On the way he was raised.

Four months ago I started going out with my current boyfriend, who had been a friend for a long time. Right before we had started dating, I had met a different guy at a party and we had started “thinking about dating,” but when my current boyfriend told me that he wanted to go out with me, I chose him over the new guy. Current boyfriend is still jealous of the (old) new guy, even though I had broken it off immediately (we still talked, but I had told him that I was in an exclusive relationship now).

Current boyfriend wanted to know my history, and I’m a very open person, so I told him about my past sexual experiences, including a trip to Turkey where I had engaged in a small affair that ended with me receiving two beautiful silk rugs as a goodbye, and an unrelated experience where I was almost raped. Last night he was at my house and looked at the rugs and told me that he was going to take them and burn them. He wanted me to give him the name of the town where I got them so he could “go there and kill that guy.”

He hates for me to go out anywhere without him, and he hates when our mutual classmates (we are in college together) ask me for help on homework. He always thinks I’m meeting someone when I want to be alone in my house or get dinner alone. I think that part of this discord is cultural, because he’s Indian and from a conservative Muslim family. The other girls that he’s dated seriously were Indian girls at home, but he’s had one night stands since he’s been here. I’ve never cheated on him or even thought of doing so, but his jealousy is driving me nuts. I love him and want to be with him here and now, although maybe not forever. How can I make him realize that I’m his and not leaving?

How can you make him realize that you’re his and not leaving?

No, no, no. You’ve got it all wrong. You need to make him realize that you aren’t his, and if he doesn’t change his attitude, you will be leaving.

You are not his property. Do not ever tolerate that kind of behavior. He does not get to threaten violence out of some primitive sense of machismo, and he sure as hell doesn’t get to register an opinion about your study partners or what you choose to do with your free time.

In fact, fuck this guy. Fuck his petty jealousy, and fuck his conservative muslim family just for good measure. The bottom line is that you should just break up with him, but you don’t want to hear that. You want some magic words that will suddenly make him progressive, confident, and trusting.

Sorry. No such thing. You’re stuck with a pathetic man-child that will require years of therapy and deprogramming before he’ll think of you as something other than a dog on a leash, and even then you’ll be stuck dealing with a family who hates you for not being brown enough for their son.

Seriously. You’re in college. You don’t need this bullshit. Go enjoy a sampler platter of guys, and don’t even think about the word “exclusive” until you know better than to fall for boys in conservative religious families.


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