Don't Beat Yourself Up about Making Contact

Listen to Penny L. Haider's advice on leaving your spouse because of the destructive relationship you are in. Don't be so hard on yourself if you contact or go back to them. There was a reason you were with them in the first place.

By Penny L. Haider
Updated: September 25, 2014
Dating after Divorce

Some people who have left destructive relationships resume contact and even go back to the relationship. They had a huge emotional investment in the relationship and when it fails suffer a big loss.

They may feel great frustration for initiating contact, and in some instances, resuming the relationship.

Don’t feel bad about making the contact or resuming the partnership. Leaving usually involves a series of steps with each earlier step providing a foundation for subsequent progress. There are countless things we learn to do in life that take practice before we feel like we understand the process.

Here is an example:

There are things in life we’re expected to do but when it comes down to it have little preparation for. Going to a new job is one of them; it’s not that easy. You think about going the day before since an alarm usually needs to be set. Then you wake up, get ready, and head out the door. Depending on what mode of transportation is used, getting to the job can be just as challenging as learning the actual job responsibilities. Next, there’s the anxiety of meeting new people and hoping you’ll fit in with the rest of the team.

Just learning to go to work is a process. It takes time. When I went back into the workforce I was eager, excited to learn, and anxious to prove I could be a quality employee. It was hard to be patient and accept that it would take time to develop an understanding of my new role, learn my responsibilities, and settle into the routine of going to work. Going to a new job is a big change whether we admit it or not and the transition isn’t always smooth. It’s an adjustment to have the job, adapt to it, and commit to going on a regular basis.

Adjusting to a new job is a process. Ending a relationship and committing to no contact is too. If you’ve maintained no contact then relapse and make contact again, you don’t need to despair. It can take several or more attempts to leave a relationship for good. Maybe you need to take a look at what makes you vulnerable when it comes to reviving the contact. Are there supportive friends or family you can call if the urge is especially strong? Use your resources when you need to. Keep the focus on your life and your goals. Maybe you initiated contact but it doesn’t matter, this is a process.

No Contact

This article has been edited and excerpted from the book No Contact: Ending a Destructive Relationship with permission by Outskirt Press, Inc, copyright © 2008, Penny L. Haider. Penny L. Haider is a survivor of domestic abuse and grateful to have had the opportunity to change her life. She is a strong advocate for women, wanting to help others move forward in their lives by leaving destructive relationships behind. Penny is a licensed teacher with a Bachelor of Science in Community Service and Public Affairs from the University of Oregon. For more information visit

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January 20, 2011

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