Possessive Lover
Dear Therapist,  Relationships

Possessiveness vs Love

We've been together for 3 years but spent most of our relationship at extreme ends of the country. Luckily, we finally found jobs in the same city 6 months ago and moved in together. It's been an interesting ride living with him after all these years and while I know he loves and cares for me a lot I feel he often restricts me. He checks my phone when I'm asleep, eve drops on my conversation, gets upset when I chat with my male friends, restricts my time with my girls, and wants to know where I am at all times. I guess I never noticed this behavior before cause we lived in two separate cities and assumed that this was his way of showing he cares for me. I have confronted him about this, and asked him to stop but he just does not. He often replies to do this with lines like "I love you so much, I can't share you" or "I trust you, but not them". But now, it's getting claustrophobic. I know he loves me, and I do too but it's getting harder to be my own and stay in this relationship. I'm not sure if my reason to leave is good enough!


Dear Restricted,

I’m sure you and your partner have waited a long time to be together, and I’m certain living with him after all these years must feel different with it’s own share of highs and lows.

Moving in with someone often takes some adjustment on both partners, but the willingness and want usually makes it worth it. While I see there is a want to be with him, I also understand that his behavior is something you are unfamiliar with.

I want you to trust your instinct, because what you’ve picked on when you say “clousatphobic” is that there is a difference between love and passiveness.

Every romantic relationship begins with each partner investing a lot of their energy, love and time in the other. But as the relationship grows they are able to nurture their individual identities, and are respectful of their partners individuality. A healthy relationship is a balance between connectedness and indepdence. However, unhealthy relationship are often characterized by a lack of space, over dependency, passiveness, and obsessiveness.

It is important to take a moment, and reflect on the importance of trust in a relationship. Both partners are equally responsible for cultivating and nurturing it. It seems like he is repeatedly putting his needs and feelings first even though you have expressed your need for space. It is like he has little interest in your needs and repeated requests. This is his way of securing himself and ensuring his safety, however, the safety he desires begins with work within.

Building trust in a relationship does not begin by acceding to the others demands, but by expressing how you feel when he does not pay heed to your emotional requests.In this journey of honest communication, it is important to express you understand his concern, but the questioning and restriction is pushing you away instead of building a stronger relationship with each other.

While you cannot guarantee you will never leave him no more than he can guarantee you. It is important for him to do some inner work to understand his fear better. If he does decide to do some inner work, don’t forget to appreciate him for it. Handing back the responsibility of him to himself creates a path to a healthy relationship.

However, he is not ready to try some inner work it you can then do something different by putting your needs first and taking a step away from the relationship with compassion.

Meet your Dear Therapist…

Priyanka Varma Clinical Psychologist
She believes emotional and mental health care are at the very core of us experiencing happiness in our life. Her qualifications include a Masters in Clinical Psychology and in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Priyanka enjoys working with young adults and understanding life as it changes with intrusions like the internet and the pandemic. Above everything else her true love is homemade chocolate cake.

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