How to get over a bad relationship - need as much support as I can get - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I keep getting my heart broken my a man I've been involved with for the last few years. We argue a lot when we are together. He often stonewalls me and withholds affection. He breaks up with me often, tells me he can't stand to be around me and doesn't like me and often says other very cruel things, then a few days later he changes his mind and asks to try again. When he changes his mind, he tells me all the things I did to make him feel like he needed to leave me, but very rarely admits to the things he does wrong in the relationship. He wants me to change my behavior and he's right that I have a lot of behaviors that need changing. He accuses me of trying to get away with my misdeeds by explaining how his hurt me and says he wouldn't behave the way he does if I would change myself. It's to the point now where I am afraid to say or do anything because it might upset him.

The last time we reconciled, I said I would only agree to it if he would go to counseling with me. He said he would, let me go through a lot of trouble to set up an appointment, and then backed out a few hours before we were scheduled to go. I have an appointment on Thursday to go to a therapist on my own, to work on my communication issues (which are his main complaint and a valid one) and on getting past this relationship.

I'm really panicky because I know he will try to get back together with me soon. Ignoring him doesn't work. He doesn't give up; he just escalates. The last time I tried ignoring his emails and texts and phone calls he showed up at my door in the middle of the night. I sent him away with a threat of police, but he kept calling, etc after that, so I decided to suggest counseling, expecting him to say no and for that to be the end of it. Reasoning with him doesn't work either; he breaks down my resolve to stay out eventually. I don't think even a restraining order will work, because he told me that his last girlfriend had one against him and they still wound up back together for several years after that.

I really wanted to do the counseling. I think it would help immensely if he would cooperate. But he never will cooperate or take responsibility for his abusiveness and obsessiveness. I know he will never ever change. I need advice on how to help myself get over this and how to resist the temptation to let him back in when he starts asking again, because I still love him and miss the good things about him. I'm really afraid that I will allow myself to go through this again.

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#2 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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I would move ahead with the restraining order. Change your contact info. Move if possible. Do whatever you have to do to sever ties with this "man". Get away far and fast. Talk to people (friends, family) and get support. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people.

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#3 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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Everything you just described is emotional abuse, and whether or not his ex took him back after a restraining order, that doesn't mean YOU will.

Run, get help, get the order, call the cops, do whatever you have to do to remove this person from your life.

Some counseling for yourself, WITHOUT HIM, is absolutely in order.
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#4 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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Please read Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft.

Run. Away. Fast.

Please.

You deserve better than a man who treats you like that.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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#5 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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Please, DO NOT allow this person to be anywhere near your kids.
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#6 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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That's the kind of person you need to just cut all communication with. They only get worse and they never, ever are the one that was wrong. They may occasionally admit that they were kind of wrong but they don't believe that, they are only humoring you. Don't waste anymore time on him. Cut out phone calls , email, face to face, everything, forever. It may take a while and expect the police to be involved at least a few times so get a restraining order, they can remove him from your property either way but they can arrest him for breaking the restraining order. He will try to wedge himself in your life however he can for a while but if he's gaining no attention for it eventually he'll move on to a new victim. It will be a pain for a while but in the end well worth it. Don't ask how I know all this...........I just do....


I reread your post again and by the fact that his last girlfriend had a restraining order that should be telling. I've had some people similar to that in my life and only a few were personal relationships, but in all cases they were very shallow people. It was like they were a balloon with nothing inside. All their supposed good traits were actually ways to charm or manipulate people into getting themselves what they wanted out of them. For example: politeness (they were in public, not always so elsewhere..), charm (there is always a motive behind charm), good looks (whether it came naturally or with some work they used it to cover up their not so good insides), conversation skills (they'd sound interested and could pull off sounding understanding, however if you ask them the next day something about the conversation you'd get a blank look and have to remind them about it, they forgot unless they could directly benefit from something mentioned, they'd remember that part), either way name the good trait and behind it there was a reason for it.
Maybe write down the things you believed were good about him then list some things that he gained from having those good traits, you may start seeing the same pattern that I did, that these weren't just some good traits but used them more as a stradegy to get his way. Then list his bad traits and compare. The two lists may paint the same picture. That will definitely help you to get over him.
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#7 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do know that I have to stay away completely. It has been getting worse and worse as time goes on and will continue to do so. I know it is emotional abuse. My self-esteem has really been hurt by this. I've told him that. The real problem is that I have to stop myself from letting him back. Counseling will help, but I don't know if it will help fast enough to make me stay away entirely yet. In the past, I used to try finding a new boyfriend to help me get away. That was so unhealthy AND it didn't work, even when I did start seeing a really, really nice guy who really liked me during one of the break ups.

He never was around my kids much at all. He met them before this cycle started, but since then he's barely done more than run into them accidentally a few times.

I wish I could really change all my contact info and move, but I can't change my work email and moving is out of the question. With those windows open no matter what, I don't think it would be useful to go through the horrible hassle of changing my personal email and phone numbers.

I did tell him the last time I spoke to him that I will call the police if he contacts me at all. I intend to do that, although I'm sure he doesn't believe me. I don't know if it will do much good if I do call them or file for protection, but it might.

Thank you for your words. It really helps me stay focused on getting out. It feels like an addiction to me - on both of our parts.

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#8 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I reread your post again and by the fact that his last girlfriend had a restraining order that should be telling. I've had some people similar to that in my life and only a few were personal relationships, but in all cases they were very shallow people. It was like they were a balloon with nothing inside. All their supposed good traits were actually ways to charm or manipulate people into getting themselves what they wanted out of them. For example: politeness (they were in public, not always so elsewhere..), charm (there is always a motive behind charm), good looks (whether it came naturally or with some work they used it to cover up their not so good insides), conversation skills (they'd sound interested and could pull off sounding understanding, however if you ask them the next day something about the conversation you'd get a blank look and have to remind them about it, they forgot unless they could directly benefit from something mentioned, they'd remember that part), either way name the good trait and behind it there was a reason for it.
Maybe write down the things you believed were good about him then list some things that he gained from having those good traits, you may start seeing the same pattern that I did, that these weren't just some good traits but used them more as a stradegy to get his way. Then list his bad traits and compare. The two lists may paint the same picture. That will definitely help you to get over him.
Your advice was really helpful, wednesday. The restraining order by his exgf was for this exact same behavior. By the time I found out about her restraining order, I already knew very well why she did it.

But he's not the type to come across as charming or whatever. He did want A LOT of my attention in the beginning and he moved the relationship ahead faster than I felt was wise, but he doesn't have that "charm" that a lot of these types have. And most (but not all) of the things I appreciate about him are real. It's a matter of us having similar views, and interests, etc, really. Most of the things that made me fall in love with him are real, but I know now that his attention to me was based on obsession and possessiveness, not love.

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#9 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And I'm really tempted by something that is probably a bad idea. The exgf is on facebook. I really really want to email her and ask her if she will give me some encouragement or tips on staying way from him, but I feel like that would be a total invasion of her privacy. She doesn't know I exist as far as I know. I personally would be glad to help out his next victim, but I shouldn't impose on her right?

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#10 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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- We argue a lot when we are together.

- He often stonewalls me and withholds affection.

- He breaks up with me often, tells me he can't stand to be around me

- doesn't like me and often says other very cruel things

- he tells me all the things I did to make him feel like he needed to leave me, but very rarely admits to the things he does wrong in the relationship.

- He wants me to change my behavior and he's right that I have a lot of behaviors that need changing.

- He accuses me of trying to get away with my misdeeds by explaining how his hurt me and says he wouldn't behave the way he does if I would change myself.

- I am afraid to say or do anything because it might upset him.



All of this that he puts on you and then backs out at the thought of admitting to you, in counseling, that he has faults that affect the relationship. And then blatantly ignores your requests for personal space to think it all out and come to your own conclusions of whats best for yourself.

He has control and manipulation issues. He doesn't appreciate your efforts to make things work our the best for both of you and he has no respect for your personal boundaries. I hope that you can forgive yourself and accept that you need to instill better boundaries for yourself in future relationships and then move on, learn to love yourself... and eventually find a man who will reflect all of your beauty back to you instead of trying to suck every ounce of it out of you and leave you questioning your love toward even your self. I say this from having experienced giving and giving until my own heart almost died. Just get out and on with life now, all of this is his issue, and you don't need to mend him... he can't be mended, for now he's just sucking your energy til you're dry and will very well eventually move on to someone else to suck their energy. Sorry that you are hurting nut don't subject yourself to more. Its truly not worth losing your heart over a guy like that. Even if everything in you right now says it is... it is not. I wish you a strong and admirable, respectful type of love.

"When the external begins to define the internal, instead of the internal defining the external, one begins living as a mortal rather than as a universal being." ~ unknown
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#11 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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Ok 1) You can block him from your work email. It is absolutely worth the hassle to change all your other avenues of contact, and it will show the police and the judge that you made a sincere effort to stop him from contacting you. Also, once you've told him to stop contacting you, anything he does is harassment and just gives you more evidence for your restraining order.

2) I really strongly advise you not to contact the exgf. She may still be in contact with him or friendly with him, even if he says they're not, and you have no way of knowing whose "side" she would come down on, especially if he was able to manipulate her in the past to the extent he described to you. You need to cut him out, not add more people to the mess.
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#12 of 36 Old 08-23-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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Just get out and on with life now, all of this is his issue, and you don't need to mend him... he can't be mended, for now he's just sucking your energy til you're dry and will very well eventually move on to someone else to suck their energy.
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#13 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 03:07 AM
 
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I was "addicted" to an abusive guy for four years. We had cycles very similar to yours. What helped me was telling my friends and family the situation so they could hold me accountable for my decision to be done with him. The abusive pattern was no longer a secret and since I relied on their support during the early breakup period, I felt too embarrassed to consider going back to him. I also put all the relationship mementos in a big trash bag and took it to a dumpster immediately. I tore up all pictures of him. I returned jewelry he had given me. I erased the evidence of him in my life. It helped the decision to seem more permanent to me. It was therapeutic. I refused to answer his calls. He brought me a letter--AT WORK!--and I threw it away without reading it. I had a couple good friends that I could call in an "emergency" like that and they would encourage me to stay strong. I asked my friends not to mention him, because just hearing his name hurt for a while. I called him The Jerk instead of his name for a year to distance him in my mind.

And perhaps the most helpful thing was that I wrote a list of all the crappy things he did to me over our 4 year relationship. I even asked my friends if they could remember anything to add to the list. I kept this list and reread it when I felt weak. If I thought about calling him or how much easier emotionally if would be to just get back together, I read the list. It worked! As I read over it, I couldn't believe how much I had put up with! I realized that I would never accept that kind of treatment from anyone else in my life. I wouldn't choose a friend like him. That helped me realize that it was an addiction and not really love.

My ex never stalked me like yours--but if he had, I would have called the police. It's best to nip that in the bud right away. I'm sorry you're going through this.

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#14 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 03:15 AM
 
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This article might help you understand a bit more why you feel as you do.

http://www.mental-health-matters.com...article&id=167

And I second the Lundy Bancroft book.
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#15 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've done all those things that you talk about several times already, ReadingMama. It does help. So has he, as a matter of fact. One of our big arguments was that I found one of those lists of his early on and it crushed me, because it contained bad things I'd done, plus things he generally disliked about me. I wanted to leave him so badly at that point, but I mostly believed him when he told me that he was exaggerating on a lot of it to make it easier to break away.

The Stockholm Syndrome article had some things I relate to. Thanks, Theia. It looks like the Bancroft book is in stock at my local Border's. I'll go see if I can pick it up later today. The sooner I get my hand on it the better, otherwise I'd save a few bucks and order it from amazon.

I'm researching changing my contact info. It will be SO much work to update all my people and utilities, etc on that stuff, but I need to do it FAST if I am going to do it. I expect to hear from him within a week. I had changed my email address the last time, but he told me that it didn't even slow him down. It might give him pause if my phone numbers are changed too, but I think it will just make him show up in person and then start thinking of other avenues he can use to contact me. It's impossible to close all the loopholes. And I'm about to call the non-emergency police number now. If I sit on hold for too long, I'll just go to the station later on.

My kids are with their dad this afternoon and tonight. He knows that. He will start getting worried that I am spending the night with some other man - and I have done that several times before in the past, once when we weren't even officially split up. I won't be surprised to hear my phone ring at 2 am or something. On Sunday, the last night my kids weren't home, I got a hang up phone call on my land line (no caller id; I don't use it enough to justify $10 a month, but I will probably order it for the next month or two, if I don't change the number entirely) at 3:30 am.

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#16 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 10:39 AM
 
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No need to get caller ID. Just ignore his games. Don't make him make you spend money. Turn the phone off at night. Screen your calls. (Don't answer, just call people back afterwards)

Do not contact the Ex GF.

DO make yourself really busy. Sign up for those cheap community classes. Go out with your girlfriends. Do not sit around the house and think about this guy. Join the Y. Do lots of other stuff.

Good luck mama!!
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#17 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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Honey, the only thing you need to change about yourself is him being in your life. Please don't spend even one more second with him. He has beaten you down, taken away your self esteem and I truly don't think you can clearly see how toxic this relationship is and that no amount of counseling will change it or him. He exhibits every sign of a classic abuser. Get a restraining order if he won't take no for an answer and if he stalks you. Seek counseling only for yourself. Your children and you deserve so much better.
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#18 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 11:12 AM
 
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Definitely screen your calls. If you happen to answer and he's on the other line, just hang up. I had to do this with an ex...it was so hard...but, you know, the more he called and the more I ignored/hung up without talking...the easier it was. It becomes a strength and a realization that you are NOT a victim, that you do have the strength to get away from abuse and that you do NOT have to let it be a part of your life.

You may want to go to a family law attorney and pay them to write a nice, firm letter telling him that he's has been asked on multiple ocassions to stop contacting you/showing up at your home, etc. He is now being told to discontinue his behavior towards you, or you will be forced to escalate the situation. If he contacts you, in any way, after that letter is delivered (request it be sent certified mail, with signature) go to the police with that letter and start the process for filing for a restraining order.

You deserve so much better than this guy. I know beginning the break away is so hard...but the more you do it, the better you'll feel and the easier it will be to stay away and move on.

*hug*
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#19 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, cell # changed, email addy deleted, blocked his numbers on my land line. Whew. That was a lot of work, but worth it.

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#20 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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Ok, cell # changed, email addy deleted, blocked his numbers on my land line. Whew. That was a lot of work, but worth it.
Way to go! You're a powerhouse!

Even though you've done what I recommended, I'm glad I posted it because it might help someone else.

You know, it really sounds like you're done. The more you post, the less it seems like you're still stuck. That's great!

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#21 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Even though you've done what I recommended, I'm glad I posted it because it might help someone else.

You know, it really sounds like you're done. The more you post, the less it seems like you're still stuck. That's great!
Your advice was great. It is really helpful to get as much of it out as possible. I hope others do find use for it.

I think I am really done too. I know it would only continue to worsen if I let him back in. I feel so good about getting rid of as much as possible. All of it is gone now. I checked my computer and deleted anything from him or about him, except for my latest "why to stay away" list. All of his gifts and stuff are in the dumpster.

He will find a way to get in touch with me no matter what I do. He will either call my land line from a different phone or just show up at my door or email me at work or maybe even on here. I'll still be a little nervous for a while every time my phone rings or I go in or out of my apartment, but I will just call the police when he does it.

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#22 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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is it possible to get a few weeks out of town? maybe visit family and get a clear head?

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#23 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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Ok, cell # changed, email addy deleted, blocked his numbers on my land line. Whew. That was a lot of work, but worth it.
You will be SO glad you did this!

You are probably about to enter a really challenging period, especially once he realizes what's going on and escalates his behavior. I wish you strength.
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#24 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You will be SO glad you did this!

You are probably about to enter a really challenging period, especially once he realizes what's going on and escalates his behavior. I wish you strength.
Thanks, I'm already glad I did it and I doubt he'll discover what I did for several days at least. I'll need all the strength I can get. I think he will likely panic when he realizes what I've done. It only took a few hours of unreturned texts, emails, and tearful voicemails before he showed up at my place last time. When he can't reach me at all, it's gonna be bad.

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is it possible to get a few weeks out of town? maybe visit family and get a clear head?
Excellent suggestion, but no, not possible. I'm a teacher. I go back to work in a week and a half. Starting school will help distract me immensely, but it won't have the same avoidance of contact that getting out of town would.

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#25 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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If you have family that he gets along with well enough, let them know what's going on and to not communicate also. One of my ex-crazies did that and one of my sisters ex-crazies did too. Hers actually went on and on about how HE was victimized to that relative ( mine was just digging for dirt to use against me, this was a more distant relative he talked to so they didn't know much, lol). There is no low too low that some of these will go to. If the family is forewarned they can just not answer the calls or their door (this relative didn't know what was up or this likely wouldn't have happened). After awhile most will turn their attention to finding an easier victim. Some are a little more persistent but they too are after the same goal, someone to control, bully, and push around. If you're no longer their type of victim they'll move onto someone who is.
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#26 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you have family that he gets along with well enough, let them know what's going on and to not communicate also.
He barely knows anyone in my family or any of my friends and those that he has met have been telling me to get away for months. He is the type to try to isolate his victims from everyone. All clear on that one, but a good point for people with different particulars.

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After awhile most will turn their attention to finding an easier victim. Some are a little more persistent but they too are after the same goal, someone to control, bully, and push around. If you're no longer their type of victim they'll move onto someone who is.
This is true. BUT, I know that he tried (and failed) to get back with his exgf almost two years after they had last been together. This was a few weeks after I had just told him that I had cheated on him. He contacted me an hour after she shot him down.

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#27 of 36 Old 08-24-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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One of the crazies I was mentioning tries to get in contact every once in a while. I think he likes to keep a list in case he gets dumped (or when) by one he can move right on to the next. It's all a game to some of them.
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#28 of 36 Old 08-26-2010, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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One of the crazies I was mentioning tries to get in contact every once in a while. I think he likes to keep a list in case he gets dumped (or when) by one he can move right on to the next. It's all a game to some of them.
It's desperation for this guy. It's hard for him to find someone who can accept his oddness that he can't hide whether he tries or not. I tend to like odd people, so I unfortunately gave him the chance to latch on to me.

A question. I'm trying to decide whether to turn off the answering machine on my land line or just let him leave a message and not respond. I think he is likely to use a pay phone or something to call it pretty soon. Maybe tonight, maybe this weekend, maybe one of my non-kid nights next week. I'm thinking I will just turn the ringers off on my phones at night and delete any messages I get from him. But if the phone just rings and rings, then he is more likely to show up in person. If he can leave a message, he might assume I'm not home and not bother with trying to doorbell. Although he is really jealous (surprise, surprise) so it might drive him nuts thinking I'm with some guy if he tries me at night and I appear to be out. And I'd rather not have to hear his voice, or give him any chances to vent or beg, so I might just unplug the phone all together.

So, I'm not sure what I will do... WWYD in my situation?

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#29 of 36 Old 08-26-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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Leave the machine on and save all the messages. They're evidence.

If he shows up in person, photograph, or even better, videotape it, so you will have proof that he showed up there. Make sure you can be heard clearly on the tape telling him to leave you alone, stop contacting you, and get off your property.
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#30 of 36 Old 08-26-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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Excellent suggestion, but no, not possible. I'm a teacher. I go back to work in a week and a half. Starting school will help distract me immensely, but it won't have the same avoidance of contact that getting out of town would.
I'm sorry. The winters holidays are around the corner, though. Hopefully that will help.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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