They say love can possess people to do the craziest things, and it’s true for the most part. But when a person starts to hover over the crazy fence, the line between love and obsession starts to get blurry. That’s when you need to start making some changes – specifically, with who you’re with.
How do you know when a lover has become obsessive?
It can be difficult to recognize the signs that your partner has become obsessive because you can mistake it for normal relationship behavior. Of course, your partner can get jealous. They can also be overprotective.
When a person starts becoming obsessive, the signs usually come out when it’s too late to control their impulses. They can become paranoid, aggressive, and irrational. They will start to question everything you do. They will impose strict rules that were unnecessary before.
The sudden change in your relationship dynamic can throw you for a loop. Instead of acknowledging the problem of obsession, your first instinct will be to defend yourself and lash out. When that happens, an obsessive lover will take your defensiveness as a sign of guilt, and they’ll increase the intensity of their possessiveness. [Read: 16 signs of an abusive relationship]
Why do people become obsessive about their partners?
Some people are susceptible to obsession because of their past experiences. How we react is shaped by how we were brought up or what we’ve been through in the past. Here are some of the most common reasons why people become obsessive:
#1 Trauma. When a person experiences heartbreak, betrayal, or humiliation, they will develop different defense mechanisms that can help them cope. Obsessive people will try to control their partners by fixating on non-existent issues or transgressions because it gives them some semblance of control.
#2 Social influences. Society also contributes to the paranoia and assumptions of obsessive people. A person can become possessive if he or she bases their thought processes on how society views relationships. They end up expecting the worst because society says it’s inevitable.
#3 Conditioning. How we are raised can also influence our tendencies towards obsession. If you grew up thinking that you’re supposed to react this way, you will undoubtedly apply it to your relationships in your adult life.
#4 Psychological problems. Most of the examples above can go past the extremes when coupled with a personality disorder or a different underlying psychological problem. Obsession is not considered normal behavior. It can never be used in mild contexts because it denotes an overly intense fixation on a person, situation, or mindset.
Is breaking up the only solution?
Breaking up with an obsessive lover is a last resort. If you really care about that person, it’s understandable that you would want to fix things first. You can talk about it with your partner or ask for help from your friends and family, or even a professional. [Read: 16 ways to handle a controlling partner and help them change]
If you’ve exhausted all your options in trying to change the way your partner is handling your relationship, it’s not just okay, but necessary for you to break up with that person. If they don’t want to fix themselves, there’s no point in staying.
It will be difficult, especially considering that your partner has become obsessive. Just know that your separation will benefit both of you. Functioning as an individual is what you both need. Your partner will need to fix their problems on their own, while you need to recover from being in a toxic relationship.
For those of you who are reluctant to let go of the ones you love, don’t lose hope. After you and your partner have healed, you still have a second chance at making things work. At least by that time, both of you can enter into the relationship without any more trepidation. [Read: How to break up with someone you still love]
How to break up with an obsessive lover
When worse comes to worst, you have to start thinking about cutting your losses. A breakup might be inevitable if your partner’s obsessions persists. Here are some tips on how you can remedy that problem.
The first step: communicating with your obsessive lover
Being honest is the best possible way for you to express to your partner that you need some time apart. Lying will only make things worse because it won’t help anybody. If you don’t acknowledge the problem implicitly, you and your partner won’t learn from the mistakes that led you to this point.
#1 Acknowledge the problem. Tell your partner that the problem exists. Make them see that their behavior is unacceptable. Obsessive behavior isn’t normal. When your partner understands that, it will be easier for them to accept the situation.
#2 Make them understand. Explain how their behavior is hurting you and your relationship. Don’t be vague about it. Enumerate some examples of when they were being obsessive, and explain to them how it negatively affected you. [Read: 14 ways controlling people manipulate their lover]
#3 Tell them what you need. Make it a point to list down your expectations. Make sure that they are reasonable, so your partner will see that what you are asking for is fair. Be specific, and elaborate on how they can act on it. Don’t ask for something that they can’t provide, like an overnight reversal in their attitude.
#4 Ask them if they can provide it. It will be a long and difficult process, but your partner has to agree to make the changes needed. They have to be willing to make an effort to make the relationship work, as well as acknowledge and fix their problem.
#5 Cut all ties, if they won’t. When it comes down to it, your partner may not agree to your stipulations. Obsessive people can be very stubborn, even more so when their paranoia kicks in. This is the time where you have to decide whether or not you’re ready to give up your toxic relationship. [Read: How to take a break in a relationship]
The emergency procedure
When your partner becomes obsessive to the point of hysteria and harassment, you have no other choice but to call in the cavalry. Dealing with an obsessive person can be emotionally taxing, and a person can only take so much before they start realizing that they need help.
#1 Know when to ask for help. Don’t take on more than you can handle. If it gets too much for you, start exploring your options. Who can you ask help from? If your first choice doesn’t work, who else can you call?
#2 Ask for your partner’s friends or family for help. Your family and friends are the most powerful influences in your life. Your partner will need all the support he or she can get from the people who love them most. Talk to everyone who can help, and schedule a one-on-one interaction or a full-on intervention, if necessary.
#3 Call the authorities. When there’s nothing left for you to do, and your obsessive partner has crossed all boundaries because of their attitude problem, it’s time to call in the big boys. Before you do this, make sure that you know who to call, and you can provide evidence that your partner is exhibiting alarming behavior.
If you think there’s no crime being committed, call a mental health facility. If your partner has hurt you or is harassing you, you can call the police. They have protocols in place that can help people with mental disorders.
seeing an obsessive lover is no laughing matter. It might sound flattering, and it can give you a tiny ego boost, but the consequences outweigh those trivialities any time.