There is a big difference and knowing the difference can make or break a relationship.
Jealousy is a toxic behavior, too often we hear ‘oh he/she is just being protective of me’.
The real question is are they being protective or are they controlling you?
You are not property to be owned, you are a person in your own right and no one should ever be given the power to make a decision that affect you.
You may be abusive or being abused if you find these things happening:
Dictating who they can or can’t be friends with.
Becoming jealous of messages being sent and received.
Watching their social media accounts.
Each other’s needs not being met.
Stating ownership, removing freedom.
Society has this bad habit of making toxic behaviour appear very romantic you only have to look at some of the movies being produced to see that is true, that being said there are more movies and TV shows of late showing the toxic side of life.
Here are a few examples:
It’s toxic if they keep you from having friends of the opposite sex.
If your partner tries to stop you from having friends of the opposite sex that is a real issue. If they demand that you remove those people from your Facebook account as an example or insists that you show them all text messages you receive that is toxic and abusive. No one can or should be allowed to tell you who you can or can’t be friends with.
It’s protectiveness if they tell you they are worried about your friend using you.
There is a fine line on this one as it is known that abuser will say this, but if your partner backs up their concerns with real evidence that they believe you are being used then perhaps you should listen to them and then form your own opinion. An example could be you have a friend who is always borrowing money from you, yet never pays it back and appears to be viewing you as a never-ending free source of money.
It’s toxic if they stalk your Instagram or Facebook and get upset when you like another woman’s/man’s picture.
If your partner is paying such close attention that they know every picture you have liked on a person’s account then that is a real issue. To even know that level of interaction you have made takes time and that is obsessive behavior at best. If you find a picture a friend has posted that you like you should feel free to like it and not be put in a situation where your free will is stolen from you.
It’s protectiveness if they tell you that your friends’ sexual advances are unwanted.
We sometimes find we have friends who have little understanding of boundaries and they may say or do inappropriate things which we just tolerate as we have been friends for a long time. If your partner voices concerns listen to them, take note of what is going on and put up boundaries’ firm boundaries and if this friend still takes no notice perhaps its time to part ways as they clearly have no understanding of what is permissible.
It is always a challenge to see the difference between a healthy versus a toxic relationship.
Notice controlling behavior and decide do you really want to be controlled or do you want to live a happy life.