Obsessive Ex Syndrome (7+ Clear-Cut Signs)

by April Maccario

There’s a major difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy obsessive one. The difference can be noted in the reaction of the parties after a break up. In every healthy relationship, the initial stage starts with an ample amount of infatuation, which makes the two parties obsessive about their feelings towards one another. 

However, this fades away with time, and the relationship involves much more conscious effort for it to work. In a situation where there’s an obsessive partner, the stage of infatuation only magnifies into something worse; more or less resulting in an obsessive syndrome. 

This mental disorder affects about 0.1 percent of the population, affecting the ability of these individuals to reason the way a normal partner should, accompanied by a strong urge to obsess and control things happening around their partner.

Perhaps, your ex partner is showing some suspicious signs that indicate obsession towards you (or that they have the obsessive ex syndrome), these signs will appropriately help you identify the syndrome as early as possible.

8 Signs Of The Obsessive Ex Syndrome

1. Obsessive jealousy

One way to find out whether your ex has obsessive ex syndrome is if they exhibit obsessive jealousy. In a healthy relationship, after a break up, the two parties move on to find new people; and eventually, venture into new relationships. The parties previously involved in the relationship may decide to remain in close contact or have a cordial relationship, but imperatively there would be limits to the relationship they can have.

On the other hand, an obsessive ex may deem it fit to exceed these normal limits, and feel the need to control the events around your life, even while in a new relationship. People with obsessive ex syndrome still have an impression that a break up didn’t occur. More so, that they have certain rights over the subject of their obsession. In the long run, these people tend to exhibit obsessive jealous behaviors.

Normal occurrences such as someone casually greeting you or maybe commenting on your statuses might cause them to react in a negative way, and may even spur up dangerous or violent behaviors. In most cases, the new partner or their subject of attraction becomes a target for them to exhibit their intentions. 

Since their inability to let go of the relationship is sponsored by a possible underlying mental condition, the only way this obsessed ex can get better is by seeking immediate treatment. This means that if you observe these signs in your ex partner, it’s imperative to take action before the situation gets worse. Understand that choosing to communicate with them will only sponsor their obsession and won’t resolve things.

2. Intense monitoring

Intense monitoring

As explained earlier, one of the major difficulties people with obsessive ex syndrome have is an inability to let go, even after a break up. They feel the strong need to stay on close terms with the subject of attraction and act as though nothing has changed. Though they may get an intuition that things are slightly different, the effects of a possible underlying mental condition overturn their capacity to think clearly. This, in turn, increases their obsessive ex syndrome behaviors. 

One subtle but prominent sign of obsessive ex syndrome that an ex partner displays is intense monitoring. In a healthy relationship, an ex partner may feel the need to check up on their previous partner with phone calls or through social media, in order to see how they’re doing. This is a completely normal process. 

However, when an obsessive ex is experiencing obsessive love syndrome, they are never far from their former partner, either virtually or physically. This often leads to extreme stalking. No doubt, the effects of stalking can be traumatic on the person being stalked, which is why it’s best to take action before it becomes serious. 

If your ex is cyberstalking you or someone close to you, like your new partner, it easily indicates signs of the obsessive ex syndrome, and it’s best to take immediate actions. This can also transcend to physical stalking; for example, if you start to notice your ex at regular locations or places that you’re visiting, then you should consider having a restraining order against him.

3. Obsessively trying to contact you

People with obsessive ex syndrome have tremendous amounts of attachment obsession. This means they are profoundly engrossed in all the activities pertaining to their object of obsession, so much that everything they do revolves around them. In such a scenario, not being able to contact their object of attraction doesn’t sit too well with them. One way you can spot an obsessive ex is by how much they try to reach out to you.

If in any way, it exceeds the normal extent an ex is expected to go, then it’s a guarantee that they are indeed suffering from obsessive ex syndrome. Understand that someone suffering from this syndrome is not mentally capable of understanding when things are going too far, and most times, do things beyond normal capacities to try to contact you. This may involve becoming violent if it guarantees getting what they want.

Both obsessive men and women tend to exhibit an equal measure of violent tendencies, going beyond the accepted norms, as long as they have access to their ex partners. This indicates that if your ex is excessively trying to contact you by calling you every day, sending multiple emails, or text messages, they without a doubt have this syndrome. 

An obsessive ex would imperatively still try to contact you, irrespective of whether you accept their calls or not. The only way to deal with someone who has the obsessive ex syndrome is by putting up boundaries and ensuring they get recommended medical help.

4. Desperately wanting reassurance

One way to know whether an ex partner is obsessive towards you is by their constant need for assurance. In a healthy relationship, it’s only normal for your partner to at times, desire assurance on your feelings towards them. Nevertheless, after a break up, it becomes more or less outrageous when they seek constant reassurance from you. It may even make you empathic towards the situation. 

You might feel the need to give them reassurance when they demand it, especially because you feel it’s what is best for their emotional state at the moment. On the other hand, doing this will only make you negligent to the possibilities of them having the obsessive ex syndrome. An obsessive ex would feel the need to emotionally blackmail you if it guarantees receiving assurance from you. They may even go as far as threatening you or the people close to you.

Being able to identify when an ex partner is crossing some lines and showing signs of this syndrome, is an easy way to safeguard yourself and the ones close to you. Since most of these actions are spurring from a possible underlying mental condition, the extent they might go is clearly unknown. This means they might use different tactics to sponsor their obsessive nature. 

Also, the major reason why people with obsessive ex syndrome want constant reassurance is because it sponsors their obsessive nature and gives them more reasons to act on how they feel. On the contrary, taking positive measures against these behaviors is a prudent solution. 

5. Derailing relationships with other people

The obsessive nature of a person can most times cause derailed relationships with other people. An ex husband or ex partner may find it exceedingly difficult to maintain their relationships with friends and loved ones because the syndrome overwhelms their capacity to. Since they are exhibiting obsessive behaviors towards only one subject, all their attention and emotions become solely invested in that person.

If you suspect your ex husband or boyfriend is having the obsessive ex syndrome, one way to find out is by checking up on his close relatives. For an ex partner, try to check up on close friends, to see how his relationship with them is holding up. More so, if you find out that your ex partner hasn’t engaged in any new relationship since the one you had, accompanied by obsessive behaviors towards you, this is a sign of the ex syndrome. 

Even though your ex may have had plenty of opportunities to move on, the underlying mental condition they’re suffering from would make them fixated on their attraction towards you. This means they can only focus their attention on one relationship, without being able to let go.

If your ex was having problems with his relationships with other people, before the break up and after it, this shows signs of the syndrome, which needs to be addressed immediately. Better explained, finding help for your ex, with help from his loved ones, is an easy way to make them stop their obsessive behaviors towards you. 

6. They have been diagnosed with attachment disorders

You can identify whether your ex has the obsessive ex syndrome if he has been previously suffering from an attachment disorder. Attachment disorder (AD) is a condition that causes emotional attachment problems and affects a person’s interaction with others. This most times controls their enthusiasm towards social interactions, which could be more in some cases, and less in others.

In such a situation, a person having this syndrome might be explicitly overjoyed when interacting with anyone, so much that they aren’t particularly prudent or cautious in situations they should be. This is otherwise referred to as disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED). This type of syndrome can easily turn to an obsessive ex syndrome, preventing them from realizing when their actions are crossing certain limits.

Another form of attachment disorder is referred to as reactive attachment disorder. This is contrary to DSED as it makes a person unwilling to socially interact with anyone, even though it may be essential at that moment. A person with both types of attachment disorder can show similar behavior traits of obsessive ex syndrome, which makes it a viable way to detect if your ex has the syndrome.

Similar traits exhibited with AD is an increased lack of empathy towards others, which is why, in some cases, someone with the ex syndrome, may take extreme decisions such as becoming violent or making abusive threats.

7. They have been diagnosed with Borderline Disorder

They have been diagnosed with Borderline Disorder

A borderline personality disorder is a mental condition that can greatly affect a person’s emotions. Better explained, this condition is an advanced state of having mood swings, which alters a person’s emotions in a short period of time. Someone with the disorder can go from being happy to sad, and possibly hating someone they love.  

This condition has been linked to the obsessive ex syndrome because it explains why a person would feel such magnitude of emotions towards only one person. If a person has been diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder, it can be a determining factor as to whether they suffer from obsessive ex syndrome or not. In most cases, the disorder can manifest into the obsessive ex syndrome when certain events take place. 

It also explains why an obsessive ex can go from showing obsessive love towards his partner, to being exceedingly jealous, and displaying negative behaviors. In the long run, an obsessed ex can go as far as trying to control everything happening around the life of their previous partner, so as to suit their current state of emotions.

If your partner was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder, or showed similar characteristics, and is now displaying multiple obsessive behaviors, they might be suffering from this syndrome and would need medical help to overcome it. 

8. They have an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common condition that affects 1.0% of the U.S population. This condition creates a compulsive urge in the mind of the individual to repeat certain actions before gratification can be achieved. In relationships, the person might seek constant reassurance to validate the affection of their partners towards them. 

Signs of this syndrome include obsessive cleaning and continually checking on subjects to reassure themselves of their previous states of wellness. This can lead to an obsessive ex syndrome, which best explains why a partner would repeatedly try to reach out even though the association has been called off. It also explains the repeated desire of an obsessive ex to monitor their previous partner, without a desire to let go of the past.

Though relationship OCD is not an identified type of OCD, it is prominent in those who suffer from the condition. The need to undergo certain obsessive and compulsive rituals, makes an obsessive ex become exclusively invested in their obsessive actions towards their partners. 

It also emphasizes the need for these individuals to receive medical attention, because derailing from these obsessive behaviors is exceedingly difficult, no matter how much they may try. Being in such a situation, trying to actively help them without a specialist involved, might only sponsor their unwillingness to let go, and compound their obsession. 

FAQs

How do you get rid of an obsessive ex?

The best way to get rid of an obsessive ex is to involve the authorities and ensure your partner gets adequate help. They would still be persistent in their behaviors as long as the syndrome is not appropriately dealt with. A psychiatrist would need to properly diagnose the syndrome and administer medication. 

What are the symptoms of obsessive love disorder?

An obsessive love disorder can be observed when a person shows abnormal compulsive behaviors towards a particular person. This can be both negative and positive, involving a need to revolve all their emotions around that person. They exhibit delusional jealousy, ensuring no one is their partner’s subject of attention, except them.

How do you know if your ex is obsessed with you?

If your ex is showing an overwhelming attraction towards you, feels the need to repeatedly check up on you, monitors your activities, and in turn, controls events around your life, it’s an indication that they are indeed obsessed with you. More so, if they show extreme jealousy in uncommon situations, it’s a reflection of the obsessive love towards you.

Why do I get obsessive in relationships?

If you notice that you tend to get obsessive about situations, especially in your relationships, it can indicate the existence of an underlying medical disorder that is sponsoring it. Mental disorders tend to arise over a period of time and are most likely triggered by certain events. Getting help is the best way to overcome obsessive behaviors.

Is an obsession a mental disorder?

Having an obsessive love syndrome most times occurs from an underlying mental disorder. Some of these possible mental disorders include attachment disorders, borderline personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, alongside many others. Since this syndrome manifests from a mental disorder, it is also identified as a mental condition. 

On That Note...

Were you enlightened by this article on obsessive love syndrome? If you notice your ex exhibiting any of the aforementioned signs, ensure you take immediate steps to protect yourself and those around you, and if possible, ensure they receive medical attention. 

Kindly share this article with friends and loved ones, and leave a comment below to share your thoughts. 

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *