Emotional Abuse would be easier to recognise and deal with, if lessons of Obedience and Adjustment were replaced with mutual respect and equal right to happiness, justice, self reliance and freedom for all.
But how can we talk about abusive boyfriends when we (as a society) are so busy banning Choice Marriages and Valentine’s Day?
Sharing an email.
I have been following your blog regularly and now I am at a crucial stage in life where I need or rather want to take a decision and thus have turned to you and your readers. I am 23 and currently in my final year MBA. I have been in a relationship with a guy who is now 29 for the last 3 years.
I belong to a fairly liberal family with both my parents working. When I say liberal I mean that I was always allowed my freedom, my mother and I would discuss my crushes, my family has never till date told me what I need to wear, whom I should not talk to, has never advised me how to behave and has never advised me to stay away from boys. I was always allowed to go on college trips with boys and girls and was never monitored during those trips. Very rarely have my parents stopped me from doing what I wanted in my life till date.
My parents knew this guy as my friend but from the time I told them about my relationship with him, they are against it. They have not resorted to emotional blackmail, or threats but my father and mother have sat down with me and have discussed with me as to why they think this will not work for me and have told me that they are not willing to support me in this.
The guy comes from a very traditional family background where girls are not sent to college and are married off as soon as they turn 18 years. His own sister was married off at 19 when she was in second year of college and was given a hefty dowry and to this date her family still demands money and gifts and the girl also thinks that its her brothers duty to fulfill her needs.She lives in the same city but spends more than 15 days at her parents place and is always cribbing that her parents and brother are not taking care of her and her husband. Her husband does not work, has taken loans from a lot of people and in order to escape paying suddenly vanished from the scene. My BF was expected to pay all the money and bring him back. This is a recurring phenomenon and nobody questions.
My parents are just not comfortable with this. Also in the past there have been many instances where I have myself had doubts regarding his and his family behaviour like:
1. The guy lied to me about his sister’s family situation. In fact he told me that his sister is married to a very nice guy and that they make the perfect couple.
2. He also lied to me about his name: He has a very long name and so uses initials for it. So when I asked him what all the initials meant he lied to me by replacing his actual name with some other name and I did not know of this till his friend actually told me about it.
3. He lied to him that his father was a successful businessman, on the contrary his father does not work and shut his business many years ago. When I asked him this, he said that his father had serious health complications because of which they had to shut down and then on another occasion he told me that actually his father is incapable of handling business and hence shut it.
4. Everyone in his family knows about me but he never volunteered to introduce me to them. Finally, after a lot of persuasion from my end he took me to meet his family not to their home but to another town where his family had gone for a pilgrimage. There I found out that they had booked 2 rooms for 8 of us which included his sister’s family and his parents and us. In the night everyone except his father slept in 1 room and me, the guy and his father slept in another room with me and the guy on the floor and his father on the bed. I was very uncomfortable with this arrangement but just kept quite. It was the first time I was meeting them and I was very uncomfortable.
5. The next time he took me to his hometown where his parents and sister lived. Though his extended family knew about me, from the moment I entered their house there were instructions given to me very subtly about how I must not step out the house as nobody should see me. I did not understand why they wanted to hide the fact that I was visiting.
6. He has severe temper issues i.e. even if I am late by 5 mins when we are going for a movie he will start shouting and then he will stop talking to me. It takes immense efforts to make him normal. but on the contrary, he can come late and I must understand and not make an issue. I find this very wrong.
7. I also don’t understand another thing: he is always available as in he just steps out of work at any random time and insists that I meet him. I am then expected to bunk classes and come to meet him and even if I have exams the next day he will insist on going out and if I refuse he will say that since I did not come to meet him, I should not even talk to my friends on the phone or even step out to have dinner.
8. He has very bad work ethics and I feel he is not professional because he always skips important meetings at work and tells his colleagues to cover up for him which I hate absolutely. He even takes a lot of unscheduled leaves and gives his ID card to his colleagues and asks them to swipe on his behalf and log on to his system and reply to his mails. He tells me that he is very smart and so can manage all this at work which I find very disturbing.When I question him, he says he can do anything to spend time with me.
9. He always expects me to be dressed impeccably i.e. not a strand of hair should be out of place, clothes preferably only cotton salwars neatly ironed with a duppatta in place and if I am not neatly dressed even on one occasion he starts sulking and does not even talk to me properly. Is it really so important to be dressed up always even if its just for a casual outing to a coffee shop?
10. He has very strong views about homosexuality – one of my friends is homosexual and so he wants me to stop talking to my friend because he believes that its not our culture.
11. For some strange reason he hates my dad, even as a friend when I would call him home, he would never make any attempts to talk to my dad or even strike a conversation. He tells me that I should not trust my dad, I do not know why but he insists that my dad is bad.
12. When we are out, he constantly comments about other women i.e. they are fat or thin or beautiful etc but if I look at a guy, then I am doomed.
13. These days he has also started telling me what dowry he would get if he would marry the arranged marriage way and asks me if my father will give anything at all to him. Also, whenever we are out and if his sister calls, he never tells her that he is with me, instead lies that he is with some other friend.
14. Also, I recently found out that he has two facebook profiles: one with his original name and details and his friends and another profile with the name he told me and a different date of birth and strangely only his and my common friends in the list. When I asked him he simply dodged the question and gave some vague random reply like he wants to keep me and our part of his life separate which I did not even understand. When I questioned about the name he said that since we first met with that as his name he wants to continue with that.. I am really surprised.
Now my mother and father do not know all the above details except about his family and sister issues and they are against our relationship for that reason, but ever since I have also started thinking about our relationship and after much thought I have realized that at 20 when I started dating him I never thought much but today I have issues with all the above points. I tried talking to him and from that day onwards he has started emotional blackmail – says that I am cheating him now and that he cannot live without me, his life has no meaning without me etc.Today he has even called my best friend and told her that I am behaving very rudely and that he will not be able to live if I continue behaving like this. I am really worried and stressed out and to top it all I have my final project submission next week. He just does not let me concentrate on my project and since I stopped answering his calls, he sends me messages saying he is sick, admitted to a hospital and has even told my friend the same and asked her to convince me to talk to him. I am really worried as I do not want to loose my degree and also I am unable to bear his emotional messages. I don’t know if I should ignore all the above issues or if I should just leave him. If I leave him, I am worried he might really do something and that my life will be ruined. Also, now that he knows my parents are against our relationship, he is pressurizing me to pack my bags and run away from home after my project submission and then lodge a complaint against my dad and seek protection. He says that if I love him I should leave my family and I am really not ready for it. Please help me..I have not told my parents all this as they will be worried and will really freak out and get tensed but at the same time I do not know how to handle it.
Thanks in advance for your help.