The Emotionally Needy Partner

Emotionally Needy Partnerrev2

You cannot encourage enough.  You cannot inflate his/her ego enough.  The emotionally needy partner is one of the most difficult partners to be involved with; as they have an insatiable exhausting requirement of always needing a compliment, edification, pat on the back, or some kudos for everything they do and say.

They lack self-confidence, self-esteem, are very insecure, and overly sensitive.  This makes them easily offended; dull in understanding, difficult to communicate with, quick to become angry, and their view of truth is skewed, because they are all about feeling, versus truth.  This means they have a hard time outgrowing emotional deficiency.

The needy partner is easily frustrated and shuts down.  They often lash out in behavior making the environment uncomfortable.  They become inverted, withdrawn and somber.  This makes them poor communicators, because they do more internalizing than communicating.   Since their perception is wrapped around feeling, this leaves no room for objective thought, therefore being in a conflict with him/her mostly end in misunderstandings without much resolve, because the only thing they generally understand are feelings— not logic.

You can never quite determine which comment or behavior he/she will perceive as an attack or insult. The partner of the emotionally needy must over accommodate in order to protect the emotional partner.  This is especially necessary in public or social settings.  It is difficult to take them anywhere, because one word could set him/her off on an emotional tangent. You must babysit their feelings.

You cannot provide constructive criticism and be free to say what you want, as it very well may be taken as a verbal strike.

You must always explain yourself.  It is not that you will be directly accused of anything; they do not like conflict.  The conversations will be more on the order of an emotional backlash of what he/she thinks you are feeling about.  This will force you to continually validate their feelings.

Anytime there is need for an act of good in helping others, you will find the needy partner volunteering.  This is generally not done from the goodness of his/her heart.  It is more about how you or the recipient makes him/her feel about the deed they do.  No kudos or not enough praise?  Their works become very scarce and they will become unreliable.

They have no problem recalling what they have done for you, but their memory of what you have done for them is really short.   Rather than remember the good you have done on his/her behalf, they become high minded on their own works.  This is not that they are building confidence.  This is more about the kudos which gives them the false illusion of confidence.  Little do they know that confidence comes from within.

In being high minded they become undependable, and slow to show up to do what was promised.  Once they have you in a place where you need them, they pull back— knowing you are depending on them.  This type of controlling power has meaning for them.  This feeds their ego.

They are selfish, because it is not for goodness sake that they do.  It is for the sake of being overly complimented, which is their motive behind the act, yet they are too selfish to give compliments.  Perhaps if they put out the extra compliments they require, maybe they would find out just how exhausting of a partner they are.

If you cross them, their heart becomes hardened towards you.  Crossing them is not about betrayal or deceit.  You never really make it to these levels with them.  They feel crossed by misinterpreting what you have said and how they feel about what was said.  It is the emotional minutia by which they are driven.

During times of conflict, the longer they feel, the more their accusations are false and logically unfounded.  If you bring anything accusatory, he/she will inaccurately try to parallel a similar accusation back at you.  When angered his/her feeling is beyond logic or reason.  This makes them unreasonable to deal with.  Truth is not what they are after— only the validation and security of their feelings.

They invert into an emotional cocoon and when this is done you lose the affection, and attentiveness.  The relationship is not the same again.

There is way to reverse this.  There must be a self-reality check performed by the needy partner. Truth is a necessity in order to understand that the obsessive need for extreme validation and edification is indicative of the lack of self-love and respect.  They have neglected themselves, which is why they need everyone else to pay so much attention.  Rather than look at the good they do, they need to be honest as to why they do it.  Look at the good of others, and praise their works.  If they look at their partner realistically, other than seeing them as a babysitter of their feelings, they just may learn what strength looks like and in comparison learn how to be stronger.


About dontdestroyrelationship

I am passionate about Relationships. To be in a Relationship you need skills. Some of the best skills to have are: a creative perspective, strategy in developing a win-win for both sides, be able to speak and receive honest communication, stay persistent, yet calm in conflict, some negotiation skills, and humor. These skills and more you need--- without emotion. If you have logic as the primary and emotion as secondary, there is nothing you cannot overcome in a relationship. I tell you how you bring destroyers into your relationship. Join me! It is a fascinating and revealing journey.
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4 Responses to The Emotionally Needy Partner

  1. Melissa says:

    Wow, this is my husband to a T and it is killing our marriage!!! How do I tell him this in a way that will make him understand how hard he is to live with?! I’ve already got one foot out the door, but I’m trying to stick it out for our kids. 😦

  2. Hi Melissa: I’m sorry for the delay. My computer was stolen. In answer to your question, telling him directly will cause conflict. So, you must bring the truth from a few angles. Catch him in a vulnerable state, and ask where does he see the marriage going? Or…take him out to dinner, tell him all of the good things you love about him. Ask him how can you improve the marriage. Ask him for ideas on what he can do better and how you both can help each other make improvements.

    The conversations are not happening often enough in your relationship.

    You can also present you both as a team {in conversation} where you both must give ideas on how to continually build the marriage. If your children have similar characteristics of you or your husband, you can discuss how you both can shape the children to be the best they can be. If a child is more like you, express that to your husband, and then say something like, “that may work in one case, but in another case, it could be a problem for our baby…” Proceed with a characteristic your child may have of your husband’s and do the same thing.

    Feel free to reach out, if you need more ideas!

  3. Leanne says:

    My husband of almost five years is everything you described. He found where I googled “how to live with an emotionally needy man” and told me..”I saw what you googled and just wanted to let you know that’s bs. I love him so much, but his constant need for attention is wearing me out. He is always getting mad because I don’t love on him enough. I don’t tell him I love him every five minutes or hug him every five minutes. I work 12hrs a day and we have two kids. He knows I love him but says that I don’t show it enough. What can I do to save our marriage without constantly holding back my feelings to avoid arguments. Help.

  4. Wow! That’s “BS” huh?!!! LOL

    Think about your husband’s background. Something in his past has him like this. It could be a bad relationship or a deserting parent— something. Find out where it all got started. Start there, figuring out ways to create the love he didn’t have.

    Your love should be in demonstration every day. Not only you to him—but he to you also. Often times we overlook all the love we give, because it is simply a way of living, and we forget love it there.

    Leanne, reflect on your demonstrations. Were they exhausting when you first met? How did you handle his love insecurities in the beginning? Or when you were newly married? If your love demonstrations were not exhausting back then, and you’ve strayed in some way; you must find a way to go back to that. Everything you’ve done in the beginning is the foundation of what you have.

    Think about how short life really is. In truth, one of you could possibly not make it home again. How many folk have left home and never returned because of a tragedy? Make every day count. We forget this, because we are so caught up in the exhausting days of work; so we are more focused on making a living rather than really living.

    Ideas for daily gestures of love— as an exchange between both of you are in books named, “365 ways of love…..” You can have fun without the feeling of exhaustion. And in doing this—you have documented daily proof of how you love your husband daily. In this way, he can, in no way say that you are not showing love. Don’t forget. Make him show love to you daily! He needs to be more focused on you, rather than himself all the time, while you focus on him. Then he won’t always feel the need to be needy, because he will be working on your needs!

    I wish you lot of marital happiness Leanne!

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