Her Awful Ex Moved to Her Small Town: Two Questions, One Answer

Comments

1

No, don't move if you really don't want to.

Dan doesn't get it. No city lib will ever advise to stay in fly-over country. They hate rural life and they'll never understand it. They're just too jaded.

Your ex is not trying to communicate with you. That's good. If you see him, try to ignore him and you'll gradually get stronger and stronger over the anxiety.

Who knows? You could move to a bigger city and things could not work out for all sorts of reasons. You need be as strong as you know you are.

Stand your ground and live where you want to live. Hey, and if you meet the right guy you got it made in the home and hamlet you already love.

2

As counterintuitive as it seems, you can successfully use dating apps like OKCupid without a face picture. The people you are targeting will understand your need for a low public profile, and that way you can search in a wider area without having to move out of your small town.

3

1 'They hate rural life and they'll never understand it.'
Okay Moron, explain what is not understood about this 'rural life' you claim to have knowledge about. Show us those hay-bailing scars and the pig shit on your face.
Last chance to prove yourself before we start pelting you with eggs again.

4

@3: Ok, you issued your insults, but do you have any actual comments?

5

"No, don't move if you really don't want to.

Dan doesn't get it. No city lib will ever advise to stay in fly-over country. They hate rural life and they'll never understand it. They're just too jaded."

What part of "I'm kinky and I don't want it getting out and the men here aren't what I'm looking for" did you miss?
What part of not wanting people in the area to know you're kinky in case it doesn't work out and people will talk?
Note--she didn't say 'rural' she said small town. Totally different things.

6

It's also a bit flippant to say "just move to a big city" as if that's an easy thing for most people to do financially. I live a pretty comfortable middle class life in a smallish city and I'd love to move to one of the coastal utopias but it would be financial suicide to do so. It only really makes sense if you work in a field where you can instantly step into a higher-paying job in the city, but that's not most folks. The LW says she owns a small business in a field where she has some sort of personal recognition-- my guess is that's not something that can be readily transplanted.

A better option might be casting a wide net in the online dating world and maybe try to find someone who'd do a long-distance relationship for a bit, then if things work out think about moving to the city or luring the other person back to Mayberry.

7

@5 - She feels conflicted. What part of "I love this little town." did you miss? What part of my reply "if you really don't want to" (that you copied and pasted) did you miss?

Geography is an important factor in our lives, but it doesn't have to be the provision that defines our happiness.

8

Agreed that it's not that easy to uproot a business. (Would also advise, having learned the hard way, that renting out your home to a "trusted friend" can be a great way to lose both the house and the friend. Go with an agency and good insurance.)
I also think she probably has told these friends more than just "my ex moved in down the street" but less than "he abused and gaslit me and here are the gory details." It sounds like she is telling people he is a dick and abusive and they're demanding to know why. If she's telling them that she doesn't want to rehash the details for what should be obvious reasons and they're not taking her word for it, they are not friends.
So. Her business is here, so she can't leave town, but she could move more than five blocks away from the ex. I know that's a pain and she shouldn't have to, but the only other option I can think of is hit man and that's probably not good advice either.

As for the dating sitch, I agree with Dan that there are probably more stealth Doms (that appears to be the flavour of kinky she wants, so she's lucky there) than she realises. Have friends set her up. Go on a couple of dates. Gently explore the kink angle early in the relationship, once she determines whether she can trust the guy to not blab. Or get back on Fetlife and say she lives in a different small town, one or two small towns over, so she'll meet people who are near her, not in a faraway big city. Or hell, just put that she lives in Antarctica, that's what most Fetlifers seem to do. Where is her nearest city with fetish clubs? Book a hotel room and go, in a hood or mask to preserve anonymity.
Or she could get a mail-order husband. Sounds like those should be a thing.

9

For a successful woman LW, you sure sound like a wimp. Ignore the guy and get on apps.
Or move. TickTock.

10

Sentence 1: Many of them still don’t know how deeply he violated me.
Sentence 2: I don’t want to share the story with everyone who asks.

Do we need Nancy Drew to figure this one out? People think it's not a big deal because you communicate to them it's not a big deal. You want them to understand how you feel, but how could they possibly do that? Either decide that you don't need their validation (you don't) or learn to be comfortable sharing your story. But not telling people and expecting them to understand you anyhow is not doing you any favors.

W/R/T what to do: Why is this ex in town? If he's not making any efforts to contact you (how exactly are you aware of where he lives, btw? does he know where you live?) than leave that sleeping dog alone - assume he's unhappy to be near you like you are to be near him. I live in a big city, I only bump into my neighbors - people who live 10 feet from me, LITERALLY like once a month. I wouldn't recognize them in a line up, not one of them. I only know their names from misdelivered Amazon packages. If your town is so small you truly can't avoid each other, I'd consider moving, but I think ultimately you need a therapist to both move forward from that relationship - and, realistically, how to get out into the dating scene, as the combination of wary-to-go-out-in-public and an unwilling to use a dating app is a one-way ticket to Spinsterville. Additionally, someone who's too paranoid to call into Savage Love lest their voice be recognized and they be outed as kinky... perhaps also assume that those 'macho' guys in your town might also not be interested in openly advertising their sexual preferences to strangers. I generally don't tell a perspective partner the things I'm into until the clothes start coming off, and I think most folks are the same.

11

Regarding the abusive ex, I say stay. Don't let him have that power over you. Of course, if it's too much, it's too much, but I'd advise using this as an opportunity to be and get stronger if at all possible.

Regarding career, home and love... life is a series of compromises. You can't have everything and don't believe anyone who says you can. You made a choice to establish a home and a career in a small town. Now you want love and children that you're convinced you can only find in a big city. Yeah, time to make a compromise.

Good luck!

12

“I have a career which involves my face and voice heavily. I’m not super famous, but I’m recognizable to many people.”
“… I feel stuck, being 38 with wrinkles and baggage, living in a small town, and having a public career.”

The little LW discloses, using “career” rather than “business” and possibly also “wrinkles,” make me wonder if she is in the broadcast business.
If that’s the case then her moving anxiety is well justified, especially to a bigger market where the competition is fierce and sadly women are expected to look “young.”

13

Y’all (including Dan) missed the obvious solution. Move to a small town that is close to a big city.

14

I have no idea whether you should move, LW. But I do want to tell you I get it. There is a brand of narcissism called covert narcissism which is particularly insidious. It’s a level of mind fuckery that is difficult to imagine unless you’ve dealt with it. Google it or better yet search for it in YouTube. I suspect your ex might be if this variety. If they are then you have my sympathies. I was raised by one and it’s awful. Good luck.

15

As a follow up to others who have mentioned going back onto online dating--OKCupid also allows the user to select a location (as opposed to using the location services on the device). LW could choose a nearby city or town, check out if users are open to dating within a wider mile radius, and answer a lot of questions to see match potential (to cut down on lots of traveling to find out 5 minutes into a date that the guy is a Trump supporter or that he doesn't want kids). LW can choose which questions to answer privately, too. If LW is still worried about being recognized, perhaps include some pics of favorite activities/places along with a robust profile so that users are still interested in chatting.

16

Ms Fan - Would you want your favourite sister or cousin to be the friend of this LW? I'm picking up a cross between Red Heather and a Psychic Vampire.

17

Move and leave no easy way for the ex to find you. I've been with an abuser. It seems very unlikely to me that he moved 5 blocks away by accident. Even if he's currently in a relationship, he's not done with you. Rent your house and move away. Move often. Travel. Settle someplace a long way away from him after at least a year of restless moving. If he shows up 5 blocks away again, you'll have a better case for a restraining order of some kind, even though I doubt that will help much. And then move further.

18

How big is the town? Someone was once talking to me about "small town" where they grew up. It turned out to have a population of 125,000 and is part of a top ten US metro area.

19

@8 BiDanFan: Do you think there are more Doms in general? It's always seemed to me that there are a lot more subs, I'd say at least three-to-one. Maybe that's only because Doms are more likely to be in stealth mode for self-protection.

20

STUCK: Listen to Dan, BiDanFan, CMD, DonnyKlicious, and others. If you are totally uncomfortable with living just five blocks down the street from the man who abused and violated you, and can afford to relocate, do it. Stay in touch with those who are supportive. I agree--distancing yourself from your toxic ex is important. Good luck.
I can relate after surviving a toxic marriage. Luckily I never had kids with him and have since moved on, and my ex left the state. I hope you didn't end up with him.

21

Dan, PLEASE have someone edit your column before you post! Just one proofread! The typos have been getting worse, but this answer had so many that I actually stopped reading out of irritation.

22

@6 Who said she (or you) had to move to a costal utopia? You do know there are other cities, ones that aren't small or overly expensive, from coast to coast, right? And this is coming from someone that can't move outside the state for both monetary and medical reasons. But I've lived in both small towns and suburbs, not far from a large city, with another not far past that. I would never live directly in the city, because that's not my jam, but just living near it gives me options.

There really aren't many practical suggestions for what this LW wants besides what Dan has given, and there's nothing to suggest it's advice given flippantly. I think more insulting to suggest online dating and LDR's as if that's not something she's already considered, as you have.

23

Whether LW stays or goes, getting on FetLife and OkC are the way to go. As was pointed out, LW does not need face pictures in order to locate a dominant guy. Dominant men will expect submissive women to not reveal their identities on OkC, although you'll get far better results from men you are attracted to by posting photos of your figure. I also agree, LW will get better results by answering lots of questions. In fact, if you answer a lot of kink-related questions, you won't actually have to spell out your kinks in your profile, as dominant men in search of a submissive woman will be reviewing your responses to the questions you answered. Also whether on OkC or FetLife, LW should be proactive about finding men who peak her interest, and she should cast a wide net in terms of location.

It is really hard to advise LW whether to stay or go, in part because it is not really clear whether she "runs a business" that can be relocated to another location or "has a career" in her small town that makes moving impossible. It is also not clear how far and wide her face and voice are recognizable. I am hard pressed to imagine that the Channel 4 news team in Jefferson City, Missouri is so well known that their anchor realistically needs to worry about calling into Savage Love. Anyway, if there is a way to LW to move, and moving to a bigger city enhances her odds of finding a partner, I think Dan makes a great suggestion regarding renting out her home so that she can return at a later date if she so chooses. Separately, does LW know why her ex moved into this town? If there is any hint that the reason is her, than that trumps any other consideration, and she should move, but it doesn't sound like that is the reason he now lives close by.

As for the support LW get from her friends, they are not mind readers, so either LW has to explain her situation or simply not seek out the support from people whom she cannot share her story. If LW stays in her small town, I think it would make sense for her to speak with a therapist about her feelings and hopefully develop from coping mechanisms for the stress of living near her ex.

24

The other problem with "stay or go" is that there isn't enough in the letter to let us know how close she is to a larger pool of men. She could certainly stay in the town if there is a larger suburb or small city nearby. But if she is really remote (nearest small city is hours away) then that's tough. I lived in a very small town; it sucked. But rural life isn't my thing. It also seemed to be very, very difficult for single people who weren't traditional college age.

25

CMD @12: Yup, local news anchor was my guess too.

Venn @16: I... don't see why not? She sounds a bit Bridget Jones to me, but that doesn't necessarily preclude anyone from being friend material. Why do you ask?

Ankyl @19: There are more MALE doms in general, more female subs. Finally found some stats here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/unique-everybody-else/201307/bdsm-personality-and-mental-health
Given that she's looking for a man -- if she's closeted about kink, I can't imagine she'd want to publicly be in a queer relationship -- her odds are better than if she was looking for a submissive one.
Are Doms more likely to be in stealth mode for "self-protection"? It would seem to me that subs are more at risk if they reveal their preferences to the wrong person -- STUCK herself being an example of this. Male subs might fear appearing less masculine if they came out. And part of the reason behind my surprise at learning the distribution of female Doms/subs was that the Dominatrix is a much more visible archetype in popular culture, or at least was when I was younger. I'd be interested to hear your reasoning why you think Doms would be the more closeted.

Sublime @23: I don't see how "business" and "career" are mutually exclusive? Relocating a business can mean finding a whole new customer base, ie starting from scratch. Something most people don't relish doing at age 38.

26

“I’ve written multiple letters to him that I haven’t sent explaining how he hurt me, because I truly don’t believe he understands that he’s done anything despite watching my decline into PTSD and anxious suicidal state throughout the course of our relationship. “. He doesn’t understand? If LW is going to stay, she should send a letter. “Dear ex: I moved here to get away from you. You could have moved anywhere else in the world but you chose to move here. It seems you are stalking me. I am afraid of you. I told the police and my friends that if I should die or disappear you are suspect #1. Your presence here makes my life a living hell. Please go somewhere else. If you have even the tiniest bit of human decency you will move away immediately. If you stay, knowing this, you will have demonstrated once again the depths of your cruelty.”

If LW decides to move, she should write a similar letter that says “I’m moving to get away from you again. Do not follow me again.”

27

26-Whirled-- I disagree. It's hard for those of us who aren't assholes to wrap our minds around the people who are. Thing is, assholes love being assholes. They don't put it in those terms. They don't think of it in that way, but the bottom line is that they do things that hurt other people and like to know that they've had an effect. A letter like the one you suggest would be sheer heaven to STUCK's abuser. He'd think "oh, goody, it's working" or "now that I know just being here is bothering her that much, I'll do more of it. I'll make sure I run into her more often." It's a shame, but the only thing that works on these people is ignoring them and pretending that they haven't hurt you at all. If STUCK is able to take Dan's advice and move, she should do so while spreading the word that she's taken a great new job or that she likes the weather in the new area.

28

Dan as usual did a great job, this time it was a convenient two-fer.

STUCK, it totally sucks that to have to move because you can't deal with you toxic a-hole ex living there, but that's life.

It sounds like some therapy might help with the trauma that may still be with you even after you move away for a while.

"most dudes annoy and offend me"

Most guys in your small town, or most guys on Earth? In any case, bigger dating pool could help.

29

The other answer is to move to a small town within a two hour drive / commute / train ride of a major city. 2hrs from Austin TX is truly rural. 2hrs upstate from NYC isn't utterly rural but west of the Tapanzee / Mario Cuomo Bridge - it's fairly countryside and certainly not the suburbs. Example: Monticello NY pop. 6,700 $49k for a 6BR 4BA foreclosure surrounded by nothing but forest for miles.

Then date weekends in the big city to increase the odds, set your location to the city, and put it out there you live in the country want a partner who'd like that too. If you can afford it, spend weekends airbnb or hotel in the city to facilitate dating.

Many city dwellers are open to leaving if / when they find A/The One and much better odds of it in a big city. The bigger the city, the less people care if you are recognizable / famous. Whevs.

30

@6 BCNT "It's also a bit flippant to say "just move to a big city" as if that's an easy thing for most people to do financially." Great point, in my comment I didn't mean to ignore this. Especially with owning a business if it's a place-based business, moving to another small town can be difficult. It depends on LW's finances and nature of income / business. Austin is big enough for finding kinky partners and 2hrs from Austin is Art, TX population 18. And it isn't easy to sell homes / businesses and start over.

31

Although I never had the same issues with a hostile ex, I did pretty much what Dan is suggesting when I was younger and I think it is great advice.

I grew up in a small town. Granted it was in New York, but I didn't live in the city (but was still close enough that I could get there now and then). It was a small town in a relatively conservative area. Overall I consider myself lucky to have grown up where I did. It was a great place to be a kid.

When I grew up I moved to an even smaller town about an hour north and across the river. I loved it there as well.

But as a gay guy in the middle of nowhere dating options were limited. After a break up followed by a very long dry spell because I couldn't find anyone compatible I opted to move far, far away, to San Francisco. I knew one person there and he was looking for a roommate. It was an opportunity and I went for it. I expected to be there a few years and probably would end up somewhere else.

As luck would have it I met someone, settled down, and ended up in SF for 25 years.

But I always missed living in a small town. I took my partner on many visits back "home" and he fell in love with it too, and we eventually bought a place there that we rented out for many years. Finally we decided to make the move and now live in a little log cabin on a lake one town over from where I grew up. I'm literally a 10 min drive from the house I was raised in. I have a ton of relatives in the area that I now get to see regularly.

I've had the best of both worlds, but this is where I prefer to be and I had to go to the big city, far away, to find someone who wanted this too.

It's not easy to move from a small town to a big city, and certainly I wouldn't suggest trying to move to San Francisco to anyone today as it is way too expensive for most people to make a go at currently. But there are plenty of cities that are not out of the realm of possibility for most people if they really want to do it. Some are even in those "flyover" states. It requires sacrifice and a change of lifestyle, but many people can do it if they really want to.

It is a matter of what really matters to you. For me the option seemed to be to either likely end up alone or exit my comfort zone and experience struggle in order to go for what I really wanted.

Best decision I ever made. There are no guarantees, but as the saying goes, you may try and fail, but if you never try then you automatically fail.

32

Good four-letter advice. M-O-V-E.

And possibly try again with the restraining order. Why has your ex moved to your small town, anyways? You don't know what goes on in his head--and there are both entirely innocent motivations (he believes in his self-conception as a nice guy implicitly and you previously made the small town sound attractive) and rationales you don't really want to think about... (that you just want protection from...).

Your business would seem to trade on your public image, your face and person. It’s unlikely it can only ever flourish in this small town, rather than any small town or suburb. If it involves your personal reputation, seek to establish that somewhere else by representing yourself with integrity. Without discounting the sort of place you want to live, go where the sort of people who are your prospective life-partners are.

33

@23. Sublime. Society is very kink-shaming and particularly misogynistically kink-shaming. I'm not sure W??? in Jefferson City, Missouri are a sure thing to retain a weather forecaster who has been outed as a sub. Suppose people said she had laid on and participated in a Nazi-themed orgy (the slur published about Max Mosley--not a broadcasting figure--who sued). They would find some reason to let her go.

34

@26. Whirled. I think she's done the right thing not to send the letters. Her ex will misinterpret them. Her motivation is to have him understand how much he hurt and endangered her; but he will think she wants to re-engage.

35

Just want to point out that, if the LW's ex is around, then there's already someone in town who can out her kinks. For what it's worth, I'd recommend the LW move as well, even if only to the other end of town or to another nearby town, and commute. I lived in Middle of Nowhere, Midwest for a while (pop 10,000; it was the bustling metropolis for its area because it had more than one stop light and even had a tiny mall) and there were plenty of smaller towns around it within commuting distance. I also lived in the south end and barely knew what the north end looked like because I rarely had a reason to go there. I get that moving sucks, but based on personal experience, the peace of mind could be worth it.

I also second BCNT@6's recommendation for long-distance dating. My husband and I started out that way and that's why I eventually ended up in that small town.

36

Good point Jina@35, the ex does know about her and what’s to stop him spreading stories around, especially since she is a public figure of sorts. Why does it matter anyway? Maybe if she stopped freaking out about who she really is and embraced it, she might find others around who are in the lifestyle. It’s not like nobody has heard of D/s, remember the books and movies millions read and saw. Would her job be in jeopardy if it was known, that is all she needs to worry about.
Agree Fichu@27, do not communicate with the ex, do not let him know his presence concerns her. If she sees him, look straight thru him.

37

This guy just happened to move to the same small town as you??? How small of a town are we talking about? I was born in a town of 125 people. If my ex moved there after I had, I wouldn't buy that it was a coincidence. 5 blocks seems too close as well and how did you find out where he moved? Are you in contact with him at all? I dunno. Seems fishy and I would move and I wouldn't announce it.

38

@26. Whirled. I think she's done the right thing not to send the letters. Her ex will misinterpret them. Her motivation is to have him understand how much he hurt and endangered her; but he will think she wants to re-engage.

39

I disagree with Dan: dont's move of you love the place. Hpwever... if you ever bump into your ex, just cross the street, don't say him "hello", just act like he's dead to you. This man doesn't exist as far as you;re concerned.

As for the fetlife dating get a sexy venetian face mask and disguise your face in your dating profile. If someone asks for face pics tell him to feck off.

41

@31 Fortunate: I'm glad that things have worked out for you. By the way, I love your Bugs Bunny avatar! I remember the classic Warner Bros. cartoon well.

42

Yes, thank you Fortunate @31 for sharing your story. Glad there are some happy endings in this world!

43

As someone who has tried to do so for years, I wish moving to a city were that simple. Not everyone has a professional situation that makes it even remotely possible.

44

@43 cockyballsup
For me, conversely, moving to a small town is a dream. Or maybe fantasy is a better word. I imagine moving when X Y and Z becomes true. Though even if they did, I probably still wouldn't move. I love being far from cities, I love being in small town and wild places, and I think I'd love it there...but I have a hunch I'm already right where I really want to be.

45

Living in a small town is different than living in a neighborhood in a big city (where you might never even meet your neighbors) because of the social life. There tend to be only a few large cliques arranged around various lifestyles/interests plus people who own a lot of property, own the businesses, work in the local media or public life, etc all tend to network together and know one another in some form or another. So unless you are the sort of person who doesn't really socialize a lot or else does so with only a small number of individual friends, you are unlikely to know people who are not connected to you in some way. Unlike living in a city where you can go to an event / club one week and literally meet no one who is connected to you in any way, then the next week go to a different event / club and not only again meet no one who is connected to you in any way but also meet no one who is connected to any of the people you met at the other thing the week before. This is absolutely not the case of living in any sort of smaller community, and I agree with some of the people above that big city dwellers really don't get this.

My advice isn't super positive, but unless she wants to have a career change (and maybe she does- maybe she feels stuck in many ways and would like a new start) then she's going to have to accept that the situation is not perfect and date people in the nearby big city. Schedule to be there regularly, and once you trust the person/people, let them come visit you sometimes too. And if you find someone you really like and have been dating for a while, THEN introduce them to people and discuss them moving in or you moving there. Not until then though. And don't let the issues about the biological clock skew your judgement. There are a million things worse than not having your own bio children, including having a child with the wrong person.

As to the ex who moved nearby, I don't know what advice to give about that since she did not say why he moved there, but it's just a simple fact of life that MOST people are not going to recognize your traumas/sufferings for what they really are except for the few people with whom you are intimately close and who love you. That's just how it is- no matter what it is that you are going through, be it abuse or an illness or a death of a loved one, etc. The majority of people are wrapped up in their own shit, and they will not understand other people's shit. Some people respond to this by having only a handful of close friends and no casual friends. My own preference is just to keep clear in my own mind who is a casual social friend (shared interests, shared social network) and who are the people who I consider intimate friends. And I don't get offended when the one doesn't act like the other.

46

Unlike Fortunate (@31) I'm not currently in a situation in which I could afford to move. I have lived in some large cities (i.e.:Seattle), surrounding suburbs, and outside very small towns. I reside in a bigger town than the one where I grew up that has more services available to veterans. Ultimately, I would like to have more opportunities professionally in my field of work and life's passion as a musician and composer. It has yet to fully happen and I hope it does, eventually. But for me, where I am now is the best fit overall.

47

@43 cockyballsup: Spot on. Agreed and seconded.

48

@25 Bi: I realized too late that "self-protection" wasn't the right term to use in comparison to subs who are more at risk of bad things happening during interactions, especially if it's with the wrong people. I mean more about how top/bottom desires are considered broadly: a Dom's interests are more likely to be seen as bad/wrong/immoral/criminal, while a sub's interests are not going to get them the same response. Without the foundation of consent and shared power and limits and all that, one person is doing something terrible and criminal while the other person in innocent. It seems more difficult to acknowledge "I want to do these bad things to somebody" than "I want someone to do these bad things to me".

49

Moving to a city might be hard and would certainly be an inconvenience, but not impossible. You might have to live in a small apartment with roommates, which would suck after having lived in your own house. And you might have to endure long commutes via public transit, another really awful thing to deal with after having lived in a small town. Moving to a smaller city might be a more manageable stressful transition.

The sticking point for me here is the ex. It seems extremely odd to me for an ex to move to the small town you live in. Is there any explanation for why he did that other than just to harass you? It's not fair for you to feel the need to move, but if you stay you might be miserable indefinitely. If you move, you might continue to feel pissed off that this guy put you in such an extremely inconvenient position, but at least you'll be getting on with things and having an adventure. What's the point in sticking around in the small town you love if you're miserable there?

I can sort of relate to the question because I'm in a slightly similar situation. My husband had an affair with a woman who bought a house two doors down. She is a sociopath who has harassed me, and her presence makes me feel unsafe in my own neighborhood. I love this town and my house that I own, but I will never feel comfortable here again and have been reconfiguring my dreams for my future. Once you get the idea in your head that you're planning to do something drastic like move, it starts to feel possible and even exciting.

A last tidbit of advice is that if the letter writer moves elsewhere but plans to return to this small town in the future, she should make a point of telling EVERYONE what kind of person her ex is, otherwise by the time she moves back he will have spread an alternate narrative.

51

Love living in a small town BUT "The pool of available men here is both macho and vanilla." Yep that's a small town alright. So file that on the "con" side of the argument. Hence, my suggestion @13, find another small town, but one that is close to a big city. There are scores of little towns within 45 minutes of Minneapolis, for instance. I'm guessing your business doesn't HAVE to be located ONLY in your one little town... I know, "run away" doesn't seem like the best advice, but your options are few when dealing with an asshole ex. LW doesn't say he is harrassing her, in fact, all she says is he lives 5 blocks away and that "he doesn’t call me or text me or email me". In a small town, that's the other side of the city. Perhaps you're being overly sensative given the lack of contact? He MAY not even have moved there because of you (small chance) just a coincidence, because if he lives in the same part of rural America you do, available towns to live in are limited. Seems like A) asshole ex living down the block, and B) lack of available kinksters to do kinky things with are two check marks n the "pro" side of the moving argument.