A friend, who is an otherwise self-confident woman, has begun to lose herself in a relationship – meaning, her sense of self and normal behavior. This loss of confidence has lead to controlling behavior, doubt about how much the other person values her presence, acting with jealousy (reading his email, checking messages – generally not minding own business), and resenting the mate’s personal, intimate (friendship/family, not sexual) contact with others. In light of this acquaintance’s relationship-motivated change in personality, a male friend (single, known as A), female friend (attached, known as B) and I (attached, known as C) discussed our responses to a partner’s decisions and personal life, whether committed, or marriage. (We all agreed FWB/FB/HBs do not really warrant much care because a hump buddy generally does not meet family/friends, and usually manages to steer clear of relationship related drama.) A stated he was not jealous and never concerned himself with the personal life of his most recent (8 years) ex-girlfriend because he was confident enough to believe he was everything she wanted as a good man. We noted, however, she did meet her new man at the end the relationship and after, he fought her, and won, primary joint custody. So, in a sense, he controls her life through the child. A had not thought about it that way, but agreed he did have her by the short hairs, but only once used the power to make her life difficult. B stated something along the lines that if at home and the BF receives a text message/call while the phone is near her, she will pick it up and read it/answer for him. But, they have been together so long, they trust each other and she does not give a shit about monitoring any of his activities. However, B has actively worked to distance the boyfriend from his mother due to her influence over her son. She said it was not jealousy, but he had to choose between being his mother’s son or his soon-to-be wife’s husband. A said this was an act of jealousy. I said it was not jealousy, but the partner, or anyone on the outside, should never mess with someone’s family relationships and it was a control/self-esteem issue. She wanted to be #1 and was willing to destroy that relationship for proof of her worth to him. B said she new it was wrong, but was not entering her marriage with three people jockeying for power. C (myself): I stated I am laid-back like A, however, when engaged spent the last year of the relationship ripping my ex a new one, suggesting he needed to “nut up” in response to his family’s interference in our lives. I wanted his relationship to stay strong, but at the same time did not appreciate dictates about religion, children, my role as a daughter-in-law, etc., as I felt they threatened my autonomy. A stated, much like B, I was subtly forcing the ex to prove I was an equal with his family, which, in retrospect, is true 08 and must say that experience broke me of the habit. I mean, did it ever. So, in a relationship, how far do you go? Was it a one-relationship thing? A pattern in every relationship? Or did you just finally learn (someone told you) to just chill the fuck out and not attempt to control or tie every damn thing to your confidence?