My psychotic ex is trying to get me fired from my corporate job. What should I do?

My psychotic ex is trying to get me fired from my corporate job. What should I do?

You are currently viewing My psychotic ex is trying to get me fired from my corporate job. What should I do?
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Hi Jake,

I’m dealing with an ex-from-hell.

I used the term “ex” loosely, since we dated for less than six months. We broke up right after Thanksgiving when I was too busy for a relationship. I had just landed my dream job, so I told him I was laser-focussed on work and climbing the corporate ladder, rather than devoting time to a new boyfriend.

I thought we ended on an OK note, but I quickly learned otherwise. He seems to have weaponized my career ambitions against me.

In January, he started sending emails to my boss, telling her all sorts of crazy and untrue stuff about me. He said I cheated on him (not true!), so I “can’t be trusted”, and should be fired immediately. He also said he has compromising video of me filmed in the company break room that could be damaging to the company if it ever “leaked” (also untrue! and ridiculous!). But the craziest part is that he said he was prepared to “go public” with something “very sinister” about me.

I thought this would blow over eventually, but it’s now been over two months and he’s still doing it. My boss seems to be understanding and says she doesn’t hold any of this against me, but it’s still embarrassing, and I worry that it could cause issues down the line.

What if it causes her to view me differently, or, worse, she gets so sick of being harassed by my ex that she decides to let me go?

I haven’t spoken to my ex since the breakup, but I have texted him a few times telling him to stop. Every time I do, the next day, my boss gets another email. Is there a better way I should be handling this?

Exasperated Ex

Dear Exasperated Ex,

It’s one thing for a scorned ex to talk trash behind our back or block us on social media, but messing with someone’s job is a line that should never be crossed. What your ex is doing is a violation and completely unacceptable.

Some people feel so angry and betrayed by a perceived rejection that they seek to hurt you as much as they feel you hurt them. It doesn’t matter that this breakup wasn’t really personal, and was about you wanting to focus your energy on your career rather than a relationship. To him, it felt personal, and he clearly can’t handle it.

Although it is not an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which generally covers most psychological disturbances, some in the field have noticed patterns similar to those of your ex, coining a term called Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD). In fact, movies are often made about the subject, with the recent hit Saltburn the latest to flirt with the idea of “rejection revenge.”

According to clinicians, RSD occurs when you experience an intense or overwhelming emotional sensitivity to criticism or rejection. It can be a learned emotional response, or a person can be genetically predisposed to it. Whatever the case, let’s hope your ex gets around to therapy at some point, and learns better strategies for dealing with his feelings!

In the meantime, although you may feel the need to say or do something, it’s not your responsibility to stop your ex from his assaults, as you’re not the one doing anything wrong.

If your boss is well-adjusted, which she seems to be, she’ll understand that this behavior is not a reflection of you at all, but simply the antics of a crazy “ex-from-hell,” as you call him. It sounds like there are a lot of threats being hurled with no actual evidence, and I’m guessing she gets that.

The more you react or respond, the more you fuel the fire. So the best course of action here is to cease all communication with him. Block his phone number, social media accounts, and email address, and ask your boss to do the same.

If you want to be extra cautious, you could report the incidents to your company’s HR department. They can usually discern when accusations are unfounded, especially when there’s no proof. This will also create more of a paper trail in case the situation escalates and you need to take legal action against your ex. (Let’s hope that doesn’t happen!)

At the end of the day, I believe you can overcome any ridiculousness caused by a crazy ex. And it is ridiculous. If you were really that salacious, wouldn’t you have chosen your boss’ swanky corner office for your shenanigans over the company break room?

Ask Jake is our advice column by Queerty editor and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Jake Myers. If you have a question for Jake, please email [email protected] for consideration.


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