How to Deal With Ex-Lover Cyberstalking on Facebook?

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Reader’s Question

I have a question regarding stalkers.

I’m male, in my early 30s, and married with one son. About 4 years ago, my wife and I were experiencing problems within our marriage to the point where we almost split up. During that time, I had an affair with an old acquaintance I had recently come into contact with. The affair continued for a couple of years until my wife and I finally resolved our differences and decided to make amends and keep our marriage going. However, it seems like my then-lover (let’s call her EC) isn’t letting go quite so easily.

I do my best to minimize any information about myself and family online, and I am not part of any social networking sites or forums or anything like that. But my wife has a Facebook profile. Recently, EC has become a “fan” of several of the things that my wife is a fan of on Facebook. Now, I should mention that my wife and I run in completely different circles from EC, so it’s hard to believe that EC would suddenly develop some of the same interests as my wife. Therefore, it’s apparent that EC’s interest in the same things as my wife is no accident. EC even went so far as to become a fan of a business which belongs to a friend of my wife’s and has begun posting things on our friend’s Facebook site and going so far as to allude to me and to the affair we had. Soon thereafter, she began sending my wife messages through Facebook, forwarding email conversations to my wife that EC and I supposedly once had. Some of those conversations are real, but most have been edited by EC to make them more than they were. Even my wife has picked up on that fact that not all the content seems to jive all that well when you really read the material.

EC seems to be engaging in some sort of stalking here but tells my wife that it’s me who’s refusing to give up on the relationship I had with her. She even tried to elicit sympathy by telling my wife that she was recently attacked and almost raped by a former friend of mine and went on to tell my wife about how she is now undergoing a difficult pregnancy and isn’t sure she or her baby will survive. Two days after sending my wife these messages, she supposedly miscarried and was back to posting on our friend’s site. My wife basically thanked her for the information and then politely asked her to go away and leave us alone. Still, EC has continued to post to our friend’s site and has continued to become a fan of more and more of the things my wife is a fan of on Facebook. We are wondering what we should reasonably expect next and what we can do to deter EC’s behavior and get rid of her.

Psychologist’s Reply

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There are some personality types who are especially prone to the kind of behavior you describe. Some primarily enjoy the “titillation” and excitement they derive by creating such drama, while others have an unhealthy desire to attach in a negative and leach-like fashion to others while simultaneously venting considerable rage and negativity. In the end, however, the behavior will most likely persist if it is reinforced in any way. The less attention and response the behavior gets, the less satisfying it will be. Your wife’s true friends should be willing to reinforce the notion that this behavior should be completely ignored.

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