There are varying levels of possessiveness, from the boyfriend who rings you sixteen times a day to check on what you are doing, to the guy who threatens to kill himself if you were ever to leave him. But what can you do? How do you cope with a guy who loves you so much that he can’t let go, where he needs to control and monitor your every move, stops you seeing your friends and generally takes control of your life? When does that feeling of love transform into possessiveness? And when does simple jealousy become the basis for an abusive relationship?
Possessiveness Stems From Insecurity
The behaviour of a person with a possessive personality has very little to do with feelings of love. Instead these behaviours are brought to life through the negatives influences of insecurity and doubt. Low self esteem drives a lot of possessive people to perform actions that a reasonable person would never perform, but this possessiveness can also be an indicator that there are some serious mental health issues at play, things like bipolar disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and schizophrenia.
Though they feel like they are losing control of their own lives, by controlling the life of someone else they may feel like they are keeping a grip on their own reality. These possessive partners are masters of emotional blackmail and managing to manipulate every situation to their own advantage. The way to figure out whether your relationship is in danger is to take a long, hard objective look at the way that you interact together. Do you feel that you constantly have to ask your partner for his opinion or permission? Do you feel stifled and restricted in the relationship?
Possessiveness Does Not Equal Love
Many girls, especially those in their first real relationship can make the mistake of thinking that a possessive partner is someone that loves them beyond all reason. What they fail to acknowledge is that there is a line in the sand that marks where genuine loving and caring behaviour ends and controlling and restricting behaviour starts. The genuine caring boyfriend will look out for your best interests and show genuine concern for you, for example if you have been partying too hard or drinking too much he will let you know that he is concerned about your health and well being. A possessive boyfriend on the other hand will tell you that you have been out with your friends too much and therefore neglecting your relationship with him, he will go into a mood and sulk for days playing on your feelings for him. This behaviour is very much possessiveness and definitely not love.
Masters of Emotional Blackmail
The possessive boyfriend will know exactly which of your buttons to press and strings to pull to punish you for your seemingly unacceptable behaviour. Something so simple as forgetting to text him when you said that you would or him finding out you have spent time with a male friend, can see you being faced with emotional outbursts, tears and recriminations followed by apologies and extra attention. He will devise various punishments in order to bring you back into line with how he wants you to be. Things like withholding sex or affection from you, walking out then coming back to make up, anything he can come up with that will play on your emotions and make you feel as though you really are in the wrong so that you will go out of your way to make him happy.
Romantic or Manipulative?
We all appreciate those little text messages that we are sent that ask us how we are doing, providing that they are only sent once or twice a day if we are apart from our partners, but when those texts come through all the time it’s more a case of him checking up on where we are and what we are doing. When those texts are still being sent when you have clearly told him that you are going to sleep, or he continues to call and text when you are out having fun with your friends, then this is where the romantic behaviour ends and the possessiveness starts. This is manipulative behaviour specifically designed to limit the amount of time that you spend away from him. He is trying to make you feel guilty for spending time with other people and not lavishing all of your attention onto him. This is when you need to wake up to what’s happening and get out of the relationship.
Breaking up With a Possessive Boyfriend
Breaking up is of course the sensible solution, before you have been forced to give up your friends and any other aspects of your life that don’t involve him. It’s not going to be easy. If you thought that he was a master of emotional blackmail, he’s saved the best for last. He may threaten to end his life if you leave him, or do something as equally traumatic to guilt you into staying with him. You need to remember that his decisions are just that, his.
If you can, explain about how his manipulative behaviour has driven you to this course of action, he probably won’t listen. But you have to walk away with your head held high no matter what threats or emotional ammunition he throws at you. Don’t blame yourself too much for getting caught in this position in the first place, we all like to have someone that flatters us and makes us feel wanted and needed, but when that goes too far and become manipulation it’s time to leave.