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.
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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)
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