Dear Amy: My ex and have been separated for six years. After that we were on and off as a couple, but a year ago I told him I was seeing someone and wanted to be friends.
My ex has made my life miserable. He contacted the man I’m involved with, and my friends, and bad-mouths me. He insults me on Facebook.
The other day I found out he’s been following me and knows where I work. I contacted the police, but they told me they can’t do anything because he did not approach or threaten me.
I then contacted his boss. He listened to me and sounded concerned. I told his boss I just wanted to be left alone. I also said that I didn’t think his employee should be using the company vehicle to stalk me. The boss told me he will do some thinking and will get back to me.
But I’m now wondering if this will cause things to escalate. I’m scared.
Was I wrong to contact his boss?
Amy says: When you are genuinely fearful, you are justified in doing whatever it takes to try to protect yourself. I don’t know if your choice will cause your ex’s behavior to escalate, but if you have asked him to leave you alone, then he should become aware that he is putting a lot on the line when he chooses to harass you. I hope his boss handles this sensitively. Call the boss again if you are worried about your ex’s response.
The National Center for Victims of Crime (victimsofcrime.org) publishes a state-by-state guide to stalking laws; please double-check the laws in your state to see if your ex has violated them. In some states, a person doesn’t need to be threatened with violence to get an order of protection.
Obviously, you should block him on all social media, change your own number if necessary and ask your friends and family not to engage with him or respond to him if he contacts them.
Use all names on tombstone?
Dear Amy: I have been divorced and have married again. My three children have my first husband’s last name. Although it has been more than 40 years since I was married to him and I have never had much to do with him all these years, he is still the father of my children.
I am contemplating the name that should be on my tombstone. I would like to include my first name, my maiden name, my first husband’s last name and my present husband’s last name. Is it appropriate to use both husbands’ names?
Amy says: Using both of your married names on a tombstone is acceptable and fairly common. Make sure you make your wishes known to all of your children (and stepchildren, if you have any) and also to the cemetery director where you will be buried.
Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.