I consider what makes a person needy in the first place? What is the opposite of needy, independence? I look at my own life. I never had many problems with girls but in the times I did I was desperate. In times of plenty with lots of options I was very secure. I have to say that it was probably happenstance that I ended up with my wife. I had a girl I had been dating for about a year. We were living in 2 different cities, me at college, her at an internship in a city. My wife-to-be knew I had a girlfriend but expressed interest nevertheless. So I was in a position of not much risk by pursuing my wife-to-be. Had I not had a girlfriend already I probably would have had the smell of desperation on me.
I always seem to get too clingy in relationships if I really cared about the girl. In the cases where I did not have much feeling I seemed to be like crack to the girl. I think this tendency to be clingy stems from my childhood. My father was a workaholic and a quiet man at that. My mother was there and provided for my needs but never interacted with me that much and was not affectionate at all. I was not abused at all but I would say I was neglected. I don’t know if I was born sensitive or became that way. I remember being torn to shreds inside as my mother yelled at my father. I remember being torn as to wanting my parents to stay together or break up so I wouldn’t have to hear it.
So I grew up with a lonely existence without a lot of emotional safety. I seem to remember being girl crazy from an early age. I always wanted to have a girl friend. I longed for affection from girls. I never wanted to be alone and never felt good unless I was in a relationship. Again, I don’t know if I was just made this way but I suspect maybe it had something to do with my home life.
So here I am in a marriage where I have been dependent on my wife to feel normal. I am learning to look to the Lord for strength in times where I need reassurance instead of leaning so hard on my wife for it. Sometimes I really wish my wife was different–more affectionate and more feeling–but in many ways I am forced to face reality and the need to grow.
So if you have a spouse that is needy and clingy I am sure they do not want to feel that way. They do not want to drive you away, that is the last thing they want. They need help. They need counseling, hobby, friends, service work. They need to take the focus off of you and find refuge somewhere else. I imagine being on the other side must be hard and tiresome. It is a sad thing to know that being clingy and needy will in the end destroy the very thing you are depending on.