Breaking up is hard to do! And according to the internet, it is also a big business. A simple search online for “how to get your spouse back,” will divvy up thousands of tutorials, newsletters, E-books and advice on how to get that special someone to fall back in love with you. And while most of the advice that you will find is simply designed to prey on brokenhearted souls, stalking and continuously bothering an ex – is across the board - suggested as big no-no.
Yet so many people find that after a break-up, the exes can’t let go. When an Ex wont leave you alone it can be extremely difficult to move forward, especially if the two of you broke up on ‘good terms’ and vowed to stay friends. Still, the midnight drunk dials, the constant calls or texts, emails and other forms of communication; as well as constant visits can make recovery for both parties extremely difficult if not impossible. So what is a girl, or boy to do if they find that everywhere they turn they are bumping into, or talking to their ex?
First things first! If your ex doesn’t seem to be able to let go, and is often trying to set up social engagements or still feels the need to call you daily, you need to take a long hard look at what YOU are doing to encourage this behavior. In truth, having an ex sort of chase you around and hang in the wings can be actually providing YOU with a safety net of comfort. While you are still broken up, by keeping an ex 'hanging around,' either by being unclear about the space you need, or by holding them at arm’s length, you are encouraging the behavior. Likely, there is something inside of you that isn’t willing to let go of the relationship as well. This insecurity on your part not only hurts you, but hurts you ex as well. If you are positive that the relationship is OVER – you need to commit to a no contact policy for at least a few months. This way you cannot be accused of leading someone on, and your ex will be able to digest the break-up more easily.
Secondly, if the calls or constant contacts are bothering you immensely, and you have been very clear to your ex that you do not want them, and have not done anything to elicit the communication – you have to take matters into your hands. One easy solution is not to answer your phone. Block your ex’s phone number, don’t open up emails, refuse to take calls. While no one wants to be seen as cold hearted or down right mean, the truth is that you will be protecting yourself and helping your spouse get over the painful hump of separation anxiety. Eventually, he or she will get the message. And if you do answer the phone, even if only to reiterate the fact that you don’t want to speak to them – don’t be lulled into the game of arguing. Why? Because your spouse feels that arguing with you and making your life miserable is at least better than not talking to you at all.
You also need to remove yourself from the circle of friends that the two of you shared. This doesn’t mean that you need to ditch them completely, however taking a break from the typical activities and making sure that you don’t get caught up in a game of he said, she said will help your ex let the relationship go. Plus, chances are, that for your mutual friends, having the two of you together as a couple is easier for them, and they won’t be resistant to pulling antics to try and get the two of you hooked up again.
Another huge rule to put distance between you and an ex, is to never, NEVER engage in a ‘friends with benefits’ type of sexual relationship. It won’t work. There is too much history between the two of you and it will cause your ex to cling even more tightly to the relationship.
If despite your best efforts to be clear and assertive about the fact that the relationship is over, you are getting nowhere – or think that your spouse is getting more and more desperate to contact you, you may need to seek help. Talking to a local law enforcement agency and have a temporary restraining order, or protective order mandated against them can be a fierce, yet productive way to ensure that they leave you alone. Obviously, you don’t want things to get to this point, but for many ex-couples, it most certainly does. You have to make sure that you are safe and you should pay attention to any inklings and intuition that speak to you about your ex compromising your safety. This is especially true if your ex seems to have any sort of addiction problems.
The truth is, that both of you need to separate for a long while, even if the two of you want to remain friendly at some point. If you keep in too much contact with your ex, neither of you will be able to move forward in life and heal (or learn from) the broken relationship. Plus, it is important to start realizing the many ways that your lives will change when the relationship is over. And while this can be sort of uncomfortable at first, it works best when your decisions to remain apart are succinct and certain.
Whether or not the future will hold a friendship for the two of you, is anyone’s guess. But for now, remain separated and make sure that the two of you can experience growth and honestly deal with the break-up, before trying to form any sort of new relationship.