Finding private time when you have a clingy husband can be difficult. A needy person does not understand the desire for alone time since it is not something he wants. Through communication, patience and understanding, you can create a relationship in which you are both fulfilled. Some relationships may need more help, in the form of counseling. It is important for any relationship that each partner feel emotionally satisfied.
Walk in His Shoes
Issues such as childhood separation anxiety or a bad breakup can create clingy behavior. It is also possible he has been clingy since childhood and it is just part of his personality. Talk to him and try viewing life from your clingy husband's perspective; it can help you have more patience with the behavior, advises psychiatrist Mark Banschick. For example, ask him why he equates alone time with being lonely, then explain your point of view and why you desire time alone. Clarify that it is not personal toward him; it is your emotional need for space. A mutual understanding can aid in the resolution of the issue altogether.
Teach Social Cues
A clingy husband may be unable to read social cues such as withdrawing from conversation or sitting in a corner reading a book, indicating you desire time alone. Convey the message in a thoughtful way to protect his feelings, says clinical psychologist Joseph M. Carver. For instance, say, "I am going to read by myself for a little while and when I am done we can do something together." As he doesn't desire time alone, he simply may not realize your need for private time unless you tell him directly.
A clingy husband wants to do everything together, which can be emotionally exhausting to his spouse. Your husband's psychological need for togetherness may far exceed your need for togetherness. It is important to plan activities you and your husband do together to meet relationship needs, such as playing a board game together or going out for a date night. When a clingy partner feels his needs have been met, he may be less anxious when left alone. Also encourage your partner to spend time with his friends to help him socialize with others besides yourself.
There comes a point in which clingy behavior can completely ruin a relationship. Before you feel your relationship reaching that point, seek couples counseling. Your clingy husband may have a personality disorder which can only be diagnosed by a professional; dependent personality disorder is characterized by extreme clingy behavior and neediness. A mental health professional can determine whether the problem is simply needy behavior or something more; he can also help you communicate effectively with your husband, regardless of diagnosis.
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Jaime Vargas-Benitez has been a parenting writer since 2010. She has worked in the child wellness field in various roles for over 20 years. Along with the experiences of raising her own kids, she has been privileged enough to participate in the raising of hundreds of other children as well.