How to Stop Being Possessive and Trying to Control Your Partner
The desire to control your partner presents an incredible strain on your relationship and on your self. This desire to manipulate your partner into fulfilling expectations you hold as to what their behavior should be like is an ugly fire that will burn both of you out. The only solution is to let go of this desire for control, and the fastest way to let go of this desire is to understand why you hold it in the first place.
Why The Need for Control?
Maybe you are jealous. Maybe you are possessive. Maybe you are very insecure. The desire to control your partner and limit their behavior in a way that you find acceptable shows that you do not have enough confidence and faith in yourself, your partner, and the relationship.
The desire to control your partner shows that you want to change them. The desire to change your partner never leads to anything good- it is a very destructive goal. Successful relationships occur between two people who love each other for who they are, not who they could be or who they want to see the other person as. This requires an abundance of honesty with yourself and with your partner. Ask yourself if you really want to be with your partner or if you want to be with the idea of your partner. Are you and your partner actually, naturally compatible or do you have to struggle, fight, resist, and exert a great amount of effort to really get alone and enjoy each other's presence?
For example, if someone who is naturally very friendly, sociable, and open starts dating someone who is very uncomfortable with their social style, what do you think will happen? The uncomfortable person will probably misunderstood the very friendly person's behavior as flirtatious/immoral/disloyal etc. The uncomfortable person wants their naturally friendly person to stop being themselves because it makes them feel bad. Obviously, this relationship is not going to work unless the uncomfortable person can get over their own insecurities and embrace the social style of their friendly partner. This might sound like oversimplification, but it is actually a very common theme. The friendliness is a very relative parameter. Some people aren't that social compared to the majority of people, but if they are more social than their insecure partner, then a problem will still be made. The insecure partner must stop projecting the limits of their comfort zone as the ideal social model.
The scarcity mindset is always evident in the desire to control one's partner. Maybe you fear that your partner will not love you as much, or that you are entitled to all of your partner's attention/resources/affection. The truth is that your partner is entitled to freedom as long as it does not infringe upon the agreements of your commitment to each other. Your partner is entitled to spending time and giving love to his or her friends of any gender, your partner is entitled to spending his or her free time the way they want to, and your partner is entitled to spending his or her resources in ways that they see fit.
A problem arises when you project negligence onto your partner's independence. Maybe you feel neglected because your partner chose to spend a night out with his or her friends instead of staying in with you. Maybe you feel neglected because your partner bought someone lunch instead of bringing some to you. Maybe you feel neglected because your partner is spending time with other people and you have no plans and this makes you very frustrated and you project this frustration onto your partner so that you don't have to feel responsible for your own feelings.
Neglect is no joke, but happy relationships occur between self sufficient and secure people. Go make your own friends, go get your own hobbies and interest, find some projects you can work on, go out there and grow on your own. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean you two are supposed to do absolutely everything together and be attached at the hip. Find and embrace your independence. Be your own person more and more. Stop looking to your partner to fulfill all of your plans with, and learn how to be alone. Learn how to like your own company. Learn how to embrace the company of other people, be open to them.
Ask yourself why you are in a committed relationship with your partner. Did you latch onto your partner because you felt lonely, because it gives you a sense of security and identity, because it makes you feel less alone? If that is the case, you are due for a lot of self analysis and growth. Relationships succeed between two self sufficient and secure people. Otherwise, a relationship becomes a security blanket for one or both of the partners. Whenever this occurs, problems will always arise.
Of course, bad behavior should not be tolerated. If your partner is doing things that makes you feel uncomfortable and/or disrespected for logical reasons, you need to have a conversation with them. Ask them why they choose to do those things and tell them how it makes you feel, but don't start off the conversation with angry accusations. Make considerate, reasonable suggestions instead of demands.If nothing improves, ask yourself why you are in the relationship. What do you want to experience with your partner? Why are you staying?
Relationships require cooperation and independence. Successful relationships have some growth oriented direction and purpose to them, but they are in no way clean cut. Always examine why you hold the ideals and expectations of a relationship, and ask yourself if these assumptions are well grounded in reality and in your goals or if they were subconsciously formed/accepted.
Look within for the answers. Be open. Let go.