Stalked by My Partner’s Ex-Girlfriend

Submit your questions for Dear Hoopers here 

Dear Hoopers,
Ever since first dating, our relationship has been followed by a nasty shadow in the shape of my partner’s ex-girlfriend. Their on-off relationship of 10 years ended very badly. Since then, she has befriended my partner’s two sisters and manipulated them against our relationship. For months we endured 2am phone calls, texts, and his ex showing up at his door. Her texts have made it very clear that she thinks one day she and my partner will get back together. We tried to reconcile with his sisters but all they were interested in was defending their ‘friend’, to the point where my partner decided the best thing to do was to cut all of these women from his life. This solution obviously makes any family event painfully awkward as the sisters will not speak to either of us, while the rest of the family blames my partner for breaking up the family- despite his best efforts to resolve things!

What makes this whole situation more difficult is that my partner is extremely close with his ex’s family, he is even best man at her brother’s wedding. My partner and I have an incredible relationship and he has already made it clear that he wants to marry me and start a family, but I’m worried this woman will inevitably ruin that. She has been hospitalized several times due to her mental health so I am always on tenterhooks waiting for her next move, to the point I am obsessed with what she’s doing and constantly bring her up in conversation. The looming prospect of a wedding filled with her and her relatives has brought my feeling to the surface and it is proving too much for me. What can we do that will remove her poison from our lives for good?
-Stalked by My Partner’s Ex-Girlfriend

Dear Stalked,
Your boyfriend can’t have you and the ex-girlfriend’s family. This is a convoluted and complicated situation, but it’s going to get even messier the longer it continues. Ties with her family mean continued ties with the ex-girlfriend. If you all are serious about moving forward in your relationship, then that needs to be made clear.

Why is this ex showing up at your doorstep? Why is she still texting him? If this is something that is so problematic, then blocking her phone number and communicating that she is not allowed to visit needs to be clear. If she persists after being warned, then you may have to look into a restraining order. Before you get to that point what boundaries has your boyfriend set with her? These need to be clearly enforced and reiterated. Having the connection with her family only complicates these communication lines.


Before you get to that point what boundaries has your boyfriend set with her?

-Kate

If your boyfriend’s sisters want to side with this ex-girlfriend, then unfortunately that is their choice. I would continue trying to be a part of their life and investing in a relationship with them as best as you can. Ultimately, you have to decide how you let the outside world affect your relationship. If it’s going to potentially “ruin” your relationship with him then maybe it’s not the relationship for you long term. But remember you aren’t dating this guy’s family or friends. You are dating him.
-Kate

Dear Stalked,
This is a sticky situation. Your partner’s ex-girlfriend doesn’t respect you or the boundaries of your relationship. She has purposefully infiltrated your life in an effort to undermine you. If she isn’t held at arm’s length she will do everything in her power to end your relationship and/or make you miserable in the process. Although your partner has taken very serious steps to create distance including reduced time with his sisters, it is difficult for him to disentangle himself. He is deeply connected with his ex’s family including his role in this upcoming wedding.

The most effective plan would be to create more distance from his ex-girlfriend. He will truly need to understand how much this is affecting you and be committed to setting firm boundaries. Perhaps he can find ways to spend time with his close friend that doesn’t involve his sister. Besides the upcoming wedding, I don’t see why this would be impossible to do if you and your partner were both in agreement.


She has purposefully infiltrated your life in an effort to undermine you.

-Dr. Ryan

Next, if your partner has not already asked his ex to stop talking/texting him, it is time. It is great in theory to stay connected with an ex, but when it is poisoning your current relationship you have to protect your priorities. He will need to be consistent and unflinching in setting that boundary, but with time this can become effective.
-Dr. Ryan