…are complicated. By their very nature, relationships are complicated business. Of late, I have read many posts about domestic violence, complications in relationship and related stuff. I don’t know if I want to submit my entries for any kind of contest, mainly because I can’t frame my writing to such rules. But write, I will. I can’t speak of domestic violence or rape or anything else. Much has been said and written, and there is really nothing left to say. But, one thing that does make me think and reflect is psychological abuse.
Just how much is too much? I would say that every person who loves another is possessive to a certain extent. I am too. I would also get jealous if my husband or boyfriend got too close to another woman. I have. But, where do we draw the line?
I remember a conversation I had with D sometime back. Leisurely sipping a cup of coffee in the cafeteria, he said, “Have you ever thought of possessiveness as a form of love?” I protested, vehemently. One who loved could never distrust his partner enough to be jealous, I argued. No, he said. You are mistaken. The more attached you are emotionally, the more possessive you get, he said. This statement came with a disclaimer though. Not that possessiveness is a good thing; it is not. But, trust me, he said, it’s natural.
This argument continued for days, pausing every once in a while to wonder where we must draw the line between possessiveness and controlling. I still have no answers. But, to me love is all-accepting, and tolerant. When one partner becomes controlling, manipulative and irrational, it starts bordering on psychological abuse.
Domestic violence does not have to be physical. While hitting, slapping and marital rape are the most obvious and extreme forms of abuse, psychological abuse is much harder to detect and much more damaging in the long run. When a person refuses to express his/her deepest fears, most intimate desires and most important confusions to the one they are sharing their life with fear of rejection, criticism or abandonment, it could classify as psychological abuse. Trust me when I say that it takes very long to get out of that mind-set and learn to speak freely.
If you find yourself hiding things because you fear reprisal, fights, criticism, name-calling or abandonment, then you are in an abusive relationship. If you find yourself branded as a slut, a whore or as characterless because you happen to disagree with what your partner says and have many friends of the opposite sex, you most probably will be abused physically as well later. There is only one way out of this mess. Leave when you still have the time. Otherwise, it might be too late.