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Author Topic: Stress and fear at being judged
Ever Faithful
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Member # 110574

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I married my husband years ago, when I was quite young by conventional standards, and he was years older than me. He treats me extremely well, is cautious and gentle, never pushes anything, and even arranged me to get an education overseas at a private school which I would not have been able to do without him.

Now that I am studying overseas, classmates ask when I married, and when I tell them, are outraged. Some of them say he must have presured me, which he didn't, and others say I must be a slut to have married so young. They say that I must be open and willing for anything in order to marry, accusing me of marrying to try and hide a pregnancy for instance, when it was not so. Some of the guys get in my face about it, calling me names as they stand next to me, pretending to trip and slam into me while "accidentally" brushing up against my female attributes.

He and I take our marriage vows sincerely, and neither has ever strayed, nor has there been any suspicion between us. Yet some around me say the only reason he would have sent me is if he had someone on the side he was trying to hide, and while I know the falseness of it, when they spread rumors it is hard to hear. They keep telling me I should try and leave him, but I do not want to, nor do I appreciate their interfearance.

Faculty where I attend basically say the same message, that I am obviously screwed up, and that he must have pressured me due to age. I get repeatedly asked if he has ever hurt me, or done things I was not ready for or ok with, despite receiving a negative response each time. They try to make me feel ashamed of my marriage, ashamed that I wear his ring proudly, that when asked persistently by a guy to get to know each other privately for non academic purposes, I decline and if he continues to ask why have no problems with stating I am married.

I get extremely tired of everyone in the country where I study assuming we are wrong, treating me like I had no choice in marriage, as if he forced me into things. They immediately assume he has hurt me, even though he never has. The evening after our wedding he promised he would never hurt me, never pressure me, never do anything I did not fully agree with and I did not need to worry. He has always kept his word. Yes there is an age difference, but he is an honorable man.

I am posting here to ask how to start to stop the guys, because our administration doesn't seem to care despite my telling, and how to explain that he is a good man who I have nothing but affection for. Our relationship might not be build on love, but we are the best of friends, trusting and confining in each other. We have no problems with affection, and enjoy it between us. I am hoping someone has advice on explaining how to explain that to others in a more palatable way than I have been, for they do not understand even enough not to hound me on it. I really want to get the faculty off me, because there constant insinuations make it hard to be at class sometimes wondering if they will ask again, if they will continue to judge him without knowing him.

I apologize if I offend some, for that is not my intention for I know the subject of young marriage is difficult for some to handle.

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Through cold I continue, through heat I march, through pain I trudge forever more, faithful to the cause.

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Redskies
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Welcome to the boards, Ever Faithful.

There is nothing offensive about you talking about your own life. The only offensive thing in this situation is the people harassing you and the people who have not done anything to stop the harassment. I'm very sorry this is happening to you, and we're happy to do what we can to help you.

Just to get a picture of what in-person support you may or may not have: Is there any member of staff who you think might be supportive of you? Do you have any personal connections, like family or friends, in the country where you study?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1742 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ever Faithful
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Member # 110574

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Where I study I have some friends, but most of them are international and do not want to draw any attention to themselves, they help but not in ways that can be noticed.

It is early in my time at this school so I do not know too many. Among the staff there are none that will not tow the party line. Even if in private some will not say anything to me in regards to my marriage, they will not say anything for me. I have no family here, and our family is that of the villages. Only way I talk to my mother is by sending emails to the center where I have a friend that get printed and mailed to her because she does not understand the internet.

[ 06-16-2014, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: Ever Faithful ]

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Through cold I continue, through heat I march, through pain I trudge forever more, faithful to the cause.

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OhImpecuniousOne
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May I ask where you're studying, in terms of country? Your school's regulations, and probably the national law, should both have provisions about how the staff must respond to bullying and sexual harassment, which is what's being done to you. I would probably look into those rules and, depending on which you would feel more confident doing, either send a letter or talk to the most senior person you can, saying that your private life is none of their business, and that the school's reaction to harassment has been wholly inadequate and you expect them to follow the rules, and deal with the people harassing you. If you can threaten to report them to an oversight body or a government organisation which has power over them, even better. It's their job to make sure, as far as they can, that the school is an environment where you can study safely and comfortably.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Is there any kind of guidance or other counselor at the school, EverFaithful?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Additionally, since this is in part a cultural sensitivity issue (a lack of such, more to the point), can you check in with the administration to find out if there is any staff person who specifically deals with cultural sensitivity amoung fellow staff?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ever Faithful
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I will check the regulations, when I talked to them last they said that as to the harassment it was name calling and really just showed the lack of resiliency on my part to talk to them for the more typical school yard problem. They say they have a duty to report potential abuse in a students home life, and as they feel it is such, they want me to agree with them before they take such a step. I realize that I do display some of the signs of a home with more discipline than is acceptable in my country of study, yet that was before him.
He has always treated me well in both action and speech. He hasn't even raised a hand to me when I made a difficult to fix mistake with our finances, which I would have well understood if he had. I was able to fix the mistake, but all he said to me was that it was an accident, no matter what we could recover from it, and that he did not blame me. Nowhere did he diminish or humiliate me verbally. He always does good by me, and I am grateful.
I would prefer not to disclose country in case any of my comrades were to step on to the board, and see my posting. There are already pretty specific points as to identity I have laid out, and I would prefer not to have it all there.

I will check with the laws to see if there is any potential for bringing points of national law to there attention for what they must do.

To give my school some credit for where it was due, in response to my getting some of my friends and neutral bystanders to sign a draft as to what occurred one evening in a public space in terms of accusations and verbal attempts to intimidate and pressure, they did put a one weekend restriction on those involved, which is the same penalty as showing up to one class 9 minutes late, or 9 classes 1 minute late over a weeks time.

That was a one time repercussion for a variety of verbal insults, done in a very public space which was not at all kept private. To those which occur in more discrete forms, they are not willing to do anything as far as I can see.

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Through cold I continue, through heat I march, through pain I trudge forever more, faithful to the cause.

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Ever Faithful
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I did not see your comments @Heather, there is a "counselor" but I do not know them well nor do they have a good reputation with the internationals. I will check to see if we have someone for internationals, as I do not really know. From what I have heard in my time at the institution, its a good education but not at all sensitive to non western Europe or western world cultures or ideas.

When it gets brought up they make mention of we chose to attend where we are, and so it is our responsibility to fit in with the culture. I understand that, and do not ever try and display overtly that I am married, but neither do I remove the ring, or if asked hide the fact.

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Through cold I continue, through heat I march, through pain I trudge forever more, faithful to the cause.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Is switching schools, especially given it is summer, an option at all? Because that is obviously one way to change all of this, to switch to a place which is more culturally sensitive and also does do more if and when students are experiencing harassment.

If you have not yet tried talking to the counselor, I would try. This is one of those things where you just have to keep asking for help, even though this is not your fault or doing.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68056 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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By the way, you can use our email to fill us in on your location if you like. Something I would like it for is to see if there are any advocacy groups for eastern European women in your area that might be good for support and help for you with this.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ever Faithful
Neophyte
Member # 110574

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Switching is not an option due to next year being paid already. I will email the counselor to see about next year's situation. It is just extremely tiring being constantly put down and criticised, made to feel as if I am wrong, as if we did the wrong thing. One of their most significant barbs or what causes them to be diminutive is that love was not really a part. I made the mistake early on at the school when asked if I loved him to say he was my closest friend not love of my life. We married because it was in both of our best interests, and to preserve our family names and security for both of us. We are best friends, we chose to marry years before we did, we talked about it for a long time, chose to pursue this path together. Perhaps we are not traditional love, but few are in our area of town at our ages or not suggested highly by family. So in order to fulfill some of our family's wishes, and stay with someone who we both cared for, we married each other. We care and love each other in our own way.

I have tried to explain it because some have been extremely insistent, but they do not understand. I want my husband to be able to come to me, to visit me here and for him to see where I attend without being persecuted, without having to wonder who will say what to him.

Is scarleteen's email webmaster AT scarleteen.com?

[edited only for a minor anti-spam technical point - Redskies]

[ 06-18-2014, 07:17 AM: Message edited by: Redskies ]

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Through cold I continue, through heat I march, through pain I trudge forever more, faithful to the cause.

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Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 79774

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No, it's not (that's the automatic email that sends you your board account details - to my knowledge it can't accept incoming mail). What you want is the Contact Us link, here: http://www.scarleteen.com/contact That'll send your message to Scarleteen's email account.

(I'll also edit your post just to change that email slightly to try to avoid any automatic spammers trawling the net for email addresses, just in case our tech system wouldn't like being spammed.)

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1742 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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