This morning on the way to work, Vincent and Laura were humored by the song on the radio, “Every Breath You Take” by the Police. Of course the song is better known for it’s catchy and creepy tagline, “I’ll Be Watching You.” Ironically, this is the focus of today’s episode of our series, “Eight Warning Signs You Might Need to Break Up.”
Does your significant other check up on you too much or want to know what you are doing too much? What is appropriate?
Healthy contact is checking in one to three times per day. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances that can alter these numbers one way or the other. The number of times you check in with each other has to be tailor-made to your relationship.
If you find that there is too much checking in, explain it to the other person. If they respect what you say, then it is appropriate. It’s very important that the amount you check in be communicated, not assumed.
Boundaries have to be discussed. It may look something like, “I appreciate that you care so much for me. I can best be reached at (fill in the blank) time, otherwise I won’t be able to respond.”
This conversation needs to occur with sensitivity, open body language and a positive tone of voice. Make sure you have this particular conversation FACE TO FACE. Don’t let your intentions get lost in translation through texts, emails or phone calls.
Constant contact is unhealthy. Another red flag is when your significant other wants you to change your decisions/behaviors based upon them, even when it does not involve them. (Note that we are talking about appropriate behaviors – not inappropriate/sinful behaviors like sexual addictions, gambling, substance abuse, womanizing, video game addiction, etc.)
In essence, they are controlling you. If they make demands such as telling you not to spend time with your friends or family or demand that you should not participate in certain healthy activities, they very well could be controlling you. Other examples may be, “You should only drive this route…” or go this way home.
If you have communicated what is acceptable and they continue to contact too much or not respect your boundaries, it is inappropriate. They may not be a healthy choice for you.
3. Controlling Behavior
The person experiencing controlling behavior is emotionally burdened. There is no freedom. The controller eliminates all of the healthy options from their loved one.
The controlling behavior creates an unhealthy dependence upon the controller. In these types of abusive relationships, it’s not uncommon for the controlling person to alienate their significant other from good, healthy influences.
They limit the decisions you can make. They are taking your power away. This is terribly unhealthy. You’re losing YOURSELF in this relationship.
4. Possessive Behavior
Vincent gives the example of a single dad playing video games with his child. He’s focused on what he’s doing and does not notice that his girlfriend has texted him as his phone has fallen in-between the seat cushions of his couch.
Of course, he plays the video game, and has a good time for a few hours. Because he did not respond to the text she sent him, his girlfriend continues to text him. She breaks up with him during this barrage of texts that he has not even seen.
A lot of assumptions took place in this scenario. And much of the unhealthiness centers around thinking that you’re supposed to be glued at the hip if not always in touch.
Often possessive behavior could be accompanied by physical abuse or could lead to physical abuse. Those in these relationships feel isolated and trapped, whether or not they want to admit it.
Healthy relationships are marked by trust. It’s trusting that you believe your significant other when they say that they are doing what they say they are doing. It’s not putting tracking devices on vehicles.
This series is geared specifically to those in DATING relationships or for parents who are preparing themselves for the day that their child begins to date.
We hope that you have found today’s episode helpful! Check out next week’s episode when we talk about the pitfalls of being put on a pedestal in a relationship.