Trust Issues

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?

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31 Responses to Trust Issues

  1. T. says:

    It’s pretty common. I have a friend whose girlfriend made him go through his entire facebook account and de-tag every photo that had him together with his old girlfriend.

    And then he was asked to ask people to take down old photos which had the two of them together. I didn’t do it because 1. I’m lazy. 2. You’re not the only two people in those photos 3. Do you have any idea how slow my VPN is 4. That’s really lame and insecure.

    The crazy thing is the girlfriend is really cool and laid back and really doesn’t give off the crazy Shanghainese woman vibe – and yet here she is. . .

    Me, I wouldn’t stand for it one minute. My two best friends in the entire world are attractive women. I would never ever stop contact with them – if I get that request from a girlfriend, well, I’m choosing the two women I’ve known since 1992 over you. Sorry. But anyone I went out with would also know that I would never do anything with those two women – at all, but especially if I had a girlfriend.

  2. WoAi says:

    @T – I’ve had similar requests to remove photos from Facebook because “you got my bad side” or ridiculous issues like that and as you say, there are often other people in the picture, so no.

    And yes, if you think I am going to let go of very good friends just so you can feel more secure then it’s time to part company. I mean what happens if / when we break up? I have lost you but I also have no friends left either!!!

    As I said, it works both ways and I would never dream of making such demands on any of my girlfriends either. Let’s be honest, if you want to cheat, you’ll find a way!

    Now, when do I get to meet these lovely ladies you speak of?

  3. Crystal says:

    Jealousy is a monster which can’t be tamed. If the demands are satisfied – there will come more and more and more…
    However, I think that in most cases spouses voluntarily share the information they want to share. I can imagine a kind of gesture where one of the sides in order to comfort the jealous bf/gf can show the record of calls/mails – but this is a matter of good will and cannot be demanded.

  4. WoAi says:

    Thanks Crystal, you sound like a very sensible girl, it’s a pity not every girl thinks the way you do! And you’re right, in some cases, I have a small suspicion the girl or boy actually ENJOYS that their partner is so worried that they want to check everything. Perhaps it’s all part of the dating game.

  5. ana says:

    what the hell. this is beyond ridiculous, that’s all i can say.

  6. WoAi says:

    @ana – LOL, thanks and yes, it is, but well, this is simply how some couples behave here and the more I talk about it the more I realise it’s quite common.

  7. ashley chu says:

    im amazed by the ‘virgin-fantasy’ s still going on in china, n how insecured those individuals in relationships could be.

    personal experience: dated a chinese guy back in years n he used my computer once to login my hotmail/QQ…i flipped out. suffice to say it we ended up soon after that case coz no way i could stand it.

    communication is really the key to balance the insecurity n trusting, and it goes both ways in any couple. Curiosity – Just talk it out then…But checking private msgs is overinsecured..should really think about going to find a therapist. Lol

  8. WoAi says:

    @ashley – I’ve been with virgins and have to say, I prefer an experienced girl any time!! I wonder, are they so insecure because they themselves are always cheating on their girlfriends? Anyway Ash, glad you don’t put up with that nonsense from your guys.

  9. D says:

    I will never do that to my BF, since I believe love is based on trust!
    if he chooses to cheat, too bad, his lost

  10. well, integrity is more wellspread in the West than in China…

    I know that my bf wouldnt allow me to check his sms/emails etc. and he would never ask me to show him my personal emails either. But for me, i wouldn’t care because i have nothing to hide, the question if he has…

  11. Rich says:

    If you have doubts about your partner cant you just pop into your local Communist Party HQ and ask them? I thought they keep tabs on everybody?

    Seriously though, I dont know of anyone other than psychotic axe murderers (and I really dont know many of them) who would feel it necessary to control their partner in such a way. And no guy or girl in their right mind would allow themselves to be subjected to that sort of behaviour.

  12. wisemanofasia says:

    You just have to set the ground rules early on..say no to lots of things then there’s no disappointment later.

    This checking up on people does more harm than good. And it just escalates to the stage where the gf / bf feels like they can’t do anything.

    As soon as they hint that they wanna start reading your emails or looking at your phone its time to kick them out. Any email / text can look bad if your gf / bf doesn’t understand your relationship with the sender. And its normal for a little bit of harmless flirtation to take place between friends of the opposite sex!

    Don’t think its just a Chinese thing – I know western couples that suffer just as much from jealousy, I think its just in China people take things further.

  13. Sue says:

    i wish i could say something smart but i cannot! its just biatches and hommies being insecure about their relationship!

  14. IC says:

    This is not Chinese thing but individual thing. However, there is a study which show most jealous women are Swedish. My current girlfriend is little bit on jealous side. She does not like when I chat with other women. Her heritage is Nowegian though. At end, I believe it is individual matter.

  15. WoAi says:

    @D – That’s a great way of looking at it. His loss!

    @Shopgirl – Do you mean people in the west cheat less than in China? Do you have any data to support that claim?

    @Rich – Preaching to the converted mate.

    @Wiseman – Yes, there are lunatics everywhere not just in China.

    @Sue – That’s pretty smart.

    @IC – Of course you are right, there are jealous people everywhere. Only a few weeks ago someone in the UK shot and killed the boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend.

  16. BT says:

    I reckoned it was an Asian Chicary type of thing (and partly because there are a fair few western males on the make).

    My last gf (not Chinese but this neck of the woods) wanted (and tried) to run through my entire e mail account, texts, the lot. When I was out, she rummaged through my apartment looking for evidence, even an old mobile phone which had sme pictures frm a holiday of random people on it. To this day still believes I was meeting former gf’s (they are former for a reason sweet heart).

    She actually had my undivided attention. Needless to say, she no longer does. Never experienced this in the west.

    But guys being possessive like that? Come on, have a little confidence in yourself.

  17. WoAi says:

    @BT – Thanks, another incredible story. I don’ think it’s limited to girls with western playboy boyfriends as a lot of the stories I’ve heard are from Chinese girls with Chinese boyfriends who are just as likely to play away (there are entire apartment blocks in Gubei populated by er nai / second wives).

    But yes, guys need to have a bit more confidence in themselves. I like to think the girls I am with would not dare to play around because they would not want to risk losing the best thing that ever happened to them!

  18. trust is vital/critical to any relationship – no matter how it manifests . . . but if the two people in the relationship DO NOT agree on the terms of what that “trust” is, then there’s no point . . . =P

  19. ddd says:

    guys – my girlfriend some pictures on my laptop a friend had sent me of her on hol in a bikinni. She now insists i never speak to her again and has demanded i give her my hotmail password – is it right of her 1) to get annoyed 2) should i give her the password?

  20. D says:

    @BT, your ex sounds insane………. doesnt she have better things to do…. :-o

  21. WoAi says:

    @Angie – So what is trust?

    @ddd – Option 3 : tell her to pack her bags.

  22. DaveNYC says:

    Woai, some couples in the West are equally mad.

  23. WoAi says:

    @DaveNYC – No doubt!

  24. BT says:

    @D – you’re not the first to say that. And believe me, that is not the end of it . . . there was the 4am (drunk) call to pick her up when I was getting up at 6am to go to Beijing – and the crashing on the door, and stomping around (and throwing up everywhere) when she decided to turn up. Classy huh?

    @DDD – 1) No, and 2) No (unless she gives you hers and even then, No)

  25. D says:

    hummm ,off the track, does china have a thing call ‘protection order’? and does it work? The other thing is domestic violence is common, how do people deal with it

  26. WoAi says:

    @D – I don’t think China has stalking laws yet. I better make the most of that while I can!

  27. Andy Best says:

    I had another thought about this post.

    I know all kinds of people: male, female and of various nationalities, who indulge in that kind of psychopathic behaviour. And I’ve heard many instances that match exactly to Woai’s examples.

    But it was the guy who threatened his GF that he’d tell people she was a sl*t that got me thinking about examples here.

    Over the past few years here I’ve met a bunch of guys who, both online and in person, will bang on about virgins, girls being sl*ts, girls who sleep with foreigners being traitors ..etc etc … and their GF’s don’t bat an eyelid.

    Surely if your BF was horrifically sexist and hateful like that you’d run the other way and dump the c*nt with extreme prejudice at the first sign?

    I have a friend here who’s an excellent singer, her band is bang bang tang. She’s also an achiever at a good college, stylish and talented. She once told me that she’d have to give it all up when her BF came back from study abroad and they got engaged. I asked her why and she calmly said” “Oh, he said that his wife should not be on view in public for other guys.”

    She still plans to wait for him and go through with it. WTF.

  28. WoAi says:

    @Andy – Appreciate your contribution to this thread. It does seem odd that girls will not be concerned by their boyfriends sexist attitudes, but doesn’t that just mean it’s “normal” behaviour here?

    I like your singer story more. It’s fascinating how different people can be. If she was my girlfriend I think I would plead with her never to give up singing. I mean how fucking cool would that be to be dating a singer. I’d be bringing my mates every night to watch her band and proudly point out that that’s my girl (in a completely non-possessive way of course!)

    I mean, “not be on public view for other guys”! Follow that logic and she should not be allowed to leave the house and perhaps wear a veil on the rare occasions she is allowed to wander outside. Jeez! Please try and talk her out of throwing her life away. PLEASE!

  29. Sarah says:

    i had a chinese boyfriend who from time to time insisted on reading my texts and wasn’t best pleased if he saw i had been texting any boy “too often” Sometimes if he felt confused about a message he got into a sulk. I told him countless times if a message is not for you its easy to misinterpret. Anyway to solve that problem I just started deleting texts regularly

    I didn’t have anything to hide but i felt that was ridiculous either you thrust me or you don’t

  30. WoAi says:

    @Sarah – Thrust you? Was that a Freudian slip? But seriously, you refer to him in the past tense so I assume you did the smart thing and dumped him. Reading texts is unacceptable!

  31. KingBadger says:

    I’d love to thrust women, but they just don’t give me the chance.

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