This is very common, and I work a lot with this in my Counselling practice.  If this speaks to you then it’s about being honest with yourself if you have any of these behaviours.

Needy:  Let’s look at needy and first place to start is to ask yourself, why am I needy? Where has it come from?

It’s usually from the wounded part of you, the wounded child in you. You have many parts that make up you and your life. Your partner is part of that, but not all of it. So, respecting your partner’s need for space is crucial. You both need space. It’s extremely important because I think I would get one person a week, at least, that I work with, who says, I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve totally lost my identity. I’m a shell of who I use to be. I feel empty, lonely and sad.

That’s very sad losing your identity. Instead of being an I, you’ve become a we and you’ve immersed yourself into the relationship and you don’t know who you are. You don’t know what you enjoy, what you like, what you’re passionate about, what gets you up and gets you going.

Having an empowered marriage, you must be an empowered individual and to have healed that neediness and emptiness in you.

How do you begin to not be needy? Well, first, do your work around it.  Recognise that you do it and go and work with a therapist.  It’s the wounded child in you, the unmet needs of childhood which I will go into in much more detail in future blogs and podcasts. From there, learning how to relax and not overthinking and going into that monkey mind.

Being social, having hobbies, have some of your own interests, whatever that is. For example, going surfing, boating, meditation, yoga, playing the drums, catching up with girlfriends once a month.  It doesn’t matter what it is, but it’s you as a separate individual being that separate individual. You’re not mum, you’re not wife, husband all the time. It is so very, very crucial.

When you’re needy, I think it really comes back to owning it. Really getting that you’re needy because when you’re needy, you can sometimes have low confidence or low self-esteem, low self-worth.   You’re looking outside of yourself for someone to full fill your needs. So, they are all areas that you must work on.

Naggy: When you’re Naggy you argue the fault, your complaining, you’re demanding. It’s very, very exhausting. If you’re on the receiving end of someone who is Naggy its very tiring and disempowering.

If your Naggy it’s owning it, that you do this behaviour.  An example of how nagging can appear in a marriage, the female can take on that Naggy role and she will almost become like a mother. And when you become a mother, the husband sometimes becomes almost childlike, like a son. So, you’ve got this mothers son energy happening. It’s odd and strange but is common in marriage. Also, it can be a father daughter relationship with the husband being the Nagy one.

Is this going to create intimacy? Is that going to create an empowered marriage? Are you going to be lovers? No, absolutely not. The energy that is present  there’s going to be no intimacy happening.

So the first point of call is to ask yourself, am I Naggy? And if you are, why am I Naggy? What needs am I not getting met? So being able to fulfil those needs for yourself, but also communicating clearly. Having very good communication and speaking with respect, assertiveness to be able to say what you feel and what you need and what you want.

When your Naggy, you’re not right? That’s just your take on it. And often when you’re Naggy you’re just angry. So, it’s owning that anger and asking yourself is your anger over the top. Perhaps some work needs to be done around that. It’s about being able to learn to let it go. And if you can’t, are you hitting up against your values? And if you are, then that’s the deeper question.

Asking yourself what do I want and what am I willing to do to get what I want? When we’re Naggy, we don’t like who we are. We’re not happy in ourselves, we’re not feeling empowered in ourselves. So, it is deciding to stop, introduce some of your own inner work. Why am I Naggy? And you’ve got to shift it and change that behaviour. It is a choice.

Controlling:  If you’re in a marriage with someone who’s controlling, I believe it kills a marriage because if you’re on the receiving end of someone who’s controlling, you will not share your inner world with that person because you’re scared of the reaction, your living on egg shells, have anxiety and a feeling of unease.  Little by little, you begin to lose your identity because you shut different parts of you down. To be in an empowered marriage, it’s for you to be all of you very authentically and very, real.

It is for that person to own and understand why they may be controlling.  There are many reasons we are controlling.  We can have a lot of childhood wounds that we haven’t healed, and we need to be in control because if we are in control, we feel safe. I know at times, particularly when my children were growing up, I have three sons and I had to be in control. And if I wasn’t in control, I’d feel unsafe. And then what would happen?  I would suffer with a lot of anxiety and which lead on to anger.

There’s two parts to this. You may be on the receiving end of someone who’s controlling, or you are controlling. Being controlling is very masculine, a masculine energy. You may live a lot in that energy, and you’ve disowned your feminine side. We all have masculine and feminine energy. The feminine side is an energy that’s softer. It’s compassion, it’s love, it’s nurturing feminine energy. It moves and flows like a stream. It’s a very different energy and we all need to embrace both. If you are controlling, perhaps you need to do some work around your feminine energy allowing that part of you to be present which takes being vulnerable.

If I go back 16 years ago you don’t look at me, don’t come near me and definitely don’t touch me. I had short black hair and a tough shell. It’s like I had to be in control, and I let very few people into my inner world.  I had disowned my feminine side and was more in my masculine energy.  This can also be the case for some men who are raised to not show their feelings, boys don’t cry and push down emotions.

Allowing both energies to be fully in your world allows freedom, creativity, spontaneous choice, love, openness, respect resulting in an empowered marriage.

Freedom to be fully yourself without needing to be Needy, Nagy and controlling can result in a beautiful, loving, intimate relationship, being lovers and best friends and a strong empowered marriage.