written by Dr. Joe Beam

When we at first called it the No Contact Rule to get your husband or wife back, we didn’t anticipate how people would hear those words over the other things we said about the principle.

Allow me to explain:

First, we teach principles. You have to decide how to apply it to your situation. Every person and every situation is different in some ways from others. Yes, many things are very similar. It’s the small differences that require you to use wisdom as you apply the principles.

Let me change No Contact to Smart Contact to get your husband or wife back.

What does that mean?

Anything you do that appears to the other person as manipulating, whining, begging, pleading, etc. very likely will result in their moving away from you even faster. There are those out there who say that you should send your spouse a note, email, or call every day to keep them aware that you are there, etc.

We hear regularly from people who used that approach that it only drove their spouse away if s/he already wants away from you and has vilified you to justify leaving.

If the wayward spouse has any kind of “business” with you, it makes sense to be in contact but still NOT in ways that appear to be doing the things mentioned above. “Business” might mean kids matters, talking about bills, or, in some cases, actually being in real business together.

For example, if you have children together, it makes sense to contact the wayward spouse to share information, ask opinions, and more. However, if when you talk about the kids you regularly start into something such as “the kids cry about you every night,” s/he very likely will start avoiding your calls or finding ways to end them quickly because it looks like you are using the kids to try to get them back.

Is there ever a time to tell a wayward spouse that the kids are hurting? Yes. But that is better done when EACH of you is engaging the other in a genuinely open conversation. In other words, when the defenses are not up.

Should You Contact Your Spouse About Non-Business or Non-Children Matters?

Continuing to contact the other just to say hello, or to send a message that you miss him/her might in some cases be a good thing.

For example, if s/he is alone and hurting and hasn’t told you to leave him/her alone. Even then, I would suggest caution and not to do it too often. If it comes across as begging or whining or makes it appear that you can’t live without him/her, it usually backfires.

Why don’t you want to give the message that you can’t live without the wayward spouse? Or that you think about him/her all the time? It’s because it implies that you will be there no matter what s/he does.

Why is that a potentially bad thing?

Because it communicates that s/he can do anything without consequences and you will be waiting. S/he has no reason to act differently. I’ve actually heard some straying spouses say things such as, “My husband/wife will be there if I ever want to go back. Because I know that, I’ll keep exploring whether this new person / lifestyle / whatever is what I really want. If I discover it isn’t, s/he’ll take me back. Therefore, I don’t need to change anything.” So you become a back up plan – which is not attractive.

This is more of an art than a science. I can’t give you specific things and say if this list happens make some contact, if this list happens make no contact, etc.

As already stated, it is a principle that you have to figure how to apply to your situation. When in doubt, as a general rule, do not contact you spouse if you want to win him/her back.

What do you do if your spouse contacts you while you are using The No Contact Rule (or Smart Contact)?

Whether it’s about business or just to chat, listen. If s/he provides any openings to true emotions, gently speak to them.

Still do not do anything that makes him/her regret opening up – even if it was only minor. Think in terms of being the understanding friend rather than the fighter looking for an opening. I have witnessed on many occasions that a straying spouse eventually found his/her way back home because the spouse s/he left became first a friend and finally a best friend.

If you wayward spouse left you because s/he felt controlled by you, all this becomes even more important if you want to use the no contact rule to win them back. [There is a lot more to say about whether you actually were controlling or if that is a manipulation on the departing spouse’s part, but that is more than I can mention here. If you wish to receive an eBook on control, email AskJoe@MarriageHelper.com]

If your marriage is in danger of separation or divorce, call us at (866) 903-0990 to speak with someone or use the form below to request more information about our Marriage Helper 911 workshop for troubled marriages. Our success rate over the last decade is saving three out of four marriages, even when adultery, porn, anger, or other things have deeply hurt the relationship! (If you’re thinking your spouse would never come, contact us by phone or the form below and we’ll tell you what others who felt the same way did to get their spouses there. We have strategies that work!)

We will keep everything you tell us completely confidential. Our motivation is to help you determine if this workshop is right for your particular situation. We also offer solutions for couples who can’t attend the workshop.

 



14 thoughts on “No Contact Vs. Smart Contact To Get Your Husband or Wife Back

  • January 4, 2017 at 11:23 pm
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    My spouse and I are married he not been home go a year now when he left is was to go work out of state found out I’m may 2016 he was seeing another woman out of the country even bade trips to see her several times then seen pics on Facebook of my husband with woman her in a wedding dress we are still married during the times he left there was limited communication till July then it almost stop help me I don’t know what to do

    Reply
    • January 16, 2017 at 8:28 pm
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      I am so sorry to hear you are going through this.. Do you have communication with your husband?? Is he aware that you know all of this?

      Reply
  • May 22, 2017 at 7:13 pm
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    I have just had a conversation with my cheating wife regarding choices and it didn’t go too well. We see each other regularly due to us having children together but after this conversation she implied that she shouldn’t come around any more as it is no good for me to hold out any hope. I just can’t move on I love her so much I’m in so much pain, they have been together since November 2016 and he has now moved in to the family home and has basically replaced me totally.
    He is a co-worker and they are constantly with each other night and day I want to save my marriage and was up until tonight giving her her space and concentrating on getting myself better doing my PIES. I feel I have set myself back months can I recover from this mistake and if so what’s my best move going forwards..

    Please give me some reassurance and guidance as I dearly want to win her back for not only me but for our two boys.

    I live in hope Mark..

    Reply
  • August 22, 2017 at 2:47 pm
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    I want to commend the folks at marriage helper for all of the good information on how to save marriages. I would like to make a suggestion to you regarding your FB adds; please make them more inclusive. There are brown people, black people, and other ethnic groups who are vested in saving their marriage but are not reflected in the adds that are posted. Your adds are only reflective of white couples and that is not reflective of the differences on the FB site. This is a suggestion and I hope that it is given consideration. Thank you.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2018 at 12:18 pm
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    My husband left the house two weeks already. He is waiting for me to sign the divorce paper on early Nov 2018. I told him 25 Dec 2018 as I am still praying to God for restoration of our marriage. He insists not to see me and my daughter at this point of time to give me any hope. I am super devastated & have no idea what to text him besides telling him about our daughter. He is very firmed to me that he has decided to have his own life without me controlling him. I actually told him that I would change & promise to be a submissive wife but he said was too late. Hope you can help me!!! Thanks and Best Regards,
    Jesslyn

    Reply
    • October 8, 2018 at 7:06 pm
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      Hi, Jesslyn! Please call us at 866-903-0990 so we can help.

      Reply
  • October 27, 2018 at 7:58 pm
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    My husband and I are separated after finding out about seeking sexual gratification thru escorts, hookups, porn and “flings”. Your shows mainly talk about affairs. These sexual acting out behaviors have occurred over the last 9 months after I found evidence then him admitting to me. How to you forgive a man who has done all this and still try to keep our marriage togetherness?

    Reply
  • November 27, 2018 at 2:06 am
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    How do you do smart contact when you’re still living in the same house, even sleeping in the same bed and have a child together? The child doesn’t know her dad doesn’t love me any more. No affair that I know of.

    Reply
    • December 12, 2018 at 3:49 pm
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      Hi, Shannon. Please call us at 866-903-0990 so we can help!

      Reply
  • December 6, 2018 at 2:31 pm
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    My husband filed for divorce in April 2018, from what he has told me it was based on the fact that I didn’t listen to his concerns about our finances and my evening wine consumption. We continued to live in the same house and go about our lives as though the “big elephant” didn’t exist, he contemplated MANY time about withdrawing the divorce petition but ultimately decided not to because he does’t trust or believe that I will remain sober – I have been for 8 months now, have picked up new hobbies, friends, etc. – all of which have made me feel really good, and more self confident. Come November he was “encouraged” by his attorney to move out of our home, which he did(to his moms), basically abandoning me and our daughter. We spent all of Thanksgiving together(sexual relations and all), but since then he has been relatively cold and distant, not asking how I am or how is daughter is. I am in the process of implementing the “smart contact rule”; however, at this point with his behavior is it even worth the effort or heartbreak? I love him to the ends of the earth. Any advice on what I can further do to save our 11 year marriage would be appreciated.

    Many Thanks, Meredith

    Reply
  • December 30, 2018 at 11:55 am
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    My wife and I have been one month separated. We are South Africans. We have been married for about 19 months now. It was a rocky road from the start but we kept at it through sheer love and determination. We did not have ‘enough’ courting time – basically two months long distance after we met online. We have three children, 2 from my previous relationship and her with 1 from hers. we instantly became parents and had kids competing with our courtship time to the point where we felt we were each not being present for each other. Over time, it would appear my wife’s focus on the marriage was deteriorating to the point where one argument blew the lid and she announced SHE WAS DONE. I begged and pleaded as this had come as a shock. I still love her and believe there is scope for a very strong marriage given how we had always stood out for the marriage. I have been consulting since beginning of the year and that hasnt made financial matters easy either. I just want my wife back. I am not able to call you from this far. I have been desparately clamouring for help on the internet. I have downloaded countless videos to the point of confusion. Currently at No Contact for 2 weeks. Is she not reading my silence as confirmation that indeed i didnt love her? All i needed was to be out of her space and would forget she ever was in my life. i am desparate

    Reply

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