Boyfriend is blackmailing me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From India: i just found this site very interesting and i would like to ask for a solution from your end. i previously had a physical relationship with my ex-boyfriend. my current boyfriend accepted me when i told him about my past n the physical relationship with my ex-boyfriend he liked my frankness and accepted me, i’ve had a physical relationship with my current boyfriend too. now the most important thing is that he doesnt trust me, and is always blaming me that i had sex with many other guys, which i didnt and is blackmailing me now that he would post my photos and videos on net and would tell my parents about it. i just dont know what to do, plz gimme a solution.

A; This must be very, very disappointing. You thought you had a respectful relationship with a man you love. Instead, you find that he is trying to control you by making you feel bad about yourself and by threatening to separate you from your family. You are not the one who has violated trust in the relationship. He is. I don’t know if he is insecure, immature, or unstable but he certainly isn’t loving. I hope you are clear that this is not the man for you.

As difficult as it may be, I think the way out of this situation is to tell your parents what he is doing to you. The threat only works if you continue to be too afraid of your parents’ anger to let them in on the truth. They may be upset that you had a physical relationship with a boyfriend but I suspect they would be far more upset by seeing your pictures on the Internet or by finding out that you are being emotionally abused and blackmailed. I’m not aware of the law in India. In many countries, this man’s behavior would be grounds for some legal action as well.

Unfortunately, men like this often assess a situation pretty accurately. He may have figured out that your family will be unforgiving if he tells them you’re having sex. You are then in a terrible situation where you have to choose between losing your family in order to be free of him or staying with him and always living in fear that he will tell anyway. I think it would be helpful for you to talk this through with a counselor who understands your culture better than I do and who might have some ideas for how to heal a rift with your family.

Finally: Please. Be more careful in the future. A person can only threaten to show compromising pictures and videos when you’ve allowed such pictures to be taken.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Mar 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Boyfriend is blackmailing me. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/03/15/boyfriend-is-blackmailing-me/