You have probably heard the phrase “You are so possessive” or some variation of it far too many times in your life. Maybe you really are possessive. Maybe you are even a little selfish. If selfish means you want your mate all to yourself then I hope you are selfish. If you are not possessive then do you really care if your partner is with you or not? When one partner really doesn’t want to be with the other partner, the conditions are prime for an emotional or relational problem to kindle.
Your mate is your confidant, your friend, your playmate, your associate and your lover; spend as much time as you can with him. Unfortunately, at times, your mate’s extra-relational diversion is his friend, his playmate, his associate and perhaps his lover. This does not leave much room for you at all. This is even more reason to spend as much time with him right now as you can. Before you know it, something will happen where you won’t have him any longer, or won’t want him any longer.
Being possessive you probably just want to hang onto that which you have. You have your mate and you want to hang onto him so you must be possessive. If you can be guarded about other things like your belongings, your car, your home, even your job, then by all means, you should be able to exercise a little bit of possessiveness with the number- one priority in your life, your most valuable possession, your mate!
Is possessive a bad thing though? It is no more than an instinctive emotion, but is it bad to want to hang onto your mate? Possessiveness is one of those emotions or feelings that have a negative connotation but it is also one that is absolutely required in a stable and healthy relationship. You own your mate and your mate owns you. Forget how bad that seems to sound on the surface. Of course, no one can outright own and sell anyone today but in a committed relationship, yes you own each other.
You possess each other. You hold and enjoy each other. You cannot control your actions and deeds single handedly. Neither can your mate make decisions affecting your committed relationship totally on his own. You do it together because you own each other.
This owned owning the owner is a very unique relationship; present only in the healthiest committed relationships. Typically the owned cannot own the owner, but in a devoted relationship that is exactly what happens. You need to protect your interests in anything you own, including your mate. Your mate needs to do the same thing. Let’s see what Possessive really means.
“…a relationship analogous to ownership.”
“…the desire to own or dominate.”
As I said earlier, possessive suggests a negative trait, one that it would seem we really shouldn’t want to “possess”. I believe to be called possessive however is most often a defensive move on the part of the one doing the name-calling, similar to being called “insecure.” It’s a term easily thrown out to make someone feel bad. The one doing the name-calling thinks his mate wants to control him, so he lashes out defensively with “you are too possessive.” If the “bad” partner can make the “good” partner feel bad enough about them, then he can usually get away with anything he wants.
The thing with terms like Possessive and Insecure is that we have heard people refer to them negatively so often that sub-consciously we think of them in a negative sense. Even the “good” partner automatically views words like this as negative. We don’t even give them a chance, we don’t even try to figure out what they mean. They are just plain negative terms and negative personality traits so we don’t want to be associated with them.
Personally, I am proud to be possessive, even too possessive. I own the things I own. I want to keep the things I have. I am selfish when it comes to my belongings, especially those I value above all others. You want to borrow my rake? Go ahead. You want to borrow my fishing pole? Help yourself. You want to borrow 20 bucks? Sure, why not. You want to borrow my number one-priority, my treasure, my angel on fire, my life’s mate, my destiny, my wife? I think not. Sorry, I’m too possessive!
ANALOGOUS TO OWNERSHIP: Sure it sounds bad, but I have already taken a position on ownership in a sound relationship so I will continue to defend it. Start way back at your Unity Candle celebration in your wedding. You blew out the individual flames after starting one unified flame. Therefore you are one. Your “own ness” has been replaced by a “oneness.” No more do your individual needs take precedence over the needs of the partnership. Nothing has changed. No one’s uniqueness has been lost. It has simply been combined with someone else’s uniqueness. Now you have a very special partnership; you own him and he owns you.
The first relationship you have to understand in order to grasp anything else in your relationship is you have woven yourself, spirit, soul, mind and being, with another. You have become one, greater than the two of you individually. Neither one of you stands out any longer – the union stands out as your greatest achievement. The union must be recognized and acknowledged, without compromise, before any individual or independent needs and desires are met. What I am trying to say is that it is OK to have individual needs and desires but never compromise the integrity of the union for the sake of those needs.
So when we say possessive is “analogous to ownership” we mean similar to ownership. That means that if you are actually possessive then you do want to own your partner. You want to own your partnership and your relationship. But at the same time you must recognize that your partner is also an owner. He has an equal say in anything that may occur. Both of you, being owners, need to protect and nurture all of your property, including each other. If you can take care of your house in a manner designed to retain and even increase its value then surely you can take care of each other in the same way.
I absolutely believe possessiveness is healthy in a sound relationship. I’m possessive and so is my wife. But you have to be careful not to possess more than you are possessed. Don’t allow your possessiveness to be mistaken for domineering or controlling. Possessive is good in a relationship. Ownership is good in a relationship. But domination and controlling are not necessarily all that good in a committed relationship. Both people must be recognized. Neither one can overpower the other. Neither one should dominate the other. You both control the partnership but nobody controls each other.
DESIRE TO OWN OR DOMINATE: This is one area where we really have to clearly define our intentions when we say we own our partner. True, you own your partner and your partner owns you but neither of you are to be considered property. Admittedly, both people in a relationship own each other but that has to be as far as it goes. Neither one can develop a stronger “ownership” than the other. Each must always control no more than 50% of the relationship.
Ownership in a strong relationship equates to knowing where each other are at all times and what each other are doing at all times. It doesn’t mean one of you can command and control the other. If each of you knows where each other are and what each of you are doing at all times there will be no reason to ever have to say anything like “you are too possessive” anyway. The lack of secrets, where you go and what you do and whom you see for instance, will get rid of the barrage of “5W” questions. All you need to do is to give of yourselves to your partner and your partner to you.
1 Corinthians 7:4, The Bible – KJV
“The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”
The woman doesn’t possess her own destiny all by herself neither does the man. Not when you both have willingly entered into a shared union. You each possess the other’s destiny. Possession is a strong word but it is the right one. The possession has to be mutual though; you possess your mate and your mate possesses you. It really is a give and take situation. Neither one can give or take more than the other one; you both must compromise for the sake of the union, your relationship.
Possession will probably always be viewed as a negative trait; it isn’t, as long as the possession is mutual.