Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
First I'd like to ask you a couple of questions so I can provide the best answer possible.
What is your husband doing that is causing you to feel this way? How long has it been going on?
Thank you for the payment but I have not answered your question yet. Would you still like to respond to my questions?
My husband is so needy. He can't stand to be alone. He complains all the time, he drinks too much. He complains that I work too much and complains that I don't make enough money, yet I spend so much time with him that I can't make my business successful. He is often depressed and the only thing that helps (but not always) is if I give him my undivided attention so then I have no life!
Yes, I agree he sounds like he is needy. What happens if you do not respond to his neediness? It sounds like he might be pressing your buttons and trying to make you feel guilty, which is an easy thing to feel if someone is always telling you you are not good enough.
You've got two issues going on here. One is the neediness and two is the drinking. Would your husband be willing to get help for his drinking? Is is aware that he has a problem? If he is in denial about his problem, then getting help will be difficult. In that case, you can get help for yourself and I will provide you with some resources to help you. But if he is willing to get help, have him contact the local community mental health center for a referral to a good drug and alcohol counselor. He needs to have an evaluation to see what type of treatment would help him the best. He can also contact AA and start attending meetings.
With the neediness issue, you can also take steps to deal with his behavior. Here are some ways to cope:
Ignore him. If he starts to complain, just say "yes, dear" and keep going. Do your best to block him out. If he says anything positive however, respond strongly. Say something positive and make eye contact.
Suggest counseling to him. Each time he complains, talk about counseling. If he is willing to go, have him talk to his doctor for a referral. Or if he attends church he can ask his pastor for help. He can also search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.
He also needs to address his depression himself. He cannot rely on you for this. If he will see a counselor, that would help a lot. The counselor can suggest medication to help him then provide therapy to deal with the underlying issues that cause the depression (which could be the alcohol use or something else entirely).
Regarding your feelings, try not to give in to him. It is hard, but he knows what to say to make you feel guilty. You are used to how your parents acted and know how much worse your marriage could be. But there is another side to that too. It is how good it could be if your husband did not act out this way. Accepting his behavior is not your job. It is not required of you as his wife. You deserve better treatment after what you went through as a child.
Here are some books that can help you both get started dealing with these issues:
Alcohol: How to Give It Up and Be Glad You Did by Philip Tate PhD and Albert Ellis (for your husband)
The Manipulative Man: Identify His Behavior, Counter the Abuse, Regain Control by Dorothy McCoy (for you)
What a Wife Needs from Her Husband: *Physically *Emotionally *Spiritually by Melanie Chitwood (for you)
The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by XXXXX XXXXX, XXXXX Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn (for your husband)
Breaking Free of the Co-Dependency Trap by Janae B. Weinhold Ph.D., Barry K. Weinhold Ph.D. and John Bradshaw (for you)
You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.
I hope this helps you,Kate