Author Topic: How do you politely deal with an ex-girlfriend who has cerebral palsy?  (Read 9457 times)

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blarg314

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Re: How do you politely deal with an ex-girlfriend who has cerebral palsy?
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2011, 01:26:16 AM »

Yet she still leaves messages on his answering machine. I am wondering what it takes for her to literally stop calling & leaving inappropriate messages.

He tells her, firmly, that she is not to contact him again for any reason.

He then directs emails to the spam folder and deletes phone messages unheard. He doesn't pick up the phone when she calls. He leaves physical mail unopened. And he doesn't slip.  If he answers one out of five calls, then she knows she has to phone five times to get a response.

If she keeps sending them, he then takes the step of blocking her from Facebook, and blocking her phone number.

If the behaviour escalates (say, instead of calling, she starts showing up on your doorstep, or parking outside and phoning when she knows you're in the house), he talks to the police for advice, and possible gets a lawyer to send a threatening letter.

This assumes, of course, that your BF's goal is to cut off all contact with his ex.  If he still wants to maintain a relationship with her, but wants her to behave appropriately, that may or may not be possible.  If she still has feelings for him and has no problem leaving "I love you baby" messages on his phone long after they've broken, then the odds of them having a healthy relationship are low.

From your perspective, what matters most is not how she behaves, but how your BF behaves. Does he really see this as a problem, or does it not bother him, or does he at some level like the attention?  Is he willing to set reasonable boundaries, or is he helpless when someone pushes him? 

LifeOnPluto

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Re: How do you politely deal with an ex-girlfriend who has cerebral palsy?
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2011, 09:38:30 PM »
What Blarg said.

I personally think it's crazy of your boyfriend to have allowed this situation to have dragged on for years (ie the "I wuv you" phone calls, etc). Although I can understand how he might have been reluctant to be the "bad guy", given that she has CP.

My other suggestion was for you and your BF to meet the ex-girlfriend in person, for a coffee or drink or something. Made sure that you indulge in a little PDA with your BF (eg hand holding, kisses on the cheek, etc) and use lots of "we" language. Eg "We went to XYZ restaurant for dinner last night. We love it there - it's become one of our favourite places."

That way, it might make the situation real to her that her BF has indeed moved on, and that you and he are now very much a couple.

(On the other hand, it might just pose a challenge! So I think the no contact policy is the best one).

miranova

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Re: How do you politely deal with an ex-girlfriend who has cerebral palsy?
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2011, 10:01:58 AM »
What you descibe is not "being friends".  It is creepy and the ex is a little off her rocker to think it is ever appropriate to call and leave messages like that to someone you have not been dating for a long time.

If my SO had a "friend" like that I would put my foot down.  It's disrespectful to you and your relationship.

My DH had a "friend" who tried that nonsense as soon as we started dating.  She was seemingly a normal person, and they never really even dated, but as soon as I came along she tuned crazy.  Stalked his FB page with 20 comments a day (knowing I would see it), having all kinds of emergencies only he could help with, and then crying and saying she always assumed she would be having his babies?!  He had to cut her off completely, block her from FB etc.  She didn't get the message at first and would call fom an unlisted number etc.  He didn't EVER call her back or encourage her in any way and it still took a few months before she gave up. 

Your BF needs to NEVER call her back or give her hope that they can be friends.  They can't.  She is not being a friend to him by deliberately trying to make his  GF uncomfortable.

Mad Goat Woman

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Re: How do you politely deal with an ex-girlfriend who has cerebral palsy?
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2011, 03:20:26 PM »
While the CP may not be the entire cause of the problem, some people (myself included, having cerebral palsy,) have trouble with comprehending things like this because of  the brain damage. However, I would not be doing the things this ex-girlfriend is doing, but I would've appreciated my ex telling me, bluntly, that we couldn't be friends.






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snugglegirl05

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Re: How do you politely deal with an ex-girlfriend who has cerebral palsy?
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2012, 01:53:05 PM »
She left 2 messages on his answering machine the last time I was there. She also called. He answered the phone, & when I heard her voice, he hung up. He ended up sending her an e-mail to tell her stop calling.

Winterlight

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Re: How do you politely deal with an ex-girlfriend who has cerebral palsy?
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2012, 03:10:25 PM »
It sounds like he needs to screen his calls and not email her.

In Gavin De Becker's The Gift of Fear, he says that each contact with someone like this buys you another six weeks of their attention. Your BF said not to contact him, but then after five phone calls (or whatever the number) he contacts her. What this teaches her is that it takes five phone calls to get him to respond. Yes, it's negative attention, but she'll take what she can get.

Screen her calls or block them, send her emails to a special folder so he doesn't see them. No messages through third parties.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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Redneck Gravy

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Re: How do you politely deal with an ex-girlfriend who has cerebral palsy?
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2012, 04:08:40 PM »
It sounds like he needs to screen his calls and not email her.

In Gavin De Becker's The Gift of Fear, he says that each contact with someone like this buys you another six weeks of their attention. Your BF said not to contact him, but then after five phone calls (or whatever the number) he contacts her. What this teaches her is that it takes five phone calls to get him to respond. Yes, it's negative attention, but she'll take what she can get.

Screen her calls or block them, send her emails to a special folder so he doesn't see them. No messages through third parties.

Excellent post, I too have read De Becker's books.  She is training him to respond after xx attempts.  How about blocking her number or changing phone numbers? (did someone post this already, seems obvious to me).


WhiteTigerCub

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Re: How do you politely deal with an ex-girlfriend who has cerebral palsy?
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2012, 06:11:25 PM »
It sounds like he needs to screen his calls and not email her.

In Gavin De Becker's The Gift of Fear, he says that each contact with someone like this buys you another six weeks of their attention. Your BF said not to contact him, but then after five phone calls (or whatever the number) he contacts her. What this teaches her is that it takes five phone calls to get him to respond. Yes, it's negative attention, but she'll take what she can get.

Screen her calls or block them, send her emails to a special folder so he doesn't see them. No messages through third parties.

Excellent post, I too have read De Becker's books.  She is training him to respond after xx attempts.  How about blocking her number or changing phone numbers? (did someone post this already, seems obvious to me).

Yep. :)

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TheBardess

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Re: How do you politely deal with an ex-girlfriend who has cerebral palsy?
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2012, 06:11:22 PM »
She left 2 messages on his answering machine the last time I was there. She also called. He answered the phone, & when I heard her voice, he hung up. He ended up sending her an e-mail to tell her stop calling.

That needs to be the absolute last communication he ever makes with her. Full stop. If she calls, he does not answer. If she emails, he does not respond. What your boyfriend needs to understand is that contact telling her to leave him alone is still contact. And that is what she wants- at this point, she doesn't care about what the communication says, she just wants the communication. Also, his words do not match his actions- he keeps saying "Don't contact me, we need to stop speaking," and then he contacts or speaks with her. Bottom line- he needs to stop talking to her, even if all he is saying is "Stop talking to me."

Once he cuts contact with her- really, truly stops talking to her- her behavior will get worse for a bit. The frequency of calls and emails will go up. She will try even harder to get his attention. This is normal. It's called an extinction burst, and it happens with both people and animals when a behavior that has previously gotten results starts being ignored. What you have to do is not cave to the extinction burst. Wait. it. out. I cannot stress this enough. Her behavior will escalate but you and your boyfriend Must. Not. Respond. Period. At all. Ever. That is the only way she will get the message. It may take a while, but if you continue to engage her- even if only to tell her to leave you alone- it will take even longer, and will likely never happen at all.

This gets thrown around a lot as a recommendation, but in this instance, I really would advise you to read The Gift of Fear, or at least the chapter dealing with persistent people. And remember: DO. NOT. RESPOND. Tattoo that on your forehead, if you need to. Write it in letters of fire on your soul. Needlepoint it on a pillow and spray paint it on your wall. But DO NOT RESPOND.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 06:14:13 PM by TheBardess »
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