Dear Dr. Romance:
Are you familiar with men who won't leave women alone? I'm just trying to understand why someone would STALK me for well over a decade and, during that time, systematically destroy my life because I refused to be in an abusive relationship with him. He didn't seem to understand that emotional violence might be a bit of a deterrent to an emotionally healthy woman. But he seems like he's borderline personality anyway and couple that with "ex military" and you get straight psycho. Yet, he (along with a number of his closest psychotic friends) has been trying to defame my character and even has gone after my child! It's like I said "No" and he said, "You're gonna be under my control whether you want to or not or you'll DIE." You know the old, "If I can't have you, nobody will." I was trying to avoid this by saying "No" at the outset! What can I do?
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Yes, I've written about stalking and domestic violence. "How to Stay Out of a Violent Relationship" and "Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence" may have the information you need to know. Stalkers simply want to control you. He has no feelings for you except rage that you aren't under his control. You were right to say no, but you might have to be a lot meaner than that. Just saying no obviously didn't work --it's time to gather evidence, call the police, and have him arrested.
Here are some suggestions that might help:
More from YourTango: What Is A Dysfunctional Relationship?
Dr. Romance on WHAT TO DO IF YOU OR YOUR CHILDREN ARE BATTERED
1. Realize it's not going to get better. If your partner flies into rage, verbally or sexually abuses or batters you or your children, no matter what he or she may say, it isn't your fault, and you have no control over his or her behavior. Even the abuser has very little control. It is not just a one-time incident, it is an indication of a severely disturbed character, and it will not go away without years of intense therapy.
2. Protect yourself and your children. The best way to do this is to tell the truth to family, friends, your minister, your doctor, your therapist, your co-workers, one of the hotlines listed below, the police and anyone else who will listen. There is no need for you to be ashamed, but there is an urgent need for you to get help. If it seems that noone is listening, consider that you might not be telling the whole truth -- battered spouses have a tendency to downplay and make excuses for the abuse. The best protection for you and your children is for your abuser's behavior to become public knowledge. The vast majority of abusers are cowards, who only prey on dependent, defenseless people. They like to believe they are in control, and they aren't as likely to lose control before witnesses.