Dear Dr. Romance:
I read your post online about 5 signs he isn't over his ex, and it answered a lot of questions that I have about my ex husband. We were married for 10 years. He's violent, abusive, and obsessed with me. I have dealt with him for the almost 3 years of extreme behaviors towards me. He refused to divorce me for over 2 years and I finally got him to sign papers when I was gonna get remarried, which sent him through the roof. He will want to try and hold me one moment then wants to kill me the next. I sense his ambivalance, but I do not know what to do because it is draining me. He told me he hides in the ditch by my house, and hides in the trees watching me.
I just want some relief and I'm trying to understand what I can do. I have cut off contact with him, remarried — which fell apart. Have you any idea what I can do to get him over all this? I really have a hard time with it because sometimes he drains the life outta me and I don't know how much more I can deal with. He won't pay me child support, he says he decides when I get it, told me if I date anyone he will slit their throat... I cannot figure it out... I do not think that he will ever let us go. if there was any insight that you could give me that would be great!
The solution to your problem with your ex is pretty simple. Don't focus on changing or helping him — he's beyond that. Stop being nice. Get a restraining (sometimes called protective) order, and call 911 whenever he shows up.
Put him in jail a couple of times, and he'll stop bothering you. I know there's a certain kind of satisfaction in being so wanted by someone, but let go of that and get serious about protecting yourself. Cut off all contact — block him on your phone, email, and any online sites you have.
Don't try to talk him into going away. This just gives him attention, which is what he's seeking. Any reaction he sees from you encourages him to pursue you more. When you respond to his nice moments, you encourage him, and there will always be violent moments. If you keep "teasing" him by being nice, he'll get worse and worse. Stop giving him mixed messages, and let him know you mean business about wanting him to go away. Stop talking to his ex about him — if word gets back to him, he'll interpret that to mean you still want him.
If you're going to let go, do it for real. "How to Avoid Loving a Jerk" will help you understand how to keep your distance, and "How to Keep Yourself Out of a Violent Relationship" will tell you how to handle this guy. It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction will help you examine why you stay involved in this situation.
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