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A relationship red flag: What’s your password?

by Ron Poblete

STELLA, 25 years old, used to work for an airline company when she met John, 28, who at that time, just passed the bar and was celebrating at a common friend’s party. Like most acquaintances that turn to romantic relationships, they seemed like a perfect match. 

Stella was fun loving, humorous and gregarious while John was charming, engaging and talented. Their chemistry was just off the charts and together they were eye candy. They were one of those couples that were beginning to look more and more alike as time went by.

What’s your password?

A week later, after things got serious in their relationship, John asked for her phone’s password. Thinking it was nothing, she dutifully obliged.

Little that she knew that this was just the start of the house of horrors that is John. 

Stella introduced Steve to John after bumping into him at a bar in Poblacion, Makati. Steve is Stella’s childhood friend from BF Paranaque whom she catches up with from time to time on their chat groups. 

Jealous over childhood friend 

For a few months, John apparently had been harboring this growing suspicion that there’s something going on between Stella and Steve. 

This began to eat him up after he overheard a conversation between them which caused a short but awkward argument at the parking lot of Alabang Town Center.

One night, while the couple was chilling out at John’s place, Stella left her phone on the bedside table. 

John at this point has grown a little bit more paranoid. 

Jealous lover

As John was scrolling down Stella’s Facebook Messenger, he found an old message from Steve. It read: “Hey just saw your photos in Baler. Fire!,” to which she replied with a heart emoticon. 

The only thing Stella remembers as she was coming out of the shower was the scary figure of John clocking her right across the face. As she crouched with her ear still ringing from impact and cheek throbbing in pain, John hovered over her and shouted “Fuck you, landi mo!” and shoved the phone to the back of her head.

After buckets of tears, a few bad bruises, a steady diet of humble pie, sickening dose of gaslighting that went on for a couple of months, and finally a police report, Stella finally decided to irrevocably end the relationship. She also had some timely intervention from her dad who wanted to kill the guy. 

Checking your phone? It’s a red flag

Why this happens to the most well meaning people and why they attract evil is something that escapes the best of sensibilities. This shows a cautionary tale that seems to get stuck in conversation and never results in real action to rectify the situation.

A study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence found that one of the most common red flags of an abusive relationship is the use of controlling behaviors, such as monitoring the victim’s movements, checking their phone, or limiting their access to money.

Be wary of partners asking to have joint social media accounts or coerce you into giving access to your social media accounts. Once they start answering your messages for you, bolt now.

It’s only going to get worse. 



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