April 21, 2024

Jealousy and possessiveness are two emotions that can be detrimental to any relationship if not managed properly. Unfortunately, some people confuse love with these emotions. However, whether it is you or your partner who feels jealous or overly possessive, it is something that you both need to work on to resolve.  

In Nigeria, where societal norms and cultural beliefs often play a significant role in shaping interpersonal dynamics, these emotions can be particularly challenging to navigate. This article aims to explore the causes of jealousy and possessiveness in Nigerian relationships and provide practical strategies for managing them effectively.

Who is a Jealous Partner? 

A jealous partner is one who holds on strongly to what they already have –usually their romantic partner –to keep others from taking this person away.  A jealous partner is always clingy and will always want you by their side. They will also accuse you of not being committed to the relationship anytime you are unavailable and pick up petty fights in most cases. 

To know a jealous partner you just need to spot these red flags; 

  • One who feels possessive or clingy with their partner.
  • One who is obsessed over their partner’s whereabouts and what they are doing.
  • One who engages in monitoring behavior, such as checking their partner’s phone or social media accounts.
  • One who falsely accuses their partner of cheating or being unfaithful without evidence.

These are just a few of the many signs to identify a jealous partner in a relationship. 

Who is a Possessive Partner? 

A possessive partner is one who demands total attention, love, and support and is overprotective, clinging, controlling, dominating, etc. While this is most times confused for a protective partner, there are existing differences. Possessive partners are usually always worried that their partner will leave them to be with another person. They also lack self-love and self-confidence.  

Being possessive means they are controlling, manipulative, and very insecure about their partner. By that, it means that if your partner is possessive, he/she may always want to know who is talking on the phone with you, he/she may always want to know your whereabouts at all times, and more often than not they always suspect something is wrong in the relationship.  

Causes of Jealousy and Possessiveness in Relationships 

Jealousy and possessiveness in relationships can arise from various underlying causes. Here are some common reasons:


This is one of the primary causes of jealousy in most relationships. Insecurities about one’s appearance, personality, or worth can lead to fear of losing the partner to someone who is perceived as better. For this reason, some partners tend to be overprotective to ensure they don’t lose the other person to anyone. 

Past Experiences

Previous betrayals or infidelities, whether in the current relationship or previous ones, can create a foundation for jealousy and possessiveness. These experiences can lead to a fear of history repeating itself. While it may seem normal, it is important that you get rid of the past and focus on making the present better with your new relationship.  

Lack of Trust

Jealousy often stems from a lack of trust in the partner. This can result from broken promises, dishonesty, or a general mistrust in the partner’s intentions. Relationships work when mutual trust exists between both partners. However when trust is broken, the relationship may cease to work for good.  

Low Self-Esteem 

Low self-esteem can lead to feelings of inadequacy, which may manifest as jealousy or possessiveness in a relationship. Such individuals may fear that their partner will leave them for someone more attractive or successful. It is safe to say that low self esteem in most cases is what breeds insecurities in relationships. 

Managing Jealousy and Possessiveness in Relationships 

A saying goes “Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature  mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy! In fact, they’re almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.” That being said, managing jealousy and possessiveness can be a tricky business. 

However, there’s always a solution for the situation if you find yourself in one already. It could be that your partner is the possessive type or you yourself are the one who is clinging and jealous in a relationship.  With that in mind, if you spot some signs of possessiveness and jealousy in your partner, you just have to understand that it is a trait they need to heal from.  

It’s about you, but about him/her. For your partner to be possessive and jealousy it could mean that they are scared of losing you, have trust issues, anxiety, insecurity, or battling personality disorder. This could be a common trait for most partners in a relationship but it should be taken seriously as it can create room for toxicity and make a relationship fail. 

To help your partner battle the feeling of being possessive and jealous you need to be patient with them and oftentimes reassure him/her about your love and commitment to make the relationship work. If he/she hasn’t started being abusive towards you, this could be enough to reassure them that they are not  going to lose you to anyone and help them build trust.  

However, supposedly reassuring them doesn’t work, you may need to take a bold step to seek professional help from a therapist. Alternatively, consulting a couples counselor could be ideal to help your partner heal from their past, build their trust, and get rid of low self esteem. In all you do, know that a possessive and jealous partner is not a threat but someone who needs help. 

Common Signs of a Jealous and Possessive Partner 

Here is a list of some of the common signs on how to identify a jealous and possessing partner: 


Jealous Partner Signs  Possessive Partner Signs 
Acts suspicious or accuses without evidence Isolates partner from friends and family
Constantly checks partner’s phone or social media Monitors partner’s every move
Questions partner’s loyalty or fidelity Demands constant attention and reassurance
Becomes upset when partner interacts with others Acts aggressively towards others who interact with partner
Shows signs of low self-esteem Believes partner is their property
Fears partner will leave them Tries to control partner’s appearance or behavior
Refuses to acknowledge partner’s achievements Uses emotional manipulation to control partner
Attempts to sabotage partner’s friendships or career Gets upset when partner spends time away from them
Experiences extreme emotional highs and lows Becomes angry or upset when partner talks to someone of the opposite sex
Becomes angry when partner has fun without them Expects partner to prioritize them above all else
Engages in constant questioning and interrogation Tries to dictate how partner spends their time
Criticizes partner’s friends or family Gets upset when partner talks about past relationships
Attempts to control who partner can talk to or spend time with Uses guilt or threats to prevent partner from leaving
Projects their insecurities onto partner Refuses to accept when partner wants space or alone time
Engages in stalking behavior Monitors partner’s finances or controls their access to money

How do I Deal with a Jealous and Controlling Partner?

Dealing with a jealous and controlling partner is never an easy task but with the right approach and communication you can talk them over to desist from being jealous and possessive. You can begin by discussing their concerns, fears, insecurities, anxieties and any other thing that makes them feel the way they feel towards you.  

However, you may want to first ensure they first acknowledge that they possess these unhealthy attributes otherwise the process might be futile.  Give them listening ears and be honest about how their actions affect your day to day life. A better way to go about this situation is to establish boundaries with your partner. 

Communicate how you want to be treated, what you want from your partner and also discuss what he/she wants from you. You both should take into consideration what’s important to each of you and respect each other’s opinion. For a relationship to work, there has to be willingness to work as a team and make compromises.  

What is the Difference Between Being Jealous and Possessive in a Relationship? 

While both attributes have a striking resemblance they are actually different. Being possessive means wanting to have something all to yourself. A possessive person doesn’t want his/her partner around someone else.  

Whereas, on the other hand, being Jealous means believing that what you already have or deserve is being consumed by something else. In this situation, a jealous partner always accuses the other of infidelity even if they don’t have any tangible evidence against them.  

To simply put; 

  • Possessive: This is mine! All mine! Everything around me is mine! And you are mine!
  • Jealous: I am afraid someone else is going to take what is mine.

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