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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5810
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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For the last year i have been emotionally exhausting my

Customer Question

for the last year i have been emotionally exhausting my husband with my neediness; we have been married only 1 1/2 years, together for 3 1/2. It has come to the point where he has said he wants to end the marriage. I crave his love and when he does not act how i think he should act, I act out irrationally with tears and crying and hysterics. I want to believe that this is just a bump in the road, and that I can get help for my love addiction and stand on my own two feet while still being with him although it may be harder. I believe that my love for him goes beyond the addiction and I truly want to lead a happy normal life with him. Is there hope that I can be happy and calm and not worry about everything? What are some steps I can do to start? I have since moved out of the house and have started doing things on my own, which I realize that I will have to do with or without him. thanks.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like that your feelings towards your husband may have to do with fear and the need to control. The key here is finding out why this occurred and how you can fix it.

One of the first steps you can take is to understand why you act the way you do with your husband. Were you abused as a child? Were you taught this is a normal way of interacting in a relationship (for example, you witnessed you parents acting like this), or were you raised to be dependent on others for your needs? All of these are possibilities to explain why you feel the way you do. It is important to get to the root of the behavior so you can address what happened to you and learn how it should be different.

You may also want to consider therapy. A therapist can help you explore why you feel the way you do and how you can change it. Because of the nature of your problem, it is a good idea to see the therapist on your own at first. Then, when you and your therapist agree, ask your husband to join you. That will give you both the opportunity to start working on this issue together.

To find a therapist, ask your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at

You can also work on this issue through self help. Here are some resources to help you get started:

Healthy Dependency: Leaning on Others Without Losing Yourself by Robert F. Bornstein and Mary A. Languirand Ph.D.

Addicted to "Love": Understanding Dependencies of the Heart : Romance, Relationships, and Sex by Stephen Arterburn

How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo and Kathlyn Hendricks

Taking Out Your Emotional Trash: Face Your Feelings and Build Healthy Relationships by Georgia Shaffer

Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day by Anne Katherine

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

As long as you can learn healthy boundaries with your husband, you have a good chance of repairing your marriage. Your motivation is there and you are working on this problem. Let your husband know this and ask him for time to work on making your marriage better. Once he sees you are trying, it should make your marriage stronger.

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I was very shy as a child and my parents usually conceded to everything I wanted, sometimes without me asking.

My anxiety about my marriage failing started when my husband's best friend came into the picture. She was in Australia for the first 3 years of our relationship and he had very little contact with her. When she came back to canada he began to talk to her a lot. We went for dinner with her and her husband and it didnt turn out well. i was accused of giving her dirty looks, which I still say i did not do consciously, if at all. This went back and forth and he ended up telling her that maybe she needed to get things off of her chest to me. she wrote me a letter saying that i was not good enough for him, a bad wife, and that i was unstable. My husband did not see anything wrong with this letter and thought she had every right to say those things to me. Since this happened i have had increasing anxiety about him not loving me enough and him favoring her. on a couple occasions when i was hurt i gave him an ultimatum to chose her or me. he refuses to not talk to her as he sees nothing wrong with their close relationship. i see it as being unfaithful to me emotionally even though they are not in a physical relationship or talk about personal issues. Am i overreacting? I know sometimes we hurt the ones we love without meaning to, but is he wrong for not sticking up for me? Am i unrealistic to think my husband should be on my side whether im right or wrong?

I also found this online which explains my feelings about my neediness twoards him:

Let's take a look at Sally. She is very much in love with her husband Mike. They dated a few months before they got engaged and had a rather quick marriage. Sally would do anything for Mike. She adores him and would go to the ends of the earth for him too. Recently, Mike took another job which keeps him out of town quite a bit. He wanted to make the extra money so he could give Sally the lifestyle she's always dreamed of - the nice house, designer clothes, vacations - and all the little extras she's wanted too. Sally works a typical 9-5 job and has a lot of time on her hands while Mike is away. There are times when she feels extremely lonely. Talking to Mike on the phone at nights while he's away is sometimes not enough. When Mike is home on the weekends, he's often too tired and run down to participate in any activities. Eventually, Sally started feeling neglected. Translation: in her mind she feels Mike is not attracted to her like he used to be. She's starting to feel abandoned!

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It helps.

What you described changes the situation. The dinner you and your husband had with his friend and her husband is fine. There is nothing wrong with that because your husband is making it clear he is married and he is including you in on the relationship. This is how any married couple should handle relationships with the opposite sex.

However, the situation becomes a problem when your husband's female friend attacks you and your marriage through the letter. This is an attack on you personally and on your relationship with your husband. In this case, your husband should have backed you up, regardless whether or not you "made faces" at his friend. You are his wife and you come first. Period.

Although your possessive is not helping, it is not the main problem here. Your husband allowing the friend into your marriage is the problem. In this case, it would be a very good idea for you both to see a therapist. Your husband could benefit from therapy by learning how to put you first and you could benefit in learning to accept your husband's choices without feeling possessive.


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

And what happens if he doesnt accept this? That he didn't do anything wrong? Should I forgive and forget or is this something that I should stand my ground on, whether I lose him or not?

During the last month of our relationshiop he spent a lot of time withdrawing from me which i understand. but he spent a lot of time texting her while sitting next to me on the couch and he nearly pushed me off the couch getting up to answer her phone call. he says its innocent, they have a friendship that even he can't explain, but i feel like he is going to her for support when I'm being needy. Is it partially my fault as well because I constantly push him away with my neediness? I want to say its both of us who are doing wrong and I just want to know how to move forward.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am always looking for a quick fix and i have constantly hounded my husband for the last 8 months or so insisting that he was wrong not to stand up for me. I did not allow him to see what he did was wrong on his own. Know whenever i bring it up he is exhausted with constantly talking about the same conversation over and over again. Should i just try to move on and have faith that once our relationship has recovered that his love will be redirected to me? Man, i sound desperate.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

If he does not accept working with you on this problem, then you need to still go for help yourself. Getting support for your problem is very important so you can make the best decisions possible about your circumstances.

It is not ok for your husband to be in contact with this woman like he is. You are to be the primary person in his life. Any friendship he has with a female should only be conducted with your full knowledge and your participation, like the dinner you had. Texting her, calling her and allowing her to contact him is all cheating type behavior on your husband's part. It is also communicating to her that he is available and that you are not important in his life.

It is fine for you to ask him to stop. If it is making you uncomfortable, then it should end. Your husband's focus needs to be on repairing your relationship, not on his relationship with another woman.

Your husband should not be blaming you for his behavior. He is an adult and is responsible for how he acts or reacts to the problems in your marriage. It is never acceptable to react to marriage issues by turning to another person outside the marriage. This only makes the situation worse. He needs to stop the relationship and realize that his behavior is creating problems.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I dont beleive he will ever accept that he needs to stop.

I have had daily anxiety during my marriage after this event, thinking he was going to leave me. He finally did. My anxiety went away but was replaced my severe heartbreak and wanting to be with him. He has said that we can talk tonight (which he said doesnt mean were getting back together) but now ive noticed the anxiety is back. Am i fooling myself that I should be with him? Can i get over this feeling?

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

It is up to you if you feel you still want to be with him, especially if he has no ability to see what he is doing is wrong and is not willing to fix it.

You can get over this feeling. It takes deciding whether or not you want to continue the marriage. Therapy can help you decide. And once you do, you can work on mourning the loss and moving on.