In this third installment, I’ll discuss how people judge someone with an obsessive ex, the emotions that someone with an obsessive ex deals with, how you can begin to break free of being stalked, and the six stages of an obsessive ex. So let’s start with that.
The 6 Stages of Obsessive Ex’s
So there are 6 stages of behavior that obsessive ex’s will exhibit over the course of time. It’s possible that all stages may not be perceived right away, especially early on in the relationship. It’s not until you look back later can you clearly categorize some of their behaviors into these stages. It’s also possible that not all of these stages will occur in every case.
Stage 1 – Dating
The Obsessor finds someone who makes them feel powerful and important. They do whatever they can to attract that person into their life. Men may turn on the charm full blast. Women might too. In my case my ex pretended she was physically abused. This prompted the “white knight” in me and of course, I felt I had to rescue her. On an unconscious level, the Obsessor will test to see how much control they can have over the other persons life. If the Obsessor sees that they can manipulate their chosen partner, they will become even more attracted to them.
Stage 2 – Long Term Relationship
The Obsessor now makes their partner the center of their world, and will view them as the main symbol of him or her self. The Obsessor will then seek to establish complete control over the partners life, and a power struggle may ensue for this control. The Obsessor will use anything they can to preserve control of their world, including lies (my ex uses lies to create a reality that doesn’t exist but that her victims will believe), money (my ex used to say she was an “heiress” and would inherit a fortune when her parents died to try to get me to stay around, this never once was appealing enough for me to even consider it), intimidation (my ex would threaten to do things or would actually do things to embarrass me in front of others, making me look unprofessional), and violence (my ex would threaten to kill herself, she once bit a tow trick driver in the chest, she led the police on a low speed chase and refused to pull over, and even sent the police to the house where my family was living at 3 in the morning).
Stage 3 – Breaking Up
The Obsessor refuses to accept the relationship is over and that their partner is moving on. In the Obsessors view, it is not up to the partner to decide that the relationship is over and the Obsessor will argue continuously and try will try anything to regain control over their ex.
If both are going through divorce, the Obsessor may try delaying the trial or try to punish the ex in the divorce agreement.
If children are involved, the Obsessor will begin to view them as an object to be used to reclaim power. The Obsessor might use visitations to verbally attack their ex, and he or she might use the issue of custody as a way to maintain control over their ex.
Stage 4 – Stalking
The Obsessive Ex will continuously try making contact with their ex, and continue to try having conversations, even when their ex has made it clear there is nothing more to talk about.
Stalking behavior includes, but is not limited to following, watching, spying, monitoring, talking to other people about their ex, spreading rumors about their ex, keeping in con act with their ex’s friends, family, co-workers and anyone else who may know their ex.
It’s unfortunate that most people do not recognize this as stalking behavior, and they do not realize they too are being manipulated. The ex may not have the support of his or her friends, family and others; they will misinterpret the Obsessors behavior as having a broken heart and confuse it as “true love”; they will also think that the Obsessor will stop the behavior.
Stage 5 – Menacing
During this stage, Obsessive Ex’s will try to use intimidation in the way of contact, making threats or any other unlawful trespassing to try to win their ex back. They might make vague threats against their ex or any children that might be involved, including threats of kidnapping. The Obsessive Ex might use som forms of physical aggression including blocking or standing in the way of their ex or yelling while walking towards them. No physical contact is present in Stage 5. Unlawful trespassing includes behavior such as defamation of character, character assassination, blackmail, etc… Typically it is at this point that the victims friends and family and others will begin to recognize that the Obsessor is a serious problem.
Stage 6 – Physical Violence
At this stage, the Obsessor will do just about anything to reclaim power and control over their ex. Because the Obsessor sees others (including people, children and animals) as objects and places worth on them depending on how useful they are they are to him or her, the Obsessor overlooks the fact that they are live beings. Stage 6 is where an Obsessor is willing to kill pets, kidnap and or murder a child, or murder others (new partners, friends, family, etc…) who stand in their way.
Being Judged By Others
The other day I emailed my Singles Meetup group because I thought the first two articles would be a good read for anyone who might have a obsessive ex, and also because I believe she might have been contacting the people in my group, as that has been a pattern of her behavior in the past. The first email I received was from a friend trying to warn me that people were going to judge me. “Good!” I said, “Bring it on! It’ll make for good content on my blog! lol!” Here’s an email from a woman in my group shortly after I sent my email out.
Please do not email me articles like the one I just received from you about a crazy stalker ex. I did not join this meetup group to receive these kind of articles. How can you possibly trash and then call someone you supposedly loved a psycho? Weren’t you the one who chose to go out with her in the first place? OR was she not crazy when you met her but then she developed a mental disease as a result of dating you ? What do you think this article and your dysfunctional relationships say about you? Birds of a feather flock together ! If she is psycho, then SO ARE YOU ! Get off your high horse and stop airing your dirty linen for the whole world to see ! And I am not her nor do I know her or have any affiliation with her. I just think that what you are doing is wrong !
And here’s my response:
Thank you for the email. I’d like to respond to your comments.
First up, this attitude about blaming me for her actions is exactly why I’m speaking out. People have to realize that blaming the victim is harmful to the person being stalked. And, if you had taken the time to read the articles, you’d know that right off the bat I accepted responsibility for missing the warning signs.
It’s fine for you to have your opinion, I can respect that. But just because I loved someone at one point doesn’t mean I do anymore. And I have the right to change my mind on that.
There are many people who are afraid to speak out when they are stalked, believe me, I was afraid to speak out for a long time too. 4 years. I was ashamed and humiliated to have this woman acting that way towards me and contacting the people I know, embarrassing me like that, ruining my relationships. But in all that time of keeping it to myself, nothing has changed! I’m still being harassed.
Honestly, I’d much rather throw everything out there in the open and let the cards land where they may than have her operating in secrecy trying to tear me down.
I hope you can understand where I’m coming from. Please try to have a little bit of compassion.
As far as not wanting to receive anymore of my articles by email, with all due respect, this is my group. I will run it how I want to run it. You are free to change your email settings or leave my group if you really think you have to.
Whatever your choice, I respect your decision and wish you the best.
Again, thank you for the email. This discussion is helpful.
All the best,
Now, you may be wondering why I’m sharing this. It’s not easy being the subject of someone’s unhealthy stalking. I’ve remained quiet for 4 years. I’ve sat by, let her do her thing, never said a word, and dealt with all of the consequences. And nothing has changed. Wasn’t it Einstein who said that the definition of crazy was doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?
That’s not the only point though. People want to blame the victim. How is that helpful? Are people going to judge me for having an obsessive ex? Sure they are. But to be honest, I just don’t care anymore. Judge me. Call me crazy. Leave my Meetup group. Whatever you want to do, do it. Because I’m strong enough to take it and your opinions don’t matter that much to me. I’ve handled this alone for 4 years, and I if have to handle it alone now, well, big deal. But if I have at least one person come to me and say that me speaking out has inspired them to stand up for themselves and take action against their ex, then I will feel like I’ve done some good in this world.
Here is another email I received:
Wow, I think this is an incredibly inappropriate use of your email abilities as organizer of this group. It’s also extremely slanderous to talk about a person like this. I can’t quite tell if this is pure fake to try to drum up some business or partly real but you’re still abusing your own story and experiences to drum up business. Either way, totally inappropriate. I am leaving this group and want you to to ensure I don’t receive any future emails from you.
And here is my reply:
First let me say that I’m very grateful for your email and I’ll explain why if you care to hear me out.
I’m not slandering my ex because I’m not directly naming her. I’m simply calling attention to the fact that she’s operating in the shadows trying to destroy my reputation.
You made an accusation of me trying to “us[e] [my] own story and experiences to” “drum up some business”, let me just say that that is absolutely not my intention here.
So if that isn’t my intention, then what is?
For the last 4 years, I’ve remained silent about this, and I’ve continued to be the good little quiet victim that my ex would like me to be, while she continues to tear me down and destroy my reputation.
My blogs and the email I sent out are an effort to break out of that ineffective pattern (based on some of the research I’ve been doing about obsessive ex’s) and also to start some discussion about it.
It is very hard for victims of this type of abuse to speak out. I’m grateful for your email because it shows exactly what my next blog will be about, that when victims speak out they are usually judged for it.
Well, I’m not afraid of being judged anymore. For the past 4 years I was ashamed and humiliated to have this woman acting that way towards me and contacting the people I know, embarrassing me like that, ruining my relationships.
As far as your thoughts about my email being “totally inappropriate”, you are entitled to your opinion. I think there are people out there who are just as afraid and ashamed to deal with this as I was.
If my blogs and my email can help just one person stand up and confront their obsessive ex, then losing a few people from my group who would rather judge me than learn anything from my experiences will have been worth it.
I hope you can understand where I’m coming from. Please try to have a little bit of compassion.
Sorry you felt you had to leave the group. I respect your decision and wish you the best.
I sincerely wish to thank you if you have read this email. This discussion has been helpful.
All the best to you,
The Emotions That Healthy Ex’s Deal With
In both of my replies, I mention that I felt shame and humiliation. I was ashamed to have dated this girl and I was humiliated by her behavior. These are only two of the emotions I have felt, but by far, they were the toughest to deal with.
You read how that first person judged me and called me crazy too. Sometimes this is how people react. You have to deal with it when it happens. As you saw in my reply, I did not get defensive. I simply made myself vulnerable by sharing my perspective and revealing my feelings of shame and humiliation, and you know what? Their next email was much more respectful toward me. The other person did not reply. You can’t win ’em all, but at least you can win a few of them.
You certainly may face an uphill battle when you let people know you have an obsessive ex, especially if your ex is trying to turn your friends and family against you. And that could very well happen. When I broke it off with my ex she started sending friend requests to my friends on Facebook. She didn’t know my family well (and my family didn’t like her to begin with) so contacting them was pointless.
The worst emotion you will experience is fear. You must come from a place where you are fearless. Know that your ex is using your fear to control you and manipulate you. Again, with obsessive ex’s, it all comes down down to control. They just want to control you and they don’t really care how they do, just as long as they doing it. Smash through your fear and break free from their control. This is so important that I’m including a section of specific steps that you can use to break free from your obsessive ex.
How To Break Free From An Obsessive Ex
1. Give Them A Final Rejection
Your ex will try to manipulate you or negotiate with you. Do NOT let them. Turn down any requests for dates or meetings of any kind. Do NOT do any favors for them. While you are rejecting them, look them in the eye. Do NOT try to console them and do NOT touch them. Send a clear message that it’s over.
2. Do Not Reminisce
Don’t talk about the happy times you had with each other. Talk excitedly about your how you are happy now and how you’ve moved on. Trying to get you to remember how happy you may have been at one point is an attempt to control you emotionally. Do NOT fall for this.
3. Cut Off All Connection
As soon as you can, mail anything belonging to your ex to them in one shipment. This includes any gifts they may have given you. Your ex might continue contacting you. Block them anywhere and everywhere you can, including but not limited to email, Facebook (and any other social networking sites you are connected on) and phone. You may also need to get a new and unlisted phone number. Return any mail they send. Do NOT contact them at all by any means. For them to be clear that there is no hope of getting back together you must send a strong message that you are done.
4. Send A Stern Warning If Your Ex Persists
When it is clear that your ex does not intend on going away, warn them that if they keep it up you will take legal action. Be prepared to contact the authorities, especially if you receive any threats. Be prepared to get a no contact order, a restraining order or a civil protection order. Do everything you can to ensure that you live a peaceful life.
5. Speak Out To Your Friends, Family & Co-Workers About Your Ex
You’re going to need support, plain and simple, and you need your friends and family on your side. You have to make them aware that your ex may try to move in on them and try to use them against you. Don’t go into the relationship or talk about how bad your ex was or is by giving examples of their behavior, as this could be interpreted as you trying to be manipulative, just make it clear you are done with the relationship and you are moving forward.
It’s critical that you get to them first and make them aware of the situation, before your ex can manipulate them in his or her favor, using the above mentioned tactic about talking bad about you. Your ex will try making themselves out to be a victim, and they will try to play on the sympathy of your friends and family. Warn your friends and family that that’s what your ex will try to do. Tell them to inform your ex that they don’t want to be in the middle and instruct them to stop communicating with your ex as soon as possible. This may be harder if you have mutual friends, and you must be willing to let go of those friends if they choose to side with your ex.
After I broke up with my ex she started sending my friends requests on Facebook. I didn’t set this frame with my friends right away, and so when I finally got around to telling them, they told me that they didn’t want to be in the middle. Needless to say, I didn’t keep them as friends once they showed their true colors.
Also, you must be willing to handle people blaming you for your ex’s behavior but you must accept that and speak out anyway. Speaking out is so very critical for moving forward because it gives you the strength you need to make it through this.
6. Start Building A Case
It’s possible that you’ll need evidence for a court case if thing go that far. Hopefully they don’t, but save any and all communications from your ex, including things like emails, text messages, notes, letters, voice messages. Save it all to prove that you’re receiving unwanted attention. Keep a detailed journal of everything your ex does. Be sure to report any illegal and unlawful activities to the police as soon as it happens. If he or she is calling you on the phone, report the calls to your phone company and have them take note of the unwanted calls.
7. Notify The Police
It would be foolish to tell you the police are going to protect you, but see number 9 for more about this. The police can only do something if your ex is on your property or in your house when they arrive. If your ex flee’s beforehand the police won’t do anything, but hey, at least they’ve left. At this point if your ex is making unwanted visits they are stalking you. Make sure you file a report with the police about what took place. One reason you’re calling the police is to continue to build a case with paperwork and after this you can file for a restraining order or something similar.
If you absolutely have to, move. Do not list your new address. Ask the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Voter Registration Bureau to block your address. Have your mail forwarded to a post office box and don’t open packages if you don’t know who they’re from.
9. Protect Your Self At All Times
As I mentioned earlier, the police aren’t there to make sure you’re safe. They have no obligation to protect you, despite what you may think. It’s up to you to protect yourself. I advise you to get a permit to carry and get a firearm. Never mind less-than-lethal protection. Forget about it. Your life is your responsibility. Take it seriously. You can also take Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes to learn how to defend yourself. Carry a cell phone with you at all times and maybe even get a guard dog.
If your ex has a habit of showing up, it’s your responsibility to always be on the lookout. You can have your neighbors and co-workers keep an eye open for any suspicious activity when you are coming and going to and from your home and your place of work. The more eyes you have on you the better.
COMING UP IN PART FOUR…
Yes I know, I promised you a couple more things. Those being:
– What You’re Doing That Is Keeping Your Obsessive Ex Around
– My Motivation For This Article and
– My Conclusion To This Article
They’re all coming up in the final blog about obsessive ex’s. Make sure you read it!
P.S. If you’ve found this article helpful and/or informative please Comment, Tweet, Like, and +1 below.
UPDATE: More and more people are finding and reading these articles and are contacting me asking for help, so I have decided to start a private Facebook group for people who would like to vent, ask for help, connect with others, learn how to fight back, share their stories, and whatever else will contribute to others. To join the group, send me a friend request and a message on Facebook (I can’t add you otherwise because it’s a secret group), and I will add you.