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7 positive and smart ways to deal with a hostile Ex

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Breaking up can sometimes be clean and quick, but then there are messy breakups that leave you constantly looking over your shoulder in case your ex decides to chase you down with a hunting knife.

There are tons of reasons people break up, and these reasons may often foreshadow the kind of relationship you’ll end up having with your ex.

If the breakup wasn’t mutual or it involved some degree of infidelity, bitterness or abuse, then you might expect that your ex wouldn’t be eager to leave you alone.

Are you plagued by a psycho ex? Do you fear for your well being because of threats from your ex? Are you tempted to retaliate and seek revenge? Below are 7 ways to deal with an hostile ex:

1. Understand what they want

You may need to dig through a profanity-ridden email or text, but somewhere in there you’ll find a clue about what your ex really wants from you. Oftentimes, they want to get back together with you, and so they lure you with kindness and strike back with anger if you reject them.

There are cases, however, where all your ex really wants is an apology from you. If this is what it takes to get your angry ex off your back, indulge him/her. Lower your pride and write out a sincere apology.

2. Resist fighting fire with fire

There comes a point where the hurtful words hits you hard and you’re tempted to lash back out at your ex. When the temptation arises, step away from the computer or your phone or whatever device your ex used to contact you and take a few deep breaths.

Retaliating wouldn’t end the cycle, it will just keep the fire burning! Instead, try to gain the moral high ground by either ignoring the provocation or by responding as politely as you can.

3. Learn to recognize bait

Once your ex realizes that he/she is being ignored, they may start to formulate other ways of getting your attention. One way they can do this is by using bait to make sure you’d pay attention to what they have to say. They may use cliffhangers to make you curious about something.

For instance, he might want to use emotional blackmail like threats of self-harm or even suicide to get you to respond to him. In any case, give yourself a moment to think if what your ex is saying is urgent enough to merit your response.

4. Stay away from where your ex hangs out

Even if it’s your favorite place in the world, do you really want to risk running into an angry ex? If he/she happens to make a scene involving you, you might end up being banned from the place for causing trouble!

If there’s simply no way for you to avoid places where your ex hangs out for reasons like work or school or your daily commute, keep some safety precautions in mind.

5. Never ever meet up with your ex unless it’s absolutely necessary

In some cases, meeting up with the ex can’t be avoided. Usually, this situation arises when there are kids or shared property involved in the split.

When you’re meeting up with your ex, always make sure you do it in a populated area with lots of witnesses. This might help deter your ex from lashing out at you in public. Also, you may want to bring a close friend with you in order to ensure your safety.

6. Have close friends or family to confide in

When someone says a load of really awful things about you, it can be a huge weight on your shoulders. You’d need to unload to someone whom you trust like a close friend or a family member.

You don’t have to carry your burden alone, there are people who care about you and might like to help you.

7. Document everything

When the law gets involved, the one with more evidence on their side would definitely win. As much as possible, limit your contact with your ex to writing such as text messages and emails.

If your ex does call, record the calls or put them on voicemail for documentation purposes. Anecdotal stories of what your ex said may not hold up in court, but documented proof will definitely be admissible.

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