Possessive relationships vary in severity. While some possessive individuals may try to control every aspect of their partner's life, other possessive individuals may only show mild jealousy. Regardless of the level of possessiveness, such relationships are typically unhealthy. However, spotting a possessive relationship is not always easy. It may even start out positively. Thus, partners who see warning signs may want to look closely at the relationship, even if things seem to be going well.
Your Partner Disrespects You
Disrespect is often a sign of a possessive relationship. Possessive individuals may make negative comments toward you or about ex-partners. This might take the form of name-calling, rudeness, sarcasm or critical remarks. In some cases, the possessive individual’s goal is to make you feel worthless and incapable of finding another relationship by damaging your self-esteem. Possessive partners may also disrespect your career or academic choices.
A possessive person often expresses jealousy. He might become angry or upset when you socialize with friends, family or co-workers. Along with this, he may accuse you of cheating or be suspicious of innocent behaviors such as sending an email or a text message. In extreme cases, your possessive partner may try to cut off your contact with friends and family because he is jealous of the time you spend with them.
You Are Being Manipulated
A possessive partner uses manipulative behavior. For example, your partner might threaten to leave you if you do not do exactly what he wants. In some cases, possessive people might also self-injure, threaten suicide or engage in other self-destructive behaviors if you show interest in friends, family, hobbies, work or school. In other words, a manipulative partner may go to great lengths to ensure that you spend most of your time with him.
You Are Being Controlled
Controlling behaviors often signal a possessive relationship. Control can be physical, emotional or financial. A possessive partner may try to forbid you from holding a job or managing your own money. Likewise, he may try to forbid you from seeking employment, choosing your own clothing, cutting your hair or making other basic day-to-day decisions.
Your Partner Has a Temper
A short temper can be a warning sign. Possessive individuals may become angry over seemingly minor incidents, such as if you arrive home 10 minutes late. In extreme cases of possessiveness, this anger might be marked by physical abuse such as shoving, punching or slapping, but also commonly involves yelling, cursing and other forms of verbal abuse.