Clients often ask me, “How can I use the No Contact Rule when my ex and I have kids together?”
No contact is still effective in helping you get your ex back when kids are involved.
But it becomes more of something called Strategic Contact.
Strategic Contact (or intelligent contact) is where contact is only made when there are important matters that require the actions, permission, decisions, presence, or some other form of cooperation from the leaving partner.
In the case of using the No Contact Rule when you have children with your ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend, you want to keep contact limited to matters relating to your children.
You should keep things simple and somewhat short, but you should be polite and in a good mood.
Remember, it is attractive when someone is in a positive mindset, optimistic, and not angry.
When you demonstrate that you are not angry at your ex boyfriend, ex girlfriend, separated spouse, or ex spouse, you show him or her that you are enjoying life and are such a wonderful human being that you aren’t distracted by them.
You show that there are such wonderful things in your life that all of that overshadows the negatives of your ex breaking up with you.
That is so important!
In addition to being attractive through the eyes of the other person, it’s also best for you in that a positive attitude, even when faked, almost always helps that attitude to become real.
It will show up in other parts of your life and can eventually become your default attitude or mindset.
Will Having Kids With My Ex Prevent No Contact From Working?
I am often asked if having children with an ex or separated spouse will help no contact or hurt no contact.
Generally speaking, it is a positive thing that can help you get your ex or separated spouse back.
The reason is because of a few different things:
- Your children will refer to you in positive ways. I’m assuming you’re a good parent and that your children like to be around you. This is a positive thing for your lost love to hear. Being a good parent to a child is a very attractive thing.
- You will get to demonstrate changes in yourself. Though I don’t recommend breaking no contact to demonstrate changes, I can tell you that if you have children with your retreating lover, the rules change. Don’t worry, you don’t have to put on a big show (and shouldn’t try to). Your ex will notice.
- You get to intensify mystery. If you are friendly and casual while also being genuine (not fake), your ex will get to wonder if you are still interested, if you are moving on, if there is someone else, etc. Remember, don’t try to make your ex jealous by suggesting you are dating someone else. Don’t fall for it. It can backfire in your face by making them think, “Well then why should I bother if they are with someone else?” among other thoughts. The mystery of them wondering IF you are is far more powerful than them knowing for sure.
How Do You Get Your Ex Back When You Have Children Together?
The answer is to use the No Contact Rule but to modify it to the Strategic Contact Rule.
That means that you still have the same reasons and intentions as you would if you were using a standard no contact principle.
Even if you have children with your ex, you can get them back because limited contact (Strategic Contact) accomplishes things that you want to happen if you want your ex back.
You want to let your ex feel your absence.
You want him or her to feel the mystery.
You want him or her to notice that their phone isn’t vibrating with a text from you and when it does, they will likely often think it’s you and experience a form of disappointment when it is not.
You want to show him or her that you can stay away and that you can be mature about not getting your way.
You want to show him or her that you can respect their wishes.
All of those things are attractive, important, and can flip the tables, causing them to come running back to you.
Co-Parenting With Your Ex If You Want Them Back
A difficult, but important, part of no contact if you have children is co-parenting.
Some “coaches,” out there talk about “playing hardball,” and while I’m certainly in favor of you being mentally and emotionally strong, people often appear mean when they are doing what they think is playing hardball.
Meanness usually causes your ex to feel that their decision to leave you is validated and was the “right decision.”
Examples of being mean if you have children with your ex include:
- Making important decisions about your children without them or independent from them.
- Taking away from the time your ex gets with the children.
- Saying insulting things about your ex in front of your children (whether it gets back to him/her or not)
- Leaving him or her out of important events in the life/lives of your children (birthday parties, holidays, graduation, sports, important discussions (like the sex talk), piano recitals, medical issues, etc.
Don’t try to punish your ex for leaving you by hurting him or her through your children.
Not only is that a cruel thing to do, but your ex will feel deep hurt at your actions and will feel validated by their decision to leave you in addition to any lingering feelings of love, closeness, and warmth will likely be harmed or destroyed.
In a relationship without children, no contact is intended to keep you from being cruel or making other mistakes because it keeps you silent.
So that is a caution I will encourage you to remember.
Just because you are getting to be around your ex or separated spouse does not mean that you allow yourself to take this out on them.
Stay strong in your dedication to keep things polite and casual.
Don’t bring up the breakup or the relationship.
If they bring it up and an answer is necessary or expected from you, you can talk about it some.
Don’t be flippant.
If your ex says that he or she misses you, you shouldn’t ignore it or be cruel by saying, “Well I haven’t missed you.”
Again, playing hardball will only make you enemies (or greater enemies).
I talk more about this in my Emergency Breakup Kit, but if your ex says that he or she misses you, it’s okay to say, “I miss you too.”
If it’s a text you could say, “It’s good to talk to you too,” or something like that.
You just can’t come across as cruel or fake.
Those are two daggers to the heart of your effort to get your ex back if you have children together.
Honor them as a co-parent of your children unless they put your children in danger.
Don’t lie to get a legal leg up.
You shouldn’t do that anyway, but if you want to get your ex back, you will pretty much ensure it doesn’t happen if you lie to get a legal stronghold or advantage.
This is more for a marriage situation, but just remember that lawyers fight hard for both sides and lying to the judge/court is illegal and could send you to jail.
No Contact With Kids
In conclusion, remember to have discipline.
Silence and distance from the one you love is difficult, but if that is what they want right now, you must give it to them.
Refusing to give them what they think they want will only make you look immature, needy, out of touch, weak, etc.
I wish you the very best!