Trigger warning: verbal abuse.
Each week, PhilSTAR L!fe addresses a reader's concern about relationships, career, and anything they want to talk about through its advice column: Asking for a Friend.
Dear L!fe friend,
My five-year relationship with a law student has ended last February of this year. Bumitiw na sya dahil sa mga pagkakamali ko. Despite that, nanlulumo ako hindi dahil we ended it. Honestly, aside sa hindi ko na maayos ang relasyon na meron kami, hindi ko rin nai-salvage yung friendship namin. 'Yun ang pinakamasakit.
Babae kami pareho. Hindi ako tanggap ng family niya, unlike sa approval and acceptance na nakuha nya sa side namin. Mahal na mahal sya ng family ko. Hindi ako nagtagal, napagod ako sa kakahintay. I then became corrupted sa galit ko. I admit I was the abusive type magsalita. She's the abused, nagtiis sya sa lahat. Pero alam ko nagkalamat na kami dahil may mga mali akong nagawa. At buong buhay kong pagsisisihan 'yun kahit feeling nya, wala akong remorse na tao.
I'm not okay. I am full of regrets and it hurts a lot so I can say that I still care. What do I do?
—Still in Love with You
Dear Still in Love with You,
Abuse, verbal or physical, is violence. Loud and clear. And violence is not just about anger; it’s also about power and control.
I give you a pat on the back for admitting you are the abusive party in your relationship. But I take it back because the fact still remains that you ventured into abusing your partner.
Love is not enough. I’ve said it many times as a piece of advice to individuals who reached out to us in Asking for a Friend. Love is not enough.
Love, without respect, is still love. But it is the weak kind. By abusing your girlfriend, you obviously did not respect her.
I can only surmise that this disrespect emanates from the non-acceptance of your partner’s family of your relationship with her. It must have hurt you that despite the approval of your kith and kin of your relationship, your partner’s family does not give the green light to your affair.
Though approval of relatives to a relationship is important, it is not deterrent when not given to a blossoming affair when involved parties are of age and emotional maturity. Kung husto na kayo sa edad at alam n’yong kaya n’yong alagaan ang isa’t isa, walang bisa kung ‘di tanggap ng iba. Medyo radikal. Pero nangyayari ito. Nangyayari ang “hahamakin lahat” sa pelikula’t totoong buhay.
You mentioned that you waited for her family's approval of your relationship. And you grew tired. But the fact that she stuck it out with you only proves that she wanted to keep you.
You grew tired of waiting for her family to accept you as the lover of your partner. You can be tired. But abuse is not a recourse.
Love, without respect, is still love. But it is the weak kind.
I believe in the innate kindness of every human being. I know you are kind—only, to quote you, “corrupted.” Your desire to be accepted ate you up. Your vision became hazy when in fact, the clearest objective of your relationship is to love her and you, to be loved in return—by your partner and not by a multiverse.
People who have a violent streak are the hardest to love. It’s a major character flaw that needs to be addressed. You can talk to a priest or a pastor. If you have the means, you can consult a psychotherapist or to a psychiatrist. Please give it a try.
If your girlfriend is still in love with you, please tell her that you are going to fix yourself. And you will court her again when you have already addressed your attitude. Therapy can help you. To be left on your own devices will not guarantee that you will change. Because if the same non-approval situation happens again, the cycle of violence will be repeated.
I’m sure you know that June is the celebration of Pride Month. And Pride Month took place because there was abuse and subjugation experienced by the homosexuals. Being a member of the LGBTQ community, will you also allow abuse to take place in your heart?
It’s not yet too late. And I can only hope and pray that when you’re already a changed person, you still have a lady in waiting.
For now, please fix yourself. Power has no place in love. Control shouldn’t be housed in your heart. Save yourself first from anger. Then let love, love.
Got a problem you’re too afraid or embarrassed to share out loud? We’re here for you. E-mail us at [email protected] to get some lighthearted advice you need to hear.