Sunday October 7, 2012
Under girlfriendís thumb
IíM 22 years old and have been going steady with my girlfriend for more than three years now. We are in the same university.
I am frustrated with the way our relationship has been going for the past year. My girlfriend complains that I am not romantic and loving, and do not treat her well. She says she canít dump me since weíve been together for most of our university life and she canít find another boyfriend from the same university as she will be graduating soon.
I admit that our relationship is getting dull. The problem started when I switched course as I found it difficult to cope with my earlier course. Now, we are in the same course. However, this course has more female students than male students, and my girlfriend has laid down some rules for me. I am not allowed to befriend any girl in my course, or talk to them unless it concerns something urgent. She knows I have a history of flirting with girls. After we became an item, I stopped flirting.
During the first semester of the new course, I kept my promise. My girlfriend allowed me to befriend the female coursemates on Facebook but not in person. Once, she caught me looking at the profile of a pretty and attractive coursemate. We had a fight over this and she blocked the account of that coursemate and others whom she considered pretty and attractive.
At the start of the second semester, she tightened the rules as she was away on an internship. I was unhappy, but I abided by her rules. However, at some point, I opened a Facebook account without my girlfriendís knowledge, and started adding the girls whom she had blocked in my earlier account. Then I found myself logging on to this account daily to get updates on the girls. Whatís worse, I have been downloading the photos of the girls and masturbating as I imagine myself having sex with them. I donít know what drives me to do this. Is it lust or do I have a mental problem?
This went on for a year before my girlfriend found the photos in my computer and questioned me. I told her the whole truth. She was heartbroken and talked about ending our relationship. However, after a few days, she decided to continue our relationship.
My girlfriend gave me an ultimatum: Either I extend my study term so that I would not be in the same class with the same girls anymore, or we break up. Should we break up, she would tell the whole world about my dirty secret.
I am in a dilemma. I cannot extend my study term anymore because Iíve already switched course and am two years behind my batch of contemporaries. But my girlfriend threatened that if I donít do it, she would break up with me and tell all my friends Ė especially the girls whose photos are in my computer Ė that Iíve been cheating on her all these years, and indulging in disgusting acts.
If this happens, I will lose my friends and everyone will think Iím a pervert. I really love my girlfriend very much but I do not know how to handle this problem. Please help.
I think you already know that what you did was wrong. There are a number of things here: First, you secretly opened a second Facebook account to befriend those whom you were not supposed to. Second, you downloaded the pictures to store in your computer. Masturbating as you look at their photos is wrong because it constitutes cheating on your girlfriend. And it is not a mental problem.
However, from what you have said, there seems to be a reason you did all these things. Your girlfriend is overly controlling. An important aspect in a relationship is love and trust. She should be able to trust you to not enter into any form of relationship with someone else while you are with her. This does not excuse your behaviour, though. Rules and controlling someone elseís behaviour and movements is not trust. Now, her reason for doing this is because of your history of flirting before you entered into a relationship with her. But that was before. You were not with anyone, thus your flirting was just that.
Also, looking at someone attractive and perhaps even flirting is normal. It is human to be attracted to that which is beautiful or attractive. It is what you do beyond this that matters. You have to learn and know the limits of accepted behaviour, and how to respect another person and not hurt them.
It is the same about knowing how to treat your girlfriend ďrightĒ. You donít need experience. You just have to be sensitive to the other personís wants and needs and see what you can respond to and how. If you are not sure, ask her what she likes and wants, and see what you can do about it. Mind you, in a respectful relationship, the other person should be obliging to your wants and needs.
What was it about the other girlsí pictures that attracted you? What was it you were responding to when you were masturbating? Is it just the other girls, or was it some fantasy? Do you respond to your girlfriend this way? Can she be what you found attractive in these other girls?
Or did you do it out of revenge? You must have known that your actions would hurt her if she knew about it. I cannot tell you why you did what you did. You have to think these issues through.
Another thing Ė if you are in a relationship with someone, it should be because you love them, and feel that you want to be with them. You donít enter a relationship, or remain in one, because there isnít anyone else you would rather be with, or because you are going to graduate soon and wonít get a chance to meet other boys. That is not love. It is a pastime.
Also, you do not choose your course of study to suit your girlfriendís paranoia of you cheating on her. Your studies are going to be an important part of your future. Only you can decide on what you want to study. And this should not be determined by the number of girls in the course.
You have a lot to think about, and answers to these questions can only come from you. If people come to know what you did, you will just have to learn how to deal with that.
Perhaps you will need to find a new batch of friends. But that is the easy part.