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Is no contact reoccurring in families

(66 Posts)
Luckylegs9 Thu 27-Dec-18 09:12:43

I spoke to one one recently who had no contact with her in laws, she said they clashed. Now her Dil and Son have distanced themselves from her and her partner and she's heartbroken. I didn't delve into anything but couldn't help wondering how her in laws saw the situation and if this was a way some families deal with conflict and things font get sorted. Despite my past issues, we always had our parents and in laws in our lives and there was no falling out, we managed to smooth over minor problems amicably.

stella1949 Fri 28-Dec-18 07:20:11

I'd agree, agnurse. It did happen in families in the past, but it just wasn't so obvious. My mother left her family in Canada and rarely spoke to her own mother for years at a time, and only ever went there to visit on one occasion . She never said she'd "gone no contact", she just didn't write to her family and they didn't write to her. With such limited methods of contact as we had in those days, nobody knew if you were in contact or not. We just know about it now because it's more obvious.

M0nica Fri 28-Dec-18 23:52:28

I think the problem lies in the way people are brought up.

There will always be circumstances that no matter how effective family dynamics, some families will break contact with other members for good reason.

But as a long time member of GN I am constantly amazed at the trivial things that upset and bother people and I am left wondering why people cannot either shrug minor disagreements off or talk them through. At the end of the day, none of us is perfect we, ourselves, probably have at times given offence without meaning it, so why get so heated so quickly. I just cannot be bothered to constantly take offence because a DD doesn't visit as often as I like, or a DiL doesn't agree with me on some child rearing practice.

notanan2 Sat 29-Dec-18 00:02:17

It won't usually be a big thing that breaks a camel's back though.

That doesn't mean there isn't a big problem overall.

Death by a thousand paper cuts and all that

Eglantine21 Sat 29-Dec-18 09:03:07

I also think that part of the problem is that we can now be in constant contact. When I left home I wrote once a week and my mother wrote back.

Many posters expect to have daily (or more) contact with their families, whether face to face or through media of one kind or another.

Some friends keep up an almost constant flow of WhatsApp communication. One friend is really quite cross with me because I won’t have WhatsApp. But I would find that constant seeking of my attention quite disturbing.

I can see that if one person constantly wants more than another wants and won’t back off even when told, non-contact might be the only choice.

Eglantine21 Sat 29-Dec-18 09:05:37

Like the neighbour that I quite liked but who took to dropping in at least once a day and phoning in between.
I couldn’t cope with that

janeainsworth Sat 29-Dec-18 09:30:36

Some friends keep up an almost constant flow of WhatsApp communication. One friend is really quite cross with me because I won’t have WhatsApp. But I would find that constant seeking of my attention quite disturbing

eglantine WhatsApp is no different from text messaging or having a landline, from the point of view of attention-seeking.
You don’t have to be in constant communication with people on your contact list. You can just ignore any messages or calls till you feel like responding.

The great thing about it is that it’s free to send picture messages unlike most phone contracts which charge for them. DD and DS use it to send photos of DGC, and it’s more private than sharing on Facebook.

It’s easy to set up a group too, if you want to organise a meeting or something.

It does have a dark side. I learned over Christmas that my 3 DC have a group for the specific purpose of discussing me and MrA?

mcem Sat 29-Dec-18 10:00:21

I hate the term No Contact but see the situation looming.
My DD has had, and has caused many problems over the years. One by one family members have backed off. I have done my best to provide support - practical, emotional and financial but have been finding the situation more and more stressful.
The chorus of 'Step back and leave her to it' has become louder than ever, joined by my gp and counsellor who advise that I need to avoid this stress.

The latest deception came to light yesterday and I have had enough. Text messages were exchanged and a phone call became heated.

She has to get in touch today as I have the children but I can't see an easy resolution. I know that other family members think I 've tolerated too much for too long and I 'll be told (again) to walk away, but how can I do that when two vulnerable children are involved?

ffinnochio Sat 29-Dec-18 10:05:12

Recently my husband has been very ill, and during this time I was constantly ‘encouraged’ by a family member to join WhatsApp in order to be in very regular contact. Frankly, that was the last thing I needed. When my son arrived from America, I mentioned my concerns regardingn this and he took over fielding all messaging. He is known as the diplomat of the family. Thank goodness, as I was close to blowing a gasket, with the potential of causing a family rift!

Anniebach Sat 29-Dec-18 10:20:32

Two years my elder daughter was in hospital, she had been ill for ten years. I was distressed and angry to learn my sisters, nieces and nephews were in some private chat room discussing her , with the exception of one we all live in the same town, I asked they stop and leave her her dignity, some had even been in her house and were discussing this. I got angry and told my newphew who had set up the chat room that as not one of them had visited her when she was at home they could all sod off out of their chat room. Not one has spoken to me since ,not even the day she died.

Nonnie Sat 29-Dec-18 10:41:00

I disagree that all those on Mumsnet who have gone no contact had good reasons. I suspect they say they had good reason but we cannot know as we don't see the other side of the story. I suspect it is a bit of a 'thing' to do these days when you don't get your own way.

I think it is lovely that many of you think it is sort of normal and has always happened. That may well be because you don't have direct experience of such difficult people. I think there are people who live in little self seeking bubbles and have no empathy for those with different ways of doing things and a complete lack of tolerance for those who fail to comply exactly with their ideas. I speak as someone with direct experience.

It will be interesting to see whether the situation changes as those of us with property to leave to our loved ones get older and those who have cut people out of their lives think about the money they won't get. Cynical me? Too right I have seen what the love of money can do to people.

notanan2 Sat 29-Dec-18 11:00:50

Eglantine21 I completely agree. People expecting "instant access" to each other can cause fuses to blow.

E.g. an old friend of mine who phoned often in the pre mobile days. That was fine, If it went to answer phone she assumed I was busy or put and left a polite message.

But fast forward to text messaging, she then started expecting instant replies, and if she didn't get one straight away I would start to get a string of "have I done something to offend you?" texts, until in the end I used to dread message alerts from her!

I ended up backing right off and cooling the friendship and we are now more like acquaintances which is a shame. I DO like the woman a lot. I just couldn't be "on call" to her 24 hours a day.

FarNorth Sat 29-Dec-18 11:07:14

I recently averted a no contact situation between two family members.
Each had misunderstood the other's motives, on that occasion. Neither had cruel intentions.

notanan2 Sat 29-Dec-18 11:54:48

P.s. I did try to tackle the issue of not always wanting to reply instantly to texts with that friend before cooling off... but while she would accept reasons why I didn't reply on an individual basis, the expectation would still be there next time...and the disgruntled texts would still come if I didn't make the 5 min turn-around window.

Same friend also sent friend requests to all of my friends when facebook came along, including acquaintances of mine who she had never met and was never likely to. I found that intrusive, but when I questioned it with her she made me feel odd, as if I was being possessive or something.

Now here's the thing: its not a case of me being right and her being wrong. Its just that modern tech means that peoples expectations re communication can vary widely, whereas in the old days you phoned someone and they might not be home and that was that. They picked up or they didn't. There wasn't as much scope for such gulfs in expectations.

Luckylegs9 Sun 30-Dec-18 07:22:57

I do wonder how many who have had family cut them out are themselves in the same position with either in laws, parents or siblings. It seems the pattern of dealing with a situation or person you don't particularly like is to sever contact instead of addressing the issues, even if it results in limited visiting, the door is always open.
Anniebach, I cannot imagine your pain at what you

considered a betrayal of your daughter and her right to privacy. To have not one of that extended family comfort you at what must have been the worst day of your life is unbelievable. How could you ever trust or rely on them in the future when they abandoned you when you needed them most?They must all think they are in the right and you are not. Is there no way you can leave where you live to start afresh, it must be dreadful living and yet not speaking to them, you will have such a lot of history between you. Youvdeserve some happiness after all those years seeing your daughter so ill and then being shunned. They should be ashamed.

Grammaretto Sun 30-Dec-18 08:08:29

Your situation is cruel Anniebach .
I hope there are some family and friends who are still around to comfort you, who knew your DD.

As for being a new phenomenon. No way. Think the Bible. Think Shakespeare!
What is new is being constantly on the phone.
Guilty? Moi?
Just yesterday a young woman with a 2 yr old was on the bus. She was on her phone texting. The child was trying to get her attention the whole journey. He was calling for daddy., crying and moaning. She hardly spoke 2 words to the wee boy.

I texted my DDiL 2 days ago and she hasn't replied. Should I be worried?
I could email her. I don't wish to crowd her. I'm deliberately not their friend on Facebook. That applies to all our DC and their partners.

Anniebach Sun 30-Dec-18 08:33:42

*Grammaretto”, thank you, there is no one now, I just think about her .

sodapop Sun 30-Dec-18 08:41:09

I agree with Eglantine the constant barrage of e-mail and all the social media sites can be counter productive. Messages are misunderstood, personal issues aired when they are best kept private etc. People feeling left out if they are not included in a group- the list goes on.
There is a positive side of course in that families can keep in touch when they are separated by distance.

Nonnie Sun 30-Dec-18 08:46:19

Be selective about who you have in your contact lists and there won't be a problem. We WhatsApp within the family all the time because it is so quick and easy. No one expects others to respond a the time, just when relevant.

Anniebach Sun 30-Dec-18 08:59:24

Luckylegs, they talked about her stress incontinence and how she hadn’t cleaned her house, her Male cousins were there too. This is why I said ‘sod off out of there’. I did contact one sister by email a week before Christmas, big mistake.

Nonnie Sun 30-Dec-18 09:57:58

Annie unfortunately there are still people with no empathy who prefer to judge because they feel in some way it makes them look superior. Maybe one day they will realise.

When DS died we had wonderful support from all except 2 people, one a relative I have now cut out of my life and the other someone who should have known better but when they decided they knew the cause of death and I told them twice how wrong they were they didn't apologise so I no longer contact them. There are so many lovely people around we don't need the others. This is not the sort of no contact referred to by the OP, we were not ever close to these people.

Nonnie Sun 30-Dec-18 10:03:31


"I do wonder how many who have had family cut them out are themselves in the same position with either in laws, parents or siblings. It seems the pattern of dealing with a situation or person you don't particularly like is to sever contact instead of addressing the issues, even if it results in limited visiting, the door is always open."

What a good point you have made. If someone cuts you off and you know they have cut off other members of the family, both birth family and in-laws, it does point to where the fault lies. It also makes you realise there is nothing you can do to mend the situation and that, if you cannot think of anything you did to cause it, you should stop looking for your faults and accept that this is simply a self-obsessed person.

Anniebach Sun 30-Dec-18 10:08:03

Nonnie my only support came from this forum, I understand people I have known for years not making contact, suicide is difficult for some to cope with. But three sisters !

Nonnie Sun 30-Dec-18 10:21:49

Annie I do understand how difficult it is for people but that is because they are thinking of themselves not you. Once I crossed the road to speak to someone whose husband had just died. I hardly knew her but thought it right to say something. She hugged me and cried and said others did the opposite and avoided her. Ever since that I have made a point of contacting anyone who has been bereaved in the hope that a kind word would help.

DS's friends are still sending me messages of support and I am still hearing about all the lovely things he did for them when they needed help. It is such a comfort.

Anniebach Sun 30-Dec-18 10:33:42

Well I can’t talk about her to anyone, I don’t mean talk about her death ,illness or my grief, just normal fun things . Have accepted it.

notanan2 Sun 30-Dec-18 12:30:07

It seems the pattern of dealing with a situation or person you don't particularly like is to sever contact instead of addressing the issues

Sometimes theres no point if its a recurring pattern, and youve broached similar issues with the person in the past to no avail, when it reoccurs for the umpteenth time its pointless going into it if you know there wont be a resolution.

I had a friend who let me down (badly) repeatedly. Talking about how this affected me in the past just made her defensive and put her "on the attack". End result = hurt all round. Then we would make up she would profess how much the friendship meant to her etc and I would give another (50th) chance because we were close since we were babies.

However after the last time I was ditched for a better offer...I just cut her out. I didnt want to go through the fight-make up-nothing changes cycle with her again.

She tells mutual friends that she has no idea what she's done and its come out of the blue.

True, I didnt try to address the LAST kick in the teeth from her. But only because I know from experience how trying to address things with het goes..