Is It Un-Christian to Go No Contact?

Laura had no plans to see her abuser,
but he was out of jail and living with her parents.
They felt sorry for him and decided it was time to forgive
because he was a family member
and they expected her to do the same.

no contact, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, narcissist, littleredsurvivor.com

Laura never wanted to see his face again. For one thing, her abuser had never apologized for all the trauma and abuse he’d put her through. Every time she saw him, she felt ill and relived the experience all over again. She refused to go to her parents’ house as long as he was staying there. She wanted to go no contact with the abuser, but her parents said it was unchristian.

One of the worst misunderstandings about surviving narcissistic abuse is when people accuse survivors of being unforgiving and bitter because they refuse to hang out with their abuser. Choosing to have less contact doesn’t mean survivors haven’t forgiven their abuser–it merely reveals the relationship hasn’t reconciled yet and it may never be resolved. Lack of reconciliation is not always the survivor’s fault. Many abusers deny what they’ve done and continue bullying until their dying day. These people, like a rabid wolf, are unsafe to be around no matter what they say.

When people ask: Isn’t it un-Christian to go no contact?” Perhaps they should be asking a different question, “Is it Christian to abuse people?”

Some people say Jesus tells us to love our enemies to say this includes abusers. Such people need to take into account everything Jesus says. He also says liars are from their father the devil. He warned the devil to get behind him. Jesus never permitted abusers to continue harming others.

When Jesus told his friends to leave a house where they are unwanted and kick the dust off their feet, he was permitting us to go no contact. If we are unwanted even within our own family, isn’t it better to leave, than to stay and fight? To go no contact is merely turning the other cheek and walking away from a fight.

Going no contact is one way to stop being a victim and stand up for yourself. No contact can even be a part of the final stages of grieving for some people. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross defines the five emotional stages of grief as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Many adult children of dysfunctional families have been in three of the stages–denial, bargaining, and depression for years. Sometimes we need to get in touch with our healthy anger before we can find acceptance for our situation.

If you’ve been in an ongoing, abusive situation of any kind, healthy anger might include going no contact. No contact doesn’t have to be forever, but it should continue until both parties can respect each other. When we put our family members on low or no contact they have several options–

  1. They can ignore the situation
  2. They can continue the same lies and behavior
  3. They can play the victim and complain
  4. They can call us up and ask us how to repair the relationship

Relationships always require two-way communication. Silence speaks too.

No contact is one way of taking our power back. We can’t change anyone but ourselves, but we do have control over who we let in the door.

No contact is a form of acceptance. It’s saying “I realize I can’t change you and I accept that we can’t be friends, so I will leave you alone and fill my life with people who care about me.”No contact is better than having an ongoing martyr relationship with an abuser.

Wherever we are in the process, the sooner we stop bargaining and leave denial, the sooner we can get in touch with our healthy anger and the less we might be depressed. The sooner we can accept that yes, we came from a dysfunctional family, but we are taking control of our own lives we start a healing journey. When we decide who stays and who goes, we gain our life back, and we are no longer victims.

13 comments

  1. There are so many benefits from the blogging community in this way. The details might not be the same but analagous learning constitutes a form of support and reduces the tendency toward isolation and separation. Don’t get me wrong, I turtle as often as I need to and no longer feel anything negative because of it. I think no contact is a continuum concept. I have never been stellar at balance. 🙂 Ah well. Work continues.

    Best,

    Dharma

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  2. I have a sister who has always claimed to be a christian yet she has always been abusive to me (11 years younger than her) both physically and verbally. I have tried to relate to her, forgive her behaviour and keep trying to renew our relationship as we have both gotten older. She is now in her sixties and still behaving like a six year old. I went no contact with her some years ago (confirmed in writing so she can’t deny it). Yet I found a recent prayer request on line written by her asking people in another church in another country to pray for us because according to her we are being influenced by demonic forces. She can’t accept that anyone would cut her off because of her own actions.

    She is still playing the victim, although her action of naming our names on a public website and telling the whole world what she thinks of us is taking it to a whole other place.

    The only consolation I have is that this simply proves to me and my now adult children that this woman is to be avoided at all costs. If she can’t have what she wants, she cries, throws tantrums, makes vague apology noises (I am sorry for whatever I did) and expects that I will continue to allow her to behave as she has always done with no repentance, no change, no acknowledgement that we have suffered at her hands.

    Paul tell us that we are to have nothing to do with reprobates and those who simply refuse to acknowledge their sin. As painful as it is, and as wrong as it feels to cut them off, it is absolutely necessary for their own salvation to do so.

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  3. It is a common misunderstanding among some Christians that “No Contact” is satanic or unchristian. It is simply the end of the road for the narcissist’s behavior. Even when a person calls themselves a Christian, when they lie, belittle, gossip or tell stories about others, they are the ones who are acting like their father the devil as Jesus put it. The devil has been a liar from the beginning. To say get behind me to the devil and to pursue no contact is actually Christlike. It sounds unchristian until we realize the broken relationship occurred long before the No Contact happened–it began when a selfish, narcissistic person is abusive and does not apologize or own their behavior and yet continues to put down the people they have hurt and expects them to forgive and forget. Abusers use the term forgive and forget because they hope we will forget what they have done so they can abuse us again.

    If your sister truly wants to have a relationship with you, she should find a way to make right what she has done in the past by not only apologizing, but by owning her mistakes and choosing to behave differently in the future. Telling others about the situation who are not a party to it is a proof she is not ready to own her own junk and just wishes to blame others. Like you said it is proof that No Contact WAS necessary. I am sorry you do not have a real sister. I hope you have good friends. Friends are the family we choose.

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  4. Reblogged this on It's a mess in my mind and commented:
    This is exactly what I struggled with. I struggled with my being a “good Christian” if I didn’t give him more chances and believe that he could change. I still struggle with this because he claims to be Christian, but he only seems to find God when he goes to jail, which he has 4 times since he’s been in my state. The sheer hypocrisy he would post on his Facebook by way of Religious/Godly posts would make me sick to my stomach. How can someone claim to be Christian and yet do such horrid things, including steal from a bank account that did not contain any of his money and abusing an intellectually disabled child. He is currently awaiting trial for that assault charge. I cling to the belief that Karma will get him, the sooner the better!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Mama,
    Lots of people claim to be Christian without living like Jesus taught us. I am sorry you have had to deal with this and I pray you can find peace and healing. God cares! When it comes to who to trust, I say Christian is as Christian does. If they call themselves Christian, it doesn’t really matter when they walk, talk and act like a narc! And whether we call it karma or the law of sowing and reaping, it’s a natural law that eventually whatever we sow we will reap. And that includes letting unsafe people near us and our children. May God bless and protect you and your children!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have tried No Contact at least twice with my mother … this time is different I am married with children now! This time I’ve researched and this time I no longer care… she showed her self toward my first son and that’s not acceptable ! I do worry on to explain this / her to my boys! Thanks for your info!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Dalilah,

    It sounds like you got clarity over emotions and that helped with your decision. What a lot of flying monkeys don’t get is that people don’t dream of going no contact until they have gone through so much pain in the relationship they finally say “Thus far and no more!”

    I wish you lots of peace and freedom!

    Cherilyn

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  8. Well written, as always. I especially like the validation that it is okay to expect respect and honesty instead of insults, backbiting and gaslighting in the name of “love” or fake concern for your wellbeing. I still don’t understand how a liar can think they are a good person, you are a bad person, and they deserve your trust. Demand it, even. Still trying to puzzle that out. For me, there can be no relationship without trust or respect. I cannot trust a liar. Someone who respects you would not lie to or about you all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Wolfie,
    Yes, without respect and honesty, we’ve got nothing. That’s why we need to protect out boundaries around these two things and if people can’t meet us on these two things, they don’t have the right to be in our lives.

    Peace and Freedom!

    Like

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