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The Golden Rules of NC When You're Dealing With An Affair / 'Playa'

No Contact when you've been involved in an affair or involved with a playa can require some extra tightening up of your boundaries because two things may catch you out - their charm factor and brazenness,  and your ego. If they say "Jump!" and you say "How high?" or it doesn't take much for you to wind up in their bed or giving them money, it's time to take control of the wheel in your life. Equally, if you let your ego get the better of you because you're paranoid that a 'good cheat' or a 'good playa' has gotten away, you will remain stuck in this cycle forever more - a cycle of them reaching out in some way, you being hopeful, you responding, you being disappointed…and lather, rinse, repeat.

1. Remember your procrastination triggers and your NC Plan where you've evaluated what your pitfalls are.

If you know that you're the type who weakens at the weekends, you plan ahead for the weekend to make it harder for your resolve to break. If you know that they tend to call up when they want something, come up with an alternative response so that you don't end up being like the cat still chasing the same piece of string. The easiest way to not be caught out is to stick to No Contact and where it's unavoidable, such as work (see my tips) or when they manage to catch you on the hop, limit the interaction.

2. Just because someone calls/texts or asks if you want to hook up, it does not mean that they've changed or are available.

In fact, if you've been having an affair or are one of a number of people they've been sleeping with and messing around, I guarantee you that they haven't changed.

3. Recognise where your feelings come from.

Observe them and let them pass through. If every time you feel remotely uncomfortable, you knee-jerk to them and go attention-seeking, you never learn how to just be with your feelings. Look for what is behind the feelings.

Very common reasons: Tiredness, loneliness, boredom, feeling like you weren't chosen even if you would not choose them as they are right now, hunger, fear of starting over, giving you a hard time, not liking to have got it 'wrong', and chasing a return on investment, to name but a few.

4. Don't let envy send you off the NC path.

Whoever they are with now is not getting it any better than you are especially if they're still attempting to contact you, ask you for stuff or even have been sleeping with you behind their back. You are not losing anything by no longer continuing your involvement with them. Let me say it again - you are not losing anything by no longer continuing your involvement. You may think you've lost your pride or years of your life - actually, you can take pride in opting out and can now get your life back.

5. Make sure that for the next few weeks, you have things in the calendar that replace what would have been arrangements between the two of you to meet up.

This will ensure that your mind is preoccupied because otherwise you will fill it up with urges. Being busy will help to calm or even neutralise your urges.

6. Tempted to go back? Remember any of the following that apply:

  • They rubberneck others when you're out and you end up feeling 'less than'.
  • They are and have been sleeping with or going out with other people during your involvement.
  • This was not a bonafide committed relationship and yet they have used you up and enjoyed the fringe benefits of your devotion.
  • It's a long time since or maybe you've never felt safe and secure within this relationship.
  • There's no such thing as a honest cheat.
  • Being used is not flattering. You have a purpose in life that extends beyond being a sexual object / cash machine / unpaid PA / business partner to steal ideas from / backup option.
  • Whatever you've experienced before, you will experience it again only they will not even have a conscience over it because they'll know that they've shown you who they are and yet you've gone back.
  • If you've already waited around or even wasted your time, why would you book yourself back in to do it all over again?

7. Whatever it is that you think they need you for, someone else will do it.

Now that may not be what you want to hear but this is what being involved with people who are already in a relationship / marriage or who are fickle, using playa's is all about. Stop competing to be The Most Valuable Team Member. Trying to be indispensable to win them over is a waste of your time and a stealer of your dignity.

There are better ways to have a purpose in life. Never offer someone your back for them to walk all over, or your bank account, or your bed for them to roll in and out of.

8. Each and every interaction with them is just counting against you.

Hard to hear but true. You're trying to show how much you love them, prove yourself etc and they just see that they're free of responsibility and that they have something that you want otherwise you wouldn't continue engaging with them so they absolve themselves of guilt.

The more times they've shown you their arse and the more times you've ignored who they are is the more that they know that they are free to do as they like.

Your message from now on is "You are not free to do as you like. You may have gotten away with certain things before, but you will not get away with these now." Remember that each time that you don't engage is like putting self-esteem 'money' in your self-esteem account. It might not look like a lot now, but it will build up.

9. Work out what it is that you want beyond this person and then compare this list with what you're doing with this person by trying to continue an involvement with them.

If you want to have a relationship, get married, have kids for instance then being involved with a playa or someone who is already married is counter intuitive to this and takes you away from this.

10. Remember that they are going to get initially 'turned on' or 'curious' by your non-participation.

This means they may step up the chasing of you and make promises that they cannot keep. Now you can fall for the same con all over again and reason that you've never done NC 'this hard' before and that maybe they've seen the light, or you can ride this out. I guarantee you that if you opt back in and rise to the bait, you will feel the pain of the gamble.