How to handle an ex who is giving you unwanted attention after a breakup, according to a therapist

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the 2019 Met Gala.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the 2019 Met Gala.Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
  • Kanye West recently shared a series of now-deleted social media posts criticizing his ex, Kim Kardashian.

  • If an ex tries to get your attention, you shouldn't respond, a therapist told Insider.

  • If you share children or feel physically unsafe, get a lawyer involved.

Leaving a relationship is already difficult, but separation can get even more complicated when an ex keeps trying to get your attention.

Since December, Kanye West has been outspoken in public and on social media about wanting to get his ex-wife Kim Kardashian back. His attempts have included a now-deleted series of Instagram posts where he mocked Kardashian's boyfriend comedian Pete Davidson, criticized Kardashian's parenting, and shared screenshots of private texts between them.

"Divorce is difficult enough on our children and Kanye's obsession with trying to control and manipulate our situation so negatively and publicly is only causing further pain for all," Kardashian posted on her Instagram stories in response.

In break-ups like this, when an ex-partner makes constant contact in an attempt to rekindle the relationship, it's best to focus on what you can control, couples' therapist Kelly Scott, who practices at Tribeca Therapy in Manhattan, told Insider.

Regardless of an ex's reasons for reaching out, setting boundaries is the best way to protect your mental and emotional health as you move forward, Scott said.

In more complex situations, like ones that involve shared children or could become potentially dangerous, getting a lawyer involved can help, Scott said.

You don't have to respond when an ex reaches out

Though Kardashian has history with West and shares children with him, she doesn't have to continue to support him, Scott said.

"When you decide to leave a relationship, you have to behave in a way that reflects the fact that you're no longer with that person," Scott told Insider.

If you find yourself in a similar situation with an ex, Scott suggested changing how you react when they reach out or try to get your attention. Typically, that involves not responding at all, she said.

But if you have trouble doing that, it's worth examining why you feel the need to respond. According to Scott, feelings of guilt, shame, or low self-esteem could be at play, which should be discussed with a therapist.

Consider legal help if you have children or fear for your safety

In some situations, you may have no choice but to interact with your ex, like when it comes to co-parenting. If that's the case, look into legal options, Scott told Insider.

Generally, if you're concerned about a co-parent's mental state, substance abuse, or how they speak about you to your kids, you could request supervised visitation, Sandra Radna, a New York City divorce attorney and author of "You're Getting Divorced...Now What?" told Insider.

A restraining order is another option, if you have proof that your co-parent harassed, stalked, or assaulted you or your children, according to Radna. She also suggested co-parents look into appointing a third lawyer to represent solely their children, since this person can be more objective.

Though legal arrangements can help, you should also be realistic about how much you can protect your children, Scott said.

She said, in her experience, one parent often wants to shield their child from their co-parent because they don't like how much they drink, who their new partner is, or because of their mental health.

"That's parental love, that fierce urge to protect and shield," but it's not possible to protect them from everything, Scott said.

Knowing this can help you come to terms with the situation and give yourself grace, Scott said.

Read the original article on Insider