Break-up Advice: What to do about a stalker ex

You meet someone. You fall for them. A relationship ensues. Then... something happens. Maybe one outgrows the other. Maybe a difference of life goals. Maybe the passion waned and it was just time to call it quits before either (or both) were disappointed in the long run. Whatever the case, it resulted in a break-up... and in a normal world (with functional people) that—as they say—would be [the proverbial] that.

However, perhaps one was slightly possessive and a bit on the unbalanced — which is a nice way of saying they were a controlling, crazy, looney, asshole, psycho-f*cking-NUTCASE that finally showed their true colors and that's the reason the relationship broke up in the first place. The problem: They won't let go.

They vacillate between two modes of behavior: 1) "Baby, I'm so sorry. I know I screwed up, but you have to give me another chance. I can make it right this time." (Riiiiight... because you didn't break up with them 18 times before and fall for this line of crap.)  2) "You think I'm letting you go? Not. A. Chance. You might have broken up with me, but I did not break up with you. We're still together. Don't even think about being with anyone else." The main issue: They say either (and sometimes both) of these statements all the time: 4am—sometimes sober, sometimes drunk—at your job, at your doorstep, at your car at the mall (because they followed you from your three previous errands and "...just HAD to talk to you"), or—in extreme cases—at the foot of your bed, in the morning... when they don't live with you anymore (and your new significant other is in the shower.)

Exes who exhibit a colossal lack of self control, an inability to recognize boundaries, and a supreme mastery of denial. What. The. Bloody. Hell? Are they just a few sandwiches short of a picnic? Did they originate from the shallow end of the gene pool? Maybe. Maybe not... but whatever the case, they just can't let go of you.

Not that there is any way to excuse their crazy (sometimes scary, sometimes violent) behavior... but there is a sad truth to this: They are more miserable than you. They can't let go because (in many cases) they lack a self, a sense of self-worth, and a healthy level of self-esteem. As such, they feel they need yours to survive... they will seemingly stop at nothing to get it.




Here's the real deal: Being that you are a nice person, you will try to get them to see the logic of why it doesn't work between you. Or, their outrageous behavior (threatening suicide, 4am phone calls asking to see you) will have you wanting to caretake them through the break-up. That doesn't work. You cannot caretake anyone though their own lack of growth. 

What's needed: Distance, clear-thinking, and an honest evaluation without wishful thinking or denial on your part. Don't take phone calls. Don't accept deliveries. Stop participating. Don't have your friends/family intervene. And stop thinking it will correct itself. Visit your local court clerk and investigate getting a restraining order. (Note: Even if you do get a restraining order, you are not safe just because you have the order. All it means is that your stalker is legally supposed to stay away from you—it doesn't mean that they WILL stay away from you. They may violate the order, and may in fact become antagonized by your obtaining it in the first place. Having the restraining order will make arrest and prosecution easier, but it won't necessarily stop them from stalking you—or worse. Use your best judgment about obtaining restraining orders. Depending on the circumstances of your stalking, you might be able to have your stalker arrested for trespassing, threatening communications, or other crimes they commit instead.)

In the meantime: No matter how crazy they act... try to realize that what is happening isn't because of anything YOU did. Crazy behavior is just that. Unbalanced people do what they do... but that doesn't mean you caused anything. They are making choices... and that's not a reflection of anything about you, or what you have—or have not—done.


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