10 Silly Mind Games Your Ex Is Playing

A mind or mental game is nothing more than good old manipulation to get you to do what someone wants you to do, but suspects or knows that you will not do willingly or unreservedly — and for good reason.

The whole purpose is to try to mess with your otherwise sane and reasonable head.

Here is the thing: If it feels like a mind game, it is.

  1. Your ex texts you and when you don’t respond, he/she texts again to say he/she “accidentally” texted you.
  2. Your ex calls then hangs up. And when you call back, they say it was a drunk call or their butt dialed your number.
  3. Your ex texts or calls asking you to do them a favour; something anyone else could have easily done.
  4. Your ex sends you a sweet nice text asking about how you are but when you don’t reply as quickly as you are expected, you get the silent treatment or get deleted/blocked.
  5. Your ex sends you texts saying how much they miss you but as soon as you respond in “I miss you too” way, they start ignoring you.
  6. Your ex sends very flirtatious texts but when you ask personal questions or ask if you can call them, they become abrupt, vague or rude.
  7. Your ex sends you some weird text or email with the intention of leaving you guessing… “I have some good news” or “”I’m watching this very funny video on You Tube” or something equally meaningless.
  8. You are texting back and forth for a while but then he/she suddenly stops contact. After a few days/weeks of “No Contact” you get a surprise “I love you” text with a smiley.
  9. Your ex flaunts his/her new man or woman in front of you, then acts surprised and/or offended when you do actually get jealous.
  10. All seems to be going well, no arguments, no fights but suddenly he /she pulls the “I don’t love you anymore” stunt just so you beg and plead.

The more you know about the mind games your ex is playing, the better you can protect yourself from getting burned and feeling frustrated and bitter. And if you still care for your ex, you can stop feeding his or her need for drama or attention, or from emotionally abusing you.

But sometimes, you may think your ex is playing mind games when what is happening is that they have attachment anxiety or attachment avoidance (See Understanding Your Avoidant Ex).

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29 Comments

  • I also have an anxious attachment style and my ex’s style is attachment avoidance, where can I find the articles Marlene mentions. I think I will benefit from reading them. Thank you.

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  • I am so so so happy I found this site. Every expert I consulted said my ex was unavailable, playing mind games or just not into me. We were together 8 wonderful months and out of no where he wanted space. I was confused because the day before he told me it is the happiest he is ever been. I am an anxious attacher and no contact was not an option, lol. I read your site every day and came upon your articles on understanding an avoidant ex and it was like a light bulb came on. My ex is a dismissive avoidant and fits perfectly to what you say. To cut the long story short, I bought your Dating Ex book and now my dismissive avoidant ex is opening up and emotionally engaged again. He has initiated a couple of texts and I know better not to get excited and let my own anxious attachment style get in the way. I love this guy so much and will be booking a couple of phone sessions for more advice. Thank you sooooo much.

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  • How about this story? I spent 10 years with an abusive BF. I broke it off and he was obsessed with getting me back. He got married 2 years after I left and is still married. The entire time, including the day he got married, he texts me. He will ask what I’m doing etc… Then nothing for a week or so… It’s literally been 5 years of his mind games… I have decided to just stop talking to hm.. Nothing.. The mind games are tearing me apart…

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    • Sounds like mind games for sure. But you are complacent in this, may be even playing mind games yourself.

      The man is married… that should be an exit clue for you. What were you doing entertaining the attentions of a married man for 5 years; a man you say was abusive?!

      Next time you get into a relationship remember, “you teach people how thy treat you”. If you make it okay for someone to treat you a certain way, they will.

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