My ex from hell!
Listen Live

My ex from hell!

Terence Pillay looks at the often scary world of the ex from hell and also shares some listener stories. 

girl burning her boyfriends photo
Main image courtesy of iStock/LightFieldStudios

Listen to the podcast or read the details below: 

I recently read quite a chilling story in a magazine about a couple who broke up but the man, unable to accept that the relationship had ended, stalked his ex, both online and in real life and sent her threatening text messages and finally arrived at her house one night and broke all the windows because she wouldn’t let him in.

And while you might immediately react with: “What a psycho!”, I have to say this kind of thing happens all the time. Reports of spurned lovers killing their partners and then turning the gun on themselves make headlines all the time. So sometimes the past won’t stay the past. 

An ex from hell is an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend that is completely insane. They typically try to contact you constantly and do not want to see you happy in a relationship. They will likely do whatever it takes to ruin your relationships, especially when they realise that your new love is significantly better than them.

In the same article, another case study dealt with a woman who was allegedly subjected to a campaign of harassment by police after she split from her policeman lover. She claimed that he threatened to ‘make her life hell’ when she filed a report against him. The woman, who says her life was made a misery by Thames Valley Police officers, spoke out as the force finally admitted to disciplining ‘a number of officers’ following complaints by her. Thames Valley Police, however, refused to reveal how many officers were involved or comment on the nature of the disciplinary action.

The woman, a 24-year-old forensic science graduate, claims a policeman instigated a relationship with her after texting her, having taken her number from a police report she filed about vandalism to her car. She says that when she split from him after discovering he had a girlfriend and reported him for obtaining her number from a statement, the alleged harassment by his colleagues began. She said officers from stopped her more than seventy times for suspected offences including drink-driving and assault. 

Despite never been convicted, she claims the officers filed a wealth of intelligence reports on her which have cost her three jobs after background checks.

The policeman, who denies ever being in a relationship with the woman, claims it was she who pursued him and that disciplinary action was taken against him related to drunken behaviour on a night out.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect formula to determine exactly how long it takes you to get over a breakup — even though some studies claim to have found it. For example, findings from one 2015 study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology reveals that most people can move on after 11 weeks (or three months), whereas the results from a more recent 2017 study suggest it takes, on average, 18 months for the broken-hearted to bounce back.

In a perfect world, no one would ever have to deal with their exes, say, writer Elizabeth Laura Nelson, in her blog piece 6 Ways to Deal with your Partners Horrible Ex. Whether you were married for a decade, or you just hooked up a couple of times, she says it’s usually far better for people from your past to stay in the past.

Nelson gives some useful tips to cope if your partner is still connected to his horrible ex in a way neither of you can do anything about:

Firstly, you should stay out of it, she says. When your partner’s ex is making his life a living hell, it’s tempting to want to leap in and defend him. Resist this urge. Toxic people enjoy drama; don’t reward his ex by giving her any more attention than you absolutely have to. Remember: you can’t control her actions, but you can control your own, so do your best to rise above.

Another piece I read on the matter says there are definitely signs that one might still be tethered to their ex and here are five possible reasons

  1. You want to keep an eye on the other party and keep them in their pocket as a rainy day option in case they change their mind and also to ensure that they haven’t made a bad decision.
  2. You are not over them and are effectively re-auditioning in the hopes of being picked up when they realise that they can’t do better or when they have a lobotomy. 
  3. You are still sleeping with them but calling it ‘friendship’ makes the bitter pill of no official title and relationship easier to swallow.
  4. You don’t really like him/her that much but can’t bear the thought that they may feel similarly so they have the faux friendship for reassurance.
  5. You need to validate something and prove it to their ego, peers or ‘everyone’.

Then there are most definitely certain types of exes that are hell-bent on getting revenge because they believe they’ve been hard done by in the break-up.  

These people categorise as:

  1. The person who went all Carrie Underwood on this car –keyed it from side to side
  2. This girl who burned her Valentine’s Day gifts full of lies on her ex’s front lawn.
  3. The person who gave away her guy’s very expensive possessions to random people on the street.
  4. The girl who sent her ex on a breakup scavenger hunt.
  5. The ex-wife who used the joint bank account to make a very public breakup.
  6. The guy who put the girlfriend’s clothes on the curb.
  7. The person who used poetry to break it off on Valentine’s Day.
  8. The guy who took the dog.
  9. The person who posted about his ex’s misdeeds in the Personals.
  10. And the girl who went way too hard on the TMI game.


Do you have a story of an ex from hell? You can email Terence Pillay at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter: @terencepillay1 and tweet him your thoughts.   

Read: Carletonville crèche incident: Are we doing enough to protect our children?

If you missed any of The Good, The Bad and Ugly episodes, catch up on them below: 

Show's Stories