What should I do about my girlfriend's abusive ex?
July 17, 2006 3:34 PM Subscribe
My girlfriend's ex is destroying our relationship.
posted by anonymous to human relations (59 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My girlfriend and I have been in a relationship for 6 months. Our relationship has been great. I've been through my share of relationship during the last few years, but I really feel (for the first time) that this could be the one. My girlfriend is beautiful, intelligent and incredibly fun to be with. She basically has all that I could have wished for in a girl. She also has a child, which was new for me but over time I've learned to live with this, and have grown really attached to her kid. So, basically - things are great.
Except for the fact that her ex-boyfriend is doing everything he can to make our lives miserable. He's in a low-security prison for a violent crime, but will get out in a couple of weeks. My girlfriend broke up with him one year ago after having been unhappy for a long time. However, he has never accepted the fact that they're not together anymore.
Basically what he does is call her many times every single day. The few times that she answers, he is sometimes nice, but sometimes he gets abusive, and threatens her with violence. He also threatens to not be a part of his child's life and that he will hurt me or my girlfriend. He has repeatedly said that he has his friends (who have also been convicted of violent crimes) keeping an eye on us (we live in a relatively small town). He has said that he will continue to make her life a living hell if she insists on being with me. He has also called me and threatened me personally. It is worth noting that between the time he broke up with my girlfriend and the time my girlfriend and I started dating, he was also very abusive. Before he went into prison he would call her all the time, and would visit her and threaten her.
So, basically my question is what we should do? My girlfriend has tried not answering the phone, but that only leads him calling our friends or my girlfriend's family and interrogate them on where we are. She has tried to be nice to him, and plead to him to a normal part of his child's life. When that hasn't worked, she has tried to be mean to him, but nothing really seems to work. She desperately wants him to be a part of his kid's life - she doesn't want to tell her child that she is keeping her dad from visiting. However, the ex has said that the only way he'll leave us alone is if he gets back with my girlfriend, which will never happen. Even if my girlfriend and I break up, she's not going back to him. No matter how many times she tells him that, he doesn't understand or doesn't care.
My girlfriend is also very hesitant to go to the police. We live in such a small city that we are bound to meet him in the local mall or the local bars. She feels that the police will not be able to adequatly protect us, and if she goes she's afraid that it will only make him harass us more. Where we live the police does not have a good repuatition for protecting people who are threatened.
So, the situation today is that the ex gets out of prison in a few weeks time, and has repeatedly threatened us physical harm. I love my girlfriend, and to lose her would be devastating for me. For the first time in my live I have absolutely no idea what I should do. My girlfriend feels that she has some control over her ex, so she's not too worried about what he'll do to her. But she is more worried that he will do me harm. As mentioned previosly he also has a number of friends who I wouldn't like to meet in a dark alley.
This is really hurting my girlfriend. She feels responsible for involving me in her problems, and I'm afraid that she'll give up on our relationship one day because she won't be able to handle the pressure of knowing that her ex might do me harm.
I really don't know what to do.