When you get to the point you are wondering if you should end the relationship with your abuser, things are bad. Really bad. You are tired of your parent or partner abusing you, and possibly also your spouse and children. You are at your wit’s end, trying to think of ways to deal with the painful and outrageous behavior. Nothing you have tried so far has worked, and you cannot think of something different to try – is there any other solution but severing ties?
I understand how you feel as I have been there too. Coming to that place was NOT easy. I thought it was not honorable to even consider ending a relationship with one’s parent, no matter how abusive said parent might be. One day in 2001, God spoke to me and said, “But where is the honor in the strife in your relationship? The fact that your very presence stirs up anger in your mother?” I realized that at that time, the most honorable thing I could do would be to end the relationship with my mother. It turned out to be exactly what I needed at the time. In those years apart, I was able to heal, to learn and to grow.
When my mother decided to try to restore a relationship with me in 2007, it was very different. I had learned a lot about boundaries, and was putting it into practice. I also began to learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorderin 2011, and God gave me creative ways to deal with her having NPD. He did the same later when I realized my father also was a narcissist.
In 2007, I had to decide if I was capable of dealing with the stress and torment of dealing with my parents. I decided I could handle it, taking it each interaction as it arose, and keeping my expectations of my parents realistic (pretty much non existent). While I honestly cannot say our relationship was great, it certainly could have been much worse, and it has been.
I have had many people ask me if they should go no contact with their abusive parent or partner, and I tell them that is not a decision I should make for them. It is a very drastic decision – one that they should make for themselves after a great deal of prayer and consideration.
Most websites that address the topic of no contact with a narcissist say that no contact is the only answer, and there is never a reason to stay in that abusive relationship. While I do agree that it is usually the best solution, not everyone can do that. Cutting a person, in particular a parent, out of one’s life is a huge decision! It takes a lot of time to be able to gather the strength and courage needed to take that big step. In many cases, it also takes time to develop the financial ability to leave too, since so many narcissists keep their victims under their financial control.
There are also many people who are unable to go no contact for various and valid reasons, such as they have health problems and need the narcissist’s assistance. There are still others whose narcissistic parent or partner is not too bad, not terribly high on the spectrum, and they wish to learn ways to cope with their behavior rather than sever ties completely. There is no shame in being in any of these scenarios. If you are in one of those situations, please remember that!
There are many important, serious things to consider for yourself before taking such a drastic step as ending communication with your abusive parent or partner such as…
When you answer these questions, do so with complete honesty to help yourself see things with the most clarity. Ending any relationship is a very drastic step, and it should not be taken lightly.
You also do not want to have any regrets. It will help you to go no contact if you can say that you did everything you knew to do before going no contact. All of the people I have spoken with who have made that step have peace about their decision partly because they did everything they could. They also seriously considered their situation as well as prayed about it a lot. When they severed ties with their abusive partners or parents, they had no doubt it was the right choice for them, and their only regret was not doing it sooner.
The most important thing you can do in this painful situation is to pray. Ask God for His advice. He never will guide you wrong, and He will strengthen you to do whatever it is that you need to do. Also, God will honor your decision either way. When I went no contact with my mother in 2000, I did so after much prayer and consideration, not in the heat of anger or out of spite, and God honored my decision. In 2014 when I was contemplating going no contact again, God told me the decision was mine to make – He would not tell me what to do, and would support me either way. I decided not to end contact as the timing felt wrong somehow, and He helped me tremendously to stay in the relationship. He strengthened me when I felt weak, and enabled me to help my parents out when they needed it.
Later in 2015, I was very ready to go no contact with my parents, God showed me that I should not say that to my parents. Instead, He wanted me to stay low contact, while continuing to work on getting myself healthier and having good boundaries. He said my parents would pull away from me naturally, which they did. We later had a big argument on May 5, 2016. It was the last time my mother and I spoke, and my father and I only spoke a handful of times from then until his death in October, 2017. Me being no contact with my parents ended up being a key factor in how my father came to know Jesus. As God helped me, He will help you with your situation, too.
Many people say that no contact is not a way to honor your parents, and it goes against the Bible. I disagree. Think about this – if you maintain the relationship with your abusive parent, that parent is sinning every time he or she abuses you. Every single time he or she abuses you, that is sinful behavior. By removing yourself from your abusive parent’s life, you are removing the opportunity for your parent to sin further.
Also, the consequence of no contact encourages your parent to improve their behavior. No one can force someone to behave properly of course. However, consequences set the stage for the person on the receiving end to be motivated to change, and that is a very good thing. Sometimes, no contact is truly the best way you can honor an abusive parent.
You also will need to decide exactly how to go about implementing no contact. There is more information on that topic on this page: Ways To Go No Contact
Lastly, please remember one thing about no contact. It needs to be permanent! As I mentioned above, if you resume the relationship after no contact, the narcissist will take this as seeing your boundaries as weak or non existent. He or she will realize that it is perfectly acceptable to treat you any way this person sees fit, because there are no serious repercussions. This is why narcissists often treat their victims even worse than before when a victim resumes a relationship with them. Do NOT put yourself in this position unless you have irrefutable proof that the narcissist has changed, which of course is highly unlikely..