Dear Wendy: “My Psycho Ex Came Looking For Me At Work!”

Years ago, my now ex-boyfriend and I broke up right around Christmas. He was possessive, verbally abusive, controlling, and insanely jealous. He had serious anger issues, so there was no way we could remain friends. One particular day THREE MONTHS after the breakup, he called me the C word in a Facebook status. I texted him asking why he posted that and for the next hour he called me every name in the book and said he wished he’d never met me. The last thing he said to me was, “I’m going to go the rest of my life without talking to you and I’m okay with that.” I blocked him on Facebook and haven’t spoken to him since. Fast forward to present day and I’m dating a wonderful man whom I’m going to marry. I’m the happiest I’ve been in my whole life. Last week, however, I got a friend request … from my ex. I figured he just made a new profile, ignored the request, and forgot about it. A week later, as I was walking into work, one of my coworkers said someone was just here looking for me, and introduced himself as “the psycho ex.” Part of me wants to ask him why he’s trying to get back in touch with me and to ask him to stop, the other part of me wants to keep ignoring him in hopes this will stop on its own. And I haven’t even attempted to tell my current boyfriend for fear that he will confront him himself. Wendy, help! — Extremely weirded out!

Woah, he showed up at your office? Not cool! For that reason alone, I think you’re past the “just ignore him and hope he goes away” stage. If you still have a way to get in touch with him — email would be best — without accepting his friend request, tell him that you were under the impression that he never wanted to speak to you again and since your last conversation several years ago, you have moved on. Tell him that you are quite happy in your life and wish him the same, but you have no interest in re-opening a chapter of your life that has long been closed and you would appreciate it if he respected your wishes and left you alone. Of course, you may get some response from him and it will be entirely up to you to decide whether or how to proceed. If you feel like you’re in danger at all, especially given your history with him, you may even consider alerting the authorities to discuss what, if any, options you might have in protecting yourself.

It’s possible that your ex is in some sort of 12-step program for his anger issues and wants to make amends with you, but that’s just one of many possibilities and it certainly isn’t your responsibility to find out if that’s what he wants or to give him the forgiveness he might be seeking. I would proceed very cautiously here and do whatever you need to do to protect your safety, including telling your boyfriend what’s going on. Not only is it in your best interest to keep things transparent with him, your guy definitely deserves to know that some schmuck with a history of verbal abuse and anger issues is showing up at his girlfriend’s place of business looking for her. He may want to confront your ex himself, but part of being in a relationship means sharing burdens like these and this is your opportunity to decide together — as a team — if this is a situation that is best handled directly by you or if you would benefit from your boyfriend’s help as well as emotional support. If you think you and your boyfriend are going to be life partners, this is just one of many issues where you’re going to have to think of what’s best for your relationship as well as what’s best for you personally. In both cases, you’d be wise to share with your boyfriend what’s going on.

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