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Estrangement

Is 'No Contact' abuse?

(362 Posts)
HolyHannah Mon 22-Jun-20 06:49:57

This seems to be a core question where estrangement is concerned.

It's a yes/no question as far as I can see, so I will start with my example...

No. No Contact is not abuse. No one can abuse anyone they are not in contact with.

Pantglas2 Mon 22-Jun-20 07:19:05

How would you feel if your children did it to you?

OceanMama Mon 22-Jun-20 07:22:47

I think it can be. Where no contact is a tactic aimed at manipulating a party into compliance through emotional blackmail, it can be an abusive. Depends on the context and motivation.

Pantglas2, parents do it to children too. It's not always children doing it to parents.

ninathenana Mon 22-Jun-20 07:30:03

What OceanMama said

Esspee Mon 22-Jun-20 07:33:15

It’s manipulative. I consider that abuse.

OceanMama Mon 22-Jun-20 07:39:06

I don't think it is always manipulative. Sometimes it's about self-preservation or irreconcilable differences.
Maybe the difference is between, "I desire no contact" vs. "If I do this then they will get into line with what I want."

Chewbacca Mon 22-Jun-20 08:08:31

It's like every other question that's raised surrounding estrangement in families: it depends entirely on the circumstances involving the people involved. There is no right or wrong, those who have chosen to have no contact with a family member will have done so for myriad reasons; some for a good reasons, some for not so good reasons.

Estrangement/non contact is like anything else in life; isn't black and white, there are thousands of shades of grey in between. So for HolyHannah to say that non contact is not abuse... for her this may be true. For someone else, it might not be. An open mind is a good thing.

lemsip Mon 22-Jun-20 08:15:04

There are always two sides to a story of estrangement.

no, it is not abuse! Painful none the less!

MissAdventure Mon 22-Jun-20 08:15:40

All circumstances are different, just as all families/people are.

Granniesunite Mon 22-Jun-20 08:19:19

I think the thinking and understanding of this type of behaviour within families is changing and is more comman that the general public would be aware of. If it's not something that happens within your family, it can be devastating and life changing when it hits you.

Its a complex issue and the only people that can fully say what's happening are the people involved in the estrangement and they'll all most likely have a different story.

If someone walks away and cuts off communication without any effort to solve the issue nothing is solved. That makes no sense to me.

Smileless2012 Mon 22-Jun-20 10:11:35

It's not a question that has a simple yes or no answer. It depends on the circumstances. Sometimes it is abusive, and sometimes it isn't.

Chewbacca "An open mind is a good thing" it is indeed.

Motherofdragons Mon 22-Jun-20 12:42:23

I think it can be. Where no contact is a tactic aimed at manipulating a party into compliance through emotional blackmail, it can be an abusive. Depends on the context and motivation

I would see this as an type of extended silent treatment, not going no contact.

OceanMama Mon 22-Jun-20 12:43:30

MotherofDragons. Even after 15 years?

Motherofdragons Mon 22-Jun-20 12:44:26

My mother is the queen of silent treatment! Her intention is always for the targeted individual to fall back into line. No contact is walking away completely.

OceanMama Mon 22-Jun-20 12:46:04

I'd say after 15 years that counts as walking away completely.

Motherofdragons Mon 22-Jun-20 12:48:58

MotherofDragons. Even after 15 years?

It wouldn’t surprise me! It really wouldn’t.

I can see how the silent treatment can inadvertently result in no contact, but I think if the intent to force compliance remains after that length of time, then it is a type of extended silent treatment. As you say, it depends on context and motivation.

OceanMama Mon 22-Jun-20 12:49:24

Silent treatment is abusive btw.

Motherofdragons Mon 22-Jun-20 12:51:42

Oh, don’t I know it! I’ve been on the receiving end of it since I was a child. Resulted in life long anxiety problems. I know only too well.

Madgran77 Mon 22-Jun-20 13:04:53

*It's like every other question that's raised surrounding estrangement in families: it depends entirely on the circumstances involving the people involved. There is no right or wrong, those who have chosen to have no contact with a family member will have done so for myriad reasons; some for a good reasons, some for not so good reasons.

Estrangement/non contact is like anything else in life; isn't black and white, there are thousands of shades of grey in between. So for HolyHannah to say that non contact is not abuse... for her this may be true. For someone else, it might not be. An open mind is a good thing.*

Chewbacca I agree.

Madgran77 Mon 22-Jun-20 13:09:04

Silent treatment is classic abusive behaviour and very damaging to children and to adults; sadly it is a common tactic in some situations. I think an extended length of silent treatment with an extended intent to enforce compliance, probably turns into estrangement in the end, if the victim doesn't comply.

Bibbity Mon 22-Jun-20 13:19:08

Silent treatment and threats are abusive.

“If you do not give us money we won’t speak to you.”
“If you don’t babysit as and when we want you won’t see GC”

However.
This is not.
“If you don’t stop saying this in-front of the kids You won’t be able to see them”

Also cutting off. As in breaking any and all contact permanently is not.
It may hurt. But individuals have the right to decide who they have in their lives.

TrendyNannie6 Mon 22-Jun-20 13:22:06

Some circumstances are different, it’s not abusive if both party’s concerned agree to have no contact at all, and cut ties,

Madgran77 Mon 22-Jun-20 13:23:32

*Silent treatment and threats are abusive.

“If you do not give us money we won’t speak to you.”
“If you don’t babysit as and when we want you won’t see GC”

However.
This is not.
“If you don’t stop saying this in-front of the kids You won’t be able to see them”*

Agree ….very different scenarios

Smileless2012 Mon 22-Jun-20 13:27:57

Looking again at what Chewbacca posted earlier, for one person non contact may not be abuse but for another person it might be.

"... cutting off. As in breaking any and all contact permanently is not, It may hurt." For us there's no "may hurt" about it, it hurts like hell.

agnurse Mon 22-Jun-20 14:35:53

Hubby went full on NC with FIL. FIL, over the years, had:

-insisted his children and wife had to see GFIL, who had emotionally and physically abused all of his children, done worse to his daughter, and made inappropriate comments to MIL (and when MIL complained, FIL gaslit her)

-financially abused us

-body shamed our impressionable young daughter, who subsequently developed an eating disorder

-tried to destroy our marriage

Do you think NC by us is abusive?