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When I first saw Jon*, we were taking part in a music competition and he was from another team.  I thought he was cute and went to hunt for his profile on the organisers’ Facebook account. We started chatting and everything seemed like it was meant to be.

Things started off well and we were happy, even though I was a little taken aback when he asked me to go for dinner with his extended family just three weeks into dating. From then on, we would often hang out with his family, but after awhile I felt bored. I started to try to reject these outings, and that's when he started to get sensitive and angry with me. 

About six months into the relationship, he began picking fights when I made plans to meet my friends on the weekends, saying "Weekends are for us to spend together.” I gave in and always tried to meet my friends only on weekdays. But soon weekends weren’t enough for him, and he wanted to meet me everyday. It got to the point that it ticked him off if I had to work late, even though he knew that my work requires me to work the occasional odd hours.

So I met him almost every day, often at his place because it was easier for me to get home as I ride a motorcycle. He would ask me to fetch him on my bike after work so we could head to his together, which I didn't mind. But it angered him when I stopped beside a bus at traffic lights, or when I stopped too close to another motorcycle (both things I definitely can't control) because he felt that others would judge him for riding pillion on a girl's motorcycle. It was so unreasonable, considering that he didn’t want to take public transport and meet me straight at his home.

 

We fought over the most ridiculous things

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Life during that period was split between work and him. It became a routine for me to avoid seeing my friends, because it would mean yet another argument. I had to tell him every detail about who I was going out with, where I was going. He would even ask me to take a selfie with my friend, claiming that he just wanted to see me having fun, but I knew it was because he wanted to make sure I wasn't out with any guys. I was not allowed to meet any male friends, not even in a group. Sometimes, even after I sent my friends back home, I had to meet him. If I refused, he felt that I didn’t see him as someone important, and we would quarrel again. As someone with many friends, I was very frustrated about being in this situation.

He would rage at the smallest, most ridiculous things. There was one time where he failed his driving test for the third time, and when I comforted him over the phone, he ended up taking it out on me. He said that it was easy for me to say, and blamed me for having a motorcycle license. Yet at the same time I was scared to break things off as he would sometimes turn violent. While he never hit me, he would punch the wall when he felt like he couldn’t get his point across. Our quarrels escalated to the point where I also threw things and cried hysterically, because I just didn’t know what to do.

 

He demanded complete control over my life 

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My life became all about him. Looking back, I don’t even know how I allowed myself to be so controlled. We were texting all day, everyday, and he would get angry if I didn’t reply him within 20 minutes, or take the initiative in texting. If the texts slowed, he would assume that I was having fun at work, which he disapproved of. Because he hated his workplace he felt that I wasn’t allowed to enjoy myself with colleagues either. He was jealous that I had many male colleagues, so I avoided department outings.

Basically, he was never happy. I even deleted my social media accounts because if I didn’t post anything, he asked why there wasn’t a post about him. But if I did post a picture and a male friend commented, he would ask me accusingly who that person was. When I protested that it was just a friend, he replied, “yeah, everyone is also your friend.” It just became easier not to be on social media, because it was one less reason to quarrel.

I agreed to a lot of things because I hoped that he would trust me more and not control me as much. This even extended to doing favours for his family. They wanted to take out a renovation loan but were not able to. So they approached me for help, which I agreed to. Even till today, I have a loan in my name – thankfully, his family is still paying it off. I also went along with it when he started talking about marriage and getting a BTO. But it wasn’t what I wanted, so I kept the appointment letter from him when it came.

 

I finally had enough 

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Things came to a head when one day I told him that I had to be at a night shoot for work. He got angry and said, “You don’t want to marry me anyway.” I answered that he was right, I didn’t – and ranted about everything that made me unhappy. It was the last straw and I finally decided to end things with him. We had been together for two years at this point. I know it sounds crazy, but I stayed with him for so long because I didn’t have the heart to go through the messiness of a breakup, and I felt sorry for him because he was unhappy at work and kept failing a lot of the tasks he set out to do.

I broke up with him through text because I was too much of a coward to do it face to face. I then switched off my phone immediately. He called my mum and came to my house to talk things out. It was hard but I kept saying no to his pleas. My mum asked him to leave but he didn't want to, so we left him outside the door until he left. 

For two weeks, he kept calling and texting, sending me pictures from the past and hoping I would change my mind. I decided to see him in person, and finally put an end to this. We met at a shopping mall and he told me that he wanted to show me something in his car (by then he finally got his license). He gave me flowers and a bear and told me to get in. In a moment of weakness I agreed.

He ended up driving to the ECP and parking on the road shoulder so we could talk outside the car. He told me how sorry he was and how stupidly he had behaved, and that he would treat me right in the future. When I rejected his pleas, he threatened to run across the expressway. Eventually he gave in and took me back to my bike and told me to think about what he said and give him another chance.

 

He just wouldn’t take no for an answer

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Two weeks later when I was out with a friend, Jon sent her a Facebook message asking her for help to convince me to reconcile with him. She told him that I wasn't going to change my decision and that he should leave me alone. He flared up and exclaimed, “If she made up her mind, why did she accept my flowers and the bear?!”

He then spammed my phone with texts and calls. He even sent me a picture of his wrist to pretend that he had tried to slit his arm. But I saw through his bluff because there was no blood or cuts, only red marks – it looked like he used the back of his penknife. I had to resort to switching off my phone. It didn’t help that his mum, brother and his friend’s girlfriend all texted me to ask me to change my mind. And when I told his mother that I wasn’t going to take him back, she actually called me selfish!

A few days later, I came home at 2am and immediately received a text from him saying that he had been waiting downstairs at my home since 8pm, hoping to see me. That terrified me, and for a week after that I stayed at my cousin’s place because I was so scared of running into him on my way home.

Since he wasn’t able to find me at home, he showed up at my workplace. I was walking to my carpark towards my bike when I saw him lurking there. I tried to hide but he had already seen me, and went to wait at the exit of the carpark. When I reached the gantry, he stopped me, took my bike keys and spare helmet and got onto my bike. I wasn’t able to get him off and had no choice but to ride off with him because I had to go for a work appointment.

On the way there, he opened my bag to check the contents and asked incessantly about a spare set of clothes inside. When I reached my destination, he tried to persuade me again to get back together. When I said no, he asked me to slap him to prove I had stopped loving him. Of course I didn’t want to resort to that, but he kept asking me to do it. And then he asked me to spit in his face.

We went back and forth for 20 minutes – him asking me to slap and spit on him, and me refusing. Eventually I realised that this was the only way I could get him to leave, so I slapped him lightly. He was shocked but he still insisted that I spit on him. After another 10 minutes of protesting, I finally did it and walked away.

That’s when it really ended, for good.

 

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*Names have been changed.

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