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5 Signs You’re Emotionally Suffocating Your Husband

Are you in an emotionally suffocating relationship – and is it your fault? These tips will help you learn how dangerous emotional suffocation can be and how to stop suffocating your husband.

If you haven’t heard of healthy relationship boundaries, you’re in the right place. Learning about healthy boundaries will help you stop emotionally suffocating your husband. This is an important concept for women who tend to be a little needy and thus get over-involved in their marriages (which leads to emotional suffocation).

Boundaries are healthy, and offer space to move and grow. If you haven’t read any of the “Boundaries” books by Cloud and Townsend, start with Boundaries in Marriage. This book offers excellent advice for creating a strong marriage and for being healthy in all types of relationships. The healthier you are, the better your marriage will be…and the less you’ll need to emotionally suffocate your husband.

Of course, connection is important in a love and marriage – but there’s a difference between connection and suffocation. Suffocation smothers and kills relationships, and can destroy the love you’re trying so hard to protect. Focusing too much on your husband can destroy your marriage, which is ironic because your goal is to be closer! This is why healthy boundaries are so important; too much togetherness and emotional meshing can make your husband feel smothered. This is as unhealthy as emotional disconnection because it suffocates your husband. Ultimately, this will destroy your marriage.

What is Intimacy Overload?

Intimacy overload isn’t discussed as much as lack of intimacy or fear of intimacy. After all, we know that talking about your feelings, thoughts, and past experiences is part of a healthy relationship. You don’t need psychologists, counselors, or doctors to tell you that strong relationships are founded on communication and trust!

However, there is a limit to how much intimacy your husband can tolerate before he feels suffocated.If you depend on him for constant affirmation, unconditional love, and total protection – then you may be expecting too much from him. This is intimacy overload, and it’s one of the warning signs of a bad relationship. If you rely on your husband to increase your self-esteem, fulfill your needs, and discuss every emotion you feel, then you’re flirting with intimacy overload. This will drive your husband away. He’ll feel emotionally suffocated.

Signs You’re Suffocating Your Partner Emotionally
5 Signs You’re Suffocating Your Husband Emotionally

If you have excessive expectations in your marriage — such as unreasonable or unrealistic demands for your husband’s time, affection, or energy — then you run the risk of overwhelming him with your needs. You’ll suffocate your husband because he can’t meet your emotional demands.

Intimacy overload often involves blurred boundaries (which is why it’s good to read books about healthy emotional boundaries in marriage). Sometimes there is no line between two people — and this is unhealthy and suffocating. Blurred boundaries mean there are too many emotional demands, too much togetherness, and too much criticism in a marriage. Your husband’s feelings of suffocation and your emotional control becomes impossible to ignore, and neither you nor your husband are happy.

5 Signs You’re Suffocating Your Husband

  1. You feel like your husband is withdrawing from you, emotionally or physically.
  2. Friends and family tell you that you may be smothering your husband.
  3. You don’t feel comfortable going to events or doing activities on your own.
  4. You never feel like you can get close enough to your husband.
  5. Your husband tells you he feels suffocated (the biggest, strongest sign of emotional suffocation in a marriage!).

Are you emotionally suffocating your husband?

If you’re searching for information on emotional suffocation in a marriage, then you’re probably suffocating your husband. Maybe he told you that you’re crowding or smothering him, or you have a feeling you’re unhealthy emotionally. Deep down, you know you feel insecure, anxious and worried in your marriage.

Your husband may react to emotional suffocation by retreating and withdrawing. Men pull away when they feel emotionally suffocated in their marriages. Some therapists and counselors (and regular people) call it going into his “man cave.” Your husband will tune out when he feels like you’re suffocating him. Perhaps he’ll withdraw into his work, hobbies, or friends.

An extreme reaction to emotional suffocation in marriage is having an affair. Read Why Your Husband Cheated: A Marriage Style That “Allows” Affairs to learn more.

8 Ways to Stop Smothering Your Husband

Good news — you can stop emotionally suffocating your husband! Especially now that you know what you’re doing and how destructive it can be. Here are several ways to allow spaces in the togetherness of your marriage.

  1. Take time for yourself.
  2. Give your husband time, space, and room to breathe – both literally and metaphorically.
  3. Balance your need for intimacy with your husband’s need for space.
  4. Enjoy your own hobbies and interests. Stay in touch with yourself.
  5. Take time away from one another – “Let there be spaces in your togetherness,” said Rumi.
  6. Cultivate your own friendships, apart from your husband.
  7. Know who you are as a person, separate from him.
  8. Develop your own spiritual, personal, social, and professional self. Not knowing who you are can lead to insecurity and boredom, which in turn can lead you to emotionally suffocate your husband because you have nothing “better” to do.

The best way to stop suffocating your husband is to get as emotionally healthy as possible. How spiritually whole and centered are you? What’s your relationship with God like? How do you see yourself? Where do you get your identity and self-image?

Another important way to give your husband space is to mix autonomy and independence with interdependence and togetherness. When a healthy balance of connectedness and separateness exists, both you and your husband will feel happy in your marriage. You’ll have realistic expectations and mutual respect. You won’t struggle with “intimacy overload” and you won’t rely on your husband for your self-esteem.

A great way to give your husband healthy emotional space is to let him go. I don’t mean leave or divorce him! Rather, I mean creating spaces in your togetherness. Give him time and room to move and grow. 

Your comments — big and little — are welcome below! What do you think about these signs of emotional suffocation, and my tips for giving your husband room to breathe?

Are you struggling with your relationship? Get free help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.


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38 thoughts on “5 Signs You’re Emotionally Suffocating Your Husband”

  1. My husband says he loves me but is not in love with me that he feels trapped and suffocated. We work together which works fantastic and come home together we don’t really do anything on our own mainly because I sulk if he wants to do something without me.We also emigrated 3 years ago to a new country.He said he’s felt like this for a while .Hebsaid he’s mentally exhausted and needs to find him. All I’ve done for the last year is complain about me, He says I need to love me so he can see me.He said he prepared to try and make it work but we both have to realise it might not. What can I do to fix this? Can it be fixed

  2. I needed to read this. I didn’t realize that feeling of being smothered has been the root cause of the issues that have been going on recently.

  3. That sucks to feel like this. No one should, your partner is someone who should let you look forward to the relationship. I think you should try to rework your relationship or leave.

  4. Laurie,
    I am 55 years old and should know all this but in truth I have no clue who I am. I have met a man that I need to give distance too but I cant breath for fear. The fear of being alone. The funny thing I am alone already. I have experience being a mom and wife. That was who I was and now my kids are grown up and my marriage is over after 27 years. its been 5 years. I would have thought I would know who I am by now, but I have not clue. I hope I can use your tips to help me through this very ruff spots in life. I hope I can figure out who I am..

  5. It’s amazing when I see somebody learn from their research and attemp to make the relationship better instead of blaming the other side. You sound like a great woman for trying to understand his side of matters and compromise!

  6. I noticed a lot of complaints in the reviews, but this is a perfect description of my wife and me with the perfect advice to help us. We love each other and we’re both good people but we have very different wants on the amount of time we spend together. When she gives me more freedom, it makes me want to give her better quality time; when she complains and guilts, it makes me want to get away even more and leads to arguments. The key is that we’re both willing to give the effort. Some of the comments below seem to include husbands/boyfriends who don’t want to give back and that might require a deeper evaluation of your relationship.

  7. I can relate to this so much. Great article. I KNOW I’m suffocating him; I’ve also lost my sense of self over the years. This is solid advice, thank you.

  8. I understand all this, but what happens when it’s been so long since your partner has given you any soda love or affection for affirmation or attention that more space just feels more lonely?

    I hardly ever see any articles about how a man can create intimacy for their woman while they’re retreating. Why is it always the woman’s job to give them space so that they come closer. It doesn’t always happen

  9. The only thing I take issue with is that it’s from the viewpoint that it’s the woman suffocating the man. This isn’t the only article like this that I’ve noticed it. Quite frankly men can be just as suffocating.

  10. Hi Laurie,

    I believe I left comments here before about my ex-girlfriend who got pregnant by someone in 2014.

    To recap, She came back and pretended to be in a relationship with me. But in reality she used me for my money most of the time. This lasted till the April of 2017.

    Within that time she and her baby father weren’t on good terms. So they parted ways basically. Instead of coming back to me fully she gone with another guy and pregnant again last year and gave birth May of this year.

    To my surprise (not really surprised), she called me a day after given birth but I have blocked her but I know she called. When she realized she’s been blocked, she came to my house last Friday to ‘hello’. Today she started texting as usual and I asked her what she wants?. She said she wants to see if we can work things out?. This was the same thing she said in 2014 when she pregnant.

    Having put that in mind, I reminded her about that and that I’m actually in love with her friend whom I met and have been talking to since late 2017 but her friend doesn’t seem comfortable with that. So I let my ex know about it today and then she said “good luck”.

    I may not have the chance to have her friend and I may still be in love with my ex. But for the fact that she has 2 babies by 2 fathers, and the recent one lasted just a year and her baby is just 5 months old, I don’t think it is wise to give in at this time. And I am so sure she’s still going to be disturbing me. She’s immature and there is no guarantee that she won’t be trying to use me again. But obviously I won’t allow that since it happened before.

    I just wanna see if I can get a piece of advice from here?

  11. My husband is the suffocating one! I am more of an independent person and prefer space. I know when my boundaries are being crossed. My husband is tough and stern at work, but a whiny, emotional baby at home w/me. I cannot tolerate that. I think we both need to change. I was raised in a single parent household w/no father and my mother raised me to be a hard ass. I never learned much about expressing feelings and emotions. It was work and/or go to school after I graduate high school. No housewife crap. lol How do I change this?

  12. In my case, it’s the other around. My husband crowds, gropes and smothers me to no end. I hate it and feel like screaming. It is draining and stressful. He doesn’t respect when I tell him he is doing these things and continues. If ever I am single again I never want to be in a relationship ever, ever, ever again!

  13. I met this guy at the beginning of this year, we became friends. He runs a shop downstairs same building where I stay. We became friends up until June, I never saw him with any woman, though there is a lot of girls who want him. Then it happened last month (October) my folks were out of the country and I had to watch their house, the guy came the other day we spent a night together but we didn’t sleep together. Mind you we have been talking about being in a relationship together but he would say he is scared. But now that m looking after my parents house he would come every now and again and we ended up having sex together. Honestly I did regret it cause even after we did it he wasn’t so happy cause he broke his plan/promise.

    But he kept on coming back for more and I was enjoying the whole stupid thing we were doing, and I fell strongly in love with him, yes he would say he loves me. But I didn’t trust that.

    My parents came back and I had to move back to my place, I gave him the key for the gate cause I know he close his shop very late. But hello he didn’t come to say hi or check on me.

    Mind you we have different religion, m a Christian and he is a Muslim, at the beginning of everything I told him that I don’t know if my Church people or my parents will be happy to hear that m dating a Muslim. I don’t want them to know for now. And he also said the same. That he doesn’t know how to tell them.

    I miss him, we see each other every time in his shop, he send me WhatsApp messages everyday to tell me that he loves me. But i feel like it’s not enough, he doesn’t want to be seen with me yet, and another confusing thing there is this girl who always cooks for him and he says its his friend. And he doesn’t eat the food cause the girl is Christian.

    He does make time to go to her salon but he doesn’t make time to be with me. Like just to be together. All he does is to send me messages. Love messages. I love him a lot, I honestly haven’t seen him with anyone not unless he’s doing the same thing he’s doing with me. Hiding our relationship in the name of religion. I don’t know what to think and I don’t want to be hurt. I can’t even ask his friends cause I don’t want them to know. What are we doing exactly?

  14. my partner is exactly the opposite I want to be close to her and she wants to do as she pleases when she wants
    she wants to keep her EX in her life , she wants to go out to lunch with him and exchange presents , include him in family things , Is he an EX or what is he ?
    I dont keep in contact with my EX , I have found who i want in her , so what gives ?

  15. I have been married for 14 years now, with 2 teenage boys. 6 years ago my husband started messaging another woman and i found out, we nearly split but didn’t, we decided to give our marriage another go and i thought we were doing well until this week I have found out that he is calling and texting her again. He struggles to communicate what is going on with him and I have spoken to her and she has deep feelings for him even thinks she loves him but she is recovering from her partner being unfaithful and i think he is her shoulder to cry on and I now think that I have been emotionally smothering him. Only through reading this article have I realised that my marriage and me being a mother is the main part of me, he said something to me which made me search out this article. He said that he has no friends of his own that everything is ours and that he can’t talk to anyone about me. I am going to take the advise in this article and do some soul searching as I now realise that I am completely dependant and his love and affection and i don’t want to destroy what we have because i think it’s worth fighting for. I just hope it’s not too late and that he will wait for me to get my head straight.

  16. I was in a new relationship that began this February. It progressed fast. He moved fast yet seemed sincere and loving open and ready for exploring a committed relationship with me. Everytime he visited me (and traveled 4 hours) we deepened our connection and he spoke of the future and commented on what an amazing mom I’d be. From the beginning I said thank you AND it’s still the beginning and I’d like to see where our connection could lead. I started to trust him and thought we would have the spring and summer and fall to know one another to see if it might be a good fit- if it was I was planning on moving onto his boat (he invited me to do this and asked if that’s something I would consider).

    Anyhow- he cut his last visit short and had to pick up his dog at his parents house. His grandma was going into the hospital unexpectedly. I was a little more sad this time when he left and I have a habit (that I think I’ll stop) of writing him sweet things as he’s driving away. The last thing he said is “would you come up and visit me soon?”

    No answer for two days- so I asked why he was acting out of his baseline. He said his grandma died and he’s grieving immensely and having trouble processing. After that I didn’t hear back for a week. He wouldn’t pick up the phone or answer my texts.

    I was very direct and understanding that he might need space/time to process and be on his own and that he is important to me and also my relationship to me is important. I may or may have driven him away by asking if he was being distant because he needs time/space on his own because of his grandma and to take care of his life- or if he had a change of heart to tell me and prefereably to call.

    Things were going so well- so I thought. The last I wee saw/spoke together was March 28. He wrote me a text that was not very direct but I think he broke up with me. After that he stopped responding to my texts and my calls would go right to voicemail.

    It seems like the relationship is over and I have a tendancy to lose hope. I wish I had remained more calm and not texted/called in those early days of withdrawl- but I thought we were closer and I trusted he would call me back and that wasn’t such a big deal or request. We had been seeing one another for a while, had been intimate, and were speaking about future possibilities.

    I’m not even sure if his grandma died or if it was an excuse.

    When I said through text I was interested in seeing where this relationship would lead what I meant was that I did not know what would happen, but I felt comfortable in committing to the process of really seeing what is there.

    Do you have any insight? Is all hope lost here?
    I stopped calling and texting about two weeks ago and I am not going too.

    I’m feeling sad because we seemed like a good match initially.

  17. I can completely relate to a husband who is there ALL the time! It feels like you just can’t breath sometimes. I thought the same thing about this article, that it was speaking to a female audience. Males suffocate the significant other in relationships too. I feel like running away sometimes!

  18. I have been in a very serious and committed relationship for 5 years. I really love my guy and we have had our share of fights but we are still strong and we have our fair share of restrictions on each other as well. Mainly related to the opposite sex. I don’t have an issue with having restrictions in the relationship cause i was brought up in a family with restrictions too and I’m used to it. Usually i don’t rebel much and listens. In the relationship there has been a couple of girls who tried flirting with him and i told him to stop talking and a couple of guys who tried flirting with me and i stopped talking cause he doesn’t like. An year back i met a guy whom i gave a very embarrassing first impression of myself and a few months later we had to co-captain an event at office. We grew pretty close through that and our friendship hit it off instantly. It was the kind of friendship where we either became bestfriends or something more. We were almost together everyday running everywhere to get stuff done and we became really close in a matter of few days where we even started talking about personal things like relationships and gave advice to each other. My friends love bugging me with anything that i do and they started bugging me with this just to get a rile from my boyfriend. My guy never admitted that he was jealous of the guy but we started having issues and it was not related to the guy and there were a few unavoidable circumstances where he had issues about the two of us having to go to places together. After the event was over our friendship didn’t end and we continued talking in office chat almost everyday at the beginning. But my guy didn’t like it and i reduced the amount that i talked to this guy. But our friendship continued and my guy friend had a break up and i was helping him throughout the phase. My friends suspected that he had feelings for me with the way he treated me cause he did small things which were really thoughtful and was always very attentive to me. It felt different from what i have experienced because my guy is not very showy of his feelings and is not much of a thoughtful person cause he doesn’t know how to do those. I liked the feeling it gave me and at one point even thought that i had feelings for him too. Not very strong but it was there a bit. But i soon grew out of it cause I’m in love with my boyfriend. Our friendship never escalated into anything more but was just there. The amount we spoke to each other reduced a bit more to about talking to each other once a week or so but we continued talking. I got a transfer to the same building where my friend was and left the department where me and my guy worked together. I was not in the same floor nor department as my friend but he was excited that i was at the same building and with a bunch of other friends we had lunch everydy. The two of us grew very close to the point where he told me about all of his secrets and i told him all of mine. We understood each other like no other and grew really close and calles oueselves each others best friends. He was jealous when i was too close to another guy friend even if that friend has been my best guy friend before him. I was his wing woman and i got him the perfect girl for him and whenever they had issues they both spoke to me and i gave advices and they resolved whatever issues they had with me as their advisor. I have told everything to my guy and he was okay with my friendship with this guy and we didn’t have any issues like when i first became friends with this guy. In the meantime a girl i knew cause of netball got to know my boyfriend when he came to watch me play, without my knowledge got my boyfriend into their clan in COC and got his number and had started texting him. My guy never told me and when i was on his phone playing games i got to know that they were texting each other. When i asked him about it he was saying that he didn’t think it was a big deal to tell me about it. (This girl was never close to me and we never texted each other) i was okay at that point and didn’t make anything out of it. But as days passed it became excessive where he was texting her when we were out on office trips and when we were on dates. When i asked he said that he never initiates a convo and was only replying according to what she sends. I became annoyed and told him to have a limit. Things got too far to the point where he hung out with her and her friends without caring if i liked it or not and on days i was unable to make it and even dropped her which was out of his way but was an alternate route to his place as she lives close to me. She has a boyfriend who was a friend of mine before they even started dating but a guy that i stopped talking to because my guy thought that he was flirting which was not true. However we kept having fights for this and he kept on bringing up my guy best friend whenever we had issues and we came to a point where we both agreed to stop talking to our respective friends to avoid anymore issues. I know that my guy would never cheat on me. And our relationship is very stable with parents support on both parties and with future marriage plans. But these issues became constant. It always came cause of that other girl as they texted everyday all the time which me and my bestfriend never did. She knew that i do not like her and even voiced it out to my guy but never stopped talking. Whenever we had fights my guy kept on bringing up my friendship with my best friend and kept using that against me. Now we both stopped talking to our friends to save the relationship. I told my best friend all of it and we decided not to talk to each other till we try and somehow solve this issue. Now things are getting really hard at work as i have to avoid lunch with my friends and eat alone, my friend is being very supportive trying to make me eat with our friends and not turning up. But it hurts both of us. He voiced it out to me and said that he misses me. He does everything at work to avoid me but whenever we bump into each other after not saying more than just a hi, be comes back and says that its hard for him to do that. Which is the same for me cause i miss my best friend in my life. We have been too close to each other all this time its hard to avoid something that has been constant for the past one year in my life. My guy complained once about losing his friend cause of me but never said anything anymore cause I responded the same. I don’t know what i need to do anymore as my guy friend clearly hates my guy now and I’m torn in the middle of them at work related stuff. I miss sharing secrets with my best friend and talking to him when i go through hard times. As in my case my boyfriend and my best friend are two different guys they are both very important to me. I don’t want to lose either of them. Please advice what I should do.

  19. Dear Ricky,

    Recovering from the painful aftermath of an affair is difficult – and it takes time. My friend’s husband had an affair, and she said it took them 5 years to fully rebuild their marriage and learn how to trust each other again. They went for counseling, and relied on their shared faith to bring them through.

    Have you and your wife talked to a counselor? That is often a helpful way for couples to re-establish themselves. And, if you’re struggling to stop suffocating your wife emotionally, I encourage you to talk to a counselor on your own. Learn what you’re missing in your relationship, and how your wife can help you.

    I also encourage you to read books about recovering from an affair and emotional healing. Here are 2 excellent ones:

    Emotional Chaos to Clarity: Move from the Chaos of the Reactive Mind to the Clarity of the Responsive Mind
    Integrating ideas from Buddhist psychology, Phillip Moffitt describes how we confuse who we are with the fleeting and impermanent thoughts, emotions, and impulses we experience. We then respond in ways which bring dissatisfaction, suffering and emotional chaos to our relationships.

    After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful
    A staggering number of couples in America—about 70 percent—have been affected by extramarital affairs. After the Affair is the only book to offer proven strategies for surviving the crisis and rebuilding the relationship.

    I really, really like Moffitt’s book Emotional Chaos – especially for people struggling to stop emotionally suffocating their partners.

    May you find wisdom, freedom, strength and power. May your marriage be blessed with healing, and your life filled with a peace that surpasses all understanding.


  20. i’ve been married for 15 years (together 23) we have 2 awesome boys 20-17. My wife said that i didn’t pay enough attention to her. last year I found out she was having an affair. I was devastated. She is the love of my life.We are all we ever knew. It was with her cousins husband and it started after easter dinner. She said he wowed her and told her all the thing she wanted to hear. It’s over, but i think they still message each other. We have great days and some bad ones still. The affair has been over for a year. Now she says that i smother her because I try to tell her the things i should have been saying all along. But she says she misses the old me, the one before the affair. She says she loves me and can’t imagine life without me……I know i’m not myself right now ! please help

  21. I noticed the article is written to a female audience. Just wanted to says that men can smother women too. I found this article looking for info as my husband is smothering me ….and now he is home ALL the time since he isn’t working.

  22. So i was told by a friend of mine that i shouldn’t have told my gf that i felt like she was smothering me. She always has to be around me and she expects me to be ready to go to bed whenever she goes even though i’m not tired. Even as i type she is laying on the couch staring at me. I don’t know how much more i can take

  23. Hi. My problem is minor and want to prevent the problem from becoming deeper. I have even joked about it with my partner of 6 months who said just a week ago, “stop trying so hard to please me cos sometimes i feel smothered, i love you just the way you are”. Found this slightly difficult to u/stand as we are a few hours drive away from each other and on average, spend around 3 days a week together. Part of the reason i’m trying so hard to please her and telling her on a daily basis that i love her is, in her previous r/ship of 25 yrs, she was rarely if ever told “i love u”, or rarely if ever hugged or cuddled by her husband and was regularly verbally abused, so have been trying too hard in the last 2 months to reassure her of my feelings. It’s nothing too dramatic, just too many i luv you’s and generally trying way to hard to please and reassure. Part of my thought process has said to myself, “well, we are not together even half of the week, why would she feel “sometimes” smothered by daily, sometimes more than once a day i luv you’s make her feel like that. As said, nothing dramatic as we have even joked about it the last few days. When we exchanged Valentines day flowers, she was so excited showing all her family and friends photos on social media and sending me a message saying, “i love you so much, can’t wait to see you”, now, if a woman truly feels like this, wouldn’t you think she wouldn’t mind the few times daily dose of i love you’s and the over trying of the pleasing. Finally, the other reason i have a slight prob with this is, 30 yrs ago, she lost her husband of a few yrs in an accident, and when we were discussing past r/ships as new couples do, i was amazed that in several r/ships that she was rarely ever told those words and said to her one night, “haven’t any of your past partners told you i love you fairly regularly”, she said, “no, but my first husband, “the 30 yrs ago man”, told me all the time”. So from my point of view, why did it never bother her when her first man used to tell her all the time, but feels “sometimes” smothered by my constant affirmation of feelings. Is part of this to do with never being told in the previous 25 yrs, to suddenly being told everyday. Just require some advice, pls help.

  24. I think this was my problem… I’ve only had 2 relationships and the last one was what I’d call, a real relationship. It started off great, as they all do right? Well, after I felt more comfortable in the relationship, I became an over-giver. I brought drinks he liked to his work, came over to his house, sometimes almost 5 days a week, sometimes uninvited (which he told me before hand was okay). I got him gifts just because and encouraging texts for when he was having bad days. I was almost always available and wanted as much time with just us than with his family that was there.
    Also, something that’s probably important, his dad passed away a month after we got together. He said he’s liked me for years and at first wasn’t sure if he was ready and wanted to make sure I would be okay with moving forward. I was really excited at the prospect and had been single for three years. We moved forward but only lasted three months.
    In the beginning and middle, he said, if he had a list for what he’s looking for, that I meet it and I’ve been what he’s looking for. Also, during our break up he said that his mom told him I’m his match pretty much.
    It’s been a month and it’s hard because we have a lot of the same friends and still see each other almost on a weekly basis for church and have not spoken since. He told a mutual friend of ours that I was amazing, but he should have felt more than what he did, maybe I liked him more.
    But I think maybe I smothered him. Because maybe he really wasn’t ready for a relationship. I should have slowed down, especially since he wanted to and have that conversation, instead I feel like I was giving more and asking more out of him than he could give. Maybe making him feel he was in emotional dept that he couldn’t repay?

  25. This sounds exactly like my husband. He changed almost right after we married. He is the perfect husband to the outside world but we have no real intimacy. No one understands how draining it is to be stalked in your own home. He wants to be around me all the time but will not share anything meaningful, no emotions, or feelings. He has a very shallow emotional range. It has been a terrible experience. Please look up covert narcissism, reading about this has really helped me to feel not so alone. I hope this helps. No one understands except those who have dealt with these types of individuals. They are invested in their image and making themselves look like the good guy in the marriage as well as the victim. Good luck to you. I hope to leave my marriage as soon as I can. There is no real love, I too dread sex with him as he hasn’t emotions, and is unable to care about anyone. Smothering behavior is often linked to a personality disorder, and very difficult to treat. The person has to be very willing to make lasting changes and this is often impossible for these types as the control issues are deep seated in childhood issues of real or perceived abandonment.

  26. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    The best way to stop suffocating your partner emotionally is to find yourself! Develop your passions and purpose in life. Figure out who you are, where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, why and when and what for.

    The more well-rounded you are as a woman, the happier you’ll be. The happier you are, the less tempted you’ll be to suffocate your boyfriend with your desperate love. And he’ll love you more! He’ll be drawn to you, he’ll be all over you with butterfly kisses, roses and chocolate.

    And you both win.

  27. I have been madly in love with my boyfriend. We have been living together for about 6 months now. And things have been amazing up until the last tow or so months. I feel like I am smothering him way too much, (Afraid to loose him.) I feel like while trying not to loose him I am just making things worse. He even told me, “I just need space, I feel like you are always smothering me..” And I am trying my hardest not to smother him. I get it he needs his space, and I need to learn that no, it does not mean he doesn’t not love me. He just wants to be alone, have his thoughts and time without me wanting him to be all over me.

  28. My husband and I have been together for 10 years. We are unemployed for the past 2 years, so we’re together 24/7. We do not have many friends because since we do not work, we don’t have money to hang out with people very often. So we are together ALL THE TIME. And for me it’s too much. I feel I’m suffocating, and today it’s the first time I cried because of this. I tell him nicely and politely to give me some space (like, please let me be in a room, by myself) but he doesn’t respect that. EVER. So I start being aggressive, but that doesn’t work either… He comes knocking on the door, with a smile, and he has a question about something not important (like “did you see the shape of this bread?”), or wants to hug me, and I get furious because I really need to not see, hear, fell his presence all-the-time. He interrupted me at least 5 times in the past hour (I’m watching online courses, so I need a bit of concentration). I even put a ladder against the door, and asked him politely not to enter because the ladder will fall, but to no avail, he did come in, without any particular reason or need. I’m becoming crazy. I mean, I do love him, but come on. He’s 37, I’m 40. We don’t have siblings, so we’re both used to be alone as kids and this “alone time” should be a normal thing to both of us. I do respect his privacy and let him be alone, but he doesn’t like that, and if I don’t come to see him every 10 minutes, he will come to me. Or when I (rarely) go to see a friend he wants to come with me, or when he goes to see his friend he wants me to come as well. But I never let him do that and never go with him, because this is the only time we can be apart. And breathe a little. At least I do and I enjoy it.

  29. Thank you so much for the article. This is exactly what I need. I am suffocating my husband of 7 years and he just told me. I get angry and mad at him when he does things without me and I always need his approval for things I don’t feel complete without him. I really need to take a look at myself and work on how to stop it as we have 3 beautiful children. I would really like some more pointers please so I can combat this. Thanks again!

  30. I’ve been saying someone for over 8 months and always feel overwhelmed w being suffocated. I’ve suggested we get our own space and my partner was automatically offended and “hurt” by that comment. All I was saying was for her to get some hobbies and stay busy and give us both space to enjoy each other when we are together. She didn’t take it well and said nasty things in place of the real issue instead of saying that she would honor that request and work o it for both of us to grow and get closer.

  31. We dated for 1yr then married. Six mnths into the marriage his behavior changed. He’s controlling, suspicious, clingy and upsets easily. Now were almost 3 mnths into marriage. I am totally worn out. I cant do anything without him tagging along and though I love him, Im not In love with him anymore. We have sex once a month because I dont desire it. He’s a handsome man and a good provider. He’s friendly and cheerful to outsiders. At home hes a roller coaster ride of emotions.

  32. I’ve been married for 14 years and I allowed him to control my life. I was young and didn’t know better. Now something woke up in me and I’m changing and I want to have a persona and a life of my own and it’s causing problems in my marriage. I wish I would have read this article before.

  33. Thanks for your comments, Fiona. I hope your sister sees that suffocating her boyfriend isn’t healthy for him or her, and could destroy their relationship! Thank you for caring about her enough to share this with her :-)

  34. My sister is suffocating her boyfriend and doesn’t even realize it. I’ll share this article with her because if she doesn’t stop, she’ll lose him!! She won’t listen to me but maybe she’ll understand what you said about intimacy overload. Thank you.