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When your ex refuses to move on...

Stop Now!
Stop Now!

There is nothing worse than trying to deal with an ex that refuses to move on. Especially when you have. Your life has progressed wonderfully, except for this bag that refuses to do anything but hang around in the most inappropriate way, popping up at the most inappropriate times, in the most inconvenient of places.

Perhaps you are in a new relationship, or have had more than one relationship since you broke up with the ol' boyfriend or girlfriend. But you can't seem to shake the ol' stick in the mud, despite repeated attempts, after one, two maybe even three years. Sounds a bit ... crazy.

Maybe you've tried to be nice, probably too nice. You've approached your ex "nicely," realizing that nice doesn't work. You've realized that being friends won't work, because your ex annoys the "you know what" out of you and some people simply weren't meant to be friends.

Despite your clear instructions that your ex is not to contact you, under any uncertain terms, you get the occasional email, phone call, message, gift ... whatever the case may be. It goes something like, "I am thinking about you. I am missing you. I am sending you good vibes. Hey, want to get together?" Whatever the case may be, such contact from your ex makes you want to jump off a cliff, because clearly he or she does not respect you, never has, and never will.

What are you supposed to do? Perhaps you have tried the explicit launch of expletives meant to send them to another planet (or not) unsuccessfully. Here are some other suggestions you may find useful before you lose what sanity you have left.

Evaluating the Severity of Harassing Behavior

No means no. Sometimes needy people are just that, needy. Like a moth attracted to light, you ex sees you as irresistible, and hasn't been sufficiently burned yet. Your ex wants to fly into the mesmerizing light that is you and won't take no for an answer. Or something like that. Who knows? Whatever the case may be, the situation has gotten out of hand, and fallen into uncomfortable pudding.

If you have established clear boundaries, and made it clear that you are not interested, and do not wish to be contacted, then you should not have to put up with constant harassment.

Just because someone contacts you under the "guise" of wanting to see you, or being "nice" or wanting to take "care" of you, "help" you, "pray" for you ... whatever the case may be ... doesn't mean their behavior is appropriate (or even helpful, in fact it may be very harmful to you).

If you have made it clear the behavior is unwanted, it is unwanted. Period. If it continues, it is harassment. You do not have to keep telling someone that, if you have already made it clear. You will only encourage continued contact.

On that note:

  1. Do not accept any continuing contact from an ex (partner, lover, friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, family member or anyone else) that is harassing you, pressing you, forcing you providing any contact; negative or positive.
  2. If you are seeing a new partner in a love relationship, let them know that any contact with your ex is inappropriate and may encourage unwanted behavior.
  3. Let friends and family know not to associate with this person as this may encourage unwanted behaviors.
  4. Don't participate at ALL.
  5. Do not accept gifts, tokens of affection, tokens of regret, forgiveness, sorrow, help, solicitation, assistance, etc.
  6. If you feel threatened, violated, or stalked, report such behavior to the appropriate authorities.
  7. Investigate what measures are necessary for a restraining order if your privacy continues to be violated.

Let's be frank. Sometimes controlling behavior goes one step too far, and violates the boundaries of normal, crossing over the line into crazy. You owe it to yourself to take care, and evaluate whether what is taking place in your life is normal, or abnormal.

There are millions of looney toons walking the planet, and millions more with no boundaries, no sense of right or wrong, and no sense of anything but their own "I want, I need even more." That doesn't mean that you have to tolerate it. Much of this probably results from having little self-worth. Thus, individuals feeling poorly about such and such, wander the earth, looking for people like you, nice people, nice, shiny happy people they can attach to... once they do they do not want to give you up.

Does that mean you should expect them to live off you forever? Of course not. The suggestion is preposterous.

That's akin to vampirism, and while the very notion is quite popular in modern films, television series and fantasy, it's all a bunch of hooey. It happens, especially energetically, but you don't have to put up with it. Nobody wants to be in that type of position. It just isn't healthy. Not for you OR the other person whether they realize it or not. Sucking the lifeblood out of another person certainly won't help build anyone's self worth, particularly the individual that has none.

Think you can talk them out of it? WRONG. That's not your job anyway.

If you find that you need help enforcing your own privacy, there is help:

MHA Pro Bono Counseling Referral Denver

Denver Project Wise Empowering Women in Denver

Sacred Heart House Denver (Single Women)

Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault

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