Saturday, December 17, 2011

Clinging or Controlling?

Every relationship has growing pains when partners are trying to understand each other. Sometimes, it may feel like even though your partner is speaking your language, they are speaking in tongues because their feelings behind the words are so different from your own. Getting used to your new partner’s habits can take some time and require a hefty dose of patience. Some partners need constant communication while his or her partner feels like they are bombarded by a wave of messages. We here at loveisrespect get a lot of questions from our callers and chatters about what behaviors are just signs of clingy partner and which may point to a controlling partner. Knowing where the fine line is between clinging and controlling can be tough.Texting frequently- Some people think it is sweet to text their partner throughout the day to see how they are and then again to wish them good night. If you’re OK with that, then there is nothing to worry about.Texting you to know where you are constantly, accusing you of lying and/or cheating or just questioning if there are members of the opposite sex around is where it crosses the line. If you feel like your partner uses texting to keep tabs on you or make sure you aren’t around potential suitors, then they are crossing the line into controlling territory.Being protective- We all know the story of Edward and Bella from the Twilight books: Edward showed up at the bookstore when Bella was being attacked in the nick of time, saved her from a hydroplaning car headed her way, watched her sleep at night and overall, seemed to be pretty worried about how fragile and clumsy Bella was. Edward’s protective qualities can make anyone swoon; someone worrying about you must mean they really care about you, which is true. Helping you put tire chains on your car or insisting you wear a seatbelt are good protective behaviors. However, if your partner won’t let you attend parties by yourself, insists you cut yourself off from family and friends or shows up randomly when you are out in public all to “protect” you, then they are definitely a few feet over the line in controlling territory.Getting jealous- It’s natural to wonder about his ex-girlfriend that got away or even to be a little concerned when she starts blowing up his Facebook profile. It’s OK to let him know that you are worried about this, but it’s not OK to accuse him of cheating, insist he block her on Facebook or demand he give you his passwords to his Twitter, Facebook, etc. accounts. It’s alright if you don’t feel totally secure in your relationship, especially at the beginning, but it’s how you go about feeling more secure that can cross the line.Excessive kissing, hugging, etc.- Wanting to hold hands in public or greet you with a bear hug and sloppy kiss may make our shier readers a little squeamish, but if you and your partner are comfortable with it, then go for it. However, if it’s getting to the point where you can’t leave your partner’s side out in public or you are getting uncomfortable with their constant demands for your undivided attention and affection, then there is a problem. You should be able to enjoy time in public with your friends, family, etc. and not feel like you are slighting your partner. Can’t do that? Your partner may be exhibiting some controlling behavior.Constantly confessing undying love- Feelings should develop naturally, which for most people, means slowly. If you feel like your partner’s feelings are a full-speed train with no brakes, then it may be time to re-evalute. Some people will insist they feel really strongly about someone in their life as a way to justify controlling behavior and to gain more influence with their partner over the partner’s friends and family. When these heartfelt confessions sound more desperate than devoted, they may be a sign of a controlling partner.Most importantly, if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. No matter what, if you feel suffocated by even slightly clingy behavior, it may be time to re-evaluate your relationship


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