How to Best Avoid an Abusive Ex

How to Best Avoid an Abusive Ex


So you’ve taken the necessary steps to safely leave your relationship and you’re on the road to moving on, but there’s one thing that seems to be standing in the way: running into your ex everywhere you go. Whether you go to the same school, work in the same building, hang out with the same group of friends or live just down the street from each other, having your former abusive partner in close proximity can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. Read on for some tips on snuffing out the constant reminders of an old flame.

If you’ve got the same class schedule…

Sharing the same classroom, or even the hallway, might be more than you can handle at first. If you used to walk to class hand in hand or push your desks together in fifth period, it can be hard to get used to a new routine. Maybe there’s a classmate you’ve wanted to get to know better or a friend who has a class nearby that you can walk with. Changing up your route can be a fun way to distract you from reminiscent thoughts as well as keep you from accidentally bumping into your ex in the hall. If you worry that you will be partnered together for a group project and you don’t feel safe working with your ex, you should be able to talk to your teacher or school counselor about separating you two as much as possible without drawing unnecessary attention to your situation.

If you’re neighbors…

Going out for a bike ride and checking the mail used to be simple tasks that didn’t involve much thought. Now, the stress of whether or not you’ll see your ex at the mailbox or taking in groceries down the street may make leaving the house seem more complicated than it’s worth. In reality, getting out of the house is still a refreshing act that can improve your mood and your health. If you’re going for a run, ask a friend to come along. Be sure to find a new route in case your ex knows your usual path. Anything that holds your attention and keeps you from focusing on the What If’s of your journey will help you have clear, at ease thoughts.

If you run in the same crowd…

When a relationship ends, it’s common to fall back on your group of friends for support and distraction. If your ex is a part of this group of friends, it can cause tension between friendships and even be an unsafe environment. Depending on your situation, you may be able to explain to some of your friends in the group that you don’t feel comfortable being near your ex. This way, your friends can help keep you safe. If you aren’t in a position to talk to anyone in this group about your situation, then you may want to look to other friends or activities for support. Your safety is the most important thing, so you might want to consider joining the soccer team or the debate club because it will both distance you from your ex as well as be a great new opportunity for you.

If you’re employed nearby…

Whether you are employed at the same place or work in the same center, seeing an ex during professional hours can be distracting from your work and potentially unsafe. It’s a good idea to talk to your coworkers about not giving out your schedule to anyone without your permission. If possible, talking to your supervisor about changing your schedule may be a great option to protect yourself from any potential encounters with your ex.

Your safety is always the number one priority. Getting a support system of people you see on a regular basis involved is like creating a safety barrier around yourself. You don’t have to go through this experience alone. If you need help telling someone about your situation, call, chat or text us and an advocate can help to answer your questions.

What else could someone do to avoid an abusive ex? How might you keep a friend safe from an abusive ex?

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