I caught up with a friend recently who I hadn’t seen for over 2 years. As part of the catching up discussion, she mentioned that part of the reason she hasn’t been in touch is that for a while, she had a boyfriend who did not allow her to make any contact with any of her male friends. He also had open access to her mobile phone, email accounts and MSN, so that he could at any time, satisfy himself that she was respecting his wishes. I thought this was odd and unusual behaviour, so I started discussing this case with other friends and opened a whole can of worms.
The first friend I discussed this with, let’s call her Sam, said that coincidentally, one of her male friends had just texted her that very day saying that his girlfriend had requested to meet with Sam, because she had checked all his messages and discovered a text he had sent to Sam. Basically the girlfriend wanted to meet Sam to satisfy herself she was no threat. Incredible! No, I don’t mean it’s incredible that the guy’s girlfriend was insane, I meant it’s incredible the guy was actually bowing to his girlfriend’s demand to meet Sam. I think my response would be something like a big roar of laughter followed by “in your dreams darling”.
Another friend’s boyfriend forbids his girlfriend to contact any male friends, saying that if she does, he will tell everyone she is a slut and no guy will want anything to do with a slut, because guys all like virgins. I think if I was the girl, I’d sleep with each and every one of his friends. I mean, if you do the time, you may as well do the crime!
It isn’t limited to possessive guys though, it works both ways, and one friend’s girlfriend routinely checks all his phone messages, emails etc.
I asked some other friends if they thought this was acceptable behaviour. One female friend said it’s not ideal, but if her boyfriend insisted, she would allow him to check everything, since she has nothing to hide.
If my view on this isn’t already crystal clear, there is NO WAY I would accept this. Some things are personal. It works both ways of course, and I would never dream of asking my girlfriend to show me all her incoming text messages.
I’d be interested to hear more on this from all of you. Is this a Chinese thing, or are some couples in the west equally mad?