Obsessive Ex Syndrome
More personal accounts:
Male Obsessor/Female Victim
The below data was collected via this website's anonymous
He can't accept that it is over. It is like when we were married;
he tries to get along for the kids' sake then if I don't call him or I go
out or don't tell him where I go or what I do or who I see he gets mean.
He calls me names like a slut and a bar fly. He will even say bad
things about my kids. When I dated someone 7 months after the divorce, he
was horrible! He had a live-in girlfriend he met through the internet for
5 months but he still wanted control of me.
I was molested when I was young by my grandfather and
my ex would say when I have sex with my boyfriend do I close my eyes and
think of my grandpa!
He is worse with his girlfriend! I feel so bad for her!
They are breaking up and she has been talking to me. She said he always
talks about me. She said that when he gets mad at me he said he would do
something to my car like put sugar in the tank. And the last time my car
broke down he took it to get fixed and she told me he made copies of my
house and car keys. She said he told her he has been in my apartment and
he snooped around. I can't even explain all he has done to me emotionally!
I finally divorced him and he still won't stop! I am actually afraid now.
He brainwashes our kids. I heard a lot from his girlfriend. I believe it
because I know how he is.
My ex and I married when I was 16, he was 20. My parents fought this,
but signed for it in the end, fearing that i would run away to be with him
anyway. At that time, I would have. Knowing what I know now, I'd
call the cops immediately.
His obsessive behavior started not long after we were
married. I had not yet gotten my driver's permit. I was never
allowed to get it the entire 4 years that we were married... I couldn't
He made my life a living hell. We were only
married for a month when I became pregnant with our first child, a boy.
After this, heaven forbid I was out of his sight or not beside the phone
when he called. I was about 7 months pregnant the first time he hit me...
because I was next door talking to our female neighbor.
After that, our fighting raged thru the roof.
...the car got repoed, and things got even
worse... our son turned two, and started acting just like his father...
which the ex praised. i also became pregnant. ...I lost the baby...
he won't even admit that our daughter died because of him hitting me while
I was pregnant... she would be two this july 7th...
I tricked him into leaving. He had threatened me
that I would never leave him alive... but also had said that he could
never live with someone who was unfaithful to him... I tricked him into
believing that I had slept with one of his friends... he left me!!
Now, he has taken our son away from me. Has him
calling his new girlfriend mommy. Won't even let me talk to him on
the phone. Is in contempt of court and dared me to sue him for custody...
which I am, so, more than likely this list is not over.
If he beat me when I was pregnant with both kids...
who's to say he's not beating my son now???
Stage 1. I did not notice any controlling behavior during
courtship. Generally a nice, easygoing guy. Flexible.
Stage 1: Courtship - tests how much control can get over partner
Stage 2: Relationship - tries to maintain control
Stage 3: Break-Up - Obsessor will not accept relationship is
over; argues or discusses with ex-partner repeatedly
Stage 4: Stalking - ex-partner is no longer willing to see
Obsessor, but Obsessor keeps trying to contact
Stage 5: Threatening - intimidation, threats, blackmail, etc
Stage 6: Violence - abduction, assault, murder and/or suicide
Stage 2. In general, he did not show much controlling
behavior. Two exceptions: sex (never enough, self esteem depended on getting it
whenever he made any advances, "punishment sex" - sex that was painful
or humiliating to me was necessary to "makeup" - usually for not
having sex on another occasion.) Second area: when he was mad at another person,
I was expected to also hate that person or else I was on their side. He would
actual plot revenge/murder and only never did it after I argued about how it
would affect our children. Plus, one incident very early in marriage. While
pregnant, we got into a difference of opinion on a topic; it was not even an
argument. But he pulled into the lane of oncoming traffic. When I yelled in
panic "what are you doing?" he pulled back into the correct lane.
Later he admitted he did it because he thought "our marriage was almost
over." All because of a differing opinion!
Stage 3. Breakup after discovering he had been having affairs
most of the 15 year marriage. He threatened family members. Alternated on same
phone call about how much he loved me and how he would make sure the kids and I
ended up on the street if I didn't get back with him or agree to his divorce
settlement demands. He managed to stall the divorce for 4 years, until a lawyer
who was an expert in military matters boxed him in. 4 years after final divorce,
he's still not complying with any of the divorce terms. Big change in behavior
from easygoing to very controlling. He refused to go to Christian marriage
counseling (recommended by church we both attended for 10 years) and would only
do counseling if I moved to a very remote location in northern Maine where he
was stationed, where I would be cut off from job, friends, family, and be
totally dependent on his good will. He began favoring one son with visits and
presents while totally ignoring the other one. I later found out that the older
son refused to go to court and lie that I was abusing them. He poisoned younger
son about how I favored the older one. Pretty much ruined their relationship.
Stage 4. For the first couple of years, he was stationed in
another state, so I did not have the stalking. But he did contact friends at
church to try to spread evil lies about me, but they would not buy it because
they knew me. He showed up at my job when I was not there and tried same thing
with no success. He tried everything he could to make me go under financially,
including giving up his military retirement after 20 years and just taking a
straight discharge (knowing of the high medical expenses for my younger son),
but was unsuccessful.
Stage 5. One night my younger son's boss called me to say my
son was at his house, very upset and crying and had shared with him something
that I needed to know. Apparently, my ex had all along been making threats
against me in front of my son, but my son thought they were just blowing off
steam. But in the car on the way to work, my ex started demanding my son get him
the address of my lawyer and the name of his family members. When my son said he
had no way of knowing that stuff, my ex started saying that the son couldn't be
neutral, either he was with him or with me. Then he went on about how he would
make an example of crooked lawyers and wives who left their husband. And if my
son didn't get the information, then he (ex) knew where my family lived. "A
life for a life." Then he started in that he wasn't sure if my son could be
trusted, since he didn't tell the judge he wanted to live with him. My son says
the words and tone were so ominous that he knew this was real and not just
blowing off steam. That was the last time my son was willing to be with his
father until after he went off to college, because he really believe that my ex
would be willing to go so far as to hurt him just to get back at me.
My lawyer also reported a couple of disturbing instances in
the courts, when I was not present. He was not supposed to be at the contesting
of the divorce decree, but came anyhow and ended up cussing and threatening both
his own lawyer and the judge. Another time, he cornered my lawyer in the
courthouse, demanding to know where the hearing was. My lawyer stated that there
was no hearing, despite what his lawyer may have told him; it was not on the
dockets. He became so loud and threatening that a deputy had to escort him out
of the courthouse.
Regarding Stage 6 behavior: At this time, there has
been no actual violence against me, although my lawyer had to call me a few
times and warn me that he thought I was in danger and to be careful. I stay away
from any contact with him.
A once easygoing person with lots of friends is now a very
bitter person. I was very shocked when my son told a counselor that he doesn't
have any friends, because he used to make friends with most people he met. The
breakup started in 1995. He has not gotten over it at all. He remains just as
bitter. Refused to accept the money the court decree ordered that I pay for his
share of the house (so I can't get his name off the title... he delays/skips all
hearings set). He will not sign the paperwork to split the mutual funds 50/50,
and the fund company will not accept the divorce decree; it must have both of
our signatures. So neither of us can touch the money. (Two areas he uses to
maintain a semblence of "control" over me.... 9 years after the
I have no doubt that if I am ever in an area he is present, I
will be in physical danger.
The best advice I can give is to carry on with your life.
Don't let fear make you hide/move or paralyze you. Hard as it is to find the
strength to even get out of bed, do so. Get a job. Do ordinary things; refuse to
let his behavior make you a prisoner. Get counseling. You don't have to listen
to those phone calls.
Best advice I got from counselor: the ex set up a trip for
kids to come visit him in Maine. At last minute, he called and said he couldn't
make it and for me to tell the kids. I told counselor that it would make me the
bad guy to the kids, and if I didn't tell the kids then they would be crushed.
The counselor said: You can't protect kids from everything. Tell ex that he has
to tell the children because you will not. If he does not tell them, they will
be waiting with their suitcases packed, wondering why he doesn't bother to come.
And then hang up. Well, my ex did end up telling the kids himself. It was all a
power game to control me and make me look bad. But that time it backfired. And I
learned that he can't have the control if I don't give it to him.
Editor's note: The next account may seem unreal, but I'm sorry to
say my family had to deal with law enforcement regarding a stalking case
in the same state this woman was in, and in my experience she is probably
not exaggerating. We even had the same thing happen to us where the
contents of the case file got "lost".
Even though my ex boyfriend had had numerous affairs, and was in the
midst of an affair, he refused to allow me to leave him. We had been
living together for several years, and he sabotaged every effort I made in
1) He controlled all my money.
2) He threatened to kill me, and because he was a
sheriff deputy, he knew he could get away with murdering me... as his
sister had gotten away with murdering her husband.
3)He physically assaulted me on numerous occasions...
when I went against his wishes.
4) He always became violent/yelled/threatened when I
did not do as he commanded me.
5) He was very controlling of every aspect of my life.
6) He would laugh and claim to me that there was no way
that I would ever be able to leave him.
7) He killed my daughter's cat.
8) He attempted to asphyxiate a stray kitten my
daughter was caring for.
9) He never allowed me access to my money once he took
10) If I refused to give him my money, he would become
violent... once he took the tires off of my car when I refused to give him
my student loans.
11) While he had money for anything and everything
(from the money he stole from me), I very seldom had money for gas for my
12) He stole more than $50,000 of my student loans.
13) He never referred to me by my given name. I was
'hey you'... 'bitch'... 'whore'.
14)I was never allowed to say the word no... or
disagree with him... he was always right and I was always wrong.
15) During an argument, he charged at me with his fists
balled up; fearing an attack, I put my hands up to ward off his attack. He
screamed that he would have me arrested for dv*, so I put my hands down.
He advanced, and put his hands around my neck and began to strangle me. He
only quit, because he claimed he could lose his job as a sheriff deputy if
he strangled me.
16) One night during an argument, he threatened to beat
me, so I ran outside the house. He locked me out and when I called the
police, they refused to do anything. "He's one of us, you don't
expect us to do anything do you? Why did you call us?"
17) I escaped numerous times from my ex... but he would
always find me and would harass/threaten me or my friends.
18) I could not escape to a dv shelter... because they
don't take dv victims whose abusers are police officers... there is
nowhere for us to hide/run. You don't run from an abuser who is a police
19) I once escape to a friend's who lived several
states away. He of course found me and threatened to have me arrested if I
did not return ASAP.
20) When I found a job and an apartment in another
state (believing another state would protect me from this abusive sheriff
deputy), he obtained a court order which prevented me from leaving his
home, the state, the county, and the school district with my daughter (not
his child). This is the power of a sheriff deputy in [state].
21) In March of 1998 with a court order claiming I had
to live with this beast, he found out that I had purchased a home and was
planning on escaping him, he took his loaded duty gun and held me at
gunpoint. I escaped, submitted to a polygraph and he was arrested.
22) After his arrest (he was released without bond
because he was such an outstanding member of the community), it took two
years for the case to go to trial.
23) He would call me.
24) He would threaten me.
25) He would follow me.
26) He and his friends filed false police reports
27) The county Friends of the Court threatened to take
my daughter from me, because I had a sheriff deputy arrested.
28) He contacted the college I was attending and
claimed that as a sheriff deputy, the sheriff department was investigating
me for fraudulently using my student loans. There of course was no
investigation of the kind, as bank records proved that he had stolen my
student loans. But because he was a sheriff deputy, and everyone believed
him, the college never allowed due process in this complaint, and I was
kicked out of college.
29) Although he repeatedly violated the conditions of
his pretrial release, the court never addressed the issue... he was a
sheriff deputy and he could do as he pleased.
30) The court paperwork for his case became 'lost' for
an entire year.
31) At his trial, he was found 'not guilty' and was
immediately put back on duty as a sheriff deputy.
32) After the trial, he was out for revenge...
threatening phone calls, being followed, and he continued to file false
police reports against me.
33) The sheriff refused to take action against him...
if I could not handle the threats and felt threatened by him, I was told
to move the hell out of [state].
34) I was forced to flee the state... only to have him
illegally locate me in the state I had run to.
35) I continuously receive phone calls from him.
36) I am followed.
37) My mail is stolen.
38) My mail box has been damaged.
39) My companion dog was stolen out of our back yard.
40) I have been stalked for the past six years.... and
because he is a sheriff deputy, it is perfectly legal for him to do this.
41) The [state] law enforcement and prosecutor's office
refuses to file charges against him for the stalking.
42) In the state where I currently reside, the chief of
police claims that the problem is not my stalker, but me for having moved
here. When he found out that I had been stalked and my ex had attempted to
kill me, his only question: "Why did you move here?"
43) I live daily with the possibility that he will snap
and will kill me... I am never safe... and will never be safe. He is a
sheriff deputy and there are no laws in the U.S. to protect victims of
abuse or stalking whose abusers/stalkers are police officers. There are no
laws on the books to protect us.
When I was 19, I eloped with my first real boyfriend, who was to me
like my own personal James Dean. Things were rocky, but I attributed this
to his immaturity. I was certain he would grow out of it, and my love
would guide the way. He was physically abusive some of the time, although
he did not really "beat" me in the sense that I had no broken
bones or welts. It was usually pushing, cornering, smacking, bullying and
intimidation... he'd backhanded me, and on another occasion, threw me into
a car by my neck when I attempted to get away from him during an argument.
In between the nasty stuff, he was incredibly sweet to me. I wanted the
relationship to work, and I thought I could help him be the person I just
knew he was inside. Gradually, I began to see that he was not going to
change, and that you just could not change people, period. He grew up in a
dysfunctional, alcoholic household. I'd tried for years to urge him into
counseling, to no avail.
We had 2 children, both boys, very early in the
marriage. My husband was unable to keep jobs, and had severe avoidance
issues. At one point, I was forced to sell my blood plasma for food money,
and also to sell stuffed animals from my childhood on the street corner.
We lived in abject poverty. I joined the army to support us. When my tour
was over, we returned stateside and a series of bad decisions he made
(quitting jobs, etc) ended in our homelessness. I tried unsuccessfully to
leave him then. I'd known all these years that if I ever left, he'd hunt
me down and make me take him back. I knew that. But I tried anyway.
Resigned, I decided to try harder. Several years later,
having been married 13 years by this time, an argument between us ended
with his brandishing of an 18 inch machete (probably still in evidence
storage in [city, state]), and my running out the door in my pajamas. I
grabbed the car keys and drove barefoot to the police station, got an
emergency protective order, and got out of the relationship. My children
and I were safe, and we thought the protective order would keep us that
I was issued a permanent (that's 2 years in this state)
protective order. My husband violated it several times, was
convicted several times, and even violated it from jail. He finally fled
the state to avoid prosecution on another charge, and that's when the
cyber stalking got bad. He'd already had a conviction based on email
contact with regard to violating the PO. He was already seeking me out
online on a daily basis, but when he fled, it became his sole focus. In
his own words, I was his new hobby.
He wound up on the west coast where he found a retired
school teacher, some 17 years his senior, to live with. He does not work,
best as I can tell, and spends the majority of his time harassing me
online, following me online, doing research about me online, and so on. I
obtained a divorce in his absence.
The web is important to my work. [Writer lists 3
aspects of job that require being reachable online by the public.] This
has been the chink in my armor... he knows about that site, and uses it to
get to me. I've had to learn a lot about internet security, and had to
close large portions of my site to the general public. I've made it much
harder for him to send me messages, however this does not stop him from
sending messages to my clients, or to anyone he thinks might be connected
He also posts slander on various message boards. He's
posted sexual stuff about me and my mother, he's posted my name and
address and social security number, the kids' names, even extremely
unflattering descriptions of me naked. He'll send the link to people who
know me. I've had to change [contacts] and change phone numbers. I can't
move at the moment, or I would. Police tell me he isn't breaking any laws,
now that the PO has expired. I was unable to get a new one because at his
end, the police were not returning proof of service in time... I spent 5
months in and out of court trying to renew the order. I'd even filed
charges for death threats he'd made (I have recordings and transcripts). I
have about 5 inches worth of printouts of things he's sent or posted
online. I've had to change my name and social security number, which took
the better part of a year. The ordeal is not over. Often, it is a full
time job cleaning up the mess he leaves. It is emotionally debilitating.
It is scary. The threat is always that he'll "come to my
doorstep" and I "wouldn't want that".
I've been to the FBI's computer crimes department, who
took it to the US Attorney, who said it was "not egregious
enough". Local police (without a PO) say he's not breaking laws...
it's a "civil matter". No one wants to deal with stalking, let
alone cyber stalking. I've been left to swing in the breeze, and told to
unplug my computer. I'm supposed to give up everything I've worked for
because a bully won't be sent back to his corner.
In support groups, I've learned that this is generally
how it goes. The laws are either non-existent or un-enforced. We are just
"hysterical females". I'd like to see a greater awareness
of the problem, which might change things down the road for future
potential victims. That's why I am interested in doing this... to make
some sort of tangible difference.
*dv = domestic violence