your involvement is likely to have had a significant impact on your life. If you are required to go No Contact Rule, you must realize that it’s understandable that this process takes time. You should not let the disappointment get you down. If you feel depressed, it is likely that you are judging yourself. Regardless of the fact that it didn’t match your relationship or person, you may still feel entitled to the desired outcome.

Sometimes, when you’re No Contact Rule, you can feel depressed. Realizing that it’s been a month or six weeks and that you still think of them frustrates and angers you. You feel guilty that they still exist and you end up feeling like you’re failing. Sometimes, the entire way you think about them is just a habit and not a sign of any feelings towards them.

A person’s involvement can also lead to a loss of hope and even shame. It may appear that this person walked away with all your options, or worse, that they left with knowledge about something you are most critical of. You may feel ashamed for sharing something you didn’t like. This alone can make you feel discouraged about the possibility of failing again.

Most people have difficulty accepting loss and disappointment. This is made worse by the pervasive culture that doesn’t take mental health seriously or attaches unnecessary stigma. It’s not surprising that so many people keep their emotions to themselves. Instead of avoiding the truth, they should talk about it and not isolate themselves in a bubble of shame, blame, or rumination.

It’s perfectly normal to experience downtimes, no matter how short-term or long-term. These thoughts and feelings are part of your grieving process. It may take several months to get through a long-lasting relationship or one that was very traumatic. But you will get there. You will get out of this mess if you take care of yourself and can work through your emotions without allowing them to control you. It will take more time if you let your thoughts rumble around in your head and beat yourself up.

Although this stage is normal, it can be very debilitating. It is your judgments about yourself and your attempts to hide your feelings that can cause depression. Although you might feel depressed, you may not be actually experiencing depression. It is when you feel this way for a prolonged period of time that you need to take steps to get better.


What To Expect

  • You will one day realize that you can still think about them without feeling your heart sink to the ground.
  • It suddenly dawns on you that you have been so busy and happy, you haven’t even thought about them in a while.
  • You are making and realizing plans.
  • You are calmly happy about yourself.
  • You may feel a little sad, but it won’t be enough to make you feel bad.
  • It doesn’t feel like they are trying to reach you.
  • It’s not important to think of yourself as a No Contact Rule. You’re simply living your life.
  • You will stop trying to be The Good Guy / Girl doing the right things for them, and instead do the right thing.
  • You won’t be friends anymore with them or plan to be friends in the future.
  • You’ll feel less angry and sad, no matter if it’s toward yourself or others. You’ll be more at ease. You can’t go wrong.
  • You won’t wish that things were different.
  • You will stop rationalizing the irrational.
  • You won’t want to fix them or wonder how it would feel to have a relationship with them.
  • Sometimes the blame disappears completely or shrinks. They won’t be held responsible for everything. Instead, you will be accountable for your contribution and will need to focus on building better relationships.
  • You will realize that your worst fears are not realizing your fears.
  • Accept the ending as it is and forget about worrying about what might have happened.
  • Accept the relationship and realize it’s OK.

When you are aware of the end of your relationship and all your efforts are directed towards avoiding contact with the source of your pain, then you will be moving between stages of grief. However, you can remain committed to yourself and continue living your life. You won’t feel it as a sledgehammer, but instead, it will slowly creep up on you and you’ll stop resisting the temptation to end this relationship.

This stage will set you free. You will be able to experience the other stages first. You will experience the other stages first. It is normal to move back and forth between them.