After The Relationship Is Over…
I know it sounds ridiculous because everyone thinks that the person that you’re with would never go to those extents, no matter what. It’s impossible for someone you’ve known so intimately and for so long to suddenly have a complete personality change and to flip into stalker-mode.
That’s what I thought, until I had it done to me and until my sister and some friends also relayed their stories to me. It’s more common than you think. It ranges from phone calls during your wedding planning (to someone else), to threats of killing themselves by jumping off of your 10th floor balcony, to them standing outside your apartment door for two hours ringing the bell over and over. Yes, these are all true stories.
This type of reaction to a relationship ending is not only over-the-top and unnecessary, but can end up being disruptive and even dangerous.
How do you manage this type of situation?
It’s not easy, and luckily, since my experience was just phone calls and no physical contact, I did not have to worry too much about it. This is what advice I would give if you find yourself in a similar situation to any of those I’ve mentioned above.
1) First, ask them not to contact you anymore. Maybe it’s just that they miss you and do not realize how much of a stalker they have become. It may (and hopefully is) as simple as this. If this doesn’t work, try the other methods below.
2) Change your phone number. If you keep getting calls that are disrupting your life (be it interrupting your sleep, your work, your *ahem* wedding planning), change the number and be very careful as to whom you give it to. Obviously don’t give it to you ex.
3) If you HAVE to be in contact with them (for example, if you have shared custody of children etc.), start a new email specifically for that purpose. DO NOT give them your new phone number. That way any communication they have with you is through that email. Also, if you need to take legal action later, at least everything he/she has had to say is recorded in the written word.
4) Tell people around you what is happening. This is not so much to embarrass the person, but rather, to protect yourself. This means that your community and family are aware of this happening so that if you ever need immediate help from them, they will all be available to you and will know what is going on.
5) Don’t answer the door. I don’t care how much he is ringing your doorbell. If he’s crazy enough to drive over 2 hours to stand at your door and ring your bell for another 2 hours, what do you think he’s going to do if he gets inside? huh? Think about it. If it’s bugging you that much and you don’t want to call anyone (e.g. friend, cousin, father, brother, new bf, police) to help. Disconnect your doorbell (if possible) to save your sanity.
6) Call the Police. I know it sounds drastic. You are never aware of what a human mind and body are capable of. What I worry about when I hear these stories is that if you live on your own then who will be there if the “stalker” becomes violent?
Being stalked may seem amusing at first, but can be very disturbing and dangerous. Nip it in the bud as soon as you could, and do not be afraid to admit to yourself that you cannot handle the situation by yourself. Your friends and family (and the police if needs be) are your greatest resource.
The more people who know about the situation, the safer you are making yourself.
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