“I blamed myself for putting myself in that situation, for being so vulnerable and so incredibly stupid to believe any of his bullshit.”

I wish there was more awareness that threats of any kind, including suicide and any kind of emotional blackmail were ‘warning signs’ and not ‘love’. 

Sharing an email. 

Hello Indianhomemaker,

Your blog touches many of our lives with its stories and I really must appreciate the thoughts that are evoked in many mind upon reading these stories.

I thought I was a staunch feminist, a strong and independent woman. Well, I still am. But I faltered. I let someone take advantage of me while I pretended to be a ‘liberated’ girl.

I don’t pretend to be chaste, but that doesn’t mean any of us deserve any kind of abuse.

Here is my story, if you deem it fit, I would like it to be read.

I, an urban, liberated, free spirited girl, from Bombay moved to Bangalore after graduation to work with a small architectural studio. A lovely city, a great office but I didn’t know a single person, being a social girl I was it was a bit daunting. Then comes along the boy, village born, small town, worked hard to be where he was, breaking social and financial norms and practicing the profession we love so much at the same studio. He was my first friend.

Like every dramatic story, I moved to Bangalore with a heavy heart of having broken up with my amazing college boyfriend. It took literally 3 days to like this and feel endeared by his stories (albeit, in terrible English) to fall for him. And thus began, you can call it – a relationship. He was always skeptical about my white linen shirts (without a slip inside), my wild partying days back in Bombay, the copious amounts of alcohol I would drink with friends and family, my sexual experience, my liberated life on my high horse of coming from a comfortable financial background.

The intention of the relationship was never marriage, or at least didn’t start that way, it was mostly companionship and talking, socializing. I, in my head, knew this was wasn’t going to last and the fear of being alone and vulnerable made me continue it, and in all honesty he was gentle, loving and caring. He decided to move to Germany to do his masters, which I thought would be a great excuse to end the ‘relationship’.

But it didn’t.

There comes the first threat – if you leave me I’ll leave my studies and come back because I can’t handle the emotional distress of being without you.

He came from a very humble background, struggled to get a loan and get to go to study, I couldn’t bear to be the reason he would leave all of that because I was selfish enough to not continue a ‘Skype’ relationship and I was naïve enough to think he’d actually do it.
Meanwhile I decided to study further, he very graciously agreed to help me with the admission processes since he had just done it and I took that help, some were useful pointers which did help me to get through almost all schools I applied to. This in hindsight, wasn’t because of him only, but also because I am fairly bright.

While I would be on Skype with him, sometimes in compromising ways, I lived my life on my own terms here and did what I liked.

Then came the second threat after attempted break up 2 – I’ll kill myself.

I’d be the evil bitch responsible for his death and his family’s financial doom because he was the only earning member. And after everything he did for me, how could I let him die.

Threat 3 – I have recorded all those ‘compromising’ times and I will publish them not only on websites but email them to your parents.

Yes. That is correct. Of course, I shouldn’t have ever put myself in that position, but I trusted him enough and secondly, never thought he would take screen shots (naïve bordering on stupid). My family liberal enough would be terribly upset seeing those images if it does get to them.

With all the threats, this has been going on for 4 years.

4 years! I am able to write about this now, only because he has stopped having the effect of a cold cold hand gripping my heart. I don’t care.

This is not all, I am constantly called a whore, slut, things far worse, my parents and sister and her family are called tons of names, I am threatened to pay him money for gifts he gave me (that I never asked for accepted), money for phone calls he made to me, everything bordering on extortion and blackmail.

I blamed myself 3.5/4 years of the emotional abuse he put me through, because I blamed myself for putting myself in that situation, for being so vulnerable and so incredibly stupid to believe any of his bullshit. But now, I stopped. The only person to blame is him.

I am older now, I am not 23 and alone and stupid, I have met a wonderful who I will marry, who has been my wall when ‘Crazy’ (let’s call him that) strikes. I am over the fear of being flung in public. Because he can do what he likes, I will not live in his fear.

I would appreciate if you kept my identity anonymous.
Thank you

Regards

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“I need suggestions – these girls are ruining their lives with their stupid ideas about love.”

An email: He did not want me to be “more” educated than he was.

An email: An Old fashioned boy friend and a Liberal girl friend.

 

84 thoughts on ““I blamed myself for putting myself in that situation, for being so vulnerable and so incredibly stupid to believe any of his bullshit.”

  1. *Clap* *Clap* *Clap* Bravo to the letter writer!
    >I am over the fear of being flung in public. Because he can do what he likes, I will not live in his fear.<
    This is what a strong person is all about. Can't help but to clap more.😀

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  2. @LW–glad to know that you’ve realized that NONE of this is your fault. A similar thing happened to a friend of mine from Iran–her loser ex boyfriend had certain images of her that could very well send her to jail in Iran. Luckily, he seemed to lose interest in her and began to leave her alone. I realize that environment and upbringing plays into this in that they have many mental problems, but abusers like my friend’s ex and your ex are horrible people.

    While some may think it’s unnecessary that you’ve included his small town/ conservative/ bad english background, I’m glad you did. I definitely think that plays into the kind of person your ex is. I’m not saying that everyone from a small town/conservative background is abusive and everyone from a literate/ financially well off/ urban background is egalitarian, but I believe that the probability of someone being a misogynistic ass from the ex’s background is much higher than someone from the LW’s background. I do think women should consider this as a factor to analyze prior to dating someone.

    The best way to fight back an abuser is to take away his (or her) power–and you’ve done exactly that by not living in fear. Kudos to you.

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    • Absolutely right. I’m not saying that all men from conservative, small-town backgrounds are raging misogynists, but culture and upbringing play a HUGE role in how men perceive women.
      I’ve met a few men from conservative families who genuinely respect women, but then these men are very much their own people. They’ve broken a few social barriers themselves and that’s why they empathise with women’s struggles.

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      • Agreed. The few liberal but raised conservative men I’ve met have really had to work hard to re-haul their entire belief system. With some, it’s a constant struggle. Men who are raised liberally don’t come with that particular brand of baggage.

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  3. I wish there was more awareness about abusive relationships too IHM. Even realizing that one is being abused comes late often.

    To the LW: Kudos to you for moving on. I am not sure if this suggestion is going to help given the Indian police: But you can contemplate reporting about blackmail to police, of course based on your own discretion. In Bangalore, I have heard of a sales girl in a supermarket complaining about similar extortion and blackmail threats about her manager to police: He was fired and arrested. All the best.

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  4. Why don’t you lodge a police complaint? I’m sure it will be a wiser thing to do. This person can not keep blackmailing you like this.

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  5. Kudos to you! You vertainly are a feminist, loser crazy ex doesn’t take anything away from you. I think many will recognise the emotional abuse and blackmail here. I’ve heard ‘i will send your pics to your parents’ from atleast two other friends about their loser crazy exes. It’s difficult to see the abuse when it starts because it grows gradually, but you did well to see it when you did. I hope others read this email and muster up the courage to get out of such relationships too. We’re all cheering from the stands.🙂

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  6. I think this sort of story only underlines the importance of teaching young people (boys and girls) about healthy relationships. It should be a given for good parenting at age 16-18, to highlight what’s acceptable and what is not in a relationship. Or the school should hold sessions. SOMEONE has to take the onus, it’s silly to let people learn what is abusive and what is not by trial and error.

    That way, when young people do begin to date, they are somewhat informed about ‘red flags’. Otherwise, in a country like India, the ‘template’ for relationships would either come from family and friends, OR Bollywood- both of which can be problematic and misogynist at least 50% of the time.

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    • I think teaching all this is parents’ jobs, but in India when dating is not even openly allowed I doubt its possible.
      Guys are poorly brought up in India and with lot of entitlement,..…that is what gave this guy the audacity to mess with even someone like LW.

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      • Yeah, parents in India would not want to talk about this, but schools can do better.
        Any private school in Mumbai/NCR/Bangalore/Chennai I’m sure is aware that their students are taking an interest in the opposite sex.

        AFAIK private schools in urban India already talk a little about puberty and sex-education (my school did , it was English medium but hardly one of the fancier/aspirational schools, so did my husband’s school ).
        So may as well add in some relationship advice in that mix.

        About the guy’s behaviour, I really wouldn’t attribute it to being Indian. Maybe the melodrama, but he was emotionally abusive and that’s a problem not confined by international borders.

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        • 20 years ago even our KVS schools were talking about puberty to women, thanks to Johnson and Johnson to pull this marketing stunt of giving information booklets and free sanitary pads to high school girls and keeping boys out of the discussion.
          It is a shame most parents themselves do not know what is a healthy relationship forget about teaching about one and schools are claim they are not paid for doing so. It was same story in 1960s and it same now.
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

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        • My school in (suburban) chennai did not talk about sex at all!

          The biology teacher was too embarrassed about the whole thing, so pages 162 – 169 of the 9th standard biology text book were self study. (Of course, we did self study to such an extent that I even remember the page numbers, but that’s a different story). This was in 2001-2002.

          Girl students atleast had some separate sessions back when we were in 6th. They wouldn’t tell us what it was about. My mum and dad didn’t talk about it either – apart from changing the channel when some FRIENDS character said ‘sex’. Most of my friends and I got introduced to the whole concept of intercourse from watching porn. But I always had a nagging suspicion it wasn’t representative of reality. My brother and I finally learned quite a bit about sex education and a whole lot of other stuff from reading all the parenting books my parents stockpiled, but apparently never read😀

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        • Same story with my sister, who also studied in Chennai. There was supposed to be sex education, but the teacher just assigned it for self study. I explained everything in detail to her, but I don’t know how many others got that advantage. I was in school in Mumbai more than a decade ago, and I got proper basic sex-ed from my school, but I don’t think it was enough. But even that was denied to my friends from other schools.

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  7. Maybe I am being a bit naive here, but isnt the ex worried he could be shamed too? He seems to have a decent job, went to Germany for studying, is he not worried about his reputation or job prospects if the girl goes ahead and names him? If the LW remains quiet, is he not gettingh away scot-free? Reminds me of the case in the US where a Miss teen USA got a blackmailer (who threatened to ruin her modelling career) arrested.

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    • I think men like this don’t think the woman would ever publicly name them.. as that would involve her accepting that she dated him. He probably thinks that is such a huge shame for her that she would never do it. He probably doesn’t think it reflects badly on him as a man anyway and that only women lose their ‘izzat’. Such are people’s delusions.

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  8. Here is also another lesson:girls should not allow anyone to record or photograph themselves in ‘compromising’ situation.
    Its so stupid and yet common sensical,.…..why would anyone get online and do that !
    Its a breach of privacy,….quite similar to ,…would you like peeping toms looking at you without you knowing.
    In this case abuse just continued more because of this !I can’t understand how educated girls into this situation.

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    • I’m sure you don’t mean to do this but when you’re calling the LW’s actions stupid, you are essentially blaming the victim. She trusted her ex, period. He’s the one who’s threatening to make pictures that the LW believed would remain private, public.

      Clearly, the LW has beaten up herself enough about the situation even though it’s completely not her fault, AT ALL. I hope you’re more sensitive in the future regarding the stuff you say/write to abuse victims.

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    • How can you tell that you’re being recorded when you’re video chatting with people? I know its stupid that the ‘online compromising situation’ happened. But how is one to know that a close friend or one you’re in a relationship would do such a thing to you? Naughty video chatting with your partner is hardly a crime. She just put her trust in the wrong person.

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      • Exactly.From the letter,it doesn’t look like she was forced to do those videos.People need to understand self responsibility when it comes to internet.If slight abuse has already crept into a relationship,and then if a person is so careless especially when called whore and what not.,its a huge error in judgement.when you are skyping with anyone,the control over content once transmitted is out of your hands.
        And yes, if this is done by a well heeled,well travelled educated girl,its a mark of stupidity.
        More and more girls seem to be getting caught into this web knowingly ! Just for few moments of fun,…..

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        • It is this kind of judgment, blaming and shaming that enables blackmail (for something that the blackmailer was equally involved in!!)

          If women were not afraid of such cruel, biased judgment there would be much less fear of blackmail.

          Also, if you read the email she blamed herself too, and that self-blame made it difficult for her to fight back – so how does this blaming help?
          And who does it actually help?

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        • I just spoke about self responsibility. Blackmailing was there even when there was no internet.Blackmail is an offense to be reported,….nobody is stopping her from doing that.But when relationship sours,all daggers are pulled out.And maintaining a certain level of control while on Skype was in her hands,especially when there were red signals all along.
          Hence,an error in judgement.

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        • @IHM,

          Completely agree! It is this kind of judgement that empowers these blackmailers. The very fact hat some people focus on her intimacy with the guy rather than his abuse and blackmail is telling of what they think is more shameful.

          This blackmail and abuse happens with or without fraudulently obtained screenshots. I had a friend whose boyfriend tried blackmailing her by saying that he knew her dad beats her mum and he would tell the world if she tried to break up (to ruin their ‘reputation’). Anything could be used for blackmail by someone who was so inclined. The solution is always the same, i.e. not live in fear and take away their power.

          I also don’t understand the point of saying ‘why did she go on video with an abuser who calls her a whore’.. obviously those chats must be from better times before the LW realised the abusive nature of the guy. There are always red flags in hindsight but who can claim to predict the future?

          Cannot reply directly to your comment for some reason. Hoping this ends up in the right place.

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        • I really wouldn’t call it stupidity. It’s fairly common to have intimate pictures taken I would imagine. Or for a lover to save screenshots. That in itself is not the issue.
          I’d still blame the guy for using blackmail the way he did.

          To put in another way, because I don’t want to blame her AT ALL, I too wondered if my ex too had screenshots of me after reading her tale. I’ll probably never know, and it doesn’t really matter, but at the same time, this email does (for me) bring up the important issue of the false notions of privacy we sometimes buy into, in this digital age (women but also equally men)

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    • Agreed. This is the main takeway of this email for me actually!
      It doesn’t matter if its boyfriend/husband, loving/not loving-
      Unless you are sure that you will have sole and complete control of any pictures of yourself, do not take a chance with this sort of thing!They may get out, inadvertently or otherwise.

      Unfortunately in my college it was relatively common for girls to be worried, post-breakup, of photos that their exes had of them in their time together. Not that guys will automatically misuse them, but still,you can never know. And it can come back to hurt you professionally/personally.

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      • ETA- this wouldn’t have been the case in the pre-internet age. It’s not just malicious ex-lovers that pose a risk, but also innocuous things like friends and family who have access to you phone/ selling and buying of second-hand devices, and so on. So if you do want to take certain pictures, take a moment to think about who will store them and where.

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    • Allow anyone to record? How exactly? This is victim blaming!! How are girls supposed to be responsible for someone else recording them with or without their knowledge?
      What does being educated have anything to do with this?

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      • Dont jump the gun,..this is not victim blaming.How come this be? Don’t we go around telling:Stay alert ,stay smart.! When police issue warnings about certain areas marked relatively unsafe, only stupid person will venture there of his/her own accord.
        Similarly,curfew is curtailment,…..no one would be stupid enough to break curfew rules.Similarly,internet is a jungle out there,self responsibility is a must !

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        • “When police issue warnings about certain areas marked relatively unsafe, only stupid person will venture there of his/her own accord.”

          When police issue warnings about certain areas that are unsafe, they give those warnings and in most cases go to find the culprits responsible for making that space unsafe and bringing them to justice. They do this so that the right of people to go where they please and expect to remain unharmed is respected.

          Why are you telling that the girl is stupid, but not holding the boy to task for threatening to blackmail to start with? Is he not the stupid one? Shouldn’t he be the one who is shamed for acting like a bad person? Instead, there was not a single word uttered about him at all. Just stuff about how girls should “know better”. Nothing about holding evil to justice. Nothing about shaming and calling out the despicable men who act like entitled little children when things don’t go their way. Nothing about life-ruiners who threaten to bring down a girl’s mental health to tatters. Instead, it is accepted that they are a part of life, and the victims are treated like criminals and told to “expect bad things”. Why? What have they done to expect public humiliation? The only thing they’ve done is come across one of the more horrible kinds of humans in this world, and for this, you’re saying that it’s their fault. Unbelievable.

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        • @A
          The guy is the abuser,….and hence LW is writing about her experience. And why should i go into why’s,how’s,etc about the abuser,….its a given that his actions are all wrong.And LW also wrote about her lifestyle in bits,nowhere have I pointed finger at her lifestyle. if I was typical victim blamer,I would have pointed at her whole lifestyle ! Nowhere I did that.

          She herself said there were red signals all along ,all I said was her error in judgement cost her few years more with the abuser.Who knows if there were no screenshots, she’d gotten out faster and earlier.

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        • “Who knows if there were no screenshots, she’d gotten out faster and earlier.”

          Then I don’t think that you have a very clear idea of how abusive relationships work. You might want to read up on some of the links that DG and others have posted in these comments. Abusive relationships aren’t sustained by how many screenshots there are. To point to something like that as the reason is incredibly one-dimensional and not a very informed thing to say.

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        • ” if I was typical victim blamer,I would have pointed at her whole lifestyle !”

          Not necessarily true either. Victim blaming is trying to make someone the culprit for something that is absolutely no fault of their own. There is no such thing as a “typical” victim blamer, and you don’t have to point to her whole lifestyle in order to tell her that she is at fault.

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        • Yes. This is textbook victim blaming. “Stay alert, Stay smart” is usually levelled at women and it puts the onus on women to safe guard themselves. You know why rape or abuse occurs? Because rapists and abusers exist.

          And I can take your ridiculous self responsibility schtick to another level and say that since Delhi is the rape capital of the country, anyone who lives in Delhi is automatically responsible for the violations that occur against them. If they were truly responsible they would move somewhere else, maybe Sweden. Anyone who gets groped on the bus in India cannot blame the groper. I mean they took the bus! what did they expect!

          This is absolutely rubbish argument. And it is this sort of thinking and judgment that allows abusers to thrive and inhibits victims from seeking help or leaving.

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      • Of course, when say all this, it is only when the girl has explicitly allowed and participated ,has known she is being recorded /photographed.
        When it is done without her knowledge its a crime.

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        • How did you get to the conclusion that she explicitly allowed the recording? Web video chatting has nothing to do with recording per se. Participation in one does not give consent for the other.

          Even if she allowed herself to be recorded, sharing the recording without her consent would (or should) still be criminal.

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        • Participation in web chatting doesn’t give that guy permission but he is called abuser control freak for a reason.He is not going to take her permission to use Skype content ergo that’s why he is called abuser.She still goes ahead and after all red signals chats permissively. …of course she has not done all this in right mind. Therefore, a huge error of judgement.
          Is there a line drawn,where one person responsibility starts and ends yes I believe it does..…my safety is my responsibility too.
          And that’s why if I was this girl I would have filed a police case against this guy just for threatening me to post things online or defame me….. For taking advantage of trust.

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        • Even when a girl has explicitly allowed and participated, it is up to the other person in question to behave like a decent, moral human being and not try to act despicable and selfish. It is with this expectation that we engage with others in our every day life. You never tell someone to be wary of the people who serve you coffee or food, just in case they do something to it. You never tell them that they should be smart and simply eat at home, and if they choose to eat at restaurants, they are at fault for whatever mishaps happen. No. If something happens, the person is fired. The culprit who is responsible is held responsible. This is no different.

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        • No IHM, my statement above yours was not abt this LW I meant ‘any person’ who participates knowing she’s recorded or photographed whether in fun at that time,…but still it was permission.
          without permission, its a crime.

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    • What part of relationship is hard to understand? Relationship long distance or direct has element of trust and intimacy. Do you think she was aware that he was recording her while she was sitting her sleep clothes and making gestures at her and what do you have to say to all those wives who are blackmailed by their husbands with those videos they made of their marital unions?

      Stop blaming the victim. And the letter writer explained how she got caught into this mess in very clear words and you are still asking, “I can’t understand how educated girls into this situation.” Then something is really wrong in your comprehension. STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM.

      What do you have to say about these women?
      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/IRS-trainee-blackmailed-wife-with-sex-tape/articleshow/16469982.cms
      http://www.samachar.com/husband-booked-for-using-obscene-videos-to-blackmail-wife-for-dowry-nbudLNjgbhj.html

      Peace,
      Desi Girl

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      • I couldn’t help notice that in both cases the husbands pulled these stunts with the full support of their family. My stomach is turning now…just yuck!

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      • The wives recorded while sleeping, its a crime, because she didn’t know that she was being recorded.She didn’t sit in front of webcam and participated,responded in like and chatted with the abuser.How can you club all cases of such crime under one wing ?
        All said, I am actually very happy that this LW got away without any repercussions because of internet.That guy was probably bluffing and eventually lost interest in her and that gave her a break.
        And if considers herself as victim she could go ahead and report this guy to the police.I would.

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        • Have you ever video chatted with someone? You are not automatically recorded. Sitting in front of the webcam to chat with someone is exactly the same level involvement as sitting down in person to chat with someone.. or sleeping in a room with someone (like the wives in the links). Recording someone without their knowledge or consent is equally wrong in all these cases, they absolutely CAN be clubbed together. How can you single her out and victim blame her?

          p.s. It is not called victim blaming because ‘she considers herself the victim’. It is because he did someone wrong with her (blackmail and fraudulently recording someone) and you are finding fault with her instead of him.

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        • Really you are happy for the LW? You are out rightly blaming her. It was a relationship gone bad and abuser is arm twisting by using the intimate pictures as leverage. At what point one knows their intimate relationship/moments will become means of abuse?
          You are VITIM BLAMING trust me if it were you you won’t be reporting this and rather you’ll stay quite.
          So, one should not even visit friends coz’ one doesn’t know what they are capable of guess daddy was right. http://aajtak.intoday.in/video/Friend-to-call-home-made-%E2%80%8B%E2%80%8BMMS-1-54675.html

          DG is trying to find a the video where wife and husband took pictures in their long distance marriage and then husband started blackmailing wife to bring more dowry or oblige his friends to make up for the money. She too willingly posed in those videos. What do you have to say about that? http://aajtak.intoday.in/karyakram/-1-42097.html
          You’ll find every excuse to blame to victim and that is your choice.

          DG is done here.
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

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        • @DG
          When relationship sours ,everything incriminating can come to the fore.We can only hope other person doesn’t stoop to those levels.Otherwise lawsuits are filed to clear the name and minimise the damages.
          You don’t know me so u can’t say either way whether I would I wud file police complaint or not, so don’t insinuate . Here in this case, she fil e a complaint just for blackmail,that itself is a serious matter.She is a victim of blackmail but that doesn’t mean she should not be held responsible for her wrong judgement.

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        • //doesn’t mean she should not be held responsible for her wrong judgement//

          She held herself responsible for four years and that held her back. When we hold ourselves responsible we feel we deserve the consequences. When we acknowledge that self-blame/victim-blaming empowers the abusers only then can we actually start freeing ourselves from blame and responsibility for crimes/acts that somebody else chose to commit.

          Many women (and men) share information that they would not like to be shared further, and many women (and men) take every precaution possible. Personal information/’compromising’ information is also acquired by forcing/coercing/emotionally blackmailing the wife/girl-friend into sharing her social networking passwords.

          No matter how the information is got, the blackmail is made possible only because there are those who would blame the victim and not the blackmailer. If the parents and the society blamed the blackmailer would he dare to threaten? Why has he no fear of being questioned or being judged/held responsible?

          Why give a black mailer the benefit of ‘she should be held responsible because she should not have forgotten’ that ‘men are like that only’, ‘men can’t be trusted’ or ‘men will be men’?

          Do you think being made Voiceless helps cope with abuse/blackmail? Blaming and holding responsible is Silencing.
          It’s been done for centuries and has lead to the present day failure of society – failure to protect the innocent and put fear into the abuser.

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        • Oh yes, she should be held responsible for putting herself in such a situation, by who? She has already punished herself for four long years. Now it is the time she face the public court. What is the plan to punish her? Lynch her, stigmatize her, put a scarlet letter around her neck or stamp her forehead?

          Oh man, it is time we are held responsible for electing the trash that will represent in the Loksabha for next 5 years. Oh yes, we face the music for casting our vote, not casting our vote and someone else casting vote.
          DG

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    • Really? First of all, it’s obvious that the recording was without her consent. Relationships involve intimacy, you do not expect your partner to record such intimate moments.

      Second of all, if there were no screenshots then he would probably blackmail her with love letters or messages or emails. Or he could record her conversations when speaking on the phone. Or he could set up a hidden camera in his bathroom and record her when she visits. On and on and on. It is completely illogical to say that this happened because she ‘allowed’ him to record her.

      Why would you even venture into the victim blaming logic of saying ‘she shouldn’t have allowed him to do xyz’ (which was done without her consent anyway).. instead of simply blaming him for his cheap act of blackmailing her?

      ‘I can’t understand how educated people’ get into this mindset of victim blaming.

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      • True blackmailing is age old crime,…she has ample reasons to report this guy.But here nobody wants to acknowledge that an educated girl like her could have minimised her trauma just by being alert especially when there were red signals all along.When somebody is threatened, its scary and one’s senses are already on alert.Why not take precaution for your safety……is taking any and all actions for one’s safety wrong,.?….here she could have avoided any kind overt demonstration of romance over Skype..
        If an uneducated girl would have been in this position, the first thing people would have said lack of education was the reason she got caught in this web !

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        • Are you trying to say that when you already are in an abusive relationship, you should consciously avoid putting yourself in a position of vulnerability?

          That may well be true, but in an abusive relationship, the person in the eye of the storm may not have the perspective that someone from the outside does.

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    • Let me start off by saying that I DO NOT blame the LW. She had no idea that the creep would be taking screenshots to blackmail her later. So it’s unfair to point fingers at her.
      I do want to address something to everyone – whether it’s a girl or a guy. In my job, I had to take a training related to communications etiquette and dos and donts related to use of electronic media. One sentence from that training was related to use of emails and it has gotten etched in my brain. I use that rule for any form of communication – electronic or not. The sentence was – Do not put anything in an e-mail that you would not like to be seen as headlines in a newspaper.
      Call me over paranoid and being overly defensive (I’ll admit, I sometimes overdo this) – but this rule makes sense to me.
      I apply this rule to all forms of communication. It does not stop me from being expressive, I don’t hold back on emotions out of fear, but I am pragmatic too.
      Dear LW, I am glad you got out of this situation with resolve and fearlessness. I personally felt like the guy did not have the guts to do what he threatened, because it would expose his character as well. Based on your experience, I would be very interested in knowing if you have any advice to share with readers when it comes to use of electronic media. Best wishes for a happy future.

      Like

  9. I totally agree that this is an abusive relationship. But I am wondering, did the LW inform the guy that this is just a attached friendship and not a real relationship right from the beginning? Was the guy aware that this is not a relationship and there is no future in this and still started to threaten her? Was she forced into this relationship from day 1? I was wondering how this scenario would look if it was a guy who was in a casual relationship with a girl and it was the girl who thought this was a serious relationship and coming to realize it was not and not being able to give it up and declaring to commit suicide if he is going to dump her. I have seen some girls go through this phase where they were had been physically intimate with their ‘boyfriends’ who had eventually left them citing that it was not a serious relationship. This had caused them mental trauma, nervousness and the thought of attempting suicide. They had declared the same sentences to their BFs who had dumped them (because they never thought in their wildest dreams that they were going to be left off at one point in that imaginary relationship).

    Now, except for the threatening part from the abusive bf in this relationship, is it okay for the letter writer to take help from him to apply to universities or to be close with him for a while and then leave him? Would it be okay if the situation was vice versa? A guy being intimate with a girl, taking her help to apply to universities and telling her he is not serious about her at the end?

    I am just curious what am I missing here? Hoping to get answers from everyone here. Look, I support that the girl has to leave him for sure, he is indeed horrible and abusive. But did she mislead him and dump him ? Would it be right if the situation was vice versa with genders reversed? I just want to know that.

    My friends had thought of suicide when they were dumped by their boyfriends and even declared it to those guys (they were traumatised of being physically used by those guys and the fear and shame they had to feel when they realized the guy was not going to marry them after all! ). Are they abusive them? I dont get it. They had been cheated and were desperate for help, to save the relationship that made sense only to them. I am not able to think of these girls as abusive and I felt sorry for what they had to go through. Now I am wondering if this guy went through the same thing and out of desperation is he resorting to everything possible to make him stay with her? It is indeed wrong!

    Like

    • No. He basically has been blackmailing her with threats/suicide/screenshots for 4 years.
      This isn’t a story about a relationship gone wrong
      It’s a story of blackmail that went on for 4 years.

      As you yourself have already deduced, if the genders were reversed the blackmailers bluff would have been called.

      Like

      • @Desi Daaru,

        He clearly has. However it has started because the LW has got too close with him and assumed that he would not mind it if she dumps him. She definitely deserves someone better than him but she should not have encouraged him in the first place. He on the other hand, needs counselling.

        Like

        • And you know, an FIR.
          Blackmailing using photos for money is a crime. Which is something I didn’t know either, till I read this account.

          She tried to break up with him 4 years ago.That is definitely not ‘encouraging’ him. The remains fact that he was ready to blackmail her for his gain, so I cannot understand why we are having this discussion about how she should have tended to his feelings better to avoid this!

          At the end of the day, the story would have had a different ending if she had people to confide in, in the beginning (she was a stranger in a new city) and if she was aware that what was happening to her was a punishable crime (most Indian women are not aware of their rights.)

          Like

        • @Desi Daaru,

          She tried to break up with him 4 years ago (?)but was in a skype chat with him when he was in Germany. This is what I was talking about. If she did not want to encourage him, why would she be doing those skype chats? Was she forced to do that? In this age can anyone be forced to be in compromising position in front of a camera thousands of miles away from Germany?

          I am sorry that I am finding points against the girl, I don’t blame her for being in this position now. But dumping anyone angers me after I saw some of my friends facing the worst and losing their careers because of some stupid men and women who took their relationship for granted.

          I cant help feeling angry that she could have cut the relationship from her end (by avoiding many things – she could have even lied that internet is not working in her house to avoid skype chats) . She may have been forced to keep talking to him because of his threats but the rest were her choice.

          Like

    • I think you have made some very good points.
      The relationship is abusive no doubt. In adult relationships, the choice to end at will should be available to both parties. Australia has a no fault divorce law, the law doesn’t care who cheated, who wronged and who did what, because those are gray areas. If the relationship is irrevocably broken, you have the right to walk out.
      May be you were never promised something or may be you were, the point is the person changed their mind based on things they discovered. A mature person should be able to deal with the pain instead of throwing tantrums, threatening physical harm or actually attempting it (many do). You can’t coerce someone to have a relationship. If you were used or cheated or taken advantage of, learn a lesson and don’t let it happen again.
      Hope you agree too.
      I would hope that most people on this forum would give similar advice to a man who considers a relationship to be over but can’t get the message across. I know somebody who went abroad and spread rumors of his marriage to get a girl off his back (pre facebook and social media). Everyone agreed that the girl didn’t give him a choice to do it a better way. Dunno if you watch movies, think of Kareena Kapoor in Jab we met, how many people actually blamed her first boyfriend. Not many I hope.
      For those of us, who would have blamed a man in a similar situation as the LW, hopefully they will questions themselves and their double standards. That is a part of growing as a person too.

      So I hope you’d agree this freedom to walk out at will should be available to everyone. However, there is a need for social justice to override your and mine choice when the law sees that one party will lose everything by such a choice. This is like the quotas debate. Should government have rules, that prevent men from walking out from walk in relationships. Depends on the case. India does need social justice.

      But talking about people like you and me. We should have the choice. LW might not be a victim but she is making a choice, lets respect that. Her Bf isn’t a victim either. He’d be much more unhappy if she stayed. He will learn some good lessons such as throwing tantrums doesn’t work and that he shouldn’t have given so easily and freely either (if he thinks if was taken advantage of) etc etc etc. Who are we to judge anyone. All we can see is there is no relationship here. They should accept it and start on the journey to recovery.

      Like

      • This is one of the most composed and mature responses I’ve seen in a while. Neither party in a relationship needs to be a “victim” to have the choice to leave at will because each and every human being has the right to happiness as they deem fit.

        Like

      • @gk

        Yes, once a partner has decided to leave, it is best to let go of them and move on. But the statement “Anyone can leave the relationship whenever they want to” is making a mockery of the marriage ceremonies of people like me who look for life long love with the same person. I would not want to get into a relationship who may walk out when he feels he is not so happy with me. Clearly, not every moment is going to be a “happy” moment. I think the better answer would be to not get into part time relationship with a person who may want a serious relationship, isn’t it? To make an assumption that they did not want a serious relationship is a blunder on part of the person who eventually dumps them. One should not get into a relationship with someone who is very serious and has plans for future and cooly declare, “oops, sorry! Looks like I have the rights to walk out if I am no longer interested in us”.

        There are people who are looking for time pass relationships and girls/boys who are not ready to make a commitment but just want a friend/time pass lover should go for such people only.

        The guy in this place clearly has assumed that the LW loves him and is going to marry him. But, being an emotional, low self esteemed person and the thought that he has no life without her, has resorted to the extreme to make her stay with him. That notion has turned him into a moron and a monster now. While this is an unforgivable mistake, we cannot ignore the fact that the LW has definitely made use of him for her emotional needs and has now found a better guy who is definitely good for her. What she should have done is to cut short the relationship the first time she came to know he was getting emotionally attached to her. I think both the party is to be blamed and definitely the guy has done a bigger mistake. He has to realize she doesn’t love or care about him, that will make him come out of his illusion that she is the love of his life. And probably after that his brain will get start functioning normally and he would put a stop to himself becoming a psyco.

        Like

        • I did not reply to your earlier email because for some reason something in your comment made me think you were judgmental about the girl. You seem to have some really weird notions about permanent vs. time pass relationships. Interestingly according to you, it is the fault of the girl for “using” him. So in your imaginary world, if she did not want to break up with him, it would have been perfect relationship..because it was long term and ended in marriage? Are you really serious? How do you know he won’t turn into controlling and emotionally abusive husband? Should she still stay together with him? According to you, she is responsible for his behavior. No actually she is not. He is fully and totally responsible for threatening and blackmailing her. People make mistakes and get into situations where they are at risk. In which case, it is better for them to get out of the relationship.
          Your mindset is truly appalling! And it is because of people like you, some abuse victims are scared to walk out abusive relationships because you make justifications for the abuser and declare only if the victim had been this way or that..or done this thing or that, he would not have needed to descend to abuse. So therefore it is somehow the victim’s fault.

          And also in reply to your earlier email – your friends if they threatened the men with suicide so that they can restart the relationship are indeed being coercive.

          Like

        • @np
          When I read the letter, the LW came across as opportunistic …but I thought maybe that’s her lifestyle choice. I agree with you,…that foolish guy resorted to blackmail when he sensed she wanted to leave him and save his ego.I personally think LW is only victim of blackmail and not of anything else.but she doesn’t seem to have done anything concrete abt blackmail and just moved on with another guy in India before finishing off with the one in Germany. In my experience, traumatised naive women ( 2 of them) found it difficult to trust a guy for years.
          What exactly was the purpose of writing in this letter ?The only lesson I learned was to be extremely appropriate while skyping.

          Like

        • @Flygirl,

          Are you not the one who is being judgemental here? What do you know about me to think that I encourage such nonsense?! X-(

          1. I did not say he would not be abusive if she had married him.
          2. I never said it was her fault

          These are your assumptions about my questions. So you need to judge yourself about coming to conclusions about me without even understanding what I was trying to talk. A conversation should not be BLAMING. If you wish to argue against my points, state it politely, not declare who I am and how India is going down because of people like me. I am the exact opposite of what you have declared and have been instrumental in saving many girls and guys who have been dumped by their boyfriends/girlfriends. I really don’t like the way you have written to me.

          I have seen girls breaking down when they get dumped by guys, going to the extent of thinking they have to die. Would you be okay if you had a boyfriend and you were very close and you allowed it because you trusted that you were going to marry him and then you come to know he is not going to? You talk as if it is a simple thing and anyone can take it lightly and move on with life. People have mental breakdowns and many have committed suicide. No one wants to be dumped after getting into a relationship and many girls do not want to end up marrying another guy after loving someone else. I have seen how many girls have ended up breaking down after being abandoned by someone they trusted a lot.

          I just thought if the same had happened to the guy instead. And whether he was taking it a little too far in his attempts to keep her with him always. THIS DOES NOT MEAN I SUPPORT HIS ACTIONS OR BLAME THE GIRL. What he is doing is nothing short of a criminal’s activity and he would soon be heading to Jail if he is going to take it any further.

          I felt the rest of the answers were making it feel that it is okay to get into a relationship with anyone and leave them just like that. I was addressing ONLY that part of this topic. And I felt no one should do that.

          PS: If you wish to argue/discuss with a stranger, AVOID making a essay about who they are and what they are etc. You have no clue about any of us here. By doing this you would prevent us from asking simple questions. Pouncing on me for asking something that you never thought of or did not like, is very wrong.

          Like

        • @cosettez

          Exactly!! The only mistake here is to get into compromising positions with a guy she had no idea to take it forward! And yes, the guy is a moron and is traumatizing her now. She should complain to cybercrime and get this sorted. She cannot justify that she was feeling “lonely” and allowed a guy to think she is going to marry him. This is selfishness on her part.

          Any human, when they are cornered or become too desperate, end up becoming a criminal, unless someone makes them realize that what they are doing is extremely wrong. The girl did not make him who he is, he is what he is right from day one. But she definitely made use of him and has dumped him. So I feel both of them have done something really wrong.

          I am surprised everyone is okay with the girl using the reason of feeling lonely to have got close with a guy and then dumping him. I am against this because right from day 1 she NEVER had the idea of taking it forward.

          She is indeed a victim of blackmail and abuse. But he too is a victim of being used and dumped later.

          Like

        • //And also in reply to your earlier email – your friends if they threatened the men with suicide so that they can restart the relationship are indeed being coercive.

          I dont agree with this. How can they wake up one day and get to know he cheated her and just say “Thats alright” and move on? You make it sound too easy. Physical and emotional relationship with someone can be traumatising if the person involved dumps them. The first feeling a dumped person gets is that they cannot live without their partner. They foolishly believe is 100% and try to do everything to not let go just like how they cant let go of their love for their parents. The world coercive is very wrong. Did my friends force a guy into a relationship? NO. They reacted to possibly to most traumatising event of their life with what they thought would make the guy feel sorry for them and not dump them and abandon them. Normal humans cannot just ‘move on’ and deal with things so easily as you imagine them to do.

          Like

  10. Jesus, that is scary! That man is mentally ill! It sounds like he is just trying to control you, but it does sound scary. This cannot go on any longer, you have suffered enough. Tell people you know, contact the police in India AND in Germany and say you are being harassed, and more importantly TELL him directly to stop harassing. I have been harassed before by an ex and the first thing authorities will tell you is to directly tell the person to STOP. And keep a record of everything to hand over to the police. Don’t let this snake run your life!!!

    Like

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