I admit I’ve followed you for awhile but was afraid to publicly show my support when I was dating my ex, but found the strength to break away and I’m dating a wonderful American guy. I’d like to share my story with you, but anonymously because my ex & I used to work together and share some common friends.
I wasn’t groomed or raped, but rather it was a combination of emotional manipulation and fear of being seen as an Islamophobe. I had dated a Muslim guy in the past, but he was a Muslim only in name and only participated in holidays.
I grew up without a strong male role model and without a clear self-identity (I’m half Brazilian & European American). I also lacked self esteem and it was easy for him to use me.
Even though we’ve been apart for a month, he’s trying to get me to go to some work party because he’s too insecure to go by himself.
It all started when I was single and lonely. I friended him on social media and he immediately came on too strong and wanted to meet up ASAP. I made him wait a month but we started having sex immediately. He convinced me that he was going through a divorce but it would over soon and that his wife was abusive. So I tried to be his therapist/mistress during the whole ordeal and all he gave me was empty and broken promises. Even after he officially divorced, he still didn’t want to introduce me to his kids.
I can’t say this about all Muslim men, but the one I dated saw western women as whores & party-animals and claimed that I was an exception because “I’m a good girl and home-body.” He saw my light skin as a fetish and yet still claimed that “Americans were like cowboys & obsessed with guns.”
The emotional abuse and manipulation ran rampant throughout our relationship. He always criticized my fashion, tried to enforce a dress code on me, and mentioned him “wanting me to convert in his religion.”
Whenever I called him out on the misogyny and horrible things in the Koran, he’d accuse me of being racist and Islamophobic. When I called him out on trying to convert multiple times, he’d deny it and told me that I was being obsessive about it.
He finally admitted that the abuse was 50%/50% between the both of them and I realized that I needed to leave.
Fortunately we never lived together, got married or had children together, so it was easy to leave. I finally feel free but he still harasses me on email from time to time.
I’d like to educate young women on signs of abusive men and how to avoid them. They usually try to come on strong, promise a lot of things early on and rush you to do romantic things very quickly. They do this to try and get you to avoid asking them thorough questions about their character.
Thank you so much Toni for your work and efforts. I appreciate everything you do and look forward to seeing more things from you.