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Can’t get over relationship abuse from many years back

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  • #396209
    Shve
    Participant

    Hi All,

    I’m glad I found this site, thank you to all who respond with empathy. I would like to share my story here, sorry for the long post.

    I am struggling to get over a ‘relationship’ that happened about 10 years back. We were colleagues at office in India and we’re in the same friends circle we started off as friends, but the conversations started to veer towards him liking me and he said he loved me and wanted to marry me. I thought he was joking so I brushed it off or laughed it off whenever he brought it up. I saw many differences between us, I was a meat lover and he was not. He was also shorter than me, when I had dreamt about marriage.. I always thought I would marry someone taller than me, so it seemed like these were big differences to me. I said this would not work out. However he was persistent, pleaded cried and begged and said he could not live without me. He said don’t leave me for these silly reasons, I will keep you very happy. I also had a intuition about him not being good for me but at that time I could not figure out why my mind thought so because he was so well behaved and always trying to make me happy. I thought I was being too harsh to him and he pleaded to me many times not to leave him for these silly reasons. We were always talking and he asked me to ask my family about him if we could get married. I was in 2 minds because though I started to like him, I was not sure if it was enough for marriage. He persuaded me and even was getting angry about why I’m not talking to my family about it. I thought I was being too rigid and harsh and thought he likes me so much then why was I not wanting to accept. I went against my beliefs and said I will be with him since he likes me so much. My parents were not thrilled and said this will not be the right fit and the just left it at that. Meanwhile he said we should keep convincing them until they get convinced and then we will announce it among our friends and everyone.

    We also had some fights in between especially in relation to other women when he would comment that they look pretty or beautiful. One example was when he sent pictures of skimpily clad women to a colleague who was seated next to me and I happened to see them in his mailbox. This lead to a 1 hour fight when I was mad and said if this is what he was going to do. I also made it clear to him that I did not like physical relationships before marriage and he said I promise you I will not touch you before marriage. We continued talking and sometimes we fought, sometimes it was good. One fine day he said he could not proceed with this because his family did not think this was suitable. And by that time I had decided in my mind that I was going to be with him. I was shocked and cried to him. He said this will not work out. We met in office the next day and we talked and he said he would drop me back home. He stopped on the way home and asked can I kiss you. On hearing that I thought he’s back to normal he was just angry so he said this could not continue. I was just happy hearing that. I said no you can’t and asked if I could kiss him, I kissed him on his cheek and he suddenly kissed me on my lips.  I felt something I never did before. From there it was down hill. I could not hold myself back and he kissed me, held my hands touched my breasts kissed me, right at never went all the way. The next few weeks he would call me to come with him and this would happen. Everyday when I went back home I felt dirty but at the same time I was also happy that I was with him. I was so vulnerable at that time that I could never refuse when ever he asked me to come. Even when I refused he would jeep persuading me to come. At times even when I cried in his car, he would touch me. Looking back at it, I feel so ashamed and dirty and I let him do this. I did not think straight and was just lost in what I just experienced.

    This continued for 4-5 months and i would keep asking him about marriage and he would say my family would not be happy, but then I would think why is he calling me to come with him, surely he would not just throw me and go because he promised he would only touch me after marriage. One fine day he said his family found a girl for him, he said she was young and beautiful, and that he was the first guy for her. I felt very dirty, cheap, humiliated and shocked hearing that. He was so happy after he had met her and kept flaunting her pictures and engagment to everyone at office. Meanwhile I was shocked at all of this. I could not figure out what was going on. I was like is this real? He stopped calling me to come with him the day he knew his family found someone for him. And then he got married, I even went to his wedding, it was very painful. He was so happy and he flaunted the pictures on Facebook. I was still in a shock, slowly I started realising he had used me because I was a challenge and he wanted to show that I could be ‘captured’. He blamed it on me saying ‘why did you come with me when I called you’?

    All of this triggered my path to depression, weight gain, it was horrible, I was walking like a dead body. I hated myself for letting this happen to me. Meanwhile he was very happy in his life, he had twins a boy and a girl, exactly what he wanted when we were talking about how our lives would be. He did pretty well in his career too. We were in the same office for about 8 years after this. And here I am still unmarried, depressed, gaining weight and still have flash backs about the whole incident that make me cry.

    I did not find anyone yet for a relationship though it taught me many things. But I never understood how he could just use someone and get away with no karma. I wished he had just broken up and not touched me, I would have been happy for him, but it was not to be. Everyone around him thinks he is a very good person. I don’t know how to move forward, feels like I am still stuck at the time that he treated me like trash and could not come out of it. For him it seemed normal to just go about life. How can this be?

    Sorry about the long post, 🙁

     

     

    #396211
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    As I was reading your original post, way before I got to the last paragraph, I thought to myself: what a cruel man he is! I also thought- he suffered no consequences for his cruelty! I then I read your last paragraph: “Everyone around him thinks he is a very good person“, and he “get(s) away with no karma“.

    For him it seemed normal to just go about life. How can this be?” – he doesn’t have a heart; this is the only answer I can come up with at this point. Thing is, his new wife got a heatless husband, and by now, she probably knows it, and tragically, his future children will have a heartless father. It is not that he was heartless with you, and then… he is a person full of heart with his new wife. She got the same person you got!

    I can’t think of anything else to say for now. But if you reply to me, knowing myself, I will have plenty more thoughts to offer you. I do feel sad that you ended up with this being your first … love-like experience. Mine wasn’t better, no at all, so I can relate.

    anita

    #396212
    anita
    Participant

    correction to “his new wife got a heartless husband… his future children have a heartless father” =>

    his wife got a heartless husband… and his children have a heartless father”.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by anita.
    #396214
    Shve
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for taking time to read so much and replying. I had tears reading your reply, thank you for empathizing. I’m so sorry you had a negative experience yourself, my prayers and good wishes to you.
    I’ve shared about this to 2 friends of mine, one just said these things happen, it was very invalidating.  I could never share my story to my family due to the immense shame I feel even thinking of talking about it. I do want them to know what happened to me, but I could not find the courage to tell them about it. I spend many sleepless nights just thinking that I betrayed my parents but could not bring myself to tell them about this. Tried so many times, but could not. I prayed to God to show me a way, but I could not, failed every single time. I even thought of ending my life, but I can’t imagine my family going through that horror.
    Yes, the person was cruel. He took advantage of my vulnerability, when I was at the lowest point in my life. But when such a long time goes by and nothing happened to him, I think may be he’s not cruel, may be I deserved this. He seems quite happy with his family too. But deep in my heart I know he did wrong, I did not deserve this. It has created in me a deep distrust of men and people in general.

    Hope to hear from you, if you have any more thoughts.

    #396215
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    He did you wrong, of course he did, and you did not deserve it. Just like I did not deserve it, when it happened to me. There is so much Wrong that people do to people, business as usual… but we must not submit to such injustice, accepting it as if we deserve it.

    About telling your parents about it… I was wondering, in my own life… if parents care so much about their daughters, not wanting a daughter to get hurt, why don’t they teach her about what so many men out there are doing, lying to a woman, luring her in, and then… moving on without a second thought, why don’t they warn us???

    anita

    #396216
    Shve
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    why don’t they teach her about what so many men out there are doing, lying to a woman, luring her in, and then… moving on without a second thought, why don’t they warn us???
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>I agree with you. I think if they had known how far I was in it, they probably would have. I did not tell them details about it, just that there is a person who wants to marry me. I did not expect him to break my trust and me ending up like this. They did not know I was continually in contact with him. May be they thought he was decent enough. He did come over home once with my friends. He is very good at keeping appearances in front of others to seem like the perfect guy. Had I not gone through this experience I would never have thought he was like this. That’s what seems so mind blowing, looking at him from outside I never would have realised how disgusting he really is. The only thing that mattered to him was ‘are my current needs getting satisfied’ irrespective of what happens to another person or what I promised before.</p>
    Even when he said I will talk to your parents about us during our talking days, I said I will talk and convince my parents, I was so foolish. I realised my foolishness at every step of this so called relationship only long after it was all over. My intuition did warn me this was not good, but I did not listen to it, did not understand it. My feelings of shame and disgust are still strong even though it has been 10 years now. I’m now 37, I can’t think of getting into a relationship for the fear of being used again. I also fear that any man who knows about this incident will want to have nothing to do with me.

    #396217
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    When I asked why our parents don’t teach/ warn us about this unfortunate normalized and widespread male behavior (men being sexual predators, basically), I didn’t mean that they should teach us after the fact, after we met some guy as a young woman. I mean when we were growing up. Don’t we go to school to learn the alphabet and basic math when we are 6, 7, 8… why not teach girls at 13, 14, 15 basic sexual behavior, which our parents know about because they were young, and they either experienced this or heard about others their age who experienced it.

    Why do traditional parents send their young, naive, inexperienced daughters into the wild, so to speak, without preparation? I don’t expect you to have the answer. I am about to go out for a long walk and think about my own question. Please feel free to post to me while I am gone and at any time.

    I have other thoughts and comments other than what I brought up regarding parents not teaching us, but later.

    anita

    #396218
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    It is Sat 6:17 pm where I am, USA (Sun 6:47 am in India). I want to post again in your thread in the morning, my time, when I am hopefully more awake and focused than I am now. I want to respond to everything you shared so far. If you want to add anything at all, before I return, please do. I hope you will soon feel much better!

    anita

    #396224
    Shve
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for responding. I was thinking about your question about parents not teaching us when we are younger. I don’t know the answer to that honestly. I guess because it’s taboo, or they think their children would never be involved with a guy the way I did or may be they think we know about such things or that it can only happen to others. I’m not really sure, may be I need to think about it some more. I did think to myself during the aftermath of this, why did I not have anyone to tell me he was not good for me.

    When I confronted him about what he did during the time he was abusing me, he just said I loved you at that time so I said that, now I don’t so I’m saying that. He also said I have anger issues so he could never be with someone like that. I infact did bring up this topic before I spoke to my parents about him and he said I can manage all that, he din’t have any problem with that. For a long time I did think that I had anger issues, because I was angry at everyone else for small things. But when things became clearer over the years, I realised my anger was not fully wrong. Most of the anger during the time with him was because of his behaviour in relation to other women when we were talking. He would tell directly to me that some colleague looked hot, or among our circle of friends a friend lost weight, he would tell her did you transfer your weight to her(me). He even said another girl was the most beautiful among our circle of friends. Hearing these things made me jealous, but I did not know how to handle that jealousy, I tried to hide it and suppress it to maintain peace. May be my anger was probably misplaced by it coming out at other times and this made him think I have anger issues. But I know I was not to blame fully for that anger.

    He also did mention to me once that in our office the talk was that I was a girl that men could not ‘get hold of’. May be in his male brain this became a challenge and he finally felt proud he ‘achieved’ it. Realising this made me feel very ashamed and dirty. I don’t know how to move forward from this. I did think that time would heal it, but off late these thoughts trouble me very much and does not let me do anything else. How can I move forward knowing that someone is out there enjoying their life after destroying my dreams? I also dreamt during my teens that only the person I get married to would touch me and I had made this clear to him too, but he destroyed those dreams. And his only reply was ‘ why did you come’. I can still hear that ringing in my ears :(.

    #396327
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    You are very welcome! I have so much to say, so I know that this will be a very long post. I hope that you have the patience. Take as long as you need to read/ re-read any particular part.

    1) About Words: words are easy to say… for those who don’t care if their words hurt others (hurt others right there-and-then, or later). This is particularly true in regard to men who pursue women for sex, not caring if their words end up hurting the women: “he said he loved me and wanted to marry me” – how fast and easy it was for him to say these words, it takes less than a minute and a tiny portion of a calorie to move the muscles required to utter these words.

    Later, when he was no longer interested in you and you confronted him, “he just said I loved you at that time, so I said that, now I don’t so I’m saying that“- When he told you that he loved you, he felt something: that feeling may have been, at first, a feeling of affection, but it became predominantly a feeling of excitement at the idea of sexually conquering a woman. When he told you I-want-to-marry-you, it was part of his plan to conquer you. Men have been suggesting and/ or promising marriage for the purpose of sexually conquering a woman since the invention of marriage!

    What he said, in the sentence I boldfaced above is that he is ethically okay with saying and then unsaying whatever, his excuse: I felt it then, I don’t feel it now.

    He also did mention to me once that in our office the talk was that I was a girl that men could not ‘get hold of’. May be in his male brain this became a challenge“-

    In regard to sexually conquering a woman/ sexual conquest, an online definition of the word conquest: the subjugation and assumption of control of a place or people by use of military force; sexual conquest: a seduction culminating in sexual intercourse.

    2) About Pleading, Crying and Begging Persistently: “He was persistent, pleaded cried and begged and said he could not live without me. He said don’t leave me for these silly reasons, I will keep you very happy” – he said what he said as part of his sexual conquest mission. He pleaded to your reason (“don’t leave me for these silly reasons”), to your empathy, pity and guilt (“cried and begged”), to your need to feel that you are important and special to someone (“said he could not live without me”), and he promised you happiness.

    Pleading, crying and begging repeatedly takes more time and energy than just uttering words once. What gave him energy was the excitement about the prize at the end of his sexual conquest mission, if it ends successfully.

    He asked me to ask my family about him if we could get married… He persuaded me and even was getting angry about why I’m not talking to my family about it… he said we should keep convincing them until they get convinced and then we will announce it among our friends and everyone” – he was making himself more believable in regard to his alleged intent to marry you, a non-existent intent. He was okay with you and your family getting hurt once his mission was accomplished.

    3) About Promises: “he said… I will make you very happy… and he said I promise you I will not touch you before marriage” – again, these are only words, and uttering words is easy when a person doesn’t care about hurting another’s feelings; uttering words is the easiest part of the sexual conquest mission.

    4) The Next Phase of his Sexual Conquest Mission: “One fine day he said he could not proceed with this because his family did not think this was suitable… I was shocked and cried to him. He said this will not work out. We met in office the next day and we talked, and he said he would drop me back home. He stopped on the way home and asked can I kiss you” – by persistently pursuing you for a long time, day after day, he got you to the point of emotional dependence on his Words, Pleading, Crying, Begging and Promises. Once he removed what you were dependent on, you were shocked and upset, and while shocked and upset, he arranged to be alone with you in his car where he went for the Prize.

    On hearing that I thought he’s back to normal he was just angry… I was just happy hearing that” – when he asked if he could kiss you, he was approaching the culmination of his sexual conquest mission, but you were not aware of it. Like a person dependent on a drug (his Words, Pleading, etc.), you were relieved and happy at the thought that you didn’t lose your drug, that it’s still available for you.

    I said no you can’t and asked if I could kiss him, I kissed him on his cheek” – When he asked if he could kiss you (on the lips), you felt a gratitude to him, for not taking away from you what you became dependent on. You did not want to say Yes to a sexual kiss, so you offered him a non-sexual kiss, a kiss on his cheek.

    5) The Culmination of his Sexual Conquest Mission, going for the Prize: “I kissed him on his cheek, and he suddenly kissed me on my lips.  I felt something I never did before. From there it was downhill…  The next few weeks he would call me to come with him and this would happen… This continued for 4-5 months“.

    I would think… surely, he would not just throw me and go because he promised he would only touch me after marriage” – you were so confused at the time, that you still expected him to keep his promise, not being aware that he already broke his promise.

    6) He didn’t need more than 4-5 months with the Prize: “One fine day he said his family found a girl for him… He stopped calling me to come with him“.

    7) Post Mission for the Conqueror: “he said she was young and beautiful, and that he was the first guy for her…He was so happy…  kept flaunting her pictures and engagement to everyone at office… And then he got married… he had twins, a boy and a girl, exactly what he wanted… He did pretty well in his career too“.

    Post Mission for the Conquered: “I felt very dirty, cheap, humiliated and shocked…  I could not figure out what was going on. I was like is this real? … it was very painful. I was still in a shock, slowly I started realising he had used me because I was a challenge and he wanted to show that I could be ‘captured’” – you became aware that indeed you were captured (or conquered, the word I used).

    To capture, online definition: to take into one’s possession or control by force.

    To conquer, online definition: to overcome and take control of (a place or people) by use of military force.

    – the force he used was not physical, it was psychological.

    Deceiving you (Pleading, Crying and Begging, and making false Promises to you, etc.) = using psychological force against you.

    How does the conqueror feel (the one who deceived and took control of his victim)? Elated. How does the conquered feel (the one who was deceived and lost control)? Humiliated, shocked.

    He blamed it on me saying ‘why did you come with me when I called you’?” – he (the perpetrator) succeeded in his mission to deceive you (his victim), and then he blames you for… his own success.

    I hated myself for letting this happen to me” – the one deceived accepting the responsibility conveniently given to her by one who deceived her.

    All of this triggered my path to depression, weight gain… And here I am still unmarried, depressed, gaining weight and still have flash backs about the whole incident that make me cry“,

    Everyone around him thinks he is a very good person. I don’t know how to move forward, feels like I am still stuck at the time that he treated me like trash… For him it seemed normal to just go about life… I’ve shared about this to 2 friends of mine, one just said these things happen” –

    – Lots of people passively accept the abuse of power; many admire those who successfully abuse their power.  In addition, people gravitate toward those who appear happy and powerful/ in control and gravitate away from people who appear sad and powerless/ not in control. So, in the office, people likely gravitated toward him and away from you. This gravitation tendency keeps the perpetrators powerful, and the victims… powerless.

    Yes, the person was cruel. He took advantage of my vulnerability, when I was at the lowest point in my life. But when such a long time goes by and nothing happened to him, I think maybe he’s not cruel, maybe I deserved this” – Nothing happened to him because much of society passively accepts the abuse of power, and many people encourage and participate in it, in some form or another.

    I could never share my story to my family due to the immense shame I feel even thinking of talking about it… I spend many sleepless nights just thinking that I betrayed my parents but could not bring myself to tell them about this. Tried so many times but could not…. I even thought of ending my life, but I can’t imagine my family going through that horror” – your immense shame does not belong to you. It belongs to (1) the perpetrator/ conqueror, (2) the many people who supported him along the way, starting with his parents who encouraged (or did not discourage) the idea that it is okay for a man to abuse his social-gender power against women, (3) the people who did not provide you with guidance in regard to this widespread and well-known practice of men seeking to sexually subjugate women, the people who failed to teach you how to detect men-on-a-sexual-conquest-mission and how to respond to them.

    Power is successfully abused in many ways, all over the world. Shame belongs to the millions of people who are (1) aware of this or that abuse of power, (2) are capable of doing something against it, (3) passively accept it (ex. your friend who said: “these things happen”), and/ or encourage it and participate in it.

    I did not expect him to break my trust and me ending up like this… He did come over home once with my friends. He is very good at keeping appearances in front of others to seem like the perfect guy” – your parents should have taught you that trust can be broken by people who appear perfect.

    Had I not gone through this experience I would never have thought he was like this” – if your parents taught you that people are too often not what they appear to be, you wouldn’t have to go through this experience.

    I did think to myself during the aftermath of this, why did I not have anyone to tell me he was not good for me” – it would have been very, very helpful if your parents, or someone else, told you that it is possible that he (or any man/ person) is not what he appears to be, and then tell you the common ways in which men seek to sexually subjugate women (ex. promising to marry her), so that you would have been aware and alert to such ways.

    I also had an intuition about him not being good for me but at that time I could not figure out why my mind thought so because he was so well behaved” – if you were taught about the ways men seek to subjugate women, you’d have more than an intuition about him not being good for you, you’d have an understanding of the motivations behind his “good” behavior.

    The combination of Intuition + Understanding would have been powerful enough against his efforts.

    My feelings of shame and disgust are still strong even though it has been 10 years now. I’m now 37, I can’t think of getting into a relationship for the fear of being used again” – with more understanding comes power. If you use your power of understanding, you can protect yourself from current and future abuses.

    Most of the anger during the time with him was because of his behaviour in relation to other women when we were talking. He would tell..  a friend lost weight, he would tell her did you transfer your weight to her(me). He even said another girl was the most beautiful among our circle of friends” – like I said in the beginning of this post, for people who don’t care about hurting others with their words, it is easy to say whatever they feel like saying.

    Hearing these things made me jealous, but I did not know how to handle that jealousy, I tried to hide it and suppress it to maintain peace… I know I was not to blame fully for that anger” – you were not to blame for feeling anger at his verbal cruelty. Your anger was an instinctive/ natural response to his cruelty.

    How can I move forward knowing that someone is out there enjoying their life after destroying my dreams?” – a person like him, who does not care about honesty, decency and justice, a person who cares only for personal power and appearances, hurts the most when he becomes aware of his disappearing youth and health as he ages and becomes more aware of his mortality.

    I also dreamt during my teens that only the person I get married to would touch me and I had made this clear to him too, but he destroyed those dreams” – if he, or a man like him (and there are plenty) would have married you first and then touched you… you’d still be touched by a bad man.

    Your dream, I am sure, was to marry to and be touched by a good man, an honest, decent man. Maybe you can still have a First, a first with a good man, one you are yet to meet and get to know.

    It has taken me more than 5 hours to put this post together. I hope it is helpful. Please take your time reading it.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by anita.
    #396350
    Shve
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you would be an understatement for your reply, to spend your time and effort for a stranger online. Your efforts are commendable, I came across this site back in 2013 when I was searching for peace from this situation. I see you have been regularly posting over the years. I do thank you for patiently reading through it and analyzing whatever I said and responding to with your thoughts. It really helps me to see from another person’s perspective of what happened to me and also to validate some of my understanding.  I read through your post a few times, much of what you said resonated with me especially about men like this not bothered about hurting others feelings or thoughts. I read about narcissists online and lot of what is said about them seems to be true of him.

    I need to re-read it few more times I guess. Some of the points are what I already know but I wish I could erase from my life. I have so much regret that I’m unable to come to terms with this even now and it has affected the quality of my life in a very big way especially because he faced no consequences of this in fact just the opposite, he’s doing very well in life.

    I guess somewhere in my mind I keep thinking he will face consequences, but since it never happens, it puts me into a downward spiral mentally. I also think that he has all the luck in this world to not face consequences, flaunt his new life and family, do well in his career, not have to apologize and just walk around like nothing happened. Do you or anyone here have any thoughts on how I can make peace with this situation especially because I see first hand that he has no consequences?

    #396352
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shve:

    You are welcome and thank you for your appreciation and kind words. I spent all that time yesterday on your post not just “for a stranger online”. Writing to you led me to a better understanding of the very unfortunate, very common practice of Abuse of Power, starting in most homes (parents abusing their power over their children in one way or another), on to bullies in school… on to men abusing their power over women, and on and on, all the way to currently, one powerful man abusing his power against all of Ukraine and Russia… and the world.

    Also, there really is no such thing as “a stranger online” or in real life. We people have so much in common wherever we live, whatever gender, age, race, education, experience, etc., we are all one big human family. Of course, like in many families, we don’t all get along, and some abuse their power over others.

    It has affected the quality of my life in a very big way especially because he faced no consequences of this in fact just the opposite, he’s doing very well in life… he has all the luck in this world to not face consequences, flaunt his new life and family, do well in his career, not have to apologize and just walk around like nothing happened“,

    I guess somewhere in my mind I keep thinking he will face consequences, but since it never happens, it puts me into a downward spiral mentally.  Do you or anyone here have any thoughts on how I can make peace with this situation especially because I see firsthand that he has no consequences?

    To come to peace with this situation, you need some justice. You need him to suffer consequences for the wrongs he’s done to you. And for as long as there is no justice, you are stuck in a mental downward spiral quality of life. Here are all the possible (and impossible) ways for you to receive justice, as far as I can think. Please let me know what you think of each way, and if in your mind, there are additional ways:

    1) In the U.S., for as long as not too much time has passed (statute of limitation), a woman in your position could sue him in civil court, asking for monetary compensation for damages, (2) You could contact his wife and tell her about what happened, hoping that she will give him trouble for what he’s done, and/ or you could gossip about him to people who know him, hoping to damage his reputation this way, (3) You could arrange to meet him in-person and proceed to physically hurt him in such a way that he will live with chronic pain and/ or disability, (4) You can get involved in a justice-seeking movement, or start your own, educating teenage girls and young women about the practice of sexual subjugation of women/ abuse of power by men against women , so to prevent other women from suffering the injustice you suffered for so long.

    anita

    #396361
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Shve

    I’ve been following your thread. I found that trauma therapy was extremely helpful for moving past a similar experience. Would that be a possibility?

    In India, the highest rate of sexual abuse is experienced by women between the age of 18 and 30. The second highest rate of sexual abuse is experienced by women between the age of 30 and 45.

    You have learned the reality of the situation and it is terrifying. But it doesn’t mean that there aren’t good people out there. It’s horrible that he shattered your dreams and it’s understandable to grieve that loss, but in time you may have new dreams. Whilst this betrayal has hurt you deeply, and made you feel afraid. I have hope that you will learn to protect yourself from people such as him in the future because of this experience.

    He blamed you for his actions saying that you should have stopped coming. But if you were with someone who was safe, you would never have been harmed. He is 100% responsible for the abuse.

    I will however suggest that the reasons why you went are very important. The first time, you didn’t know what would happen. You trusted him, it wasn’t your fault. But and I say this with love and kindness, you were responsible for repeatedly putting yourself in danger. Once you understand the reasons why and overcome them, you will be able to protect yourself in the future. It is very important for you not to blame yourself, only understand the reasons why you repeatedly allowed yourself to be subjected to his abusive behaviour.

    From my own experience, even people we trust can betray us. But not everyone will do that. The main thing we can do is look out for “warning signs” of bad behaviour. For example, when he chased you and you weren’t interested. That is a warning sign because he didn’t respect your lack of interest. Proposing when you weren’t ready, was manipulative and has the effect of suggesting that the relationship is closer than it is. His comments about other women and on your weight are also warning signs.

    If someone displays warning signs, take great care not to be alone with them.

    I would pay very close attention to what your parents say about partners in the future. They suggested that it wouldn’t be a good fit. Did they explain why? Did you ask? Loved ones are often afraid of pushing us away by being critical of partners.

    Another thing that is important, is building strong boundaries and practicing assertiveness. People like your ex target victims based on how they respond to their boundaries being breached. You didn’t maintain your boundaries when you said that you weren’t interested in dating him. You didn’t maintain your boundaries when you said that you weren’t ready to marry him. To him he would have thought great, I can do whatever I want with this woman. She will say no at first, but then I’ll be able to convince her to do it.

    Another danger, is that some people don’t like to be told no. Some may pretend to accept it initially, then retaliate in the future. It really is key to never be alone with people who aren’t worthy of trust.

    The sad truth is even if you follow my advice, bad things can still happen. But it is my opinion that I can’t live in fear anymore. I would miss out on all the good things in life. All we can do is our best to move on and build a new life for ourselves, do our best to protect ourselves and pray that nothing of the sort happens again.

    It is my opinion that the best revenge we can act on those who sought to hurt us, is to be happy and live a good life ourselves and ignore that they ever existed. Karma will take care of the rest.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by Helcat.
    #396379
    Shve
    Participant

    Dear Anitha,

    Thank you for responding! I believe too it was an abuse of power, in the sense, I was vulnerable at that point and he abused the power he had over me at that time. Truth be told, I did not even realize I was being abused when it was happening. Just that something bad was happening, the body and mind feels it, but I just kept going because I am a people pleaser. I used to feel tired mentally after talking to him during those times because I was being abused with words (never profanity, but more the psychological one).

    Sorry, not to offend you, but I laughed out loud reading your suggestions to get justice :). Thank you for trying to help me.

    1) In the U.S., for as long as not too much time has passed (statute of limitation), a woman in your position could sue him in civil court, asking for monetary compensation for damages, I don’t want to pursue a legal route and there is no proof of all of this.

    (2) You could contact his wife and tell her about what happened, hoping that she will give him trouble for what he’s done, and/ or you could gossip about him to people who know him, hoping to damage his reputation this way, I did think of this in the 6-7 months leading up to his marriage and even after he got married. But then I also thought his wife is also a woman just like me.. one with dreams about her life and marriage. I know how it feels to have dreams shattered. I could not think of doing that to another woman, though a very tempting opportunity to me at that time. Gossiping about him might backfire and make me look bad in front of others since the mindset of people here is also “why did she get involved with him, this is what happens to such women” when you think you will be invalidated by sharing something with others, I think it’s best not to share such traumatic experiences.

    (3) You could arrange to meet him in-person and proceed to physically hurt him in such a way that he will live with chronic pain and/ or disability, this was the funniest for me 😊. May be you wrote this jokingly. But honestly I did think of doing this at that time, because of all the stuffed up anger inside of me. I can’t think of doing this now.

     (4) You can get involved in a justice-seeking movement, or start your own, educating teenage girls and young women about the practice of sexual subjugation of women/ abuse of power by men against women, so to prevent other women from suffering the injustice you suffered for so long. I try to do this and support and empathize with women who have undergone such experiences. I also try to share with women about such experiences so that they don’t have to suffer.

    I did meet many men (not for romantic reasons, but just happened to meet over the years), I have never met anyone who has been so disgusting and abusive towards me. Or may be I did not get close enough to anyone to experience that again.

    Regards,

    Shve

    #396381
    HoneyBlossom
    Participant

    Dear Shve,

    Whilst my marital situation was not the same as your relationship with this “man (not a REAL man is he?), I came away with the same feelings of betrayal, feeling used, and my self-esteem and trust in my own judgement were severely affected in negative ways.

    I did have a few relationships after that. Could have been poor judgement on my part, but I think I let myself get “hooked in” and stayed in unhealthy relationships too long.

    I have been on my own for over 2 years now, and I feel much more emotionally stable than I ever did in relationships with men.  I am much older than you, and so I gave up hope of being in a relationship.  I haven’t gone out of my way to meet anyone, let alone a type of selection process.

    In that time  I have been able to focus on getting a much better job.  I just have a very small number of close to friends, and I really like where I live.  I’m pretty much a home body and I’m in a nice part of the world.

    None of the men I was with are worth free rent space in my head.  For all you know, his wife may be miserable now or in the future.  He is a cad and really, you are better off without him.

    I have worked with a lot of young Indian men and women, and understand and  there are many pressures andexpectations relating to dating and marriage.  I did have one female friend whose marriage was arranged by their families, and they were very happy, but it could have worked out either way because really, however it happens, you take a chance.

    So good to hear of the support you offer younger women.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by HoneyBlossom. Reason: Typos
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