200292204-001Ellen and Jim dated for six months. In the beginning, their relationship was wonderful. The attraction was strong, and they shared many common values and interests. By month six, Ellen realized there was one red flag she could no longer shove under the rug. Jim had unresolved anger issues, and his last outburst was the final straw. He wasn’t in therapy and didn’t think his anger was a big deal. If he wasn’t going to take responsibility for his anger issues, Ellen wanted out. She got together with Jim and told him it was over.

He was devastated and shocked. He said he didn’t see it coming, even though Ellen had discussed her concerns with him many times. He wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and began stalking her. He wrote her long emails, professing his undying love, pleading with her to take him back. Then he began to text her daily. His obsession with Ellen had the exact opposite effect than the one he intended. Ellen felt annoyed and unsafe. She told him to leave her alone, but he wouldn’t listen. That’s when she reached out to me for support.”Help! My ex won’t leave me alone! What can I do to make him stop?”

Has this ever happened to you? Perhaps you’ve experienced a bad breakup, where your ex has continued to stalk you in some way, be it through emails, texts, phone calls, or showing up at your door unannounced and definitely uninvited. It can be annoying and sometimes even frightening.

Occasionally, if your ex is manipulative enough, you begin to question why you broke up. Maybe you were too harsh? Maybe you should give him another chance. I once dated a guy who had a way with words, a way of spinning the relationship to make it sound as if I were the one who had unresolved issues, not him. He accused me of being afraid to open my heart and take emotional risks for love. That was not true. I just didn’t love him, and he could not accept that. That’s why it’s important to be strong enough to walk away from the wrong men and stop the stalking for good.

3 things to do to get your ex to leave you alone

1. Be firm and clear when you break up. If you’re wishy washy, he won’t get the message. Don’t say, “I need some time to think this through” if you really mean “There’s no way I can be with this guy”. Instead, say something like, “Jim, I really wanted this relationship to work, but I have come to realize that we can’t be together anymore.” Don’t get into a long explanation as to why it’s not working. You’ve already told him and he hasn’t listened. And then it’s time to walk away. Done. No contact.

2. If he stalks you, repeat your message. For instance, if he starts texting incessantly, text him once to tell him to stop. Your text should be clear. “Stop texting me. This is the last text I am sending you. If you continue to bother me, I will ____________ (block your number, report you to the police, or whatever action you’re willing to take).”

3. Unfriend him on social media, block him on the dating sites, delete phone numbers, etc. Disconnect from him on all fronts. He might be stalking you on Facebook or the dating sites. That’s why it’s important to unfriend him on social media, and if you’re dating online, block him from viewing your profile. If he becomes abusive on the dating sites, you can also report him to the site.

Clarity and good communication are important throughout any relationship. The better the communication during the relationship, the cleaner and easier a breakup will be. Practice honest, bottom-line, clear communication with the next person you date. If the relationship ends, it’s be much easier for all parties involved to move on.

The best text I ever received after a breakup? “That was the sweetest breakup ever. I’ll always love you and I wish you only the best.” This was a guy who really liked me. He thought I was “the one” from date #2. Yet, he was able to walk away with grace. And that’s the way it should be. A breakup is simply an opportunity for both people to find a partner who’s more suitable.

Please share your thoughts and comments about exes, breakups, and how they’ve gone for you.

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