Online vulnerability, blackmail

Why my ex blackmailed me

Jen broke up with her boyfriend Edward. It was three months later that the ‘I still love you’ phone calls started. And when the begging didn’t work, the blackmail began.

I first met Edward in the office. He is a confident, good looking man and I was instantly attracted to him. We worked on the same floor, and it was easy for me talk to him without being too obvious.


Over time, we started hanging out together, going on what can loosely be called ‘dates’, but it was really more like the two of us just hanging out.

Then, after just a few months, Edward got a job offer from another firm and left. I wouldn’t say I was heartbroken. I did miss him, but our relationship so far was actually just casual flirting.


But Edward didn’t make friends quickly at the new firm, so he started coming to my office. It was at this point the two of us became very close, and before I knew it, he was my boyfriend.

Ours went the route of so many relationships. There was the initial euphoria, the settling of things, and then the strains, the ill-tempered fights, and the inevitable break-up.

Time to move on

The last couple of months of our relationship, we hardly talked. He seemed cold and distant and never seemed to have time for me. Yet, whenever I logged on to Facebook, he seemed to be out partying with his friends.

The final straw was when I called him and said I wanted to go out for a new movie and he said he wasn’t interested, but a few days later, updated his status to say he was out watching that same movie with his friends!

He didn’t want to break up. That was my call, but I felt it was necessary. I felt I wasn’t being respected enough by him, and though I still loved him, I felt it was time to move on.

I stood my ground, we parted on good terms.

At first, he resisted a bit and suddenly started paying a lot of attention to me. It was flattering, I must admit, but somewhere deep down I knew this was all temporary, and the minute I took him back, he would start ignoring me again. So I stood my ground, and he too finally accepted it.

We parted on good terms. We ran into each other a couple of times over the next few months – somebody’s housewarming, an ex-colleague’s wedding – and it was all very civil.

Drunk phone calls

It was two weeks after that wedding that I received the first phone call. Edward called me up and talked about something very banal, before blurting out how he missed me and couldn’t take his eyes off me at the wedding. I was uncomfortable about the way he talked about me, and immediately told him so. He apologised and said he just wanted to pay me a compliment. I took it at face value and let it pass.

But then, a few days later, he called again. He was very obviously drunk and kept on telling me how he wanted me back. I told him that was not happening.

‘I felt like I was trapped.’

Slowly, we got into a routine. He would call up every day, sober or drunk, and beg me to take him back. I would keep refusing. After a while, I stopped picking up his calls. Then he ran into me at a bar with a friend. He saw us and he immediately jumped to the conclusion that I was on a date, and walked off.

That’s when Edward started getting really nasty. He emailed me threatening to tell my parents about us unless I took him back — my family is very conservative and would have never accepted a relationship before marriage.


He started making life really difficult for me. I felt like I was trapped. I tried to ignore his calls, but at the back of my head, I had the fear that he might just turn up at my parents’ house. I started avoiding social media because, no matter what time of the day I would post or even ‘like’ something on Facebook, he would call me within seconds.

It was like he was obsessed with me.

He made my life hell.

I can’t really pinpoint when he started easing off, but he did. I had a little bit of luck – my dad retired and my parents decided to move to my hometown. I also sneakily changed their mobile numbers, before changing my own. In the end, I decided to make a clean break and blocked him on social media.

Today, I’m free from him. I’ve changed cities and I’m dating again. Don’t get me wrong, Edward is probably not a bad guy. But for the six or seven months that he made my life hell, I can never forgive him.

As told to Kate R.

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