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Help! My Ex Won't Leave Me Alone

Help! My Ex Won't Leave Me Alone

Dear Sugar--

I've recently broke up with my fiance after a 2-year, long distance relationship. The truth is I was over him a long time ago since he was never there with me and the relationship was more like a burden to me. Anyways, he was devastated after we broke up because he had always been very dependent on me emotionally and it seemed as if I was his only friend.
Since the break up, he has been trying to become my friend. At first, I agreed to it because I felt guilty for breaking up with him. However, being friends with him hasn't worked out so well since he is still in love with me and has refused to accept the fact that we have no chance of getting back together. I am dating somebody else so I decided that it would be better for him if we didn't talk anymore so I try to not answer his emails and I blocked him from social networks that I am in. That didn't work and he continues to call, email, and contact me through an organization website that I am involved with. He is currently overseas right now so he can't really see me but I am scared that once he's back, he will try to see me and cause problems with my current boyfriend. What can I do to make this easier on all of us? --Over it Olivia

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Over it Olivia--

I am sorry you are feeling the pressure of an overbearing ex, it sounds as though he is having a hard time moving on, which is a completely normal reaction after being engaged for 2 years. With that said, have you been giving him any mixed signals or any indication that you would consider getting back together? Remaining friends with an ex, especially one who clearly still has feelings for you can make for a bumpy road ahead. Is he aware that you are dating someone else? Have you told him you want him to keep his distance or have you just been avoiding him altogether?

Your ex deserves your complete honesty. While I am sure being friends made you feel less guilty at first, you're right to cut off all ties with him. The only way he will move on is if he truly feels you are not a part of his life anymore. Since you had a long distance relationship, talking on the phone and e-mailing as "friends" isn't all that different than how you communicated as an engaged couple.

I wouldn't worry about the future until there is something to worry about. If he does come back to cause trouble with you and your new boyfriend, you're just going to have to be firm with him, tell him to back off, and hope he respects the fact that you have moved on with your life. Hopefully after he sees you have, he will be able to do the same. Good luck to you.


pinkpapaya pinkpapaya 10 years
Don't mean to be too controversial, and this may not apply in this particular case - but I think sometimes we are reluctant to make a clear and definitive break from a relationship because deep-down we kinda like having someone so much in love with us that they unwilling to let go. Even if it is annoying at times, it is also just a bit flattering. And so, even if it is not fully intentional and certainly not malicious, we may send out signals that give them hope. While there are certainly a fair share of freaky stalker ex-boyfriends out there, I think that when ending a relationship, it may also be worthwhile to honestly look at our ability to fully let go, and make sure we are not inadvertantly maintaining a 'saftey net'.
serena serena 10 years
I think you need to tell him that not only is it better that you not talk anymore - but that you are not in eachother's lives in any capacity - not now, not ever. That may sound really harsh, but I think he might think the only reason he might rationalize that you are not "friends" is because of this new guy you are seeing. If that doesn't work, then I woud get a restraining order. Does your ex have a bad temper or violent tendencies? it doesn't sound so from your description, but if he doesn't respect the parameters you place in your life, you have to do something about it. Good luck!
kittycat kittycat 10 years
thats scary, freaky and annoying!
junebrug junebrug 10 years
You need to have an adult heart-to-heart with him and tell him it's over and it will be easier getting over it if the two of you don't have contact right now. But I think some of the ladies who posted are getting a little crazy. Has he threatened you? If not, I think immediately going for a restraining order is nuts. We women have a tendency to get all drama queen about it, and we emotionally compartmentalize our lives these days -- "I'm done with you, don't bother me with YOUR feelings, MY feelings are the only ones that count." If he sends you an email or makes a call to you that is even remotely violent, that is a whoooole other ball of wax. Notify the police immediately and forward the emails to them. But I think you just have someone with some hurt feelings on your hands. What if it were you? What if you were engaged to someone you really loved and they suddenly they cut off all contact with you without an explanation? Don't be rude, but don't send mixed signals, be completely clear about what you want from him. Then walk away. If he becomes trouble, consider the restraining order. But I think sometimes these days we disrepect people and their feelings and believe there will no consequences for that, which is ridiculous, people are people. Be clear, be kind. And only deem him untrustworthy if he proves himself so. There's a difference between caution and paranoia. I had an ex who I left to move across the country. For 3 weeks, he called me nearly every night at about 3 am drunk out of his mind saying over and over that I abandoned him. Finally, one night he called and apologized and just said he was just hurt. We had a good conversation. All in all, he was over it in a month, and certainly no danger to me. Haven't heard from him since and that was nearly 6 years ago.
Beautifulbarbie Beautifulbarbie 10 years
Free or not I'd get one.
Midnightkiss4u09 Midnightkiss4u09 10 years
You do need a restraining order.
honey31 honey31 10 years
I agree with you krissy.I hope restraining orders are free.
KrissyThePirate KrissyThePirate 10 years
In the extreme case where she has already told him how she feels repeatedly and he still doesn't understand that he has no chance and continues to bother you, I would have to say get a restraining order. They are free are they not? I realize that seems extreme but if you do everything you possibly can to get your point across and he's still bothering you, you need to take some futher measures. Change your number, all you have to do is call your phone company--I'm not sure if it costs anything for you, but I did it, and what a relief. This may sound silly, but perhaps he needs professional help to let it go. of course, these are in the case that he doesn't just stop after a while. I do highly suggest the phone number change, though. If he calls your work, and shows up there like mine did--My boss actually came into the picture and asked if he had to do something to make it comfortable for me to come to work and to not be embarassed about it, because, unfortunately things happen. all thses suggestions are if he doesn't get the picture after you've told him it's over, and ignoring any other calls or emails doesn't seem to help.
andaman andaman 10 years
What if she has already told him it's over and he keeps doing this. To me this sounds like what's happening. She broke it off and he couldn't stop. The new boyfriend sounds like a new addition rather than the main reason. What should she do if she's already told him its over?
KrissyThePirate KrissyThePirate 10 years
Man, I read this and thought I wrote it--I was-well, am still kind of in the same situation. I know how terrible it can be. I was with my guy for 2 years, we lived together, but I finally realized that I'd fallen out of love with him (and yes, I know how that sounds.) Since leaving, at first he was a complete (for lack of better words) freak. He called my cell phone, my house phone, and then even my work when he couldn't get to me. He emailed me almost everyday--and then one day SHOWED UP AT MY WORK. I couldn't take it anymore so I went over to his apartment to get the last of my things, and just told him straight up that "We" could never be "Us" again. He cryed and made every excuse for me to stay with him, and at least be friends--but the truth remained in me, that I simply had nothing more to give to this person after 2 years of complete neglect and unaffection. It took a while to get around to just finally letting him know that I no longer had feelings for him, and DID NOT want a friendship with him. But, just let him know and eventually it will sink in, and believe it or not HE WILL get over it no matter how much he says he won't. You have to what you have to do to be happy--because in the end isn't that what it's all about?
honey31 honey31 10 years
He is creepy and if he keeps bugging you tell him you will call the police thats all I can think of.
onesong onesong 10 years
i don't mean to be harsh, but i agree wholeheartedly with popgoestheworld. i think that anyone--regardless of how emotionally dependent/independent they may be--would have been shocked and upset by this. you were engaged and you broke it off--he has a right to be hurt and upset (and likely will be for a while). that said, you were also right to break it off! i understand trying to be friends to alleviate some of the guilt, but dearsugar is right--emailing and calling is the same way you communicated as a couple. avoiding the situation is immature--you absolutely need to tell him flat out that you can no longer be his friend. hard? yes. necessary? definitely. even though you're not trying to, you're stringing this guy along by not dealing the final blow. call him or email him and be very, very specific--you broke off the engagement because you were no longer in love with him, and you are finding yourself unable to fully move on with your life with him still in the picture. tell him you wish him well, and that you know it will eventually help him move on, too. don't apologize or throw any bones here--be kind, but clear. you're done with it. also, let the future stay the future and worry about those bridges when you come to them. i will say, though, by avoiding him you are probably setting yourself up for a very unpleasant surprise visit. can you imagine the pain and heartbreak he would feel if he showed up to talk and found you with your new guy? believe me, being clear with him now will prevent further problems. good luck, my dear - xoxo onesong
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I'm sure this guy is freaking out and why wouldn't he? You are engaged so as far as he knows everything is fine. Then you break up with him and tell him you can be friends. Then you start blocking him from contacting you and stop returning his emails. All of this while he's thousands of miles away with NO idea of what's really going on. I'm sure this guy feels completely humiliated and lost that the person he once thought he was going to marry isn't doing him the courtesy of being forthright with him. You have already hurt him tremendously - why can't you just deal him the final blow? I am positive that being so far away has made this especially hard. I'm sure he feels like the rug was pulled out from underneath him. You owe it to this guy to be honest with him.
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
I would flat out tell him-we cannot be a part of each others lives anymore. Being honest-completely honest is the only way to snap him out of it. Let him know you have moved on and are happy with this new person.
andaman andaman 10 years
If he finds out about your man, so be it, normally I would say tell him first but in this case i think he will get very aggressive and start being unreasonable. If he finds out he finds out honey. You haven't done anything wrong. I take it that you didn't cheat on him.
andaman andaman 10 years
If he persists when he is back you should let someone knows about it immediately. As for now just ignore all the emails and phone calls. I thinkn you definately should cut him out for good. One day in the future you can talk to him but not now.
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