HEY BESTIE: My partner is becoming increasingly controlling and possessive. I’m worried it could escalate. What are the signs that I should leave the relationship?
Control and possession are two words that should not feature in a healthy relationship. Words for a healthy relationship include – support, trust, care, understanding, respect, communication, and the list goes on and on.
A healthy relationship includes one in which you purposely choose to mutually work on yourselves and your relationship. To learn the skills required to communicate your wants and needs and explore the ways in which to incorporate this into the relationship.
The moment that a relationship brings you more pain than joy…that’s a big indicator that you may need to reconsider whether this relationship is ideal for you.
If you are feeling obligated to stay in the relationship, if you are feeling controlled and not free to be your true self. Those are indicators (read: red flags) that the relationship is not what most would consider ‘healthy’.
Some of the signs that a relationship is healthy and supportive include:
- You make decisions together.
- You support each other and feel supported by each other.
- You enjoy each other’s company.
- You look forward to seeing each other when you’ve been away from one another.
- You are both committed to the relationship.
- You respect each other.
- You are comfortable being with and away from your partner.
- You trust your partner and vice-versa.
- You create goals together and work towards achieving them together.
- You engage in events together that each of you enjoy.
In short, “healthy relationship” is a broad term because what makes a relationship thrive depends on the needs of the people in it.
The list of warning signs that a relationship isn’t ideal is a mile long. You however, are the only person who can decide whether you are willing to remain in a relationship in which you are feeling controlled or possessed.
My approach is this: Imagine you are an awesome book. The partner you are with should be equivalent to a yellow highlighter. Your chosen partner should highlight your super awesome bits and vice-versa. However you want to look at it, an ideal partner will assist your best self to shine.
At the end of the day, you should trust each other and feel safe together. You should feel as though you can learn and grow together.
If you’re worried about your relationship or believe it’s not as strong as it used to be, trust your gut and explore what these feelings mean. A therapist can help offer guidance on when more effort might help and when it’s time to move on because after all, everyone deserves to be in a relationship that they feel they can be themselves and flourish in.
Amanda Lambros is a sexologist and relationship coach with almost two decades of experience who takes pride in her “no b-s” approach to solving your problems. She is also a certified speaking professional and has written several books on relationships, health and business which have sold more than 150,000 copies.
Do you have a question for Amanda? Email he[email protected] (don’t worry, we won’t publish your name!)
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