I Think My Ex is Tracking Me…
“My ex will not leave me alone. We have been apart for almost a year, but I’ve not been able to shake him loose. I’m a kind person and never want to hurt people’s feelings. We do have a child together, and I’m aware that brings its own problems. However, he is constantly following me, showing up if I’m on a date and embarrassing me, shoves his way into my apartment, among other annoying things he does. Now, I truly believe he has a tracker on my phone. I left it in my apartment while talking to a neighbor and noticed him setting it back on the table when I walked in. Since then, he knows my every move and lets me know he does. I would like to keep it friendly, but will I ever be rid of him?
A: Make a kid together, you have a history and a future, whether welcomed or not.
Getting “rid” of the father of your child is a difficult thing to do, especially if he is a hands-on dad. However, it sounds like he’s much more eager to keep his hands on you than his child. “Shoving” his way into your apartment doesn’t sound like an invitation at all. If that is the case, you definitely have resources to keep him at bay — at least away from your premises. Suspicions of having a locator on your phone causes my head to spin even more. Here are some things I would do if the situation was mine to handle.
- Redefine your boundaries. You’re not in a relationship anymore. Yes, you will have to deal with him on a regular basis in order to arrange visitation for your child. If this has not been accomplished through legal means already, it’s high time to take action. That will take the burden off of you to establish definitive dates of meeting and exactly where that place will be. I would strongly suggest it be in a public setting, but definitely not at your residence. Nor his, for that matter.
- Get to a phone store. You need to know if you have an unsolicited tracer on your phone. If you do, get it removed, get a new number, and don’t share it with him. You will need some means to communicate with him regarding the pickup and delivery of your child, but this could be accomplished through a relative or a second phone, perhaps — one dedicated to only his contacts regarding the child.
- Visit your local law enforcement. There seems to be a pattern of annoyance, if not harassment, in your situation. Should you have messages of any hint of alarm, make sure you share those with the officers. Alert them to the incidences of being followed, as well as any discovery of being traced. The law is on your side. They always want to protect the public. If they feel you have need to be concerned with the information you share, they will guide you in more detail about where you go from that point.
- There are some friendships you can stand to lose. I love your heart for kindness. It’s a quality to be admired and aspired. There are some folks to whom we can be kind, but we don’t have to befriend. I don’t believe he wants to be your friend; he wants much more. He desires a continuing relationship, but for whatever reason, you two could not make that sort of commitment. You don’t have to be mean, but until you are firm with him and draw a line in the sand that he cannot cross, he will never move on. Consequently, he could hold you back as well.
- Stand firm. At least for a couple of years until you both have adjusted to a new way of living without the other. Give it time and he will find someone else to pour his attention into. You should find tensions easing. Only the orneriest of folks keep conflict stirred when love strikes again for them.
- Take action. If he has a penchant for anger and refuses to abide by the new rules you put into place, you will have measures to combat it. If you have to resort to a protective order, do whatever it takes to get his attention and keep yourself safe. Never let down your guard should you feel threatened. He can only intimidate you if you allow it. An emergency call is an easy dial.
Show him your new backbone and get on with your life.
Struggling with a relationship issue? Write Joyce Oglesby, Family Life FIX-IT Pro at email@example.com and find a solution for life.