#58 How to Get Him to Understand NO

Hello beautiful people, my name is Athol and this is Relationship Momentum. So let’s jump into today’s reader question.

“I am divorcing my abusive ex-husband. I have a no contact order from the courts except for practical matters per written message.” (I assume that’s to do with the kids.) “He just asked if we can try to start our relationship again. Tons of sex issues and escalating violence in the last year or so together. We separated when I finally called the cops on him last July. How do I make it clear I have no interest in him beyond co-parenting?”

Okay so this is one of these tricky ones where they’re using a very dirty tactic to try and re-establish the relationship. He’s going to continually try and poke and prod and question and engage in some sort of debate with you. He’s trying to get any point of contact to try and leverage that, get his little hooks in you, to leverage that towards getting the relationship restarted again.

The difficulty is when you engage with him at all, at all, you are playing into his strategy of trying to get you to engage with him so he can snowball things. He’s trying to get away with having some comments slip past your radar. Let’s just start a conversation. Let’s talk about it. Let’s not follow the no contact order from the courts.

So if you try and be the reasonable adult and talk to him calmly, you’re defaulting into playing into his strategy. Instead, you have to really honor the no contact order to make sure that he really gets the message that you’re not interested. The only way you can really make it clear to him that you’re not interested, is report to the appropriate authorities he’s broken the no contact order. Don’t engage with him directly and then you let the authorities do whatever they’re going to do. It’s the only option available because you cannot reason with someone who has no intention of being reasonable with you.

He is not looking for some sort of good faith conversation about fixing things.

When people have been violent in a relationship, and this is whether they are male or female being violent. I have so many male clients where it turns out the wife is being physically violent, it really is happening to both sexes. Anyway, it doesn’t matter if it’s male or female doing it, but when people are prepared to be physically violent, usually the only way to get them stopped is to get the appropriate authorities involved. It is extraordinarily rare that violent people go, “Oh my gosh I’m a terrible, terrible person and I should change my ways. I’m totally wrong about what I’ve done.” It usually doesn’t happen. Usually someone else needs to come in and make it clear they can’t do that.

So the answer is there is no way to let him down gently. There is no way to defer things. There is no way to be polite about this. You just have to be rude and frankly obnoxious. If he’s contacting you against a court order, call the cops again, call whoever it is who deals with the no contact order enforcement where you are. It’s literally the only option available to you.

In a very general, slightly wider sense, this is the only way that you can deal with people who are trolls. Some people online will endlessly ask you questions or prod and prod and poke and poke. They are just looking to get a rise out of you, they’re looking to get their hooks into you and they’re just looking to force you into some kind of engagement with them. The only way to deal with it is to just slam the door shut on them. If anything a one word answer, but often the best way is simply to block them and move on with your life.

This all feeds into a really common dirty fighting tactic that I went over in The Married Guys Guide to Wife series, one of the ways that people fight dirty, it is that they will never stop talking. They will never stop arguing. They will never stop trying to draw you into some sort of debate until you give them the answer they want. You can be saying no, and they will keep coming at you trying and trying and trying and trying to get you to say yes. They will bait you to where you finally get angry and blow up, then they’ll turn it on you that you’re the jerk who’s being rude and obnoxious. There is no polite way to get through to them. You can’t reason with someone who has no intentions of being reasonable.

And of course the other super common thing that women and girls run into with men and boys, is that unless you give them a really firm clear no, they’re always going to think there’s a chance. Sometimes men can often feel led on by women because they didn’t get a clear, blunt no. She was polite. She was smiling when she said no and if you’re smiling when you say no, you’re kinda sorta saying it’s maybe. Or if you push it a little more it’s a yes.

Sometimes you just have to slam the door shut.
Anyway, that’s about it.. Hope you like the video. Please like, share, comment, subscribe, and all that good internet stuff. And I will talk to you tomorrow.


  1. Kam says

    Hey Athol,

    This comment has nothing to do with this post (sorry) but I have a question and didn’t know how else to contact you.

    My wife thinks her mom may be cheating on her dad but she isn’t certain. She just notices that her mom is very secretive with her phone (similar to how hey ex-boyfriend acted when he was cheating on her), saw a few flirty text messages over her mom’s shoulder, and listens to her mom constantly talk about her boss like she is in love.

    What should she do? Some web sites say she should confront her mom but, without proof, wouldn’t that just encourage her mom to lie and be more sneaky? Other web sites say to stay out of it because it is not her job to police her parents’ marriage but that just seems lazy and useless to me. Do you have any insights? Thanks for your time and consideration.

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