Abusive relationships are exhausting
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First love? I would rather forget mine

People told me that you never forget your “first love,” but I would rather forget mine.

Varsha, 26, lives in Pune. 

Because I didn’t know better, my idea of love was unhealthy. I had an overly romantic idea of love: The I-will-tolerate-anything-for-love kind.

I was 17 when I first met him. He was 10 years older and I unwittingly assumed that he would be the mature type of man that I had been seeking. He appeared to be polite, caring, and reflective. He introduced himself as a student and as running a car business. Within three months of knowing each other, we were dating.

No more talks

After the very first days of dating, I started noticing changes. We weren’t talking much any more. Although I enjoyed being physically intimate with him, I also wanted us to connect on an emotional and intellectual level.

I strongly believe that a relationship is not just sexual; there are many more facets to it. But whenever we met, he would be more interested in getting physically intimate rather than talking or visiting places together.

One incident I vividly remember is the time I was running a high fever and he was forcing me to be physically intimate with him, despite my repeated refusals. I had to scream and cry before he took me seriously.

White lies

But his lies were worse. It unfolded later that he did not have any business and that he was only enrolled at an institute. When I asked for an explanation, he snapped at me and blamed me for “distracting” him from his studies and business.

Whenever I tried to protest or even make sense of what was going on in our relationship, he would dismiss all my concerns.

Social troubles

Gradually, he began having problems with my social life. Once he fought with me because I attended a wedding. He told me that loyal women did not “put themselves on display” at weddings or any other event where lots of men are around.

On my 18th birthday, he scolded me for celebrating my birthday with my family and friends, and not giving him the only attention.

Rising threats

Matters took an uglier turn when he started to pick on my education, especially study tours. Every time I went abroad, he would become unusually quiet. He would also say: “If you love me then you will not go to that study tour” or “If you go abroad for higher studies, I will cheat on you.”

The more I gave in, the more his demands kept rising. Finally, when I went to break up with him, he threatened to stop my studies and to malign me. He shouted, “All women are my shoes.” His immense disrespect for women became apparent.

But I was too scared to move away, so I remained in the relationship. I stopped voicing any opinion because I knew that doing so would lead to more negativity.

Better without

This drama continued for a few more years. One day, he came up to me and happily told me about his infidelity. Although I put up with all his idiosyncrasies, he was unfaithful. That was the last straw.

I was exhausted with the relationship. Finally, we parted amicably. I did go into depression for three months, but today I feel that our break-up and a few months of sadness are far better than years of being taunted and controlled. And now I am doing great without him.

*The model in the picture isn’t the author of this piece. 

This article is a part of our blog series against violence by personal companions. # BearNoMore.

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