Very Needy Husband

bluemomJune 30, 2009

Okay, I've NEVER done this before.

My husband is such a great guy; does the dishes, is funny, I love him so much. He's a great dad, etc. I really support him and I'm always proud of what he does. We've been married less than 10, we have a small child and his children come to visit on occasion, which is a pretty typical situation.

But he's so clingy and always has been. He's gotten better for the most part, but it still looms.

For example, if I spend a week with a girlfriend, he will call twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. I have gotten used to it and it doesn't really bother me much any more. But I'm thinking it adds to my stress.

If I travel for job or personal he gets really insecure and if we haven't had sex recently (like in the last week or two or three) he thinks I'm having an affair. He says "so you're not seeing anyone?"........this drives me nuts and sometimes I feel like say yes. I've never been with anyone and am not attracted to anyone.

The real gist (sp?) is that he's always all over me. EVERY morning after he showers and is naked and wants me to pay attention to him. He gives me this look like a puppy.

I've been direct. I told him I don't get turned on by tons of attention. I told him I don't want to hurt you but that is not my cup of tea. I feel really bad because he is just that way and wants sex all of the time. I think he would be happy with 2-3 times a week, which I know is normal and he deserves it. But I would be happy 2x month. I'm not sure if it's because he's always coming after me and it's repulsive to me or if I'm just that way that I want it less. I've thought okay maybe if he would just be a little hard to get or something I would be more interested. I've told him that I think maybe he deserves someone better. This makes me so sad to write. He's the greatest guy but I do think he has some passive aggressive issues. Oh geez, it's really hard to describe the intricate details of a marriage, especially because I would like to remain anonymous, but I would love some honest advice. Thanks!

PS: I'm kind of an angsty person and have thought some kind of anti-whatever (stress, depression, overthinking) drug might help. AND sex is mostly good when we have it, sometimes ends up not too good because he wants to go on and on and on, so I eventually am 'that's enough' and he gets all depressed and acts like I don't love him.

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"He says "so you're not seeing anyone?"....."

"I've told him that I think maybe he deserves someone better."

I don't have much to offer on this one, but I couldn't help but notice these two conspicuous relationship-killers. Whatever else you do, quit saying stuff like that! Appears to me there's "passive/aggressive issues" on both sides

Differing sexual appetites are pretty common but also difficult to reconcile. I would think after 10 years, you're both pretty well dug into your expectations and behaviors and that can take some serious work to change -- even assuming change is desired.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 1:57PM
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"For example, if I spend a week with a girlfriend"
A whole week with a girlfriend? I really enjoy my girlfriends, and occasional weekends are loads of fun -- but a whole week? I did that once, combined with a visit to my parents, but is this really a regular thing for you? If the calls are short, twice a day should be bearable with grace.

"and if we haven't had sex recently (like in the last week or two or three) he thinks I'm having an affair."
If we went without sex for two or three weeks, my husband would be going crazy too. There genuinely seems to be a chemical imbalance that happens to a guy when they go long periods without sex. For them (and many wives as well), sex is the glue that keeps the relationship strong and smooths over the little rough patches. I know that if either of us is going to be gone for a few days, it's best for our relationship to "smooth over the rough patches" before we go.

"EVERY morning after he showers and is naked and wants me to pay attention to him."
Gee -- He wants you to notice him and pay attention to him? As if you still found him attractive and sexy? How intolerable!

"I'm not sure if it's because he's always coming after me and it's repulsive to me or if I'm just that way that I want it less."
I bet he got those 'hurt puppydog eyes' again after you told him you found his advances repulsive...

Sorry lady - but it sounds to me like you're a real love-killer. Your husband wants to love you, to be intimate with you, to show you he loves you!
And you just keep slapping him down.

Don't worry -- If you just keep that up, it'll probably stop pretty soon and you can let some other poor woman put up with that loving attention.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:14PM
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Please send him my think your very lucky to have a husband whos brilliant and is still fancys you rotten,and a week away with the girls ,i think is far too long,im guessing you do that regular with you saying you have got used to his daily calls,i think sweebys is right

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:40PM
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Thanks a bunch to the 3 posts above. You have some good thoughts on the subject and caused a bit of laughter. It may be that I'm just not physically attracted to him and that is such a hard to swallow truth considering I enjoy everything else about him. I even enjoy snuggling and sex on occasion, but I never get horny looking at him or want to jump his bones kind of thing. Maybe I wasn't like that at first but it's been a long time. I must be a total ingrate. Or maybe I'm better off single; I am crushed at the thought of divorce and the idea of splitting up a family, but don't like the constant turbulance either. And I appreciate the suggestion of not saying sabotage-y things like 'he deserves someone better," but he probably does.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 5:01PM
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Do you have to be turned on every time you have sex? Even if you don't have the same sex drive as your husband, it would be the loving thing to do to take care of his needs more often than every two or three weeks.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 6:40PM
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Via my so-called wife of many years ago, I know what it's like to be thought "needy". Her version of the story would, doubtless, be different from mine but the fact is our sex was infrequent bordering on never -- and begrudging when it did happen. I solved the problem by leaving after a couple of years. I don't think there's any reason for avoiding sex I haven't heard.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 7:46PM
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I cannot believe the answers I'm reading!
Him pouting like a love sick puppy? That would be a huge turn-off to me also. You know how I know? I've been there. And when you nicely ask that that behavior stop and it continues well, what the he double ll does that say about some of your needs being met? Who wants to make love with a child?
I agree with Bluemom wanting a MAN not a love sick child panting after me for sex. As if that was the end all be all to a relationship.
By him continuing this behavior, something is working...because he's still doing it.
I want room in my relationship to tell & show my mate how much I love and cherish them...not having a wamby pamby begging Mama for attention at every turn.
He has issues with his self-esteem and no matter how many times you tell him "he's the man" it will never be enough.
I'm not advocating never letting your mate know...but in this arena it seems as though he's a bottomless pit. He needs to address this issue in therapy.
Some people will tell you how lucky you are with his behavior...I say bull pucky! He knows what he's doing is not turning you on, so why is he still doing it? What is he doing to get YOU moodful? I call crap when the onus seems to always be put on the woman.
From what I'm reading, you're looking for ways to communicate and have your hubby hear what you're saying...
You both could use professional help. I've found it more than effective in working out some of the challenges that arise thru-out the years.
Much happiness :)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 8:06PM
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deborah - I completely agree with you! Yuck - I wouldn't be attracted to this guy as described, either.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 8:37PM
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Deborah, Thanks! I have asked my husband kindly many many times and he doesn't stop with the oogely behavior. But I do see a need for counseling on both sides as you mentioned. It just can't do any harm. I really appreciate everyone's perspective and comments.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 10:45PM
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give it some time, some chick will be attracted to him, then he wont bother you anymore.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 11:49PM
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Exactly, and then she'll get tired of his drag ya down behavior and move on too. FYI, to those above, it's not that I don't return some of his morning desires of affection and sometimes I even initiate them. But it's daily without fail....not only does he constantly want affection, he goes into deep despair if you don't return every glance and hug. I'm tired of trying to convince him he's great and I love him. If sex doesn't go perfectly everytime he'll sulk for hours and refer to the failure for years on end. An example of a failure would be....I have an orgasm, he has one, I have another, he has one, then he still wants to go on and on and I just might be exhausted by then. He can't just be secretly slightly disappointed, he'll focus on the failure and not the success. And sex has to be like this everytime. It can't just be a fun quicky on occasion...and if I suggest that he gets depressed. I guess I can't meet his needs. Sometimes I think I'm avoiding sex, because I don't want to risk another failure. I'm going to try the counseling route and if it doesn't work and he does run into a girl that's attracted to him, then she can have him. I'm so tired of feeling like I'm the evil one. I'm his third wife, why stop there. FYI, I've never cheated on any of my mates, he has. And of course, it will be my fault..Yes, counseling...just now to find a counselor that's any good.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 10:10AM
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Via this description, yuckier than I thought.

I don't think counseling will do much for you but try it if you want.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 11:06AM
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Well, I guess that's the worst of it. As I initially said, it's hard to paint the full picture. And he has his really great side too. He's a kind, caring, hard-working, ethical person, but the 'yucky' factor is there.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 12:34PM
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>> give it some time, some chick will be attracted to him, then he wont bother you anymore.

Sounds like that would be wonderful. He doesn't sound attractive to me in any way, not just sexually. Who wants a needy, oogly, sulky baby.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 2:44PM
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Ha! Let some other chick work it with him then! Cuz, by the time Bluemom has decided that she can hardly stand his breathing anymore, it won't matter how marvy he is in all other aspects of his persona...he'd made sure to ruin any and all feelings of love and respect by then.
Because once a woman switches the off button, ain't no goin' back.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 3:13PM
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"An example of a failure would be....I have an orgasm, he has one, I have another, he has one, then he still wants to go on and on and I just might be exhausted by then. "

THAT's failure?
Somebody needs to give that man an education about sex in the real world between committed adults who aren't paying for it and aren't in their 20's anymore. (Not you - because he won't believe you - but somebody.)

And Blue - I'm not totally against you because I DO understand what you mean about the constant appetite and hurt responses if you say "no" in any way -- and that ISN'T attractive. Plus, if you can't ever say "no" then you can't ever really say "Yes!" either...

Is there ever a time when he's too busy? Too tired? Absorbed in something else to the point where he wouldn't be able to instantly switch gears? If you can catch him at that exact time and approach him with a "Wanna fool around (right now)?" -- You may be able to give him a 'lightbulb moment' that he could then use to understand your not-constant readiness.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 3:14PM
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If I didn't know better I would think my sister is the one posting this! You described her and her husband perfectly.

I just spent a week at their house and by the time I left I was ready to slap him. He is so needy all the time, they have two pre-teenage kids that require a lot of attention and boy if she shows even the slightest bit more attention to one of the kids he pouts and carrys on.

One night her and I were going to go for a walk and when we got back to the house, mind you we were gone maybe a half an hour he was ticked. He wouldn't talk to her and pouted for the rest of the evening because she wasn't spending enough quality time with him.

She does everything for him and the kids and he doesn't lift one finger to help her. My heart breaks for her! She is tired all the time and is always on the verge of tears and I feel it's because he is so needy of her time that she never has time for herself.

One of those night my grandmother, my mom, my sister, my niece and myself decided to scrapbook. I swear everytime she sat down he would call for her and usually it was because he wanted a kiss or he wanted to tell her something. I was appauled!

I told her the day I left to come home that I felt sorry for her. She can see it but doesn't know how to change him. They have been to counceling several times but nothing ever changes. I would be gone before the sun set today if my DH treated me like that.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 4:26PM
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Yuckier than I thought, too! I wish you well.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 6:54PM
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Well having never done this before...Everything that has been written has really helped. This is actually the first time I've reached out and maybe it will help better than a counselor or therapist. Well, it has helped already. It makes me laugh to try to turn the tables as Sweeby suggested because I imagine that it would be very difficult, but it may be worth a try.

And maybe firemanswife, you should send your sister to this forum. I just want to say that my guy does not do the clingy, oogly, yucky thing in front of company, minus the phonecalls when I am visiting. He does get jealous sometimes, but tries not to show it.

I did kind of 'lose it' with him this morning and he kind of heard what I was saying. I know that it seems hopeless from what I've written, but I initiated this for the help and advice (which has been interesting and helpful) and because I really do want to figure out how I can make this thing work. Or at least try.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 11:25PM
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I don't know... you're all over the board.. I don't think him calling you twice a day when you're away with your girlfiend is a problem at all.

I think you're exagerating about the sex stuff.. not the time you go without sex, but how long he wants to go. If you're not, I'm still not really sure that's something to complain about.

Bottom line, sounds like you're not attracted to your husband. If you liked him... his shaking his grove thing at you every morning wouldn't be a problem.

I'd focus on trying to get him a new hobby or a find him a new friend so that his interests don't remain all on you. If he's got something else to concetrate on and be involved with, less pressure will be on you. He probably needs you because he has nothing else. Just be sure it doesn't back fire. Usually needy people couple up with people that need to feel needed.. if you don't feel needed or wanted, annoyance aside, will that be ok?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 1:12AM
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Thanks Carla35....You are right I am all over the board. I think it's because I would have had to write a novelette to get it all out. I am looking into a counselor, because the bottom line is I love my husband and am attracted to him, but don't like the grove thing as you call it, seriouly don't like it. I'm most attracted to him when he's just unaware of it. He was building something the other day and I thought he was just a hotty. If he could tone it down, I'd probably be all over him. I know it's more complicated than that, but anyway still working on it and I appreciate your ccmments. As far as something else to do, he has plenty and I'm painfully aware that if I don't do something this might not work out...hence, my actions to do something (this forum and seeking out a counselor.)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 10:19AM
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Bluemom, you are just like me in that. I feel like saying "JEEEZ - make me want you - don't be available, loaded, and ready, and at me every single minute!". There is absolutely nothing attractive about that. But - when he's not trying so hard, and is, in fact, as you say unaware, ooh baby. Good luck to you. What you have now would turn me off so fast that I'd find him repulsive, and as someone else said, once that switch is turned off I can't turn it back on again, no matter how I try.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 11:08AM
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WOW I can't believe I"ve found someone who's in a simular situation as me. My husband is very needy too. He follows me from room to room on the weekends. Yes he's always all over me too, to the point that I feel like I just can't breath sometimes but I love it. I learned that if I give him most of the attention he craves I will get the me time that I crave. Men need attention, admiration and yes sex is one of the most important thing. Men equate love to sex and woman equate love to emotions. If a woman doesn't feel it then it just isn't so. So relax a bit go to that happy emotional place inside yourself and enjoy the man that you fell in love with because it sounds like he adores you. And what woman doesn't want to be adored.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 3:39PM
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I love hearing everyone complain about someone who's, from what I can tell, attentive and sensitive. I would suggest you move on... you're certainly not doing HIM any favors... move on to a man that fits the classic stereotype... shut off emotionally, inattentive et al. Then we'll see how you like THAT... people never know what they want. Men have heard for decades now how women want "sensitive" or "emotional" men... now we experience the backlash... the women who are now tired of THAT and want to go back to the caveman/alpha male. Make up your minds ladies...

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 10:20PM
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"Make up your minds ladies..."

ROFL! Not in your lifetime or mine!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 11:52PM
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(3 posts back) "Men equate love to sex and woman equate love to emotions".....wrong wrong wrong.

Most men (probably a few examples that are different, but not many I would guess) put "sex" and "love" in two totally different categories, plain and simple. That's why there are probably 100 female prostitutes for every (non-gay) male one, that's why almost all porn is made for men, why there are strip bars everywhere..etc.

The anonymity of this site allows me to be brutally honest here, as much as I love my GF of almost 4 years (we are both divorced), the concept that the sex is better when you love someone is a load of BS. Yeah guys will say that (myself included), but probably just to not hurt women's feelings. Sex is visual and physical for guys....not emotional. It makes no difference whether we love, like or hate the person that the body part we are interested in at that moment is attached long as it's there and available for our pleasure.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 11:42AM
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"Sex is visual and physical for guys....not emotional."

"It makes no difference whether we love, like or hate the person that the body part we are interested in at that moment is attached long as it's there and available for our pleasure."

All I can say is that doesn't apply to me. Sex with someone I hate just doesn't work at all. I know that for a lot of guys anybody/anything will do. Maybe that's how it is for you.

I agree about visual/physical component but if there's nothing coming back, it's not as good. "Pleasure" is a big, expansive word. The "pleasure" part for me involves quite a bit more than losing the load. Leaving a specimen for the doctor still gives "pleasure" but the degree and characteristics of it I seek and obtain with a woman with mutuality goes waaaay beyond that. It goes to places it sounds like you may not have been. When the time is right and the person is right, we fly.

The "emotional" component can be substantial in the male as well as the female. Different, absolutely, but substantial. At least I have found it so.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 1:26PM
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Let me explain a little differently...of course I probably oversimplified it a little in my post. Yes, it's more than just having warm body....but to me, sex is sex, and emotional closeness / love is another. Sex with yourself in a doctor's office or with a partner that is just "throwing you a bone" of course cannot compare to hot and heavy sex when both partners are into it.

But for me, and many others I think, it is compartmentalized into it's own area, having little to do with the emotional connection (or lack there of) of the person you are with. I've had it both ways...I've had great sex with people I was in love with, as well as some not great sex. Likewise with one night stands and short flings, some were awesome, some were blah. Depends on sexual chemistry, which I think is very different than the type of chemistry that makes people fall in love.

Thankfully my GF and I click on both fronts, too bad I didn't meet her 15 years ago, I wouldn't be divorced. But I do think they are separate least that's my take on it.....

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 3:21PM
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Okay, I completely get this. My husband is so much like this to. Drives me crazy!! I got so tired of going on & on & on with sex. Anybody that thinks it's okay to keep going, going, going, going until you are raw and physically and mentally tired just doesn't "get it". It's takes the joy out of sex when every time you have to keep going like it's some kind of marathon. My husband will pout when he doesn't get enough attention from me and our kids. He acts like he should be put on a pedestal for being the bread winner and paying the bills but he doesn't give me any credit for what I do. When I did work, it was a full time job and I paid half the bills, I still cooked all our meals, cleaned the house, did the laundry and handled all our 4 kids doctors, dentist appts. and sporting practices and games & school activities. That wasn't ever enough. I wasn't suppose to ever get tired. Well, after about 15 years of this, I stopped working full time. Now I work part time. Stopped cooking dinner every night, stopped catering to his "never enough" sex appetite and hired a cleaning lady to come in every other week to help with the cleaning. Has this helped my marriage any? Nope. My husband still whines and moans and groans. He is still very needy but I'm tired. I'm happier and after giving so much to my marriage and trying to please him for so many years, I'm done! I love him, I wish some things were different with his attitude and neediness but I can't change him and I'm done killing myself trying. If he cheats or leaves me then I will be sad but I'm not going back to catering to a man that needs more than I can give. When I did give and try to keep him happy, it still wasn't enough so what's the point??

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:49PM
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I searched and found this. It's exactly like my situation. I feel guilty sometimes bc I'm no fool, I love the attention and enjoy the fact that my husband finds me attractive after 14yrs, and when he turns it down a few notches I find him irresistible too, but for the love of all that's holy!!! Can I please be allowed to shower once or twice a day w/o you complaining?!?!?

Or leaving for a day of shopping with my girls (daughter & niece) w/o you running after the car backing out the driveway to find out how long we'll be gone!?!? I'm ready to walk away... Of course there are other issues, but this just adds to it. We've recently discovered tho, that like most adopted kids, he has abandonment issues as well as control issues among other things, like him being self righteous and judge mental towards people doing very similar things as himself. Or thinking he's perfect and everyone should think more like him. Which is why it took years for him to see the problem let alone admit to it. I just don't know if I have it in me to wait around for him to change or improve.

Even tho he's acknowledged it and says he wants to try to fix it, it just annoys me so badly and I'm worried I'll spend another 5-10yrs waiting for a change that may never come.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 3:26PM
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