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How to deal with an obsessive ex

Author: Debbie Nguyen
Published: Jan 21 2014

Going through the long and painful process of a breakup is bad enough, but what happens when your ex still won't leave you alone after the divorce is final? If he or she can't accept the breakup to the point of still calling you all the time or showing up at your house and making you uncomfortable, you need to address the situation before it gets any worse.

How to deal with an obsessive ex

1. If Possible, Talk About The Problem

If your ex is a good person who is simply having a hard time letting go, talking to him and making it clear that you want the behavior to stop is an option. However, you should be very careful that opening up communication doesn't fuel an obsession.

If you left your ex because of any sort of abusive or dangerous behavior, then it's crucial that you do not start any communication. One Florida divorce attorney states that "A divorce involving domestic violence can be both complex and intimidating." Someone who has been abusive or controlling in the past is far more likely to lose control and do something violent, especially if he is angry about the fact that you don't want to continue the relationship.

2. Set Boundaries

Sometimes, when you know someone really desires you, it can be easy to turn to him during times you feel sad and insecure. However, keeping someone on the back burner for the purposes of fulfilling your need for attention isn't only cruel, it can lead to disaster. Don't call your ex up when you're having a bad day. Don't communicate with him via social-media sites. Staying friends is fine in a healthy situation, but when one party is dealing with an obsession, strong boundaries need to be established. If possible, say goodbye to your ex, encourage him to move on and then halt all communication.

3. Reach Out to Others

If your ex's behavior amounts to stalking, then it's time to alert all of your friends and family to the situation. When involved in a difficult relationship, many people sugar coat the situation in order to prevent their parents or friends from disliking the person. If you haven't already, now is the time to tell the truth. The more people who are aware of your ex's inappropriate behavior, the more people will be looking out for you.

4. Notify The Authorities

If, at any point, you begin to feel scared or threatened by your ex's behavior, you should immediately notify the authorities. You may not want to get him or her in trouble, but your safety and security comes first. By notifying the police, you will create a paper trail that shows the behavior has been happening. That way, if anything serious were to occur in the future, it will be easier to prove your case because it will be on record. If the upsetting behavior continues after you have notified the authorities, it will possibly be necessary to file for a restraining order.

Dealing with an obsessive ex can be scary, and it's up to you to decide if the behavior is simply annoying or if it could be dangerous. If it's the latter, you may need to go to greater lengths to protect yourself, including things like changing the locks, installing a security system, getting a new roommate or adopting a guard dog. Depending on the situation, you also might want to consider moving to a new town to get a fresh start.

Debbie Nguyen is a writer who blogs about family issues. Her research into violent exes in support of a friend led her to Florida divorce lawyers Katz & Phillips, P.A. She's glad her friend is now out of a dangerous relationship.

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