I think, fundamentally, there are two types of people.
Some folks are perfectly satisfied to have their romantic partner as their only social outlet. They don't need other friends, they don't need hobbies, they don't need alone time, they're perfectly content to live with the "us against the world" mindset.
Other people need to maintain a social life outside of their partner. They need to continue those friendships, outlets, and time to themselves to recharge. To those people, the idea of being someone's whole world isn't a heart-warming one; it's a high-pressure suffocating situation.
I'm not here to say one type is right or wrong, but relationships can get pretty complicated when one partner is one way, the other is the opposite. Communication is key, but this can be a really hurtful topic of conversation that's difficult to navigate when one partner just doesn't get the others needs or why they would even have them.
One Reddit user is sitting squarely in the middle of this problem. She adores her partner, but he never gives her any breathing room and tries to make her feel guilty when she takes some time to herself. He even texts her constantly while she's at work and gets hurt when she can't respond right away. In an effort to get some time to herself, she called in sick to work so she could just be home alone. She realized she's hit her breaking point and reached out for some advice.
I called in sick to work today so I could have some time alone from my partner. My partner is always around. Some people will say I'm lucky that he wants to be around me all of the time, but it's feeling so smothering.
We've been together for 10 years. He has no friends he hangs out with, and the only time he'll do his hobby (fishing) is when I'm busy doing something else. If I suggest he should go fishing, he asks why I'm trying to get rid of him. If I want to hang out with my friend (which we only do once a week), instead of saying "that sounds fun, I hope you have a good time!" he'll say "well what am I going to do? You've been at work all day, I haven't seen you, I'm going to miss you". He makes me feel guilty for leaving him alone.
I'm just feeling overwhelmed. How do you tell your partner of 10 years that he's smothering me and I need guilt-free alone time? I have told him before, but he gets a little mopey and wonders why I need "me time". It's just not really a concept he understands, and it's hard to explain.
It hasn't always been like this, but we've moved cities a few times and his friend pool has dwindled down to nothing, and he doesn't know how to make new friends. His co-dependence has just been getting worse and worse and I'm just starting to hit the end of my mental strings.
Here are some of the responses she got. Some have been edited for clarity. What advice would you have given?
Let Him MopeGiphy
One secret to getting people to accept something you want and they don't is that you need to be able to handle the moping. Just let him mope. Don't cave in. Keep repeating the message on different occasions. Go hang out with your friend. Go out for a walk. (You probably can't force him out of the house, so for now you need to leave to get some alone time.) After a while it'll sink in that moping doesn't accomplish anything.
It's like when I was little and would whine to my mother that I was bored. Her response: "I see." Of course I thought that was massively irritating as a kid, but I did learn how to entertain myself. :-)
Now this isn't to say that you can't help your partner, too. Maybe you two could go check out a hobby together, so it's not so scary for him the first time? Just do this on a separate occasion, NOT when you were just planning to go out alone.
The things you want for yourself (time to yourself, a life, friends, hobbies, work being a time you aren't available to just socialize) these are all super reasonable things. But since your SO is pouty and difficult about it you feel like you need to compromise or give up these completely reasonable healthy things.
You need to be able to just accept that it is okay for you to do these things and if your SO can't see that, it is on him. He is the one making himself miserable here. It isn't your job to be a co-dependent shut-in who has no friends or hobbies and texts with him all day when you should be working to spare his feelings. Instead, you should live a normal adult life and it's his job to learn how to handle that.
Stop feeling bad or guilty or like you need to comprise on having a normal life. Don't feed into his pity party or moping or annoyance. It works a lot less well to be a pouty moper if no one pays any attention to that. Whether it's an intentional manipulation or just a more unconscious learned behavior, you've taught your boyfriend that if he is pouty, mopey, annoyed, etc that you make his feelings into your problem and you compromise yourself and give him the attention he is seeking.
Suggest Some Self ReflectionGiphy
He needs to do some self-reflection. I did a lot of introspecting this year and I reached a few conclusions. I've always been really clingy and had a great need for attention.
I was neglected most of my life and praised for not being a troublemaker. So I never made trouble or went looking for the attention I needed from my mom. Worth noting is the few times I did act out, I would get beat down and it would enforce the idea that I was the problem and I would double down on just raising myself
And I realized that emotionally I never grew past being a toddler. I had this realization when I hit a lot of growth this year, I was joking about finally entering my teenaged rebellion in my mid/late twenties when suddenly I realized it was basically exactly what was happening.
I've grown a lot and I'm getting better at being self sufficient, but it's a long road and I'll always be behind the curve, I think. I'm alright with that, and my husband is alright with that. We have a good dynamic. He understands that I need attention and I understand that I need it, so if I feel like I'm not getting enough of it I can channel and process those feelings and work through them. Over time I condition myself to be more independent.
Just a few thoughts.
Desktops And Cell PhonesGiphy
I once read this analogy in this sub: extroverts are like desktop computers, they're always available to interact with other people, their source of energy for interaction never runs out. Introverts are like cell phones, they're happy to interact, but eventually their battery runs out and they need a brief period to recharge before they're ready again.
Perhaps you can use it to try to explain to your SO that it's not that you don't enjoy your time with him, it's just that's the way you're wired and it's a personality trait you cannot change by sheer will (not that you'd have to even if you could.)
He Gets It, He Would Just Rather...Giphy
It's not that he doesn't understand. Honestly, he doesn't have to feel the same way to understand. He gets it. He would just rather service his own discomfort over yours. He puts his want ahead of your need. Not cool.
It's not your job to stop him from moping. Set the expectation. I love you, I need alone time because I like it. Not because I dislike you. Millions of people have this same need. You have to respect it in order to respect me.
Schedule the times. Don't give in to guilt. He understands. He just prefers to guilt you instead of managing this alone. And he needs to.
I would essentially say,
"Listen babe. You know I love you, and I love spending time with you. I don't know if you understand, but I would really love it if you could respect my wishes for when I would like some alone time. Sometimes, after working all day, i just need some time doing my own thing and being my own person. It doesn't mean I love you any less, it just means that sometimes I need to recharge my batteries. I really think this is important because without this individual time to recharge, I get really worn down a lot quicker; which means when you and I DO spend time together I will be a lot less attentive... and neither of us want that! I can't pour from an empty cup babe! I need this time alone to recharge and refill. I would appreciate it so much if you could try to understand and if you could respect my wishes when it comes to this. I think it may even make us a stronger unit if we both strengthen ourselves individually so we can be extra strong when we are together."
I had a really hard time with this too. I had no friends, was alone all day... it was hard because I felt really deprived of human interaction and I would get said and feel left out when my BF would get home from work and almost immediately go to do something with friends or go fishing or something. It hurt my feelings because I was like, "does he not care that I literally don't see anyone all day? He's my only interaction with people I get all day and he just leaves me alone?"
Then he sat me down and had that same talk with me basically. What really made it click for me was when he told me it's really important to him that we both can be our own person without the other one there. He told me that he would think it was really cool if I picked up a hobby and devoted a lot of time to it or something like that. and he also said that he believed it would really strengthen our bond (distance makes the heart grow fonder) and make the time we do spend together even more special and that really made it click for me :)
Used To Be The Clingy PartnerGiphy
I used to be the clingy partner towards the beginning of my relationship with my husband. For me, it came from an extremely low self esteem. I needed him around to feel whole. I didn't engage in hobbies or friendships because I didn't bother ever starting it because I was lazy and subconsciously didn't think I was worth it. The reason I say all of this is because about 3 years ago I became interested in self help, yoga, meditation and affirmations. All of which slowly helped me gain my self esteem. I'm almost a different person now--I actually thoroughly enjoy my own company. We spend a lot of time apart doing our own things and I love it. And when we we're together again we enjoy each other's company more than we ever have. Just my experience.
Introverts Need To RechargeGiphy
Sounds like you might both be introverts. I could be wrong, but I'm writing this as an introvert myself. I need time to energize after social interactions. After I get home from work for instance I usually just want to be left alone. I don't have to do that, but after a day or two of constant socializing I just shut down and retreat.. So I get ahead of that and give myself plenty of alone time throughout the week.
It sounds like your partner is recharging while you're gone and does not run into the same problem you do, as you have no time to recharge and be by yourself. If you're really an introvert (and maybe even if you aren't?) such alone recharging time is vital! If I didn't get mine, I'd be so cranky all the time.. I feel so much better after getting that regular alone time.
Talk to him about this! Tell him you need your alone time too! He gets his, and you need yours! Your partner needs friends and hobbies, his lifestyle doesn't sound very healthy, and it's draining your social energy away.
Dude Is LonelyGiphy
I sifted through the comments looking for the reason why this was happening- the trigger- and factoring in all the moving, this totally makes sense. If this is not the person they were 10 or even 3 years ago then in my mind this is just a bump in the road and not an unchangeable personality flaw or mismatch between you both.
Dude is lonely. Plain and simple. And he's not lonely from your relationship, he's lonely from lack of meaningful platonic intimacy with friends and he's projecting that onto you. He's trying to fill a different need with the substance of your relationship so inevitably that well runs dry. If he struggles with expressing his emotions he may be aware and be embarrassed to say so, or he may not be aware at all.
When my husband had some frustrations around loneliness and lack of friendships when we moved to a new state I tried to address the need for an outlet that wasn't me. So I invited a couple female and male coworkers out to a movie with me and my husband so he can meet new people, I started hanging out with a girl who I thought was great and suspected her boyfriend and my husband would hit it off and scheduled a couples date, and I helped him find a new job (at a young startup!) because he was surrounded by much older, boring colleagues who he couldn't connect with. I also made plans for him to fly back home to see his best friend and family, and I planned a surprise trip for a friend of his to come stay with us for a week.
It sounds like a lot of work and it might be a little overwhelming to essentially plan friend dates for your partner but if he feels lost and lonely and admittedly making friends later in life IS harder, then for his mental wellness and definitely your own, it may take a little magic on your part to nudge him in the right direction.
If after trying some things to get him going on being his own person, and having a conversation with him about your needs there's still no change then I would really consider couples cognitive behavioral therapy because woooo is that a life saver. I say that because if he can't find his own way I think you will continue to grow frustrated and resent him, and he will continue to feel lonely and on top of that, rejected by the one person he does have, which will make him withdraw. As you both pull away from each other over time that creates distance that is really difficult to rebuild.
Best of luck to you both! I hope your heart gets the space it needs to grow for itself and grow fonder for him, and his gets the friendship it needs to grow independent.
"...Like A Bear Trap..."Giphy
Nothing makes my vagina clamp shut like a bear trap faster than neediness. If he sulks and pouts every time you close the bathroom door without inviting him in, this might be a fundamental incompatibility issue. I honestly don't know how you've lived through 10 years of this, but it sounds like you're hitting your limit and now it's literally affecting your work, so it's time to deal with it directly.
I suggest that you sit down with him, not at a time when you've butted heads over this issue, but when you're both calm and rational, and talk about it. Tell him what you need, and how it makes you feel when he lays guilt on your shoulders. When he says "why don't you want to be with me", tell him point blank that you're worried about him, that this level of co-dependence is not healthy, and that it's damaging your relationship and you need to do something about it before it's too late. If he's not willing to listen to you or consider your feelings as well as his own, then you've got a real problem here.
I don't miss high school or the people in it. People who seem to have peaked in high school also weird me out. How? Why? I can definitely tell you that life got much more interesting the older I got (my 20s were way more fun than any of my time in high school). If you were to ask me if I have any regrets, I suppose I would say that I wish I had been more assertive and stood up for myself more. Depression has a way of complicating goals like that, though. Let me tell you: It feels nice to be so much healthier than I was then.
After Redditor Sub2735 asked the online community, "What's your biggest regret from high school?" people shared their stories.
"I'm sure the mentality..."<p>Being too shy, I'm sure the mentality that everyone hated me wasn't very good for making friends.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpad84o?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">aeflare</a></p>
"I'm not sure how it could have gone differently..."<p>Dropping out. I am not sure how it could have gone differently, but I do wish it had. It was expensive to upgrade all that education to get into post-secondary, and I also missed out on a lot of social things.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafhng?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DaughterEarth</a></p>
"I was already pretty cynical..."<p>I was told I had received a full-ride scholarship, so I stopped putting in any effort on other scholarships. When the time came, it wound up being awarded to someone who applied late, got it due to their family's income level, and then dropped out of college after one month. My first two years of college were a financial nightmare as I had to pay my own way on everything (except rent, as I lived at home and commuted across state lines for work and college). If I had $50 at the end of the month, that was a damn good month. I couldn't get student loans and my parents refused to help, so I had worked out a deal with the financial office at college to pay something like $550 a month, which was about 90% of my income.</p><p>I regret not confronting whoever made that decision about the scholarship. I somewhat regret not putting in the effort to get other scholarships at the same time, but I can't blame myself for it either.</p><p>I was already pretty cynical at that point, but that was when I realized just how quickly your back becomes a knife block for someone else's optics.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpalo5m?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">A_Garbage_Account</a></p>
"I used to daydream..."<p>I used to daydream about going back one day and burning it to the ground, but it's just been demolished by land developers. So I guess that dream's dead.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafcpx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">EducationTangle06</a></p>
I suppose the phrase, "Always follow your dreams"...<p>...doesn't apply in this case.</p>
"Acting like a clown..."<p>Acting like a clown, annoying everyone to the point where no one really stayed in contact with me after, and taking my precious little charter school for granted.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpae5ak?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SalFunction12</a></p>
I have a friend who has expressed similar concerns about his time in high school.<p>He ended up spending his college years going to therapy and maturing. His clownish antics were a coping mechanism for a lot of crap going on in his life at the time. He's happier and healthier now and that's what matters.</p>
"To be fair..."<p><span>Dating my best friend. To be fair that's how I found out a lot of people weren't really my friends but getting ghosted afterward really hurt.</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpasudw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">kannacantplay</a></p>
"She got tired..."<p>I took my crush to Daft Punk Alive 2007 instead of my best friend. She wasn't responding all day, and I was with my friend. We were about to leave when she called. She'd been with her boyfriend all day and had forgotten about the concert. I took her. My buddy was disappointed but cool about it.</p><p>She got tired of being on the floor halfway through so we sat in the bleachers. We started walking out before the encore because she wanted to get home sooner.</p><p>Always wanted to take my buddy to a Daft Punk show after that, and was going to, no matter where or how much it cost. But I'll never get the chance.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpbd6so?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">spanishgrapelaw</a></p>
"Looking back now..."<p>I regret not telling my crushes how I felt about them. Looking back now, I know that those puppy love relationships probably wouldn't have developed into anything long term and I no doubt would've had my heart broken when they inevitably ended but, I can't help but wonder: What if?</p><p>Having cultivated a host of insecurities by the time I got to high school, I was really good at hiding my inner thoughts and feelings - I also probably didn't see myself very clearly. So, I just assumed that there was zero chance of my crushes reciprocating my feelings and never said anything to them about it. I also probably sub-consciously ignored any signs that they were interested in me (again, didn't see myself clearly, was very insecure).</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpazwl2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Vegoceraptor</a></p>
"The world is wider..."<p>Not engaging with opportunities available to me and just looking at it like a holding pen just before adulthood.</p><p>It may seem hokey, but join clubs, try out lots of sports, pursue interests, pay attention in class and engage with your peers.</p><p>The world is wider for adolescents than I allowed myself to believe it was at the time.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpaxnsf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Big_Requirement_3540</a></p>
"I already knew I was quitting..."<p>Senior year I had the option of a guaranteed internship and doing half days at school. Turned it down because my parents wanted me to be in band (and I enjoyed it so didn't put up a fight).</p><p>I already knew I was quitting when I went to college. The internship would have been great experience to propel my studies/career.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpatszd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ClubbsMcLubbs</a></p>
High school isn't easy.<p>Nor is it particularly fun for a lot of people. Remember how awful being a teenager was? Remember what it was like to feel like you were at the whim of your hormones all the time? It's an emotional rollercoaster. It's no wonder so many people would rather close the book on high school once it's over (or have some regrets related to their time there).</p><p>Have your own stories? Feel free to share them in the comments below.</p>
When we are on the outside looking in, it can feel so obvious that a relationship is doomed.
When we offer advice to friends, family, or people oversharing at a party, the correct next move often seems wildly obvious: get out of that relationship.
Enough Was Enough<p>"He was mentally ill, possibly with Paranoid Personality Disorder, definitely delusional, maybe schizophrenic. I was accused of all types of things, affairs, being part of plots to 'get' him, even urinating on his toothbrush."</p><p>"I stayed for 3 years after I knew I no longer loved him because I knew he would spiral without someone to look after him. He had destroyed every relationship with his friends and family because they were all also out to 'get' him."</p><p>"I finally told him I would only stay if he got help, which he refused. So I left."</p><p>"I was right about him spiralling. He went from sharehouse to sharehouse as all the other tenants were 'out to get him'. He eventually ended up homeless for a while is now facing 18 different charges so will probably end up in jail."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpal6ip?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">damekl</a></p>
An Unfortunately Common Response to Fading Love<p>"She threatened to kill herself and even though I wanted out of the relationship, i didnt want her to be hurt or die. I remember us arguing about something very trivial but she was getting very upset. She walked out mid conversation and came back with cuts all over her legs and thighs."</p><p>"I tried getting help from parents, school counselors, doctors. None helped. So i just tried to manage as much as I can. Eventually she joined the military & moved away and that was the moment I was finally free."</p><p>"Years wasted though."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpab7fm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">corazon_im_hurt</a></p>
A Bare Bones Story<p>"Short version: domestic violence."</p><p>"Long version: I was afraid to leave because I believed he would find me and kill me."</p><p>"Conclusion: He pushed me too far and I ran."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaizjk?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AliceMorgon</a></p>
Tipping Over the Edge<p>"He was a violent drug addict and I was scared of what he may do if I left. I never truly loved him but our relationship became very codependent very quickly."</p><p>"He cheated on me, took advantage of the fact that I had a car and money, but I still stayed because he was always threatening to kill himself or to kill my cats."</p><p>"Then one night he literally backed me into a corner and tried to punch me in the head so that finally made me open my eyes and realize I had to get out."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpb5z6l?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Theging96666</a></p>
Optics<p>"She's terminally ill, and dying of Cancer, even though she is abusive now, and was before, I can't really leave, the social pressure to be a *good man* plus the cost of divorce and everything else is just too much, at this point it's just easier to wait it out."</p><p>"Plus I really like her family, and if I left her when she was sick...it would pretty much kill that relationship."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbm18j?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Boise_State_2020</a></p>
Always a Reason to Stay<p>"We were living together at 16, she cheated on me and I told her I wanted her to leave, she begged me not to send her back to her moms house because they have like 8 people in a 2 bedroom house and because she would've had nowhere else to go."</p><p>"I was 16 I didn't know how to handle a girl literally begging me so I let her stay against my better judgement and it created a hurtful cycle of falling in and out of love."</p><p>"Feeling like things could get better and then having my world come crashing down every time I look at her because I think of reading the message of the guy saying he loved watching her get on top of him."</p><p>"A couple of years go by and we're not in love, just tolerating each other at this point and then we got pregnant, stayed together through the pregnancy but the stress was too much for both of us and caused fighting, sleeping apart, more cheating."</p><p>"When the baby was born she had finally turned 18 and we moved away our relationship got much better with each other, we're best friends now and are just trying our best to raise our daughter to be healthy and happy and know she's loved."</p><p>"Neither of us had good childhoods."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa47ed?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Lapidot-Wav</a></p>
For the In-Laws<p>"I lived with a man I never loved. His mum was also living with us and I loved her more than my own biological mum."</p><p>"She was the nicest, kindest and the most caring soul I have ever met in my life. I left that man when he told me that he knew I was only with him because of his mum. That was 20 years ago but I still miss her every single day."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbz7av?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mayfl21</a></p>
A Sudden Shift<p>"I was with my wife for 14 years. For at least half of that, I wasn't happy with the relationship. But I had decided I was ok with it because everything about our life together was acceptable, for lack of a better word."</p><p>"We owned a house, made good money, got along well, shared hobbies, etc. We were basically roommates/best friends who just didn't love each other the way you would normally expect from a married couple."</p><p>"When the pandemic hit, and we were forced to stay home more and spend time with each other EVERY DAY, we started to get a better sense of how well we actually tolerated each other. It didn't go well."</p><p>"She ended up getting really into online gaming and met some other guys and basically cheated on me. In retrospect, it was obvious it would reach that point."</p><p>"But I was content to stay there as long as I could because it was a comfortable life with very little stress and obligation."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaadi2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">knucklehead923</a></p>
Slow Fade<p>"I was no longer as 'in love' with her. But I still loved her. After years together it could become tricky to figure out exactly what It's just a lull and what is it really going away."</p><p>"I was still living with my best friend. But ended it because once we really realized that I wasn't feeling the same way anymore. I was just hurting her for me to stay since she was still in love."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa6h2s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">collin3000</a></p>
Wise, But a Little Sad<p>"We have good chemistry and built a life together. After a lot of years, love comes and goes. It is like the seasons."</p><p>"As cold as it can be in the winter, if you put the effort in, the spring will always come back."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa41jl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aizpunr</a></p>
Some people don't take breakups very well. And those that don't can sometimes engage in behavior that others might view as bothersome, unsettling, even toxic.
Others engage in abusive behavior during the relationship, a major red flag that some people might not take seriously until it's too late.
After Redditor XYZ3110 asked the online community, "What's the creepiest thing an ex has done?" people shared their stories.
"I was so terrified..."<p><span>Let herself in my side door, after we had broken up, sat on my bed in silence, waited for me to wake up, just staring at me in the dark. I was so terrified, not knowing who it was, my adrenaline went off and I pushed her off the bed and across the room. She said "I'm sorry.. I'm sorry," and let herself out. I've locked the door every night since. This was 3 years ago.</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lsukte/whats_the_creepiest_thing_an_ex_has_done/gotm7te?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">NE1NE1NE1NE1</a></p>
"I didn't believe him..."<p>He broke into my second-floor apartment through a window while I was out of town. Tracked dirt through my apartment, took a bath, didn't drain the tub, and left. He called me and told me he was going to break in. I didn't believe him...so weird.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lsukte/whats_the_creepiest_thing_an_ex_has_done/gotv7i7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">rinacolada38</a></p>
This next one is just odd.<p>"A" for effort, though?</p>
"She spread a false rumor..."<p>She spread a false rumor about me f****** trees, and then went through all the effort of photoshopping pictures of me doing so.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lsukte/whats_the_creepiest_thing_an_ex_has_done/gotbxia?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">froopty1</a></p>
"The times I left her alone..."<p>She was a snoop. The times I left her alone in my apartment she'd go through my things. My financial records, which I keep in a filing cabinet, my dresser drawers, my closets. I only discovered that she did it when she slipped-up and revealed information she'd only have if she snooped.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lsukte/whats_the_creepiest_thing_an_ex_has_done/gotc8l2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">LiterallyOuttoLunch</a></p>
"Thoroughly explained to me..."<p>Thoroughly explained to me how he studied negging and how he used it on me. Also called me 50 times one time because I wouldn't return a text.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lsukte/whats_the_creepiest_thing_an_ex_has_done/gotdsd8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">moscamoto</a></p>
"Went through my phone..."<p>Went through my phone when I was asleep and texted every female (I save everyone on my phone using their full government names) that she was my girlfriend and they'd better back off or she'd come after them and do them physical harm.</p><p>The thing is, the only numbers I have on my phone are all family. So I received multiple texts and calls the next day asking if I was okay or being held hostage.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lsukte/whats_the_creepiest_thing_an_ex_has_done/gotulpd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Deswizard</a></p>
"I figured it out..."<p>My ex would steal my panties from the laundry hamper in my bathroom when he would come to pick up our kid, then try to sneak them back the next time. I figured it out fairly quickly, then wouldn't allow him in my house to use the bathroom when he was picking our kid up. Grossed me out.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lsukte/whats_the_creepiest_thing_an_ex_has_done/gotj69k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">lastsasohysant</a></p>
Do these people think the other person won't figure it out eventually?<p>Seriously. The nerve.</p>
"My most recent ex..."<p>My most recent ex has decided to stalk me, so that's fun.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lsukte/whats_the_creepiest_thing_an_ex_has_done/gottggc?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3"></a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lsukte/whats_the_creepiest_thing_an_ex_has_done/gottggc?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">HumanResourcesIRL</a></p>
"Not long after her decision..."<p>An ex of mine began referring to herself with my last name as if we were married. This was when I was in undergrad and had absolutely no intentions of tying knots other than my shoelaces.</p><p>Not long after her decision to take my last name, she stopped taking birth control and failed to inform me. I only found out because a mutual friend of ours (more her friend than mine) casually mentioned it to me, as if I had known. I noped the f*** out of that relationship not too long after.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lsukte/whats_the_creepiest_thing_an_ex_has_done/gou2k18?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">shaoting</a></p>
In case you haven't figured it out already...<p>...people find this behavior unsettling. It's wrong. No one deserves to feel afraid for breaking up with someone. How would you feel if someone violated your personal space? How would you feel if someone invaded your home and took your things? You wouldn't feel safe, would you?</p><p>Have some stories of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments below.</p>
Babysitters and daycare professionals have access to a unique vantage. As the trusted adults left in the room with a child or children, childcare workers are the ultimate flies on the wall.
And when a childcare worker performs that role for an extended period of time--an entire career in some cases--they become privy to a whole collage of different kids who come from different homes.