Breaking It Off

Empower yourself with the words of advice from Penny L. Haider, so you can leave your partner and stop the relationship that is destroying you. Then you will be on the path of a happier, healthier you.

Health and Well Being

Breaking away from a destructive relationship is tough because even though it was dysfunctional it held value and a certain amount of enjoyment for you or you wouldn’t have been in it at all. The objective of leaving is to bring peace and joy back into your life as well as to gain control of your world.

Destructive relationships are not joyful. There may be brief periods of happiness but overall there is a greater amount of dissatisfaction and misery. To settle for that type of relationship is crazy which is why you want out.

If you choose to move forward with no contact you will need to make adjustments. It will be nearly impossible to stay away in the beginning but over time it will become easier as long as you maintain self-discipline.

Maintaining Boundaries with No Contact

Without clear boundaries none of us have a solid foundation to build on. We all know and understand this however putting it into practice is hard work. Knowing who you are, accepting it, and growing with it, are the keys to developing a life you truly enjoy. If you are convinced that leaving the partnership is the best course of action to take, you will need to set your boundaries. This will be difficult. He may call you. He may come to see you. What do you do? You know the person and your situation. If you believe it’s safe to do so, you could say the following:

Please find someone else on whom to focus your attention as I have no interest in you at all. Saying this allows the other person to keep their dignity because if that is stripped away, it could mean misery and danger for you. To say anymore than the above just sucks you back in. Once you have made it clear you’re no longer interested don’t take their calls and don’t open the door to them. If the phone rings let the answering machine pick it up. If the calls continue save the messages as you may need them for evidence. You may also want to consider getting another phone with an unlisted number and use that phone only with close friends and family.

When I left the last relationship I was committed to no contact but felt vulnerable and knew I would be tempted to pick up the phone if he called. I decided to unplug my landline using it only when necessary.

I kept in touch with friends and family by using a cell phone with a number only they knew. I went to work every day and took care of my children. It was more important for me to self-protect than to worry about whether or not I was available to answer my phone.

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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