Both men and women can become possessive. Possessiveness is a common relationship problem among young and older adults and being a possessive partner is something people in relationships should avoid.
What causes a person to become possessive?
Possessiveness is triggered by insecurity. This insecurity comes from various places. It could be your parents’ divorce, a parent or both parents leaving you, or a former partner who had been unfaithful.
A partner who is insecure may form doubts about his/her partner’s loyalty and dedication and thus he/she tries to control them. Possessiveness may also stem from jealousy and fear that a partner does not love him/her.
In a relationship, the more possessive a partner becomes, the more the other tries to break free. The more the other tries to break free, the more possessive his/her partner becomes. It’s a vicious cycle that too often ends in parting of ways.
Some researchers believe that possessiveness may actually be a part of evolution. Men get jealous about their partner being sexually unfaithful. This is because they want their genes to be passed on and not another man’s. Women on the other hand get jealous about emotional infidelity. This stems from women’s traditional need to maintain a man’s love in order to be sheltered and protected.
This evolutionary jealousy may still be present, while the other factors are almost certainly at work.
If you think that you are becoming excessively possessive, there are a number of things you can do to lessen or get rid of your possessive feelings.
Know where your possessive feelings are coming from
They could be your old issues coming to the surface such as the fear of being abandoned, and may have nothing to do with your partner at all.
Let go of your old fears and insecurities
Learn how to boost your self-esteem. There are a number of groups who help people get their self-esteem up, as well as help them let go of their fear of infidelity and abandonment.
If you are on the other end of this issue, recognize that your partner’s possessiveness stems from the fear of you leaving them. Thus, reassure your partner of your dedication to him/her.
Remain true to yourself
Just because your partner is possessive doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you enjoy doing. Reassure your partner that you are dedicated and committed to your relationship.
Get rid of feelings of wanting to hang on
These feelings trigger the vicious cycle of hanging on and pulling away. Letting go of these feelings will release you both from the cycle
Feelings are not always the truth
The feeling that your partner is going to leave you is just a feeling. It’s not the truth. At least not every time. Focusing on letting go of your negative feelings about each other and the relationship makes it easier for the two of you to focus on the positive aspects of and to feel secure in the relationship, without feeling the need to control it.
Reaffirm your love
Reassure your partner that you love him/her. Take time to rekindle the love and romance in the relationship to finally have peace of mind.