Oh Dana! #8: The Ex-Factor

Dana Buckmir
Dana Buckmir

Oh Dana!
I’m a 36-year-old man who recently entered into a new relationship. Last week, an ex-girlfriend contacted my current girlfriend and proceeded to tell her lies about my character in order to sabotage our relationship. She has a pattern of interfering in my new relationships. In the past, I’ve tried to be amicable with my ex considering that she has some emotional and substance abuse issues, but this time she’s crossed the line. I don’t want her behavior to come between me and my current girlfriend. How do I make my intentions clear, so that my ex gets the message?
Sincerely,
Ex-Factor


Dear Ex-Factor,
Remember that late 1980’s movie with Glenn Close and Michael Douglas where a one-night indiscretion bred an obsessive stalker? This attraction that your ex still has for you may not be fatal, but it’s definitely affecting the peace and harmony in your current relationship. In short, you have a stage-five clinger on your hands that needs some serious instruction in respecting boundaries. I strongly recommend that you address this issue before she shows up at your home, hides in your shower or starts boiling bunnies in your kitchen.
Be direct with your ex and make it clear that you want no contact. You said that you tried to be amicable. I wonder if you came across too nice and she got the impression that your story might not be over? It’s important to be firm, so as not to leave any false hope of reconciliation. Set solid boundaries that articulate what you will and will not tolerate. Since your ex suffers from emotional and substance abuse issues as you mentioned, her behavior will probably be erratic and illogical. I have a feeling that you’ve dealt with this before and she has gotten away with it. Maybe she’s lonely. Maybe she feels like she messed up. Maybe she wants another chance. None of that is your problem. Her unstable mental status mixed with the fact that she’s been rewarded for her bad behavior before will probably make boundary setting even more challenging. There is nothing more volatile and dangerous than a scorned woman. It sounds like her anger could be a recipe for disaster that you need to avoid at all cost.
Speak to your girlfriend. You need to maintain an open and honest line of communication with her, so that you don’t lose trust in the relationship. Make sure your girlfriend understands that your ex is trying to manipulate the situation to her advantage. Assure your girlfriend that she has nothing to worry about and that it is indeed over with your ex. It’s essential that you get on the same page, so that you establish a united front.
If you’ve tried to rationalize with your ex and the behavior continues, it’s time to make the block button your best friend. Ignoring her calls and texts won’t be enough. The block button was created for a reason. I can’t think of a more appropriate situation to utilize it. There is no clearer message to say, “We’re done here” than to completely cease contact on all platforms including social media. You’ve tried to be amicable and that backfired. You have no alternative than to block, unfriend and delete. If she still doesn’t get the message, you might have to call in the cavalry for back up. Protective orders were created for this exact type of situation where one party just doesn’t get the message. You need to eliminate any possibility of a threat before it becomes unmanageable.
A wise man once said, “People enter your life as a lesson or a blessing.” Your ex has presented you with a lesson that you need to internalize. Preserving your sanity and the sanctity of your new relationship is a priority. It’s time to close this chapter with your ex and focus on writing a new love story.

Dana Buckmir aka “Oh, Dana!” Dana is the author of the memoir “Plenty of Laughs: One Woman’s Journey Navigating the Online Dating Waters. The book is a comical account on dating in the age of technology, including the compelling story of finding love online. You can find a sample of her book at https://danabuckmir.com/Dana wants to help people with their lives, love, and everything in-between! She is taking your questions at Contact@danabuckmir.com All submissions are anonymous.
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