Nobody likes neediness, least of all women.
At least that’s what we’re taught by every relationship coach from A to Z…
But what exactly is neediness and how can you truly overcome it?
I have a surprising answer that will help you turn your marriage around.
12 ways to stop being a needy husband
1) Turn the tables
Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown recently made a video which I relate to a lot.
As a person who’s also spent long periods of time single and struggled with feeling overly needy, Justin’s words really resonated with me.
Justin’s video is about being needy and desiring the attention and validation of romantic partners or someone you are interested in.
Here’s the key difference:
Instead of all the thousands of dating videos out there telling you to care less, play it cool and stop being needy, Justin does something much more useful…
He takes a look at the beneficial and authentic side of neediness.
But what about taking a quick look at the other side of the issue?
What are some ways in which neediness is actually valid and sometimes beneficial?
2) Beating yourself up vs. being realistic
In order to address this subject properly, we need to take a look at two different ways of being needy.
The first topic here is the subject of need in general.
Let’s be clear: it’s not wrong or “weak” to need something.
We all need oxygen. We all need food. We all need a certain body temperature to remain physically alive.
At the same time, need can become weakness and a mistake when it becomes self-sabotage or disempowerment.
In other words:
If I’m in the wild and need to eat and then do everything I can to hunt or find plants to eat, my need has transformed to action and fulfillment.
But if I’m in the same scenario and my need only leads to me complaining, crying and screaming at God why he doesn’t provide food, my need has become a form of weakness and a critical mistake.
It’s the same with love and marriage.
Needing your spouse is great, but it must be backed up by action, confidence and what you bring to the table!
If it’s just entitlement and expectation, it will backfire badly.
3) Balance space with togetherness
The thing about being needy in a relationship is that it’s all a matter of balance.
If you never needed your wife she’d be just as upset or more as she is with you being overly clingy. Think about it.
There’s nothing wrong with having a strong desire for your partner, and it could be argued that it’s certainly better than the opposite issue.
Why do we get so down on neediness?
There’s a secret that many pickup artists, dating coaches and gurus never tell you about neediness:
Trying to force yourself not to be needy and to appear non-needy is actually much more unattractive than just being honest about being needy and a bit lonely or seeking validation.
So what! You want some validation, some physical intimacy, some great conversations?
That’s perfectly fine, and embracing your need for that can, ironically, be the way to overcome your insecurity and shame about being needy or “incomplete.”
4) Build a purpose-driven life
In his outstanding 2002 book the Purpose-Driven Life, bestselling author Rick Warren talks about how important purpose is for our own fulfillment.
He’s absolutely, 100% correct.
And you don’t need to be religious like Warren to follow this advice, either.
The fact is this:
Before you can experience a real change and stop being such a needy guy who leans on your wife, you need to really know your purpose.
And before heading out on a new mission solo or with a partner or friends, you want to firmly know why you’re doing it and what your purpose is in life.
I learned about the power of finding your purpose from watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself.
Justin used to be addicted to the self-help industry and New Age gurus just like I did. They sold him on ineffective visualization and positive thinking techniques.
Four years ago, he traveled to Brazil to meet the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, for a different perspective.
Rudá taught him a life-changing new way to find your purpose and use it to transform your life.
After watching the video, I also discovered and understood my purpose in life and it’s no exaggeration to say it was a turning point in my life.
I can honestly say that this new way of finding success by finding your purpose actually helped me to appreciate each day instead of being stuck in the past or daydreaming about the future.
5) The importance of self-control
Let me be perfectly clear:
If you’re texting and calling your wife at all hours, asking for updates on how she’s feeling about the marriage constantly and demanding intimacy from her at every second, then you’re doing it wrong.
You need to stop.
But if you’re showing interest in your wife, letting her know you care deeply what she thinks and value her love for you and respecting her time while asking for more of it, you’re doing it right.
There’s nothing wrong with being a bit needy, as long as you have basic self-control.
If you’re letting your neediness run your life and jamming your hand in the cookie jar 24/7 then you’re going to lose her interest and frustrate the hell out of her.
But if you also try to be cool and distant and push down that longing you have for her love, you’re going to blow up the marriage just as badly.
The secret lies in a happy medium: showing your need and desire without using it as a constant theme at all times.
It’s great to show that you need her in your life. It’s awful to demonstrate that you have no life without her.
There’s a huge difference.
6) The danger of self-doubt
As Justin talks about, when we beat ourselves up for being needy, we forget about its pluses.
Think about some of the positives that being needy (to a reasonable extent) shows:
- It shows you’re genuine and have strong emotions
- It shows you care enough about someone to value their feelings and opinion of you
- It shows that you’re not just looking for a short-term fling
- It shows that you’re able to commit to what you want and pursue it
That’s not nothing!
When I think of all my female friends who’ve complained about guys who never go after what they want, Justin’s point is only made all the stronger…
Women don’t like overly needy guys, absolutely.
But women hate guys who show no interest or need, no matter what some pickup guru online tells you.
It’s detached, unattractive and kind of boring to show a complete lack of interest or flirt with no actual attachment to the outcome at all.
Sure, you might get laid from an insecure girl who perceives you as high value in that immediate context, but you’re not going to be building a relationship of any real worth off that kind of juvenile tomfoolery.
7) Get an outside perspective
As I said, I used to be very needy.
Luckily, I’m now completely balanced and never feel needy about what any girl thinks of me who I like (I hope you can tell I’m being sarcastic about that).
But the point is:
I have decreased my over-neediness and learned to live my own life.
I still don’t take rejection well, and I still come on a bit too strong, but I’ve been learning a lot about what Justin mentions in his video: embracing my desire for a serious partner as a good thing, not a weakness.
If you’re wanting answers to the same thing, you may want insights more tailored to your specific situation.
After all, we all have a different dating history and personal situation.
While the suggestions in this article will help you deal with decreasing your needy behavior around your wife, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice tailored to the specific issues you’re facing in your love life.
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people navigate complex and difficult love situations, like feeling dependent on your partner. They’re popular because they genuinely help people solve problems.
Why do I recommend them?
Well, after going through difficulties in my own love life, I reached out to them a few months ago.
After feeling helpless for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship, including practical advice on how to overcome the issues I was facing.
I was blown away by how genuine, understanding and professional they were.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice specific to your situation.
8) Anxious-avoidant or just really attracted?
You hear a lot in the relationship psychology field about anxious-avoidant behavior.
Let’s be honest: It’s a real thing.
The basic concept is this: an anxious partner is afraid of not being good enough or being left behind. They seek extra attention and validation from their wife and do everything they can to reassure that part of them which feels unwanted or inadequate.
The avoidant partner feels uncomfortable with intimacy and stifled by too much neediness from others. They often end up with anxious partners who get more and more desperate the less attention the avoidant partner shows.
The cycle becomes increasingly toxic and usually ends in heartbreak, as you can imagine.
But it’s important to keep in mind that wanting someone a lot and them being a bit distant can be an entirely healthy and natural part of the seduction process in romance.
Sometimes it’s just part of the dance.
9) How to tell the difference
The best way to tell the difference between being anxious and stuck in an AA relationship or just being highly attracted is to look at the patterns in your marriage.
Are you constantly replaying the same scripts and fights over and over in your relationship?
Or are you just finding that it’s going through various stages as you sometimes feel needy (and maybe your wife also has other times of increased neediness for your attention and presence)?
Think about this, because it’s important to diagnosis whether you’re stuck in AA holding pattern or just very attracted to your wife.
10) Clingy or just cuddly?
Not everything is about intense love and sex. Sometimes you just want a simple touch and the presence of your wife.
If that’s you, don’t worry:
There’s a big difference between being clingy and cuddly.
Clingy people can be very frustrating, and I’ve experienced it myself with some girls.
But affection is something else entirely and can be very pleasing and reassuring when you’re attracted to someone.
Which brings me to the next point…
To be completely honest when I think about my own experiences and how others have reacted to me expressing interest I have also realized something.
It wasn’t my needy behavior that necessarily drove anyone away, it was their lack of strong interest in me in the first place.
And it wasn’t necessarily the clingy behavior of women which made me dodge some of them in the past, it was that I wasn’t that interested in them to start with.
Don’t worry too much about being clingy. To the right person you will be cuddly!
11) Get to the roots
Neediness isn’t bad or wrong, as I’ve tried to emphasize in this article and Justin points out in his video.
Embracing your need for companionship and validation is one of the best ways to stop being a detached and avoidant person.
But if you find that your neediness is also going too far, then you may want to address some of its more troublesome and unattractive aspects.
In this regard, you are best off getting to the roots of this neediness and craving for validation and reassurance.
In many cases, it starts in childhood, often from a fear of abandonment or feeling inadequate.
Sometimes it’s just about overall confidence.
Life’s knocks and bruises have brought you to the point where you feel like unless others give you a stamp of approval, you’re not good enough.
But the truth is that it’s the opposite.
Think about it:
How would you feel if you knew for a fact that others around you were actually seeking out your stamp of approval without you realizing it?
The tables would be completely turned, wouldn’t they?
All those girls you thought were out of reach? Within reach, but sabotaged by your own framework.
All those jobs you thought were above you? Below you, but not obtained because of your belief that you need to get positive feedback from others.
Here’s my point: your belief that you need others to approve isn’t necessarily based in reality at all. It’s based in you.
Once you let it go – including embracing the fact that you’re sometimes needy! (so what!?) – then you begin to become much more empowered, attractive and ready for something serious.
“In many cases, being needy stems from a misconception that you need others around at all times for help and support.
However, you’ll soon recognize that you’re able to have achievements on your own, and that it’s okay to spend time alone and do things without relying on others.”
12) Living your own life doesn’t mean being lonely
As I said at the beginning of this article, most dating gurus and relationship coaches will tell you that being needy is an attraction-killer.
They’re both right and wrong.
Being too needy and weak is worse than a mouth full of rotten teeth and a serious STD.
But being too detached and “above it all” is also a huge turn-off for any woman looking for a high-quality long-term relationship.
The key, as I’ve discussed, is somewhere in the middle.
It’s OK to be needy. In fact, it’s good. You just need to own it, moderate it and be conscious of it.
Needing another person isn’t wrong. But making them into your personal idol and savior is a bad idea, and is something else entirely.
Know the difference, live the difference, experience the difference.
Leaving neediness in the dust
Leaving toxic neediness in the dust is all about claiming your personal power.
When you understand that you don’t need anyone else to validate or complete you, then you can become the kind of person your wife always needed.
Embracing beneficial neediness is also all about claiming your personal power.
When you understand that it’s perfectly healthy and confident to be attracted to someone and care what they think, you defuse the devalidation.
You owned your neediness. You moderated it. You embraced and were conscious of it.
Your wife will sense that and respond positively, because the truth about attraction is this:
It’s not about being needy or aloof, nor is it about being super handsome or rich. It’s about owning yourself and taking conscious ownership of who you are and why.
Once you do that, everything else will fall into place one way or another, including in your marriage.