Jo Lambie answers whether a woman is too clingy with her partner who is independent

A clinical psychologist has opened up about a common reason women get upset with their partner – and how to avoid letting it destroy a relationship.

This week, clinical psychologist Jo Lamble talks about why we should accept our partners for who they are without trying to change them.

Question:

My partner is very independent. It’s a trait that made me fall in love with him as I was inspired by his self-assuredness, but after two years I’ve grown resentful.

I understand he wants to do his own thing sometimes, but he constantly fails to include me in his plans. When we’re together, he tells me he loves me, but he’s hardly ever home, and when we go out with friends it’s like I’m not there.

I don’t want to seem clingy or needy, but I can’t continue like this. How can I bring up my feelings without him feeling like he’s being attacked?

Answer:

Yours is such a common problem. We can fall in love with someone who is laid-back and, after a few years, see them as lazy. We can be inspired by someone’s drive and ambition but also complain that they’re a workaholic.

We can be attracted to a person’s quirky sense of humor while also wishing they would take life a little more seriously. In other words, most of us have personality traits that have an attractive side and an annoying side – they are the opposite sides of the same coin.

Your job is to decide whether you can accept your partner and everything that goes along with his extremely independent personality. You can obviously let him know that you feel excluded at times, and you would like to feel more like his partner, but he’s not going to change who he is at his core.

Compatibility relies on more than just love, attraction and having things in common. You also need to be able to accept each other – warts and all.

This story originally appeared in Body + Soul and has been reproduced with permission.

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