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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife With Clinging Husband Needs Space to Stand Alone

DEAR ABBY: I met "David" eight months ago, and we were married after only a few months. He doesn't have many male friends, by choice. Although I love David, he is smothering me. David works next door and watches everything I do. If I go to the store, he has to go. If I play on the computer, he's right there beside me. It seems I can't do anything without him around. I'm not cheating and he knows it, but it seems he has to spend every waking moment by my side.

I don't want to be rude, because I love my husband. But I need some breathing space. He wonders why I am irritable with him so often. Please give me some advice about the smothering. -- CAN'T BREATHE IN COEUR D'ALENE, IDAHO

DEAR CAN'T BREATHE: Your marriage is in serious trouble. I don't know your husband; however, he appears to be super-controlling, hyper-needy and insecure. That he has no male friends is telling. For whatsoever reason, he is completely dependent upon you.

Tell David exactly how you feel. He needs counseling before he loses you -- and you both would benefit from counseling together to work on your communication skills.