Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
A stalking ex can present a variety of trouble, from a mere nuisance to a disruption in a present relationship to a potential physical danger. Those desirous of ridding themselves of a stalking ex must be firm in their resolve. People can normally deal with an obsessive ex by ending all communication with that person, but extreme cases might call for legal action.
The first step in dealing with a stalking ex is to state, in the clearest possible terms, that the relationship is over and will never begin again. A stalker can be encouraged by the slightest hope, so it is of the utmost importance that none is given. To keep the message clear, it is better to keep it short. Unnecessary words provide extra material in which the stalker might perceive an unintended hidden message.
Despite the clearest of terms, a stalker might continue trying to establish contact. Stalkers might attempt to engage their exes through physical in-person harassment, telephone harassment, Internet harassment, or any number of other ways. Whatever the means used, the objective is the same — to provoke a reaction.
For most people, it is easier to ignore other types of stalkers. The emotional history one shares with a stalking ex, however, can make it harder not to give in to the stalker's desire for a response. In some cases, pity motivates people to respond to their stalking exes. In other cases, frustration over the stalking itself — or simply an old habit of arguing with the person — might make telling him or her off once more seem appealing.
Whatever the reason for responding, a reaction gives the stalker what he or she wanted. Any reaction can be interpreted as proof that he or she remains pertinent to the other person’s life. As long as two people are communicating with each other, pleasantly or not, they are in a type of relationship. Not a romantic or a healthy one, but a relationship nonetheless.
While laws differ depending on jurisdiction, many areas have legal recourses for those suffering this kind of harassment. Law suits and restraining orders are examples of ways that people have, through courts, dealt with stalkers. Such measures are intended for serious circumstances. If a person is tempted to take legal action mainly to irritate an ex and to provoke an emotional response, that person should reexamine his or her own role in the difficult situation.
My sister had a friend who essentially had to go into witness protection to get away from her crazy ex. She had to change her name, her children's names and move out of state. Fortunately, the ex is back in jail under his umpty-dozenth assault charge. Great guy.
I have worked with crisis shelters and one thing they always advise women to do is to change all their phone numbers, stop posting on social media, take down all accounts and photographs, etc. I would advise that. It sounds extreme, but a woman knows her ex. If the ex is the type to use violence, I would recommend a woman get a license, get a good handgun, take a gun safety
class and keep the weapon available. I'd also advise her to take a self-defense class, which could also help her.
Men with stalking exes definitely need to change all their numbers and delete their social media profiles. If the woman is violent, the handgun advice holds for them, too.
Thank the Lord I've never had to deal with a stalking ex, but I have had friends in that situation. In one case, my friend allowed a cooling-off period, then had the ex meet her in the lawyer's office, and basically asked him if he really wanted to be "that ex." You know, the one who won't leave his ex alone and makes things tough on her. She said he owed his children better, even if he hated her.
In a neutral environment, and with the ex sober and more reasonable, suddenly his conduct seemed really ridiculous. This does not work every time -- or even most of the time, though.
With the really crazy ones, you will probably have to get law enforcement involved, which is a pain and doesn't always work, either.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!