Possessiveness is an obsessional behaviour, and is about isolation and keeping a partner solely for yourself from as many people as possible. The victim is always deliberately isolated whether through violence or through other controlling means, and frequently submits for the sake of safety or a quiet life. Initially the presence of possessiveness seems to indicate love. ‘He loves me so much that he keeps me for himself’, might be how the partner thinks. But, possessiveness is obviously the very opposite of love. It is an emotional prison that sucks the life out of you and leaves you feeling empty and confused. The controlling person is more often than not a charmer and the victim is smitten, misinterpreting the possessiveness and delighting in the fact that he or she has found a soulmate.
Yet, without the imprisoned partner the jealous person’s definition of himself falls apart, because he defines himself as a worthwhile person only if he feels he is loved. It is a strange kind of ‘love’ when you find yourself being confined in almost every part of your life– how you dress, where you go, what you do, being held suffocatingly close, being detached from your friends, hearing your family being criticised or even being isolated from them. Jealousy is always behind these behaviours. Unhappily, possessiveness can extend to the victim even when the relationship has ended, and can cause endless torment. I have seen cases where separated fathers were prevented from seeing their children, or where grandparents were prevented from seeing their grandchildren, because of the jealousy of some mothers. This is not to say that mothers are more jealous than fathers, but in most cases the mother is given custody of the children and she has to power to exclude the father, if she so wishes. The psychological concept of the abusive and jealous personality is not normally considered by the court, unless there are obvious and proven cases of physical abuse.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
THERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
DEATH OF A CHILD
ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE