Red Responds: Her Boyfriend is too Needy

Bonnie in Monroe writes:

I love my live-in boyfriend but am troubled by his neediness to keep me by his side. I feel he is holding me back from my callings in life as well as demonstrating jealousy of my relationships with dear female friends and activities I normally had the freedom to enjoy before I got together with him. He’s great with my family but I worry that in time he will have problems with my personal activities with them too.

He struggles not to drink for he knows it only brings out his negativity about life more. Should I give this man some slack or is my relationship with him a disaster waiting to happen? I’m so tired of these kinds of relationships with men and ready to stay away from men altogether if this relationship doesn’t work out.

Dear Bonnie,

I hate to be the one to confirm your suspicions, but this relationship is heading for trouble. If you could somehow convince your boyfriend to accompany you for some relationship counseling there is a chance that this relationship could avoid the looming disaster, but I don’t know that you can convince him to go.

It is unfortunate that his insecurities have so much power over both of you. He has some serious abandonment issues, and some control issues. You, however, are permitting his issues to dictate your actions. Even though you are his girlfriend, you still have the right to enjoy activities that do not include him, preferably without having to fear drama and repercussions. This just isn’t a healthy balance or arrangement, regardless of how much love you share.

Even though this relationship isn’t going to last for eternity, it still can be a positive experience in your life. If your man will cooperate, you may be the support and incentive he needs to venture into therapy for his drinking and emotional problems. This is also a prime opportunity for you to seek some counseling to understand why your own insecurities keep leading you into confining and suppressive relationships. It would be much more beneficial for you to address this issue head-on, because once you find your own balance and sense of security, you are more likely to blow by clingy-men and align yourself with men who are capable of having healthy relationships.

For the record, you aren’t going to entirely give up on the opposite sex. While you may experience a year or so of being footloose and man-free, there is one worth keeping, who will eventually catch you.

Good luck!
Ext. 9226

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