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Why do we feel that we "own" our partners?


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Aren't we all consenting adults?


If he or she wants to be with another, and there is no threat from the 'outside' to them or I, than why should I prevent that? Conversely, then, why do they feel that they can prevent me from acting the same?


Where did this concept of ownership and control of your partner(s) come from?

Haven't we, as a intelligent society, transcended this - somewhere; somehow?


Or am I just thinking that we are more advanced as a civilization than we really are?


Comments welcome. Sincerely.

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It isn't about ownership at all, it's about mutual respect of one in a relationship whether it be a commited relationship or marriage. Nowhere does it say you own your partner or can control your partner but my opinion on it is, if one person doesnt want to just be with one person then why marry? why commit yourself? It makes no sense.

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Where did this concept of ownership and control of your partner(s) come from?


Where are you seeing this? What is your context?


Certainly the concept of "ownership" in a relationship is abhorrant and where such a proprietorial arrangement exists, there will exist an unhealthy relationship.

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Maybe "own" is not metaphoric enough - it is an emote provoking word - but IMHO, I comprehend that any relationship where there is a form of "control" to have a sense of "ownership"; a possessive tendency. I see this almost universally.


Even in simple friendships, a pang of jealousy (BTW, I do equate jealous feelings to control - attempted or actual) can induce feelings of "you are my friend, you can't be his too", or "who invited him". Some need to be heard that becomes a vague but understood directive.


Of corse in more committed relationships (and IMHO commitment should NOT equal control) there may be the aforementioned feelings, or more 'relationship preserving' types, such as "don't you dare look at those girls" - where you compromise something to appease the other. Even though there is no literal intent to slight the other, your freedom is stifled to preserve the integrity of the situation. Note that I am not talking about dominant/submissive relationships or apathetic ones in where no one cares.


Of course dynamic factors like self-esteem, breach of trust, or inexperience can play a large role in situations as these, but in general, on a mature level, in a stable friend/relationship, isn't it a truth that most partners feel a need to "own" the other(s)?


Maybe it's just how I look at things, but I honestly believe that I own no one but myself, and as long as I trust and respect the partner, and have an awareness of the (respective) situation, what they do in their life is up to them, and this seems so alien to others I know.


Does this make this post any clearer?

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I think I understand where you're coming from, but I really don't believe it's a feeling of ownership in the sense that you believe someone is really not entitled to be with anyone else. Instead, I think it's a sense that if someone wants to be with someone else, then this is not compatible with your relationship (in most cases), because it means you are no longer the one particular special person in your partner's life. In other words, it's because it undermines your perception of how they feel about you that you don't want them to do it.


Having said that, I can't imagine that very often an instruction from one partner to the other not to do anything with a third party makes any difference; if they want to do something, they probably will anyway, and the commitment has already been lost. It may be said once near the beginning of a relationship to clarify that it is regarded as exclusive and avoid any confusion, but beyond that I personally can't recall ever having said anything along those lines.

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