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I Wanted To Be In A Relationship With Him Even When He Was Exploiting Me

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

I am a 21-year-old girl. I was 18 when I got into my last relationship. I met him at a coaching class after class 12 and it was love at first sight. He was extremely good looking and I was young, gullible and shallow. It started with me sending him a friend request on Facebook. Everything moved quickly after that.

He was quick to initiate a chat, quick to strike up a friendship and even quicker to propose while the young and stupid me was quick to accept.

We both lived in different cities and he returned to his place after the entrance exams were over. It felt like a dream, the beginning of my love story. Or so I thought. We got admission in different colleges; I was in a reputed engineering college while he was in a paramedical course but in the same city.

He had shifted to my city and I was on cloud nine. However, things changed quickly. Soon, I was the one recharging his phone and paying on our dates.

I didn’t mind doing it, as I am a young woman with a progressive mindset and I firmly believe that paying the bills is not always the man’s job.

He came from a lower middle-class background with no earning member of the family and only one surviving parent whereas both my parents worked in respectable jobs. So I didn’t think twice before paying the bills. But two months into the relationship and he started demanding money from me.

He harassed me as if I were duty-bound to give him money because I was his girlfriend.

He took money from me stating that he needed to compensate for the damage done to a friend’s bike because of an accident that had occurred while he was drunk-riding it. Later, I discovered that his friend had not demanded any compensation from him.

He would come up with new ways to extort money from me. On our very first date, he misled me and took me to a shady café that had private cabins.

He got physically intimate with me and then, shamelessly took money from me to pay the bills.

From that day onwards, he started emotionally blackmailing me to have sex with him. He pressurized me into sexting and sending him nude pictures. His calls reduced and he texted only when he needed money or a phone recharge or when he was horny. He would meet me only to go to the cafe and get intimate at my expense.

At other times, he was mostly online, flirtatiously commenting on other girls’ pictures. He never bothered to ask how I was doing or what was going on in my life. I was the one recharging his data packs while he used it to flirt online with random girls. I stalked him all the time on social media. I craved for his attention.

His activities clearly indicated that he had been cheating on me but I was too afraid to confront him.

We did not have any mutual friends nor did he introduce me to any of his friends and kept our relationship a secret. I had ignored all the red flags and paid no heeds to the warnings of the friends who had warned me that he was a womanizer and was addicted to alcohol. I was blind in love and I soon developed Stockholm syndrome.

I knew everything that was happening was wrong but I didn’t have the courage to get out of that abusive relationship.

From an independent, intelligent woman I had turned into a f*****g parasite that lived off the crumbs, he threw at me. My grades at college suffered and I got a backlog in one paper in my first semester itself. My self-confidence was shattered.

Somehow, I learned to say no when he asked me for mobile recharges and nudes. Huge fights ensued where he’d call me every dirty name you could address a woman with. When I started acting distant from him, he began showing interest in our relationship once again.The frequency of his calls and texts increased.

Again, I was deluded to believe that finally, he had developed some kind of feelings or regard for me but deep down, I knew he was a narcissist and could never love anyone truly.

This growing closeness was only to extort money from me again. He needed money to drink and party and I started giving in to his demands for money and sex too. By that time, I was convinced that what we had was love and willingly had sex with him. We did come considerably close because of an incident but no, that was not love.

Maybe he had taken pity on me or developed a soft corner for me since I was his first victim and my virginity was his trophy.

But over time his sympathy faded and he went back to ignoring me. I started throwing tantrums and constantly tried to manipulate him into giving me more attention. Nothing worked.

I knew the end was near and my anxiety increased. During the last one and a half month of the relationship, his indifference towards me reached new levels. He stopped texting me and did not even ask for sex or money. Calling or meeting was completely out of the question.

I gulped down what was remaining of my non-existent self-respect and went out of my way to save the relationship for one last time.

I begged him to meet me once, begged him for the last chance to mend our so-called relationship but he didn’t budge. I knew I appeared absolutely stupid, desperate and crazy but I couldn’t help it. I became depressed, cried most of the time and started losing massive amounts of weight. I received another backlog in my third semester and my parents thought that I was a useless waste of their money.

His attention was all I wanted. I couldn’t picture a life without him. I wanted to be in a relationship with him at any cost, even at the cost of him exploiting me.

I couldn’t imagine myself in a romantic relationship with any other man, it made me feel like a slut, as it was deeply ingrained into my mind that a woman who has more than one romantic partner during her lifetime is characterless.

This shitty relationship continued for more than a year from the day he proposed to me until that fateful day. I started noticing that one of his female classmates regularly tagging him in all her posts. I took the clue and asked one of my friends who knew both of them to investigate the matter. It was 17th February 2016, and I was in college. I received a WhatsApp message from the same friend. It was a screenshot.

What I’d suspected was true! My boyfriend was indeed in a relationship with that girl. That was my breakdown point. I started crying at the top of my lungs. My friends had to shut the door of the classroom to avoid the sound of my wailing from going outside. It took them a good hour to pacify me. That was the turning point of my life. From that day onwards, I broke off all contact with that a*****e and never looked back.

I didn’t confront him for his cheating because I was utterly disgusted by his sick, twisted ways and the thought of having to communicate with him repulsed me.

It made me cringe. I left without a goodbye. Surprisingly, I wasn’t depressed. I don’t know whether I’d become numb to the pain or was done feeling depressed but I felt very light knowing that I would not have to deal with him anymore; he was someone else’s headache now.

I realized my self-worth after I discovered more about his new girlfriend. I was much better than her in each and every aspect and I’m being extremely modest here. You are free to judge me and tell me that considering myself better than her is just a way of stroking my ego, but I am not a shallow person anymore and I do not overestimate myself, not even the least bit.

He didn’t try to contact me either. I deleted my WhatsApp account and unfriended him on Facebook. He tried calling me one day but I didn’t answer.

Later, I got to know that he told his new girlfriend that he left me because I was “mentally unstable” and he never “loved me and used to talk to me only because he liked me” and he would “never, ever return to me”.

I knew he was going to say something like that and it shouldn’t have come as a shock but his words still pierced my soul and minced my heart. He even told her that I was pregnant when I wasn't! I had told him that I hadn’t menstruated for the last three months and I often missed my periods due to hormonal disorders.

And that girl proudly bragged about my pregnancy to her classmates. I was shocked! What man tells his new girlfriend that he impregnated his ex-girlfriend and then left her?

More strangely, what kind of woman not only accepts it but proudly discusses such things about her own boyfriend with others?

They were seriously f****d up! I am pretty sure he had portrayed me as a s**t and told her that I was with him only for a friends-with-benefits arrangement.

I didn’t care what she or anyone thought about me nor did I feel that it was my moral duty to warn her against him.

If she was stupid enough to believe such outrageous lies then she probably knew what she was getting into.

Finally, my life started improving. I cleared all the backlogs and improved my CGPA. I surrounded myself amazing people. I started taking care of my body. I even cleared GRE and TOEFL and now I am all set to go to the USA for my Masters.

I don’t put the whole blame for this disastrous relationship only on his shoulders; I am equally to blame.

It was my mistake; I ignored all the red flags and repeated warnings from people and let the abuse continue for too long. I admit I have been utterly stupid. But I guess to err is human and at the end of the day, what matters is the lesson you learn from your mistakes. I have learned my lesson and will never repeat it again. I am grateful that I got out of this mess without much serious damage.

This is not just my story; there are many women out there who are facing or have faced similar situations. If there is one piece of advice I can give them, it would be this.

Girls, if you are stuck in a similar situation then please get the hell out of the relationship as soon as possible!

Run away from that person before its too late. You don’t know the dangers you are inviting into your life. Block that person out in every possible way and seek help you’re your friends, peers or elders. If needed take help from the police!

Understand that there is no light at the end of the tunnel and you are dating a living, breathing monster that will destroy you to the core.

The damage done will not only be psychological but the ordeal will be physically taxing as well. Stop lingering! He doesn’t love you, never did, never will. There is no way that your abuser can change or start treating you well some day. Please do not ignore the red flags and trust your gut feeling. If you feel that something is wrong, then it probably is. Please spare yourself the pain.

Trust me, shutting that d-bag out of your life will be the best thing that you can do for yourself. Healing will take time but eventually, you will get over and regret every damn moment that you invested in that monster and every single tear that you shed. You deserve so much better than that, so just get out of it.

Even though I left him, kept him out of my life for good and worked on improving myself, it wasn’t easy to get over him quickly. Some days, I felt weak and shed a tear or two.

I felt cheated, used and horrible but that was only temporary and it lasted only for a day or two.

I thought I deserved an apology from him but obviously, I didn’t get any. I had my share of insecurities and I also obsessed over comparing myself with the new girl in his life. But I knew there was no point in doing it. I had stalked him enough after breaking contact with him. I resisted every urge to contact him again because I knew that was a bad idea.

I had even expected that somehow, he would magically realize his hidden feelings for me, how amazing I was and what he had lost by letting me go and would come running back to me.

How stupid and naive I was! But I grew stronger by the day, pursued new passions and developed new opinions. Now I am a hardcore feminist who will not tolerate even the slightest disrespect meted out to me or any other women. I am independent, ruthlessly focused on my career and motivated to succeed in life. Though I am happily single now, I haven’t been completely cured of the Stockholm syndrome.

I know he is the worst person for me but there are days when I feel low and lonely and I long for his touch.

This episode has made me skeptical towards men and relationships in general. It has changed my perspective towards romantic relationships. I am a demisexual now. I have lost faith in “romantic love” and I definitely detest the institution of marriage, at least the way it is in the culture of our country.

I know all men are not alike but I cannot trust anyone enough to be in a relationship with him.

Now, I don’t get attracted towards even the best-looking men. My sex drive has taken a back seat. I have become an introvert who loves to stay at home with my cats and hates dealing with people. I have deleted all my social media accounts. I don’t think relationships are my thing anymore.

I’ve received proposals from good men but I rejected them because I knew that my trust issues would be a major impediment to our relationship. There is no use in wasting a good man’s time when I know that he deserves a woman who is more optimistic towards life and relationships and not a disillusioned person like me who doesn’t believe in love in the first place.

Moreover, I had this nagging feeling in the back of my head that since I’ve had sexual relations with that imposter, I am somehow ‘dirty’ and not ‘fit’ to be loved by any good man.

I felt that I was ‘used’ and they would judge me on the basis of my past. Fortunately, this feeling is slowly fading away, thanks to the articles about women empowerment and liberalization that I read everyday.

However, I’d prefer to remain single for the rest of my life, as I am convinced that it is what I am meant to be.

I’m sorry for the rant but I have never spoken about this to anyone and it finally feels good to get it off my chest.

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