What happens after the breakup can sometimes be an even bigger challenge than dealing with the breakup itself. We can certainly feel sad that a relationship has ended and frustrated about picking up the pieces of what was once a delightful, trusting situation. After a while we just want to be done with the entire thing.
Unfortunately, our partners (or ex-partners) don’t always see the end of our relationship as the final ending. They might be holding on to hopes that you’ll get back together or that you’ll forgive them someday. They might just not want you to be happy and are clinging to the remnants of your relationship out of desperation or a lack of desire to be single again.
Our ex-partners can be clingy and dealing with this sort of personality can get exhausting.
Here are a few exes you might have had and how to deal with them productively:
- The Narcissist. We’ve all dated someone who’s world revolved entirely around them. These people can be the most magnetic personalities; they can be charming, manipulative, romantic, and attentive. However, these things come from a deep place of insecurity, and narcissists ultimately want to control your relationship and you. When you break up with a narcissist, they will do their best to hurt you and your reputation verbally, over social media, or with your friends. The best thing to do is to ignore them and don’t give them any more reason to interact with you.
- The Vindictive Ex just wants you to feel as bad as they do. They are looking to get revenge on you for breaking up with them. They feel like the victim, and that they’ve been wronged by you. These kinds of exes will try to damage your reputation, make your life miserable, and do whatever it takes to make them feel like they’ve ‘won’ the breakup. Don’t engage with this kind of ex at all, and get the police involved if the situation becomes dangerous.
- The Ex-Victim. The Ex-Victim is an ex that acts like they never did anything wrong in your relationship. Even if they broke up with you, they still expect to be consoled and made to feel better about all their struggles. Even if they paint the picture to make you the bad guy, remember that there are two sides to every relationship, and more than a few reasons how you both contributed to the relationship ending. Remember to not take back the victim ex out of pity.
- The Stalker Ex is an ex none of us want to have to deal with, but unfortunately it can happen. If you are being stalked by an ex who just won’t take the hint to leave you alone, don’t be afraid to involve the police. Your privacy is valuable, and you shouldn’t feel unsafe living your life. Cut off ties with this person and create boundaries to keep them away from you, however you need to do that.
- Finally, the Controlling Ex continues to try and assert their dominance over you even after the relationship has ended. They may try and make you feel bad about how the relationship ended or use things about your former relationship to guilt you into getting back together with them. Their controlling nature comes from deep-seated insecurities, fear, and a lack of confidence. If you don’t need to have this person in your life, cut ties and move on.
We all deserve respect, even from people we are no longer in relationships with. If your ex can’t respect your boundaries, the fact that the relationship ended, or the idea of you being happy, they weren’t that good of a partner to begin with. Do what you need to do to heal from these harmful relationships in order to move forward and find your happiness.