Feel like your partner is too clingy? Has it become a potential deal-breaker for the relationship? Your relationship doesn’t have to end because of clinginess. However, it is important to address this issue before it develops into codependency. Check out this guide to learn how to deal with a clingy partner.
Find the Underlying Source of Clingy Behavior
The clingy behavior is coming from somewhere. Your partner may have deep-seated insecurities about himself/herself or the relationship as a whole. Maybe your partner has trust issues from past relationships or traumatic experiences. Perhaps there is a history of infidelity that makes your partner mistrusting. Identifying the root issue will help you address the clinginess.
Address These Issues through Counseling and Conversation
Couples counseling is a great platform for identifying issues and finding solutions. Whether you choose to go through counseling or not, you need to find ways to address the underlying issues. For instance, if your partner is clingy because of insecurities, you can work on building his or her self-esteem. If the clinginess comes from a bad breakup in the past, remind your partner that you are not that other person. In therapy, you can learn evidence-based communication strategies to resolve conflicts and strengthen the bond in your relationship.
Set Healthy Boundaries in Your Relationship
To prevent codependency, you need to set healthy boundaries in your relationship. Your partner may have never been in a healthy relationship, or he/she may have only seen examples of toxic relationships in the past. Setting boundaries will encourage both of you to remain independent.
What kinds of boundaries should you set? That will depend on your relationship. If your partner insists on being with you for all social functions, establish that you will go to certain events on your own. If your partner calls shortly after you leave the house, don’t answer the phone. Let him or her know that it’s acceptable to have no communication for a brief stretch of time. If your partner goes through your phone, change your password and explain that you are not okay with that behavior. You can create boundaries that work for you and your relationship.
Determine If This Relationship Is a Good Fit for You
At the end of the day, you have to decide if this relationship is worth working through. Will clinginess always be an issue, or is it something that can change over time? Are you willing to wait while your partner works through his or her insecurities and trust issues? Do you feel like this relationship is damaging your own mental health? Be honest about your feelings and intentions.
If you are interested in individual counseling or couples counseling, we provide those services at Oakland Psychological Clinic. We have multiple therapist offices in Michigan, and we accept insurance at all of them. Contact the location nearest to you to schedule an appointment.