I am a 29 year-old straight woman. I recently got out of a nearly four-year relationship, close to three years of which was long-distance. It was on the rocks much of the last year and a half, and I finally realized that I was unhappy for reasons that other than the long distance issue. We broke up, for the second time, about two months ago.
About a month after we broke up, I met someone new. I am incredibly happy and feeling very optimistic about where this is headed. I was surprised to get over my ex so quickly, but have come to believe that I did a lot of mourning for the relationship while I was still in it. Two days ago, my ex boyfriend called and I discovered the extent to which he thought we were ultimately going to get back together again. He asked if I was seeing someone else, and I said yes. We had a brief conversation, in which I ill-advisedly answered a few questions about my new boyfriend.
This morning my ex began sending me increasingly vitriolic text messages. I sent him one last message. I told him that I wouldn’t be answering anymore and that I was sorry. He started calling me obsessively, placing 40 phone calls in under 30 minutes and making it difficult even to use my phone. I blocked his number. He has continued to text and call me over the course of today from different numbers, though not quite so compulsively, insisting that I owe him more information about my new boyfriend and an explanation of why my new relationship is better than my relationship was with him. I have been called a shit and a coward, told I was the worst thing that ever happened to him, and accused both of ruining his life and of self-delusion, among other insults.
I am familiar with what I call “temporary breakup-induced psychosis,” and I am not taking this too much to heart, though it is, obviously, quite stressful. My question for you is whether you have some rough idea—based on vast database of letters and calls—as to how long should I expect this behavior to go on? How many days do I give it before I think about changing my current strategy of disengagement? Basically, how long do I allow my ex-boyfriend to throw this hissy fit before I try more actively to address it? I am in no way concerned for my safety. I have support from friends and my new boyfriend—though I have tried to avoid dragging him into this mess more than what is necessary to clue him in on what’s going on with me.
So what is your take? Am I doing this right? I am following what seems to be conventional wisdom, but I am also still getting a lot of “fuck yous” and calls from unfamiliar numbers.
Of Vitriolic Ex’s Rage Intensely Tired
My response after the jump...
If I were in your shoes, OVERIT, I would be tempted to send my batshit ex screen grabs of all the batshit texts he'd sent me over the last 24 hours along with a note that read, "These explain better than I could why my new relationship is better than my old one." But your best course of action is to resist the temptation I may have just instilled in you and to continue doing what you're doing. Which is nothing. Don't respond, don't engage, don't take his bathshit bait.
Unfortunately I can't tell you how long you can expect this to go on. It could be days, it could be weeks, it could be months. I've heard from people who've been harassed by batshit exes for years. But the conventional wisdom in cases like these, as you're aware, is to ignore the batshittery. Your ex wants your attention and any response from you—any attention you give him, positive or negative—will only encourage him to keep on texting and calling.
Finally, OVERIT, there are stories in the news every day about women who were murdered by angry ex-boyfriends. You say you're not concerned for your safety, you say you've got support, and I don't want to undermine your sense of safety or encourage you to live in fear. But if his batshittery escalates—or if it continues for more than another 24 hours—I think you should go to the police.