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How to End Any Relationship Instantly and Permanently

By Doug Kelley • September 2005  


“Lack of communication will kill any relationship.” —Doug Kelley


There is a time in just about everyone’s life when it becomes necessary to end a relationship that has become toxic or destructive. The relationship may be intimate in nature, such as with a spouse or significant other, or the relationship might be with a friend or family member. It is often very difficult to end the relationship quickly for a number of reasons, whether our own compassion gets in the way or the other person continues to contact us and we respond. One’s own codependence is quite often the culprit when trying to end an abusive relationship.

The secret to ending any relationship instantly and permanently is this: “Lack of communication will kill any relationship.” This principle can work both ways. In the positive sense, if you don’t communicate with those you care about, your relationship will suffer and ultimately die. Conversely, if you want to end a relationship, you simply stop communicating with the person. The instant that you stop communicating, the relationship is over.

This is not “rocket science;” it’s just that, from a logical standpoint, so many people have not realized how simple it can be to end a toxic, dysfunctional, or destructive relationship. If you have made the decision to end a bad relationship, then stop communicating with that person in any way, e.g., face-to-face conversation, phone calls, email, etc. This may mean changing your phone number to an unpublished number.  



Obviously, if you are currently living with the person, there will be times in which you have to speak. However, "talking" doesn't necessarily mean "communicating." In this case, keep the communication limited to only what is necessary until such time that you can separate. But once you separate, communication of any kind must cease completely.



Certain fundamentalist religions—past and present—have known for hundreds of years that to kill a person’s relationships, all they had to do was cut them off. For example, hundreds of years ago, the Catholic Church would “excommunicate” a person (cut off communication) and then label him or her a “heretic.” This action effectively ended that person’s relationships with any and all who professed the same religious beliefs (which was everyone). Of course, during the middle ages, the Catholic Church often went further and killed the person as well. Fortunately, times have changed and now the Catholic Church rarely, if ever, excommunicates anyone, let alone kills them outright.

In modern times, fundamentalist-extremist cult-religions such as Jehovah’s Witnesses will “disfellowship” (excommunicate) any who do not comply with the organization’s beliefs. This is a control and manipulation tactic that effectively cuts the person off from every friend and family member who is also of the same religion (usually the person’s entire circle of friends). This means that the person’s former friends and family members will literally turn their heads away and remain silent when encountering the disfellowshipped member. The person is completely and utterly ignored. This shunning and complete lack of communication often results in depression, existential crises, alcoholism, and, in some cases, suicide for the person cut off.*

While this practice of shunning certainly classifies the religion as a cult, it also serves to demonstrate how effective cutting off communication can be. Of course, cutting off communication should be only used for the right purpose, such as toxic, dysfunctional, or destructive relationships (a difference of religious beliefs is not the right purpose. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs without judgment).



In codependent relationships (that often involve substance abuse), the person desiring to end the relationship will often cave into the toxic person’s attempts to perpetuate the relationship (such as them being nice and considerate when they were not before). Phone calls are accepted, emails returned, offers to get together, etc., which does nothing other than to re-establish the relationship.

Lack of communication will kill any relationship.

If you desire to end a bad relationship, then stop communicating with that person—immediately and completely. Do not try to explain yourself—for explanations rarely explain; do not take their phone calls, do not return their emails; do not respond to their Instant Messages; do not contact them to “tell them off”—release your need to vent, or vent to someone else. Simply stop communicating completely. The instant you stop communicating is the instant the relationship is over.

Now, give yourself permission to not talk to the person. Take your power back and do the right thing for all concerned, but especially for you.

* Doug and Tracy Kelley are both JW cult survivors. Private message to current JW's: You have one decision to make: you can either learn from our 81 years of combined misled devotion to a man-made organization and really begin to live your life, or you can fear for your spirituality and "cut off" the relationship you have with this website, including its sister websites. Thanks for reading.


Copyright © 2005 By Kelley Training Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article may be distributed as long as notice is given and the following tag remains intact.

Doug and Tracy Kelley are relationship experts who enjoy an obscenely happy relationship. They also host several other websites including www.EmpoweredRecovery.com for the friends and family of alcoholics, and www.EmpowerTheSpirit.com for personal and professional growth, training, and seminars. Email: doug@dougkelley.com.





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