Being overpossessive can be detrimental to a developing relationship
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Toby Ingham MA UKCP BAPPS
5th March, 2009
“She says I’m becoming too possessive” says a 35 year old man I will call Lewis who is worrying his relationship will fall apart. He met his girlfriend at a New Year’s Eve party which he hadn’t wanted to go to. Lewis hasn’t had a girlfriend for a few years and he was surprised to meet someone who was interested in him.
At first he was pleased about it, but now he finds he is becoming jealous about her old boyfriends that she keeps in touch with. She says he is too possessive. Lewis has always kept himself to himself and he is rather anxious that he will ruin things now. For the first time in a long time he is looking forward to Valentine’s Day and he doesn’t want anything to spoil his plans to surprise her with flowers and chocolates.
Lewis wonders what its like for other people. How do they cope with things? How do they manage their lives and relationships? When Lewis was a boy he remembers being with his mother, how quiet she used to be, he used to look at her sometimes and wonder what was going on in her mind. She never seemed happy with his dad. Whenever other people came round she used to become very animated, but when they were alone she seemed rather flat.
These memories come back to him now when he is with his girlfriend. He worries about whether she is thinking about her old boyfriends when she is with him. He knows she has a life of her own, but he finds it hard to accept. He is really pleased to have met her and now he is scared she’ll get fed up with him.
He thought of going to his GP for something like Prozac, but then he decided he would try psychotherapy instead. He is not the sort of man who likes to talk about himself but he knows he has got to do something to change things. He is hoping that talking to his psychotherapist might give his relationship a better chance. He has an idea that if he can talk about his own insecurities maybe his relationship will have a better chance of success. He doesn’t want to make the same mistakes his parents made.
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