Q: I’m obsessed with online stalking of my fiancé’s ex-wife! I know that it’s abhorrent and shameful behavior?but I’m addicted to stalking her on Instagram and Facebook through my own fake accounts.
She had difficulty letting go of her past relationship with my partner (it ended many years ago), but she’d still sometimes post about him and it always hurt my feelings.
Or I’d “catch” her letting their kids do dangerous things my partner (their dad) forbids them to do, and telling my partner about it.
I’ve tried detoxing from looking, closing out my fake accounts, but I keep going back.
Why am I doing this? How can I stop? I told my partner about my online espionage and he obviously disapproved.
He loves me and I know there’s zero chance of a reconciliation between them, so I’m not sure what I’m looking for: Comparisons? Her failures and vulnerabilities? To make myself feel better? Or worse?
She’s 10-plus years older than me and very beautiful, but not a nice person.
I’m ashamed and tired of my own immature behavior?that’s been going on for over three years. I seek to understand why I’m doing it in hopes of finally stopping.
A: Sorry, no one-shot answer can explain your motivation for stalking this woman, but at least you’ve recognized that you do need help.
It takes hard work over time to become fully honest with yourself about the insecurities, jealousies and experiences that may be driving this behavior even as you feel ashamed of it.
Seek?out a trained and registered psychotherapist who’ll spend the needed weeks of probing your past and present, fears and anxieties with you, regarding your husband’s ex.?
You need to do this for yourself, and for your partner. And even for your relationship with his children who need you to care about them for themselves.
Your motivation mustn’t be just to troll for flaws in her upbringing of them … unless you find they’re truly being neglected, abused or placed in danger.
Their father needs you to be confident in your relationship with him, not constantly distracted for any such reasons you mention such as comparisons, and/or needing to feel superior to her.
He wants to love you only for yourself. And you must want that too, so that you’re not perpetually distracted by a self-demeaning obsession of online stalking this woman.
Ellie’s tip of the day
Cyber-stalking’s illegal (especially if harassment’s involved), and an unhealthy obsession requiring therapy for the stalker.
EXPERT ADVICE. IN YOUR INBOX: Sign up for the Star’s advice newsletter, get the latest on relationships, etiquette and more.
Ellie Tesher is an advice columnist for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: [email protected]
Related video:?What counts as cheating in the digital age? Experts weigh in (provided by TODAY)
- Gender reveal gone wrong: Dad kicks ball into neighbor’s yardFor a baby gender reveal stunt, a New Jersey man was supposed to kick and burst open a ball filled with colored powder. He kicked it a bit too far, and it landed in the neighbor’s yard. Turns out, they’re having a boy!TODAY
- Kate says Prince William struggled with becoming a fatherPrince William seems like a natural when it comes to parenting, but according to his wife Kate Middleton, he struggled at first with becoming a dad.Instyle
- Sneak peek: Meghan and Harry Plus OneMeghan Markle’s close friends open up to CBS News’ Gayle King in a revealing one-hour special exploring the lives of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they take on a new title – mom and dad. Watch Friday, May 17 at 8/7c on CBS.CBS News
What counts as cheating in the digital age? Experts weigh inTODAY3:48
Gender reveal gone wrong: Dad kicks ball into neighbor’s yardTODAY0:40
Kate says Prince William struggled with becoming a fatherInstyle1:23
Sneak peek: Meghan and Harry Plus OneCBS News3:51
Meghan Markle's close friends deny rumors she's difficultCBS News3:14
8 weird royal baby traditionsVanity Fair3:14
Will royal baby Archie be raised a vegan?Buzz601:06
Celebs and their petsHarper's Bazaar3:03
Dark side of wildlife tourism: Selfies with animals may come at a costTODAY2:52
Coinage: The cost of Meghan Markle’s ethical jewelsInstyle1:39
Is This the Next Beethoven?Inside Edition1:08
Man Pretends to Be 'Fake Boyfriend' to Help WomenInside Edition1:54
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share impressive travel photos taken by Harry himselfInstyle1:12
Be nice for 7 days and you'll be a happier person, science saysBuzz601:29
The surprising number of Americans that don't use the internetBuzz601:08
Skip the brand names and buy the generic version of these 5 productsBuzz601:19