Ah, the obsessed ex. That special breed of human who just won’t take no for an answer! You know the ones — they cling to their former partners, like a bear to honey. From constantly texting to loitering outside their home, these people can be downright scary!
One way or another, you need to get them off your back… and fast!
We asked Mike Simmons, a retired police officer from New York for some advice. “The most important thing to remember,” he says, “is that you need to remain firm and consistent with your boundaries.”
“Don’t let them push you around or make you feel uncomfortable. Make sure they understand in no uncertain terms that the relationship is over.”
In addition, Simmons suggests setting up safety precautions for yourself such as a buddy system or a home alarm system. Above all else, trust your gut; if you feel unsafe in any way, act quickly and decisively to protect yourself.
If your obsessed ex doesn’t take the hint, Simmons advises getting the police involved. “Part of our job is to protect individuals from harassment and stalking. Don’t hesitate to call 911 if things get too out of hand,” he says.
According to Simmons, there are several steps you can take to get that pesky ex out of your life for good:
Establish Clear Boundaries by Being Firm with Rejection
“It’s important to stand your ground when it comes to cutting off contact with an ex,” according to Simmons.
Don’t let them manipulate or talk you into anything. No favors, no friendly meetings, nothing. Keep your hands to yourself, keep a respectful distance, and avoid physical contact.
“You’ve gotta make it clear that you’re serious about not being in contact anymore,” he says.
Refrain From Discussing the Past
Don’t bring up the days when all you two did was get into trouble together or have amazing sex in every spot of the house.
Instead, beams of light should shine from your face as you tell her how fabulous life is now since you’ve progressed!
According to Simmons, “Even if your life isn’t that peachy, lie! Don’t give your obsessed ex any hope.”
Cut All Ties Immediately
Return every one of your ex-partner’s possessions (even those gifts they gave you!) at once. Don’t dawdle – no need to drag it out.
“If they keep phoning, go to your phone provider and get yourself a brand new, confidential number,” says Simmons. “Or start paying attention to your caller ID. If you start getting calls from “private” numbers, don’t answer.”
Avoid sending gifts, emails or images – that only brings disorder and may make your obsessed ex think that reuniting is a possibility.
Issue a Warning if They Don’t Leave You Alone
When your ex starts acting up, don’t be afraid to put your foot down. Let them know that if they continue with their bad behavior, you’re not afraid to seek help from the police or other legal sources.
“No matter how intimidating your ex may be, stand your ground and do what’s needed for your own safety,” says Simmons.
Feel like you need to get a restraining order? Have no fear! It may feel like a nuisance to get at first, but soon enough you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief.
Need help filing a restraining order? Just Google “restraining order <your city name>” and you should find the information you need.
Keep Your Social Circles Informed of the Situation
If you can, talk to your friends and family about it. Share with them the type of harassment you are experiencing so they can understand why it’s important that they support you during this time.
Simmons says that “one way exes may try to reconnect or harass you is by contacting your friends, so make sure to spread the word and let them know to refer any potential contact from them back to you.”
If you ever find yourself in an unpleasant situation with someone, do like a lawyer does and make sure to keep evidence!
“Save any meaningful letters, notes, emails and voicemails that can act as proof. Use a pad of paper or a note taking app on your phone to record their actions and report anything unlawful right away to the authorities,” says Simmons.
Even if it’s just a few calls made by the individual, remember to contact both the telephone company and police. And Simmons recommends keeping a paper copy of your telephone history as well.
Notify the Authorities
Do not be scared to take action if someone is giving you the heebie-jeebies. If your former partner starts showing up at your front door in the middle of the night, gets upset or violent with your rejections, starts snooping into your personal matters, or appears unexpectedly in other odd places, then it’s time to take action.
“File a police report and take legal action quickly and get yourself a restraining order,” suggest Simmons. It’s important to report any incident to the police.
“This can help authorities have a record of any threats or abuse, and it might help if you need further legal action taken in the future,” he says.
Safeguard Your Well-Being
Bring your cell phone with YOU wherever you go. Consider adopting a protective dog and enroll in self-defense lessons for the ultimate peace of mind.
If your former love appears at your job, it’s critical to alert other people in your office about the circumstances.
Make frequent alterations in the times when you arrive and leave the job site – if feasible, enlist a friend to join you when you make your way to the building.
Ready to Relocate?
“If you’re at your wit’s end, moving your residence may be your best option,” says Simmons. Make sure to stay off the grid by not registering your address anywhere. Get in touch with the DMV and electoral officials to keep your address hidden.
Forward all correspondence to a post office box, and make sure everything that comes through is from someone you recognize.