How can I be less needy?
March 11, 2014 7:38 AM Subscribe
My about 15-year marriage is in severe difficulty. A big part of this is me being too needy. My wife and I knew I was needy before we got married, but both thought that getting married would fix it. It hasn't. I'm taking an antidepressant, and we are in therapy and both committed to staying together. I've read some other answers on AskMi, and am following up with some book recommendations, but I feel like I need more help.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (29 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I had friends but was really lonely because I had few dates and no romantic relationships except for hand-holding with 1 girl in high school (yes, really, literally) until I met my now-wife, in our late 20s. I was very insecure. When I met her, I was starting to seriously contemplate that I might never have a partner. I thought after I got married this hole I had felt inside for so long would be filled. Didn't work. From what I've read so far, I guess this is not unheard-of.
My wife says I need to be an adult and not be needy; that I should think again about being independent like I was thinking I'd have to be before I met her. She is now continuously irritated at my neediness and its attendant anxiety. I see her point. I agree that it would be much better for both of us, and for me in work and other relationships if I were less needy.
I have some idea about how to act like I'm not needy. But even if I were good at it, which I doubt, I don't think that would be adequate for either of us. I think about what it would be like not to be needy and I feel a little excited and empowered at not feeling that constant anxiety the neediness brings. But I hated being lonely for so long, and now I'm afraid I'll always feel lonely. I've felt lonely, needy, and insecure for over 30 years. Can my feelings change? How?