My control freak ex still stalks me
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I was in a relationship for four years, which ended a few months ago because of my boyfriend's dominating nature. He had serious problems trusting me and wanted to control even the smallest things. He used to check my phone regularly, and we used to fight about this often. He used to block the numbers of all guys on my list of contacts, and even had problems with my male friends from college who used to stay in touch with me. I was depressed and eventually decided I had enough. Now, the problem is he knows where my classes are, and waits for me there. He accuses me of using him. I don't know how I have used him, given that I have never asked him for anything. I feel helpless and don't want to go back to him. I have considered a police complaint but don't do it because I don't want our families to know about this. I have tried to explain my situation to him many times, but he doesn't leave me alone. Please help — Vaishali
Your boyfriend is more the norm than the exception in a culture that glorifies the idea of a man controlling the women in his life. Our toxic patriarchy, coupled with a film industry that makes stalking seem perfectly acceptable, appear to have deluded your boyfriend into assuming this is acceptable. You should understand that no one has the right to harass or force you to do anything you don't want to do. Avoiding a police complaint is not an option, given that this man doesn't respect your boundaries or personal space. I urge you to speak to a family member and inform them of this. Do not let fear of what your families may think get in the way of protecting yourself, because there is no way of predicting how this man will react. He needs to know that this is unacceptable, and the law is on your side. You don't deserve to be harassed in this manner.
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