Photograph of outdoor stairs with a green railing. We see a person from the waist down wearing a black jacket, orange pants and sneakers, holding a shopping bag and leaning against the railing

When an Ex Won’t Leave You Alone

By Anitra, loveisrespect youth organizer

Breakups are already hard enough, but they’re even harder when an ex-partner just won’t leave you alone. Many of us have had to deal with an ex-partner who refuses to accept that the relationship has ended. Often they’ll do things like:

  • Repeatedly calling/texting you
  • Making promises to do better/change
  • Blaming you for the breakup, and saying if you would just change things could be better
  • Saying you won’t find anyone better
  • Showing up at your house/school/work
  • Trying to convince your friends or family to make you take them back
  • Repeatedly messaging you on social media
  • Making grand gestures to try and “win” you back or saying they will ‘fight’ for you
  • Saying they are going to harm or kill themselves if you don’t get back with them or respond to their calls/texts
  • Threatening blackmail if you don’t get back with them

We’ve seen a few of these behaviors in action recently between certain celebrities. Chris Brown (who has previously been abusive to partners) has reportedly been broken up with his ex-girlfriend, Karreuche Tran, for almost a year. However, he is choosing not to let go of the relationship, even as Karreuche has stated she’s not interested in getting back together. He rapped about Karreuche in a new song and has picked fights with her managers. He often posts about it on social media, even going so far as to harass people who comment on Karreuche’s posts.

ChrisBrown-Karrueche

These behaviors are not healthy. They’re crossing boundaries Karreuche has set and are forms of abuse. Dealing with these types of behaviors can be overwhelming and can make moving past the breakup really tough. If you’re experiencing this with an ex, here are some suggestions that could help you cope (and be sure to check out our tech safety checklist!):

  • Block your ex’s number so they aren’t able to call/text you. If you don’t feel comfortable completely blocking them, change their name to something that reminds you of why it might be healthier not to talk to them, like “I deserve respect!”
  • Block them, delete them, or update your privacy settings on social media so they aren’t able to message you or see your posts
  • Use the buddy system when you are at school, work or going out so that your ex can’t catch you alone
  • Make your close friends and family aware of the breakup so they can help support you and look out for your ex to help keep you safe
  • Change any passwords on your phone/email/social media that your partner may have had access to
  • If your ex is threatening suicide, check out this article that has some tips and suggestions on what to do: When Your Partner Threatens Suicide
  • If they are making other types of threats, our article on blackmail may be helpful for you as well

Often we think that separating from a partner is no big deal or that everyone will just move on. But it’s important to recognize that when an abusive or unhealthy relationship is ending, it can be a very dangerous time for a victim of abuse. Abusive relationships are about power and control, and when the non-abusive partner ends that relationship, the abusive partner may choose to make desperate attempts to try and regain control. If for any reason you feel unsafe, it can be helpful to create a safety plan.

If you’re the one having trouble letting go of a relationship, it’s important to remember that each person has the right to walk away or end a relationship, for any reason. Feeling upset, sad or angry that a relationship has ended is totally understandable. However, it’s not healthy to act on those feelings by trying to force or manipulate someone into getting back together with you. What is healthy? Accepting that the relationship has ended, respecting your ex’s boundaries, and taking care of yourself while moving on. If your feelings are leading you to choose unhealthy behaviors, you might consider talking to a counselor, a trusted friend or even a loveisrespect advocate for support!

Is your ex not letting go of your relationship? Or are you trying to get your partner back in unhealthy ways? We’re here to help! Call, chat or text with a loveisrespect advocate today.

 

14 replies

Comments

  1. Cecilia R.
    Cecilia R. says:

    [Admin note: this comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    I been dating this jerk for the past couple of years and I told him that I don’t wanna be with him anymore. I had called the police more than once. He keep putting his hands on me and saying he will kill me and just because I don’t wanna have sex with him. So tired of this jerk. I really need help getting out of this situation before I end up dead

    Reply
    • LIRAdmin_BR
      LIRAdmin_BR says:

      Hi Cecilia R.,

      We’re so sorry to hear you’re being treated this way by your partner. No one has the right to put their hands on you or demand sex from you. You deserve to be treated with love and respect. We would like to help you in any way we can – our services are totally free and confidential. If you feel safe and ready to reach out, please call 1-866-331-9474, chat here on the website, or text loveis to 22522.

      Reply
  2. Felicia
    Felicia says:

    [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety according to our community guidelines]

    I have broke up with guy more than five times. He always makes promises to do better so I take him back. We have a son together and he uses that against and I take him back. But every time it gets worse. He threatens me, hits me and abuses me with words. This time is easier but he is still messaging me and trying to win me back. He keeps saying our son is confused and hurt because of me.

    Reply
    • LIRAdmin_BR
      LIRAdmin_BR says:

      Hi Felicia,

      This sounds like such a tough situation, and we’d really like to help. Please give us a call any time at 1-866-331-9474, chat here on the website or text loveis to 22522 whenever you feel safe and ready to talk through this with an advocate!

      Reply
  3. macy
    macy says:

    i’ve been in this “relationship” type thing with this boy for almost 6 years. it’s complicated, like we’ve always been back and forth. we’re together than we’re not. but within the last few weeks haven’t been the best. so a few weeks ago, we got into it (normal thing for us) we were fighting at least for a week and something happened that just pushed me too far. i was completely done. i texted him i was done being in his life and he went to far. then i blocked him on all social media, and i blocked his number. the day after i got a bunch of calls from this local number that i did not know. ( i knew it was him, because no one ever calls me and if they do i have their number and they dont call multiple times without leaving a voicemail) but i declined it everytime. about a week later he showed up at my house when i wasn’t home and then he did it two more times, showed up at my house. sitting in my driveway and called me several times from a blocked number and again i declined it everytime. he even knocked on my door a bunch of times. and then this morning i wake up from a friend request on facebook from an account with my profile photo and some fake name & i knew it had to be him. so i told everyone on facebook to report it & the account got deleted. but i’m just scared things are going to get uglier from here on out. i don’t know what to do, i have a feeling he won’t stop until he talks to me.or i don’t know if he’ll ever stop. i’m trying to move on and live my life but he won’t leave me alone.

    Reply
    • LIRAdmin_BR
      LIRAdmin_BR says:

      Hey macy,

      Thanks for sharing your story here. This does sound like a complicated situation, and we’d be happy to talk through it with you. Please give us a call at 1-866-331-9474, chat here on the website or text loveis to 22522 any time!

      Reply
  4. C P
    C P says:

    I have an ex that broke up with me in March. He has called me everyday since. The longest he has gone without trying to contact me is two day. Yes part of me still wants to be with him but I’m over that part that it will ever happen or ever be the same. He has caused SO MUCH damaged in these past seven months that ruined any future chance of us well trying again. He tells me it’s over and he will stop and doesn’t stop. I’ve blocked him on everything and he calls me with a no caller id so iPhones don’t register it’s him calling. I tried to be civil with him and if he just wanted to remain friends. Told him I respected his new relationship enough to let him go but he can’t seem to let me go. Maybe I fueled his ego. Idk but I’m at the point that IM going crazy cause of all this. I’m the one struggling to function and get over the break up because he can’t leave me alone enough to get over it. I don’t know what to.

    Reply
    • LIRAdmin_BR
      LIRAdmin_BR says:

      Hi C P,

      We’re so sorry to hear that your ex is choosing to treat you this way. It sounds like you’ve tried to set boundaries with him, but he’s not respecting those boundaries. We’d be happy to discuss your situation further, if you’d like. Call, chat or text with us any time!

      Reply
  5. Paulie
    Paulie says:

    [Admin note: This comment has been modified for safety per our community guidelines]

    I had been seeing this guy on and off. I finally walked away a few weeks ago; but he won’t stop texting me randomly and telling me I’m a POS or he’ll eventually find someone better than me. I just want him to leave me alone. I already blocked his number; have changed my number twice now to get him to leave me alone. He gets my number every time. Now he has a female harassing me that I used to be friends with and I am quite literally over it. This guy is a psycho. What’s worse is my son has Cancer and I’m trying to get him and myself through this difficult time. The guy I was dating I believe is a serial narcissist. I’ve since met someone else and have been distracted by him; taking things super slow but my ex keeps rearing his ugly head. I can’t get him to leave me alone. Please help.

    Reply
    • loveisrespect
      loveisrespect says:

      Hi Paulie,

      Thank you for your comment! We’re so sorry to hear that your ex is behaving this way. It sounds like such a stressful situation, and we’d be happy to help in any way we can. Please call 1-866-331-9474, chat here on our website or text “loveis” to 22522 any time!

      Reply
  6. Unknown
    Unknown says:

    [Admin note: This comment has been modified for safety per our community guidelines]

    My ex and I have been broken up for a year due to just not working out and violent fights, we were both guilty. She has moved on with someone else same person she had cheated on me with. Over this year of being separated she has contacted me multiple times out of the blue even, I don’t feel threatened or anything cause she lives in —— but it’s getting annoying cause all of the lies I’m told about her wanting to kill herself, talking shut about her current boyfriend or bringing up our past, I have tried to tell her I want to be left alone, I can’t be your friend etc.. But she uses that suicidal trick on me and I break down, we aren’t good for each other, and time has proven that so many times. When will I have had enough when will I want nothing to do with her?

    Reply
    • loveisrespect
      loveisrespect says:

      Hi Unknown,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m sorry to hear that your ex-partner is not respecting your request for space, and it is never okay to threaten someone with suicide. If you’d like to talk through your situation with an advocate and create a plan for any future contact, you can reach us 24/7 by calling 1-866-331-9474, chatting here on our website or texting “loveis” to 22522.

      Reply
  7. WinterRabbit93
    WinterRabbit93 says:

    I just broke up with my boyfriend about a month ago due to my PTSD. We use to date back in high school for about two years, but it was incredibly toxic. He’s in another state since I moved away with family. But we tried again because I believed he changed but, I was wrong. He’s manipulative and constantly invades my privacy and I’m so sick of it. He promises to back off and a day later finds some ridiculous reason to talk or fight with me. I don’t use social media because he use to hack my account fairly often. And I can barely text or call anyone because he we works for the cell provider I’m using and has the ability to see who I’m talking to and what we’re talking about. I hate feeling like a trapped rat but I don’t know what to do…

    Reply
    • loveisrespect
      loveisrespect says:

      Hi WinterRabbit93,

      Thank you for your comment. This sounds like a really tough situation, and we’re so sorry to hear that your ex is choosing to behave this way. It’s very concerning (and possibly illegal) that he is using his position at his job to spy on you. We would like to help in any way we can, and we encourage you to reach out to us. If you prefer calling (1-866-331-9474) or texting (“loveis” to 22522), you might consider using a friend or family member’s phone so that your ex cannot monitor you. You can also chat here on our website any time!

      Reply

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