How to Use the "No Contact" Rule After Divorce

Get someone out of your life for good

Man covering his mouth
Courtesy Rob Lewine via Getty Images

One of the ways to heal after a divorce is to put in place the “no contact rule”  to remove that someone from your life. No contact is especially helpful if there is a lot of anger or the divorce was full of conflict.

And, before you say, “But I have children” let me stop you. Just because you have children with someone doesn’t mean you have to have constant contact with that person. You can work around the issues that come up with children and your ex with limited contact.


What is The “No Contact Rule?”

No contact is a set of guidelines you follow that will quickly get you to a point of peace and serenity and viewing your ex as part of your past, not your present. Essentially, you refuse any and all contact when possible.

If you don’t have children this is a simple process. It entails breaking bad habits and self-control. And, faith in yourself to get past the relationship and on with your life.

Things Not to Do When You Go No Contact

1. If you hear a song that reminds you of him, don’t call and tell him about it.

2. If you heard she is dating someone new and you want to click her Facebook profile for more information, don't.

3. You thought of a funny joke that will crack him up. Text it to someone else, not him.

4. Your child won an award at school. Don't call; use email or have your child relay the information.

5. You're lying in bed alone and missing the long talks you two used to have in the middle of the night.

You're at your weakest moment; do not call!

No Contact Means No Contact

Follow the rules below:

1. Unfriend them on Facebook.

2. Unfollow them on Twitter and Instagram.

3. Delete them from your cell phone contacts.

4. Remove their email address from your contact list and NEVER respond to an email from them (unless it relates to the children).

5. If you run into them in a public place, nod and move on.

6 Stay away from places you know you may run into them. Don't haunt old haunts you two used to haunt.

7. Don't call their mother, brother, cousin or friends. Don't talk to anyone who can carry tales back to him.

Any channel you previously used to communicate with your ex is now off limits. It won’t be easy on those lonely nights at home by yourself. The temptation to reach out will seem overwhelming but, if healing emotionally is the main concern, you will play by the no-contact rules.

Modified “No Contact Rules” for Co-Parents:

1. Have a good parenting plan in place and live by it. No negotiating the terms of the parenting plan. Doing so means more need for contact and that defeats the purpose.

2. Only communicate about children’s issues via email. Use a court-approved email system so you have evidence with the court of every email exchange. Respond to emails with “yes” and “no” answers. Do not engage in arguments or attempt to defend your position via email. If she wants the children during your weekend visitation, simply reply, “No, I will pick the children up at the scheduled time.” Then ignore further emails about the situation.

3. Don’t go to events you know your ex will be attending also. If there is maximum conflict have it put in the parenting plan that you two swap dates for attending your children’s functions.  It is, of course, best to put on a good front for your children but if your ex is irrational this may be an impossibility.

4. If it is visitation weekend with the non-custodial parent, you don’t need to see or communicate with your ex. Pack your children’s bags, put them by the door and kiss them on the way out. No need to walk them to the car, peak your head out the door for a look see or, show yourself in any way.

Parents with small children can find a workaround and, in some instances, two angry parents not talking to each other can be the best thing for the children.

The best way to get over someone is to get them out of your life.

The no contact rule is going to help you move on with your life by helping you set boundaries when it comes to talking to them, seeing them and, before long thinking about them.