Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Stop smothering me!!! [angryface]

(80 Posts)
Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 15:08:47

We've been living together for nearly 2 years and I love him dearly. He treats me really well, would do anything for me, and he is a proper partner in my life.

There's just one thing... he won't leave me alone! I can't seem to have any personal space, he follows me around the house chatting and always wants to come with me when I go anywhere. He says he just likes being with me.

I like being with him too, just not all the time.... I can say I want an early night, so I can go to bed and read, and he suddenly decides he wants an early night too. He's not so keen on them when he's snoring on the sofa of an evening and I tell him to go to bed hmm

I just feel smothered, and it's making me resentful.

Is there a way that I can convey this to him so that he doesn't take it personally? It really isn't personal, I'm like this with everyone, it's nothing to do with him....

I just need to get this out really, so that it stops me from hurting his feelings, I love him sad But this is driving me fucking crazy!

frustratedashell Sun 03-Feb-13 15:11:37

sounds like hes insecure maybe? Has he been cheated on in the past?

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 15:15:39

I think his ex cheated. But I don't think it's in a jealousy/controlling way - it's more like he really enjoys my company! Which is flattering, of course - just frustrating. I've always enjoyed my own company, and am quite happy doing my own thing to a degree - but so is he. He has a hobby that takes him out twice a week, and it's all good.

I just don't know why he wouldn't enjoy the odd evening on his own. Or going to see his friends on his own - he always wants me to go. It's fun, they're nice lads, but I'd sooner stay in and watch tv ALONE once in a while wink

fluffyraggies Sun 03-Feb-13 15:20:29

Maybe next time he's off out with his mates and suggests you go too, just casually say - oh, no. You go. I'll be fine, i like a little time slobbing here on my own. I'll get some chocci in and watch xxx (something he doesn't like) on the telly.

It may be a gentle way to introduce him to the fact that you are happy and actually enjoy a little time alone?

frustratedashell Sun 03-Feb-13 15:22:08

fluffys suggestion is good. If hints dont work you may have to just tell him as nicely as possible

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 15:26:16

I've sort of tried that. But he goes on about them being my friends too, and they all like me, blah blah, and sort of guilts me into going.

I know I sound like a bitch.

fluffyraggies Sun 03-Feb-13 15:33:16

Well, i think you have to stick to your guns and insist on your evening at home alone with what ever little treats you've said you'll have.

Perhaps this would be the perfect moment to hammer home press the point that - yes, and i like your mates too, but i do so enjoy the odd couple of hours chilling by myself. It makes it all the nicer when you come home ....

Or something grin

frustratedashell Sun 03-Feb-13 15:35:03

I think you have to stick to your guns lyceum. He doesnt own you!

OrangeLily Sun 03-Feb-13 15:36:15

My DH does that too. I just tell him when I want some alone time, it's OK he understands and actually enjoys his enforced alone time.

Don't worry just tell him what you need.

Absoluteeightiesgirl Sun 03-Feb-13 15:38:38

Oh man.... This would drive me nuts. I think you need to sit down and be very honest about it. I think you need to tell him you are starting to feel smothered. I actually don't think there is any other way to dress it up to be frank.
You really don't sound like a bitch.

natsmum100 Sun 03-Feb-13 15:40:34

I think you really need to get the message across, Lyceum. Stop being so nice! If you don't, you will begin to resent him and that won't be good for your relationship. I've been there.

fluffyraggies Sun 03-Feb-13 15:41:37

Does he work alone? From home maybe?

I'm just thinking i can be guilty of being a bit full on, if i've been home alone all day, when DH comes home from work. He's spent the day surrounded by people and wants P&Q and i'm the opposite.

I've trained myself to give him space at those times.

tribpot Sun 03-Feb-13 15:43:02

I don't think you sound like a bitch. People have different needs and it's always a balancing act finding the right level of whatever aspect of domestic life it is where you differ. My parents, for example, have been happily married for over 30 years despite regularly living in different houses smile They have two homes and my mum prefers one, has more social life there and stuff to be doing, my step-dad the other. So they spend some time together in both houses, some time apart. Mostly together, I should add!

I think you need to tell him what you've said here - it's nothing personal, you love him, but you just need more personal space than he does. You want some time on your own in the house (and trust me, this is a massive luxury, don't deny yourself it whilst you don't have children underfoot). And you need to be able to chill and do your own thing.

Be direct - you're perfectly entitled to enjoy your own company.

I think you need to remind yourself there is nothing wrong with wanting some alone time. It doesn't make you a bitch or anything!

You need to keep this in mind so that when you talk to him, you remember that you are not actually asking for anything unreasonable. If he tries to guilt you or gets really upset or doesn't respect what you're saying, then he's wrong. It doesn't mean that what you're asking for is unreasonable.

I had this issue with an ex and he was a real jerk about it and made me feel like I was abnormal.

My DH on the other hand has always been very laidback about it. He doesn't really seem to need alone time like I do, but he understands it's not personal and doesn't give me any grief about it.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 15:51:11

DH was like this - and still would be given half a chance. Think it took 5 years for me to stop him doing things that other people would find 'sweet' - like breakfast in bed (only invalids need BinB), I dont not want my dinner the moment I walk in the door (I want coffee and a fag) - the only thing I can't seem to cure him of is the arsenic hour phone call. Ok, you may be bored and stuck in a traffic jam, I am cooking and don't want a pointless conversation whilst teenage fridge raiding by stealth goes on grin

Dh is very gregarious, I am quite insular - he does understand now my need for 'space' and quiet isn't a reflection on him.

nickelbabe Sun 03-Feb-13 15:53:04

arsenic hour?

Dryjuice25 Sun 03-Feb-13 16:18:54

Just a word of caution my ex was like that. I couldn't do anything on my own and it was a fucking nightmare. Even after breaking up, he still believes he owns me!!!

This might never go away and your resentment might turn to anger or give you a feeling that this man is not respecting your wish for some space. This might also manifest itself in other areas of your life too....

Is he controlling or does he lack in self esteem?

wordyBird Sun 03-Feb-13 16:19:00

Hmm. What's he like if you go out on your own? Does he ever leave you to it, does he always try to come too,or send you multiple texts, etc – ask you questions when you come back?

I feel a bit hmm because a friend's boyfriend was like this – wouldn't leave her alone, wouldn't let her sit for half an hour with a book, he was always there smiling and touching and wanting attention. It was very similar to your 'early night' scenario. Of course, it seemed sweet, but it irritated her. I didn't think anything of it.

When they finally married and had a child, he turned into a very different man.

So OP, I would gently insist on your personal space right now. If he loves you, he will be only too glad to respect your wishes.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 16:21:31

wtf is arsenic hour? grin

<doing things that other people would find 'sweet' - like breakfast in bed (only invalids need BinB), I dont not want my dinner the moment I walk in the door (I want coffee and a fag)>

This ^^

You wouldn't believe this from my posts, but I am really assertive irl. Our whole relationship is based on both of us being able to be honest. This is just one thing that I can't seem to be honest about - probably because no matter how I word it, it will sound like I don't want him around me all the time. BUT I DON'T!

No, he works in a busy office surrounded by people, as do I. We have 4 dc between us, and have varying amounts of them in the house at various times. So there's pretty much always someone talking at me.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 16:26:37

No, he's not controlling. He knows that I wouldn't put up with it for a second if he tried that.

I don't seem to go out much on my own any more - that's purely coincidental though. Just lack of time, money and cantbearsed-ness.

He does seem to crave attention though. What brought it home to me this weekend was that we were having a chat and I mentioned that I was thinking about organising a meet with someone I talk to on another forum. He suggested we all meet with all the kids and do something together.

I don't want that though! I want to go on my own for some girl stuff!

CaseyShraeger Sun 03-Feb-13 16:38:11

Are you an introvert while he's an extravert? Introverts need time alone to emotionally "recharge" while extraverts get the same effect from being with other (that might be a good way to broach the subject with him).

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 16:40:50

I am very much an introvert. A bit of a hermit really. He's the same though tbh, he rarely goes out socially, just for his hobby, he'd rather stay in and watch telly with me. I do like that, it's just that he doesn't seem to understand that I need time alone sometimes.

Occasionally, I will warn him in advance that I'm going to read in bed for a bit. So he comes to bed with me and 'watches' me while I read hmm I fucking hate it! I may have overreacted to that once or twice wink

kalidanger Sun 03-Feb-13 16:52:57

Is he kinda grabby of your person too? Touching and str

kalidanger Sun 03-Feb-13 16:53:20

oking etc?

(soz, sausage finger)

Jux Sun 03-Feb-13 16:57:47

This will kill your relationship, so you may need to be cruel to be kind.

Just tell him straight. I want some girl time. I want some time on my own.

Are you seeing less of your friends because you're seeing more of his? Watch out for that.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 17:05:07

Actually Jux, I don't really have any friends..... I have people that I talk to online and occasionally I go out in a big group, but I prefer the people that live in my computer blush

My ideal night would be dicking around on the internet in an empty house with good food grin

kalidanger, he used to be like that, but he's not really any more. We have 2 big sofas in the living room, one for me and one for him grin

Recently he has taken to coming to sit next to me on 'my' sofa - after several nights with my face like this hmm he has retreated back to his own grin

fluffyraggies Sun 03-Feb-13 17:29:30

See - i can't imagine ever getting to the point of feeling smothered by DH, no matter how in each others pockets we were.

XH though - yes, i needed space.

"comes to bed with me and 'watches' me while I read" though ..... eeek!

Start with the small stuff OP. Get to the point where he will go out and leave you and know you're happy about it, at least.

Perhaps the rest of it, such as the gazing into your ear while you're reading, will go when he understands your need for and enjoyment of space.

kalidanger Sun 03-Feb-13 17:30:16

Oh mate. That's no way to live.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 17:33:06

OMG, that would have driven me fucking insane long before 2 years.

'Please just leave me alone for a while!' works.

BIWI Sun 03-Feb-13 17:33:12

I think you just have to tell him straight. No beating around the bush. But make it clear to him that it's not about not loving him or liking being with him.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 17:33:17

The thing is, we are happy. I'm just finding this aspect of our relationship harder and harder to deal with.

I know I'm going to have to talk to him about it - but I'm going to feel like I'm kicking a puppy sad

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 17:34:28

expat I do spend an awful lot of time muttering 'forfuckssake' under my breath grin

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 17:36:16

Oh, it wouldn't have been under my breath.

'Look, I care about you, but you're smothering me and it's driving a wedge. I need a lot more personal space.'

Although I can't really advise because I'd probably have dumped a guy like this long before we got to living together.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 17:38:54

He wasn't really like this before we lived together though, because there was forced separation. I had no way of knowing how clingy he would be until we lived together. And it's only got to this point in the last 6 months really, it was never this bad before then. Unless it's only just started being an issue as time has gone one. Maybe before I didn't notice/mind.

I managed it with Dp by talking about extroverts and introverts and how, when he comes through the door and I throw a toddler at him and barricade myself in the bedroom, it wasn't personal, it was "being over-peopled" and I needed to "de-people" before I could talk rationally about his day and stuff.
He doesn't quite get it but he deals...mainly by playing madly with dd and fussing over his cat.
Good luck, op.

PretzelTime Sun 03-Feb-13 18:12:23

Good luck OP - you're not kicking a puppy, it's absolutely neccessary for an introverted person to spend alone time. That's how you gain energy - being around others sap it, so it will be negative to be around someone constantly no matter how much you love them. I think it would irritate most people actually!
I hope you find a solution & get your much needed time alone.

buildingmycorestrength Sun 03-Feb-13 18:50:55

Are you me?

I have to be extremely blunt and say, 'Organise a night with the boys, I need an evening in on my own.' If it doesn't happen, I insist or make it happen. Drives me mad.

He is gradually understanding that it is normal to spend time NOT with each other.

We have been together 13 years and have two kids... but it goes in patches depending what else is going on at work etc. Plus I didn't realise what was happening for a long time. Have a chat now!

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 03-Feb-13 19:23:23

He sounds incredibly needy. And you are placing concern for his feelings above your own needs.

You say you are assertive. If so, what's stopping you saying, e.g. "I don't want a big group gathering, I want a girl's day out." (for the gathering with a forum member you have planned. Alter the sentence as appropriate for the occasion)

You are not telling him "You are a smothering and needy creep", you are saying "I, Lyceum, want and need space."

If his feelings are hurt, if he hears criticism where there is none, that is his problem to deal with. He is a grown up and is responsible for managing his own feelings. It's not your job.

Bobbybird40 Sun 03-Feb-13 19:29:06

In his own way, he sounds v controlling to me.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 19:39:56

Really Bobby? He's really not. He just doesn't like being by himself, I know quite a lot of people like that.

He is quite needy HotDAMN - It's certainly not my intention for him to tag along when I meet this forum member, I shall be making that clear later down the line.

I do understand what you're saying about his own feelings being his responsibility to manage, but nobody wants to hurt someone they love, do they?

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 03-Feb-13 19:48:08

nobody wants to hurt someone they love, do they?

Is that a reason to quash your own needs, though?

Bobbybird40 Sun 03-Feb-13 19:49:09

This watching you while you read business - FFs. That would do my box in if somebody did that with me. Your body language will have made it clear to him that his clinginess is irritating even if you haven't said it. Yet he still does it even though he knows you don't like it?

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 19:52:49

What he actually does is start stroking me while I'm reading, to try and get sex. I completely and utterly ignore him and pretend he's not there. I don't even think that it's particularly that he wants sex, he just wants me to pay attention to him rather than a book, iyswim. That is controlling, you're right. We had words about it recently and he hasn't done it again.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 03-Feb-13 20:03:39

Don't ignore bad behaviour or pretend it isn't happening. Name it, state that it bothers you, and demand that it stop.

Pretending that someone's boundary-pushing isn't happening is the same as colluding with their position that what they are doing is perfectly ok. If it's not ok with you, say so. Bluntly.

Glad you can recognize the way in which his behaviour is controlling.

There's a huge difference between not wanting to be alone, and being so needy that you watch someone read and won't let them pay attention to a book instead of you.

I'm sorry but to me that's a massive red flag. It's good you stopped it but I think it's quite worrying that he even thought that was normal behaviour to begin with.

You say you don't want to hurt him, but I think it's fair to stop and think about whether someone is reasonable to be hurt if you do something. It's entirely reasonable for you to want alone time. If he is hurt by that, quite frankly, that's his problem.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 20:37:52

arsenic hour?

LOL I thought that was a common phrase! its the hour when you get in from work, have all the children underfoot, hungry, you are unpacking shopping, you're trying to peel spuds, sort out homework - and then someone phones!

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 20:39:59

Main Entry:

arsenic hour

Part of Speech:



the time of day when both children and parents have come home but dinner has not yet been served, seen as being difficult due to everyone being tired and hungry


'Arsenic hour' was first used as a play on the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "The Children's Hour."

Jux Sun 03-Feb-13 20:40:49

I see red flags a-flying.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 20:44:35

Tell me why Jux. I really don't see it. I've been married twice and don't want to imagine red flags where there are none.

He's one of the good ones. I just need him to understand me better.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 20:46:26

I LOVE the phrase arsenic hour! So true in our house!

LittleEdie Sun 03-Feb-13 20:48:05

He watches you read?!

BertieBotts Sun 03-Feb-13 20:52:42

If he doesn't like being by himself to the point that he actually needs contact at all times, then that's not healthy surely?

I can understand not liking being alone, but most adults can cope with being alone and don't have to go and paw at their partner like, well, a puppy or other baby who needs reassurance that someone's there for them.

Maybe you didn't mean it as I've read it, but someone being that insecure would ring massive alarm bells for me. And, yes, possibly controlling - even if it does come from a place of insecurity (most controlling behaviour does).

I'd have told him if he didn't fuck off I'd murder him.
This is not a nice man, OP, sorry. This is a selfish, whiny-arsed Klingon, and you need to put him firmly in his place or, indeed, dump him. It's not remotely reasonable for him to be prodding you and waving his cock at you when you're trying to read, or refusing to allow you to meet friends without him tagging along to remind you your his property.

Stop fretting about hurting his feelings when he clearly doesn't care about yours. It's OK to be harsh with people who play the whiny victim in order to get their own way.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 20:54:38

He doesn't any more! He did it a couple of times and I put a stop to it because it's so utterly ridiculous.

I think he thinks that I will stop reading and pay him the attention he wants instead. Which I do not.

I hate it when this happens. Someone posts with a fairly innocuous problem and gets told that there are red flags everywhere.

tribpot Sun 03-Feb-13 20:57:44

Hope you can have a sensible conversation - both about the issue and about your reluctance to raise the issue. I think stroking-whilst-reading is probably a hanging offence, for starters smile

Seriously, though, it sounds like he's starting to up the ante on the needy behaviour. Either you push back now whilst it's still possible to do so quite politely or you may find it more difficult later when you've tacitly accepted more and more of this.

Hopefully he's realise that he's just being a bit needier than is good for him and gets over it.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 20:59:41

No. Wait.

I'm not sure I'm explaining myself very well here. The man you are describing is not my partner. He's not a whiny-arsed Klingon (much as I love the phrase grin) - he's just not.

He can be a dick, like they all can - but I am a strong woman who nearly always makes her feelings known.

He just likes spending more time with me than I do with him - but that's more than I do with anyone....

The thing with the meet with someone from another forum - I mentioned it, and he suggested that we could meet as families at the nearest Gullivers for a nice day out - but that's not what I'm meeting for, I want a day out AWAY from the kids! Once I tell him that, he'll understand and be fine, he always is when I say no to something.

But there are elements of control that I maybe hadn't seen. That much I will admit.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Feb-13 21:05:58

OK red flags from my point of view:

- He wants you to pay attention to him instead of (e.g.) reading. I'm assuming that you do actually want to spend time with him when you're not reading (or whatever) and don't ignore him constantly! I realise you say this has stopped.

- Trying to initiate sex when you're clearly engrossed in something else, and in a really irritating-sounding, passive-aggressive sort of way. Again I realise this has stopped but it's a bit weird that he did it in the first place? (Unless he thought that your pre-warning him that you were going to read in bed was a secret code which meant "I want sex tonight")

- The fact you feel you can't talk to him about it without upsetting him. You need to be able to talk honestly to your partner. You say your relationship is "based on honesty" - but you can't ask him to give you some space? What do you think will upset him so much about that? If you can't talk without a huge fear of the relationship breaking up hanging over you (both/either), that's not healthy - although I realise that many people feel afraid of their relationship breaking up.

- He "doesn't like being by himself" which hints at some pretty major insecurity as I mentioned above. Be aware you're not trying to "cure" his insecurity by reassuring him - you're too close, and one partner trying too much to help the other with emotional/personal issues puts the relationship on an unequal footing, not an equal partnership. Plus if somebody is still this insecure in adulthood then they probably have some major work to do on themselves. Be careful - insecure people are often controlling out of desperation and fear.

- He "guilts" you into going out with his friends - okay, sometimes mixed gatherings are nice, sometimes it's nice to go out with your separate friends.

- Wanting to spend all your time together is a red flag too for control issues.

In all honesty he sounds a bit wet and needy rather than abusive and bullying, but it's still not a great thing in a partner...

ImperialBlether Sun 03-Feb-13 21:22:00

I think you're just mismatched, rather than he's a controlling bastard.

He's out twice a week with his hobby. He goes to sleep on the sofa. Don't you make use of those times to be on your own?

When I was with my ex we were together all the time and both really enjoyed it. Everything was better if he was there. If that's how he feels, I can understand it. You're going to have to be quite tactful to deal with it.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Feb-13 21:27:48

Imperial I think you are probably right.

MidnightMasquerader Sun 03-Feb-13 21:31:42

The thing is, it doesn't look like a fairly innocuous problem to the uninvolved, objective reader.

It looks unusual, unacceptable, annoying, resentment-causing, and in your own words, smothering.

Someone coming up to watch you read is seriously weird. I know you said you put a stop to it and that's great - but that one example is just one symptom of a far bigger problem which still exists, even of that one symptom has gone away.

Because he still doesn't get it, does he? Plus, the various ways he acts out his neediness and, yes, controllingness permeate all sorts of different aspects of your life together. All the things Bertie has itemised in her post.

I think this is why is looks red flag-ish to we outsiders... Plus, factor in the very need to start a thread on it, means it's clearly an issue for you. People - generally - are only genuinely moved to start a thread about a problem if it's really, really getting to them. And 9 times out of 10 as the thread unfolds and more questions are asked, pandora's box is opened.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 21:35:29

Thanks for all these responses, by the way, I do appreciate it.

Bertie, it's not a fear of my relationship breaking up - I am a Coper, and am never afraid of being by myself, I just don't want to hurt his feelings because I love him. I do think he's insecure - his exw was, and still is very dominant, and I think he maybe feels afraid of history repeating itself.

He's not wet, but he is needy, that much I realise. And I find needy people difficult to deal with, I think that's where the issue may lie.

Imperial, when he goes to his hobby, I have the kids, so there isn't a chance to be by myself. It's not time away from him, per se, it's time away from everyone that I crave.

It's daft really. We are good together in every way apart from this one, and I posted because I'm so aware of needing to be a bit diplomatic.

ImperialBlether Sun 03-Feb-13 21:38:18

Could you take up an interest such as swimming or running that would involve him minding the kids, so that you get to go out on your own?

I do think you should be able to say at 9 pm, "I'm going up to bed. See you at 11" and he should understand then that you want a couple of hours alone.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 21:38:20

And you're right too Midnight - I can see how people on the outside can come to certain conclusions by reading it laid out in black and white. And I almost wish I hadn't started the thread in a way, although it's useful and I'm grateful. It's brought up things that I'm probably ignoring that need to be dealt with in the relationship.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 21:40:20

Imperial I was thinking about starting that Couch to 5K thing.... I've been in a real slump for a few weeks now, and I need something to focus on to help me feel better. I can feel the Black Dog coming a bit, and I need to nip it in the bud. So that might be ideal to kill two birds with one stone.

MidnightMasquerader Sun 03-Feb-13 21:43:13

Try not to take posts too much to heart - it's only random individual's opinions, after all. smile

I can really recommend C25K, by the way. Great for some feel-good endorphins, which it sounds like might do you the world of good. x

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 21:53:26

Ooooh really? I was reading about it and decided that I'm too much of a lardass and need to sort myself out. Sitting around the house eating is not helping.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Feb-13 22:01:14

I don't mean you, I was meaning him more really. As in if you're afraid of discussing something with him in case he then gets afraid that you don't want to be with him, IYSWIM? Sort of, I can't ask for space, because he'll think I mean "space" (aka, I'm breaking up with you). It's not conducive to a good discussion environment. (And I'm the one who finds it hard to discuss stuff in case it means we're breaking up blush I'm aware of it though and tend to push through the fear, but it really didn't help me in previous relationships.)

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 22:05:29

Ohhhhh. Yes, I get it now blush

That is absolutely true. He will think that I'm going to leave him over it, and that is not the case at all. I just need to discuss it with him and make him realise that it's not him, but that I just need to be alone quite a lot!

I never knew until this thread that introverts need time to be alone to recharge. That makes perfect sense. Sometimes I feel actual rage at the thought of not being alone at all for a few days.

So you get no child-free, chore-free time without him slobbering and clutching at you?
This man is controlling. Whiny, victimy, needy people are controlling, they use their 'weakness' to get their own way. I bet you have told him, tactfully but clearly, several times that you need a bit of space, and he's whined and cried and ignored your needs in favour if his own. You need to tell him straight: 'If you don't allow me some time to myself I am going to leave you.' Because you cannot, cannot live like this without eventually starting to hate him. It's making my skin crawl just to think about it.

PretzelTime Sun 03-Feb-13 22:16:12

Yes Lyceum, introverts gain energy from being alone and extroverts gain energy from being with others.
If you never get to rest properly, it's no wonder you're feeling angry.

I also believe that everyone needs some sort of space and time away from each other in a relationship. His need for your attention doesn't sound healthy.

OneMoreGo Sun 03-Feb-13 22:20:27

Agree with SGB - the introvert/extrovert is a red herring, IMO. I am a super hermity introvert - in fact, you sound just like me grin in all ways. But I have dated both introverts and extroverts and nice people, when they realise you need space, simply give it to you. This bloke sounds like he is behaving like a huge child.

He may well have issues but that doesn't excuse that his behaviour is making you fed up, and you are the one suffering as a result. You're suffering because you don't want to hurt his feelings, because he has you fretting about making him even more sulky and angsty than he already is! Strewth! And obviously you're also suffering because you have no fucking space at all.

Even if you don't agree he's controlling, you surely must be able to see that he has things all very much his own way? Which is uncool, no matter how little personal space he personally needs himself. And this doesn't sound like someone who has little or no need for time alone - it sounds like someone who is paranoid you will leave them and is feeding off you like an emotional vampire, who can't function without you around them all the time. Not healthy.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 22:27:01

I do get time away from him and from the kids - just not very much of it!

He's not sulky or angsty, I swear it. He's really easygoing! Especially in comparison to me... I'm just not sure that he understands the need for alone time, because he doesn't seem to need it.

SGB, I do love you, but you are wrong on this one. He doesn't paw and slobber over me confused He's just more comfortable living in each others pockets than I am.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Feb-13 22:27:41

You see why I said it isn't helpful - because you are a considerate person, clearly, and you're worried about hurting his feelings, it means that you end up tiptoeing around the issue rather than approaching it which means that stuff ends up getting to a critical point rather than being dealt with early on. Or when you do discuss stuff, you minimise how important it is so as not to worry him unnecessarily, so again he's not likely to realise how important this is to you.

I don't know what the best way of dealing with it is - I guess maybe you just have to go for it and take the chance and then point out to him what he's doing by saying "Why do you think we're going to break up every time we have a discussion?" and turn it back on him to think about/deal with.

If his last relationship was controlling then it might be that he still has some issues from that which he needs to work on - it doesn't work just to brush them under the carpet and hope that it will be different with a different partner. You might be nothing like his ex-wife, but if he's reacting to you the same way that he reacted to her (perhaps because that's the pattern he's used to in a relationship) it's going to be hard for you to work with him as a team - you can't have an equal relationship on your own and that applies whether the other partner is trying to take too much control or too little.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 22:27:49

OneMoreGo - he does like things his own way. But not as much as I do wink

BertieBotts Sun 03-Feb-13 22:29:04

Here - writing that out just now reminds me of this blog post that I linked to someone the other day.

From this, it sounds like he's still being a "passenger".

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 22:31:33

Bertie you speak so much sense. I do end up tiptoeing around an issue until it becomes a huge thing that I end up screaming like a fishwife about it.... It's something I've tried really hard NOT to do in this relationship, it's all about the communication. But this one's hard to broach, precisely because I don't want him to think that I have this opinion of him. He'd be horrified.

As much as I hate to admit it, me and his exw are quite similar. We're both bossy and control freaks, and I think he may be trying to claw some control back.

Man, this is hard.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 03-Feb-13 22:40:57

I went put with a bloke who wouldn't let me read because he wantedy attention instead, I ended up in a refuge...

Nip it in the bud OP hopefully he can recognise what he's doing and makes a conscious effort to stop.

Lyceum Sun 03-Feb-13 22:42:38

Brandy shock

Lyceum: the fact that he wants more 'togetherness' than you do is not in itself a bad thing - but right now, he is getting his own way at the expense of your happiness and comfort. It is not wrong or bad or selfish of you to want some space. Another way to look at it: many couples struggle when one partner wants to have sex a lot more frequently than the other does. For the relationship to survive and be healthy, they have to work out some sort of compromise which acknowledges that both partners' wishes and needs and feelings are equally valid. Right now this isn't happening for you - his needs are being met and yours are not.

nickelbabe Tue 05-Feb-13 21:19:40

you really needto tell him to butt out and let you have your space.

not pa muttering and moving but a straightforward "I love you. but it drives me fucking mental when you are constantly in my face. when I am home in the evening, I want to spend some time winding down. when I say I want to be alone for an hour I am not kidding. I am not asking for sex. I am asking you to give me some fucking time onmy own. you are not a stalker; stop fucking acting like one"

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now