#AskMargie: Possessive Partners
MANILA, Philippines - Have you ever had a possessive partner or have you been the possessive one?
In this week' edition of #AskMargie, Dr. Margie Holmes talks about being too demanding of your partner's full attention.
Today we’ll discuss possessive partners.
I asked: have you ever had one? Or have YOU been the possessive one? We got so many responses to both questions that, once more, we have to do a part 2 (YOUR being the possessive one) sometime in the future.
Here’s what you said:
Ana P. Santos: The excuse for possessiveness is usually "he cares". Where do you draw the line between possessiveness and caring? Between caring and making you emotionally dependent?
@KiparMaster2000 asks: Is there something wrong that a person would openly hate a possessive partner but secretly crave his/her possessiveness?
He adds what is, in effect, an answer to his question:
@KiparMaster2000: I know many gay and female friends who seem to like that. I don’t know if it’s being a martyr. Some find it a secret fetish. I noticed many of them have this need to be subdued or dominated. They openly hate it and say they want to leave their partners but somehow, they would also say they like it because they are truly wanted.
Thank you, @KiparMaster 2000.
@engtionggo says: I had one who expects me to inform him of my whereabouts every hour! What I do, what I eat, what I wear. When I forget something, expect a barrage of hate messages and nasty speculations.
Some of you shared your opinions on reasons for a partner’s possessiveness:
Bopeep Espiritu: Possessive partners tend to have the paradigm that since I am giving you 110% of my love, I expect you to do the same for me.
Edna Aquino says: What makes (a partner) overly possessive is linked to insecurity (and) low self-esteem. The problem is, most advice on how to deal with it focus on the possessive partner rather than on how to understand: why is happening?
Bopeep Espiritu says: Since when did getting permission from the partner become part of a relationship? What are the healthy boundaries (that separate asking permission and merely giving information)?
Rae Macapagal says: “I’ve known some overly possessive men who are actually the ones fooling around. So ayaw nilang gawin sa kanila yung ginagawa nila.”
MOI: add Freudian? Projection? Or even inunahan ka na lang? O distract from his own behavior? What’s worst kaya? (more manipulative yung 2nd)—
Evangeline Sangalang: Yung concept ng possession ang root; emphasized at the expense of mutual respect for space and individuality. Society, especially religion and movies say "we are one" kaya ayun, nabura na boundaries.
I also asked you: what would you do if you have a possessive partner?
Ren Lavetoria says: This is difficult especially in the Filipino culture which "values" the sanctity of marriage.
Mei Magsino: Leave him! He doesn't own me and he has no right to demand that I isolate myself from my family and friends. If he wants to own something, he should buy it! I'm certainly not for sale!
R offers a reason why some women may find it difficult to leave a possessive boyfriend.
R: Some women who are with possessive partners do not realize it at first. Baka akala po nila napaka-sweet ng partners nila. Some even think that it is wonderful how their partners can’t seem to live without them. Yung iba naman kahit na napapalayo na sa friends or family nila, kuntento na sa buhay na silang dalawa lang ng partners nila.
MOI: This is exactly it. It is like the boiling frog story. You get used to a certain kind of possessiveness and may even fool yourself that it is a sign of love, and then, inch by inch. It gets worse.
Anonymous says: In our feudal-patriarchal culture, traditionally the women answer to their partners. Some husbands even feel they 'own' their wives.
Naiisip rin po siguro ng mga babae, bakit nila iiwan ang husband na masyado lang naman silang minamahal? I’m guessing that if these women open up to their friends, maliit ang chance na may magsasabing, "Your husband seems possessive." Baka ang sabihin sa kanila, "Mahal ka lang talaga masyado ng asawa mo." With those kinds of comments, hindi talaga maiisip ng babae na umalis kahit pa possessive ang partner niya.
Fellow psychologist Maureen Jean Lara: In as much (it’s clear) that leaving the possessive partner is the right thing to do, it (is still) very to difficult to do so. Probably the reason it's difficult is that these partners fill a need the other person has.
WRAP UP: In other words, The people we choose to be with and the reasons you stay with an overly possessive partner say things not only about your partner’s aggression and uncontrolled jealousy, but also about yourself. I hope you know me enough to trust I don’t mean this in a judgmental finger pointing way. It’s just that it is easier—no, I take that back, it is “less difficult to leave” when you accept that you too contribute to your situation. The upshot is the realization that, because you contribute to what’s going on, you can UN-contribute to your current bad situation and start contributing to what will be your free-er present life. As Rizal said: There are no tyrants without slaves.” So, start planning your departure (or your escape), when the time is right, do it. Be careful, and good luck!!