3 Little Steps People Take Before Going No-Contact With A Family Member

Their decision to go no-contact was necessary.

No contact with family Glowonconcept, Merry Arinta | Canva

The choice to go no contact with a family member is not easy. Usually, the decision weighs heavily and can take years before the choice is made and enacted. The person going no contact has probably shown signs and made attempts to change the course of the relationship long before the contact is cut.

Here are 3 little steps people take before going no-contact with a family member

1. They make numerous failed attempts at salvage.

Before someone decides to go no-contact with a family member, they typically go through numerous steps, often over many years, to try to salvage the relationship. Despite their best efforts, every interaction might only lead to more pain, prompting a critical question: Is sharing DNA enough of a reason to endure continual emotional damage?


Once the decision to go no-contact is made, it often involves a significant mourning process. This isn't just mourning the end of the relationship as it exists but also the loss of what could have been—the potential for a healthy, supportive familial connection. This grief can be profound and complex, akin to mourning someone who is still alive but no longer part of one’s life.


This process can be particularly painful during holidays or family events that used to include the family member. There may be instances of reconnection over the years, which can serve to remind the person that their decision to go no-contact was necessary. These moments are part of the ongoing journey of mourning and adjustment to a new reality without that family member's presence.

Erika Jordan, Dating Coach / NLP Practitioner

She has gone no contact with family and holds hand up to say stay away Andriy Solovyov via Shutterstock


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2. They weigh the impact of their justifiable fears.

Going no-contact is often fear-based. People become worried about the effect of a family member's temper on them or their children. They may become increasingly worried about the effect of someone's addictions on their family. They disagree about something so intensely (such as politics or religion) that being in the presence of the other person (who often is authoritative) is too stressful and exhausting. This is also based on fear of a negative impact on their health or the health of their children.

Susan Allan, Life Coach and Founder The Marriage Forum Inc.

RELATED: Why Cutting A Family Member From My Life Was The Best Decision I Ever Made


3. They repeatedly set boundaries.

I have found that most people don't jump to no-contact easily with a family member. Generally, people have tried many times over the years to set boundaries and negotiate interactions. When their boundaries are repeatedly crossed and communication is impossible, no contact feels like the only safe and healthy solution.

Mary Kay Cocharo, Couples Therapist

RELATED: How To Untangle Unhealthy Family Dynamics — Without Cutting Anyone Out


The decision to go no contact requires significant negative variables to be in place. These variables are usually harmful and have been repeated.

Removing a family member from your life takes courage and strength. No one does it "just because". The person who is going no contact has often been at the receiving end of either abuse or neglect from the family member they no longer wish to contact.

@hiwetram if they consistently bring negativity, harm, or toxicity into your life, as prioritizing your own well-being is crucial for personal growth and happiness.#dontbeafraid #boundaries ♬ original sound - hiwetram

On the other side, the family member who has been cut off from contact can appear to have no idea why they have been removed. Yet, if they took time and deeply reflected on themselves and their impact on familial relations, they might find It was themselves who paved the road that led to no contact.


RELATED: 5 Signs It's Safe To Reconnect With A Parent You've Distanced Yourself From

Will Curtis is a writer and editor for YourTango. He's been featured on the Good Men Project and taught English abroad for ten years.