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Obsessed with keeping your partner?
Articles - Relationships
Wednesday, 23 July 2008 00:00

In your love-drunken stupor (which you are stuck in), you linger on your partner of several months…

… She’s altogether lovely, a goddess from the heavens… Sweet, loving, intelligent, possessing a zest for life… You think she’s the most beautiful girl you have ever seen. She’s everything you ever hoped for… your dream come true.

And then you look at yourself…

… “Blah! I am too chubby over here, my hair doesn’t look great… my career is not having the break through that I hoped for… Not good-looking enough, not successful sufficiently… I think I suck.”



Very quickly, this spirals down into…

“I don’t think I am good enough for her…”
“… but
I can’t live without her…”

and so…
“I am going to do whatever I can to keep her

This includes restricting the number of people she will come into contact with (so that you can reduce the chances of her falling for someone else), curtailing her activities (so that you can reduce the possibility that she will meet new people… and hence reduce the chances of her falling for someone else), ensuring that you are the best among those she knows (so that she wouldn’t leave you for someone else).

Affections + Focus on One’s imperfections = Fear and Insecurities

Very quickly, affectionate thoughts of “she’s so lovely” flipped to thoughts of “is she thinking about leaving me?”, “she is so lovely, why would she want to be with me?” Ambiguous situations get reinterpreted in the light of “she thinks so-and-so is better than me” and “she thinks i am not good enough.” Eventually, even thoughts of her loveliness triggers poor self-evaluation. “I am just lucky that she picked me… very soon she will realize what a mistake she has made and she will leave me.” Fears and insecurities can insidiously destroy whatever joy you derive from your partner… and destroy her whatever joy she gets out of the relationship as she tries to navigates her words away from unseen land mines.

Partners who have an intense fear of losing their partners tend to end up being controlling (whether directly or indirectly) and competitive. At its most extreme, these partners become unreasonably restrictive, stifling their loved ones. These partners may not have the intent to be controlling or competitive. It’s just a (poor) strategy naturally born out of insecurities and fears.

Fear and Insecurities –> Controlling, restricting, competitive –> Stifled partner

The thing to note is “perception”. Being in love comes with a rush of deep feelings that may not get abated quickly. We amorously view our partners through rose-tinted glasses. We are not blind… just selective in perception.

If you are insecure, It would probably help to remove your goddess from the pedestal and see her as human- necessarily with beauty and flaws. At the same time, it’s time to lift yourself up from the dung pile and see your strengths as well, instead of focusing only on your weaknesses. It’s not about fooling yourself into thinking you are greater than you are; it’s about being objective.

That said, it is not easy to eradicate insecurities and fears in the relationship. Once it hits a raw spot (i.e. an area where one has low self-esteem over), its roots can die hard. Partners of insecure folks have to do a dance of cooperation, with words of assurances uttered generously (assurances have to be believable). For instance, you can litter your partner’s day with words of affections. You can also refer to “The Honesty Policy” for more (crucial) advice. If you are suffering from insecurities and fears, do not be afraid to ask for assurances (we all need assurances at some point in our lives). However, do ask for assurance in a non-accusatory way. If you need to hear that you are loved, for instance, do not say, “You don’t really love me, do you? You didn’t tell me you love me today!” Express how you feel instead, like “I don’t really feel loved today.” And then offer your partner a solution, “I like it when you tell me you love me. It makes me feel loved.”

Hopefully these insecurities and fears will be muted over time.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:50


# O.Ren 2010-02-02 20:41

O.Ren said,

July 30, 2008 at 2:33 pm

You kinda lost me after the second paragraph haha… :)

More seriously, I felt the end of the article is really the heart of it, after all, it’s all natural to have doubts when the ego is not some kind of out-this-world-monster-that-suffers-abso lutely-no-criticism, and the best way to get rid of them, is to simply express them, without accusing, without trying to test or read the other, but just express them, as they come.. Oh and it’s good to remember that the more possessive you’re gonna be, the more the other person will want to hit the road.

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