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That abusive ex that keeps texting you! Ideas and solutions

In 2015 it is very hard to cut off contact with an abusive ex.

Many women report that their ex-partners will continue to verbally and emotionally abuse them, after separation, using texts. They will send threatening texts or crazy-making texts, texts that will have them feeling sorry for their ex-partner or texts that will make them scared for their lives. All of this is abuse and all of it has a huge negative impact on women. For this reason, you may want to consider limiting your ex’s access to you through text. Can you block his number or stop replying to his texts? This may not be safe to do. You will be the judge of what is best in your situation but let me share with you what I have seen some women do that seems to be helpful.  Lots of women report that they need to keep in contact to try to read where he is at in terms of the Cycle of Abuse. For example, one woman reported that while his daily texts were extremely painful for her, at least she knew what he was more or less up to and particularly she knew that he did not seem likely to show up at her house in a rage. It is a safety strategy to try stay in touch to try to read where he might be in the Cycle of Abuse (honeymoon, tension, explosion). Other women report that they stay in touch because of the children. Especially if he has the kids, she may want to receive texts from him.

There are good reasons why you may continue to receive texts from him but it is good to consider what a toll the contact takes on you. If, when he texts or sends a message to you, you find yourself very distressed and distracted (which is a normal reaction), you may want to consider limiting his contact. For example, one woman was constantly getting texts from her ex-husband at work. This was seriously impairing her ability to do her job because the texts were so upsetting. She wasn’t actually replying to the texts at work but she was still seeing them come in. She had to keep her cell phone on at work as it was the way that her employer paged her when needed. (Some women turn their cell phones off while they are at work or when they are trying to be focused on their children.) This woman realized that the best thing to do would be to buy an additional cell phone for work and to move all her close dear friends and family to her new cell phone too. This way, she was able to keep her ex (and other unwanted contacts) on her old cell phone number. She could then leave this cell phone at home and only check it once a day. The additional phone cost extra money, of course, but for this woman it was money well spent to not have her work place contaminated by her ex. This is just one woman’s solution and it may not work for you but it may be worth asking yourself if there is any way to limit your ex’s contact with you by text.

Perhaps think about it this way: you likely carry your cell phone with you all the time. It is probably in your purse, pocket or bag. It is like carrying your ex around with you everywhere you go. His abuse is contaminating every aspect of your life. It is like he is staking you with your cell phone. Can you turn your phone off some of the time or set it somewhere away from you for a while? You might especially think about not having it on where you sleep so he cannot disrupt your sleep with needless and hurtful messages.

Pay attention to the reaction in your body every time you receive a text from him. What happens to you? Does your chest tighten? Does your breathing change? Women tell us all the time that they have a huge physical reaction to seeing a text from their ex. This stress on your body and mind is taking a huge toll and we would encourage you to think of any way that you can limit the negative impact on yourself. If you have an idea that has worked for you, please share it below.

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  1. Oof! I start shaking, my mouth gets dry, I drop things. I start looking for doors out. My heart is pounding and fluttery, I feel the need to get out of my house.

  2. The moment I saw it I would start getting cold sweat in the middle of summer and my tummy would start aching. I would start overthinking and imagining the worst possible situations he would do to me.

  3. My heart starts racing so fast. It’s an immediate rush of adrenaline and stress, my hands start to shake.

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