If your Ex was an abuser, expect him to try to manipulate you. Yes, he’s an Ex. Maybe you’ve been apart a quarter of a century or two years, it doesn’t matter. Abusers NEVER CHANGE so expect lies, expect tricks, expect games, etc.
But appear bland and feel nothing.
Abusers don’t know how to have honest relationships. They live in a twisted realm of their own creation. Once you know how he manipulated you, it will not be difficult to see him trying it again. When you think you see an attempt, you step back.
You don’t respond.
You don’t need to announce it, to have a rehash; “You’re trying it AGAIN!”. This opens a door.
You have tried to have a normal relationship, but you KNOW the kind of person he is. You don’t have to let him know this. Expect his provocation or attempt, and ignore it.
Ignoring the attempt, not responding is the weapon of choice. In some cases, the Ex will drop the attempt. In some, he will try again.
His failure to provoke you, his fail to get you to do what he wants, without any flag or smirk or announcement is his FAILURE.
Social Distance works wonders, especially linked with silence.