Perhaps there is a bit of truth in the adage, ‘Women do not know what they want.’ When he is always around her, she complains, “I am dating a clingy man.”
By Catherine Tamale and Vicky Wandawa
Perhaps there is a bit of truth in the adage, ‘Women do not know what they want.’ When he is always around her, she complains, “I am dating a clingy man.” And when he lives his life minus her, she says, “he is never around.”
Tina, who did not want to be fully identified, has been married for six years. She says she was proud of her marriage, but has started having doubts about it.
“I do not know how much longer I can stand his clingy behaviour. I own a salon, but as soon as he leaves work at about 5:00pm, he comes to the salon after taking the children home. I receive most of my corporate clients after 5:00pm and many of them give him questioning stares. He is always there with me. And the whole weekend as well.”
Tina says one time, a newly-wed female client confided in her: “You are lucky your husband is always with you. I have to chase after mine to get him to stay at home with me.”
“Little did she know I would kill for such a husband. My husband seems focused on me; where I am, what I am up to. He has no hobbies or interests to keep him busy,” says Tina At home, she adds, “He is not any different. On returning from work, he watches television or reads a magazine, but he is always around.”
What’s more, Tina says she makes the ultimate decisions on most issues in the home, which she believes should be her husband’s duty.
“There are times I feel like he is my fi rst-born. I fi nd him immature. Though I sort of noticed his clinginess while we dated, I did not take it seriously,” she says.
Tina recalls that while they dated at university, he was unusually tight-marking. She had a room- mate who had many male friends and whenever he came to visit and found them around, he would become moody and propose that they go to a restaurant.
Tina says he would call her all the time and also make surprise visits to her room. But then, she felt like a princess with a servant, always checking up on her. “One time I was invited to a reunion dinner by a friend. While there, he called me and I told him where I was.
To my surprise, within an hour, I saw him being ushered in and he immediately started looking around for me.” First forward to marriage, his behaviour has not changed a bit and Tina feels trapped. She confesses that sometimes she feels like shouting:
“Get out of the house and go find something to do without me.”
And when she has her friends over, he sits around, desperately trying to fi t in. Not even the irritated stares from Tina’s friends during their girly talk are enough signal that he should be somewhere else, with the boys, perhaps.
“I am fed up. I do not have time for myself and my friends. I never go out without him. His behaviour is making my life miserable,” she says.
What the counsellor says
Brenda Nalukwago, a counsellor at Makerere University, says such men may have a nice personality, but their only undoing is the clinginess.
“They look for a girl to hang onto because they do not know how to make themselves happy. They depend on their partners to get happiness because they feel empty inside,” Nalukwago says.
She says while it is great to have a caring guy, having him around you all the time is tantamount to suffocation.
“We all need our personal space, but clingy men cannot understand this. He will get jealous of your independence and the fact that you can create your own happiness because he cannot be happy, unless he is with you.”
According to Nalukwago, such a man might feel threatened by anything that might make the lady pay less attention to him or spend most of her time away from him.
She says dialogue and counseling are necessary for such a man because he must learn to stand on his own in order to have a healthy relationship.
Help, he is always tight-marking me