One of the most popular 80’s pop classics, “Every breath you take”...by Sting often made me wonder: Is it really a song of love? Or of resentment and an obsessive need to possess?
If you listen with close attention, “Every smile you fake, every vow you break, I’ll be watching you...” actually speaks of possessiveness and resentment.
“Can't you see you belong to me...” is like knitting a slowly capturing net where the strings tighten around you, without you realizing it.
I feel that a little show of possessiveness is attractive. It is heart warming and makes you feel sweetly belonged and cosseted. Only when it surpasses the parameters that it turns venomous and intolerable.
But who decides the parameters? When do you realize that your partner is trespassing your personal boundaries?
In my personal experience, either we realize it too late, or unwittingly become an accomplice to a vicious circle of an intrusive love, and more often than not find it impossible to break the claustrophobic ties.
My partner loves me a lot. He adores me to the hilt. So much so that he hates it if I am away from his sight for more than half an hour. He insists that I tell him the details of every hour spent away from him. He says that he can’t bear to be away from me even for a minute and sulks if I smile at another man, or appreciate another man’s sense of dressing, humour, intelligence or whatever. He wants me to meet only those he approves of. Dress up the way he wants. He says it all with an expression of wounded adoration in his eyes.... and it turns my heart into water. I feel lousy for feeling annoyed at his probing questions. I feel guilty about the indignation that had raised its head a while ago...
As this song by Sting goes, “I am watching you”- when a pair of puppy eyes follow your every move, then instead of feeling seen, heard or loved, you just feel - watched!
These words ‘watching you’ sounds eerie in a relationship. Who wishes to be constantly under a scanner? It doesn't feel like love. It feels like a barbed threat.
And come to think of it, there is a warning hidden somewhere in this game of 'I spy'. It is a warning for you to pack up and scoot, before it turns into a noose where you would be flailing your arms and feet and finding it impossible to come out, and to break free!
On the other hand there are often such situations,when breaking up is not always easy. The danger lies quietly here:
Since I find the breaking up so difficult, I compromise. I feel that by compromising with the situation I have resolved a conflict. I have made adjustments for the 'higher good' of a relationship.
You know, the usual things...children, society, financial issues, love for the partner, even great sex.
I feel miserable and frequently incensed, but I quietly let it pass. Every jealous tantrum of my partner is covered up by guilty pledges. I actually have no idea that I have gone for the last resort and the most uncreative one in a relationship - compromise!I do not realize that compromise is actually an agreement to put myself through constant dissatisfaction and unhappiness, and I have done exactly that. I have missed the abusive streak, the underlying, simmering resentment of my partner. His overriding self-interest in the garb of "intense love".
I have bargained to vacillate between love, dislike, hatred, anger and acceptance...And sad but true, I have stopped loving myself...
But, all is not lost. It never is. If you and I have gone through situations similar to what I have just spoken about, then just remember:
"It is never too late in life and fiction to revise."