It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not. ~ Andre Gide
Thank you for writing to us about this. It is an important issue because most relationships have a push and pull dynamic, but when that gets lopsided it is time for a correction. And, no, it is not a guy thing to speak to his girlfriend to make her feel bad. It is an inconsiderate thing.
As I see it there are two avenues for adjustment and experimentation. It is important to know that your goal isn’t to change into being someone else, but rather to make a refinement in the relationship. The first would be to say something direct to him at the moment (or as close to the moment as you can) that conveys your anger, frustration, disappointment, hurt, etc. about what, or how, something was said. This does two things: It gives you a much-needed voice in the relationship, and it alerts him to the fact that he just did something that hurt you and that it needs to change. These are important things to communicate in a relationship.
The second thing to do is to experiment with not being so “clingy” as you put it. What I am suggesting is to be mindful of holding back as a way to see what, if anything, changes in his behavior. Very often with couples the correction has to do with one member of the partnership changing the frequency or intensity of their behavior. This will often allow the partner to change his or her reactions.
But if this doesn’t bring about the changes you hope for you may want to try couples counseling. You can find a certified therapist here. But as the opening quote suggests, don’t lose yourself in the relationship in an effort to be loved.
Wishing you patience and peace,