Dear Thelma: I'm still in love with bullying control freak who dumped me


  • Family
  • Sunday, 26 Jul 2020

She's still in love with the guy who dumped her although he is a bully and control freak.

My boyfriend of three years dumped me for another girl. They’ve been texting each other behind my back. Every time we argued, he refused to talk to me and would ignore me. Instead, he’d text her about our arguments. It’s like he wanted to seek comfort from her and not me.

I was faithful to him till the very end. He was a control freak. Whatever it is I wanted and loved to do, he’d forbid. For instance, I love watching movies by myself in my free time and he strictly forbade it, saying he was jealous of the actors. I wanted to find a job that suits my degree and he threatened to break up with me cause he didn’t like the idea of me working with people. I love hanging out with my girlfriends and he would go nuts and refuse to talk to me the whole day if I went out with them. Honestly, I got tired of his behaviour but since it was my first relationship, I thought I would just stay with him. I thought maybe he would change some day.

Things got worse when we decided to have a long-distance relationship. His controlling behaviour got out of control. For my practical training, I got the offer to work with quite a big company and was placed in the finance department. He warned me on the first day of my training to not befriend the staff and other students doing their practical there. He would ask me to have breakfast and lunch by myself.

A week later, he started his practical training, managing a group of students during their camping activities. I didn’t think it was fair for him to treat me the way he did. So I asked him to do exactly what he had asked me to do. His answer was, “My work needs me to converse with lots of people to hone my skills and, who knows, maybe they will recruit me.” Yeah, right, like I don’t need to do that too. But, being the person that I am, I just let it slide.We argued so often. The next thing I knew, he’s breaking up with me. I didn’t see it coming at all. He said I did not appreciate him spending time with me despite his busy schedule. He used my weakness to find comfort in others. And then he left me for another girl.

I went on full no-contact mode. He hurt me real bad because I really thought he would never leave me and I tried my best not to let my feelings get to my head. Nineteen days later, he texted me, saying that he missed me and still loved me, and that we shouldn’t be like this but he has a girlfriend now. I told him that being with me was not an option and I would appreciate it if he didn’t contact me at all. The thing is, I still love him, though. No matter what he did, I feel like taking him back. What should I do?

Miss No-Contact-Went-South



I have great trouble understanding what you see in this horrible controlling bully. You are not an object that he owns or can push around: you are a human being with needs and rights. Yet you sound like a mix of punching bag and doormat.

What should you do? Block his number and forget about him. Don’t waste another second on this guy.

In fact, I urge you to stop dating for now. There are lots of crazy people around and as you have fallen into bad habits with your ex, you might easily end up with another horror.

If you want to be happy, you will need to change your mindset. Therefore, I suggest you find a mental health professional and sign up for a series of sessions. Look for a person who is well versed in abuse, control and emotional violence.

As you’re still young, you may need free sessions. If so, try All Womens Action Malaysia (AWAM) at awam.org.my and 03-7877-0224 and Womens Aid Organisation (WAO) at wao.org.my and 03 7956 3488.

You should start with discussing how your parents relate to each other. This is because we usually look at how our parents act, and use that as a model for our expectations and behaviour. (Not always, sometimes we act deliberately differently from them, but it’s a sensible place to start.)

Next, figure out what your basic expectations are of love, marriage and your role in both. People have very different ideas of how relationships work, but you should always have mutual respect and freedom of association.

Also, have a long discussion about control, especially sexual jealousy dressed up as “love”. Back in the Dark Ages, women might have been kept at home, but to suggest in 2020 that you can’t watch films or talk to colleagues is bizarre. Discover why you put up with it, and make sure you don’t fall for that nonsense again.

Finally, model in the sessions how you will date and how you will ensure that your next partner is a decent man. There are lots of those, so don’t worry about finding someone with a good, generous heart who will love you and treat you with respect. It’s simply a matter of unlearning some ideas and seeing clearly what you want.


Is something bothering you? Do you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on? Thelma is here to help. Email lifestyle@thestar.com.my or write to Dear Thelma, c/o StarLifestyle, Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11,46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Please include your full name, address and a pseudonym. No private correspondence will be entertained. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.

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