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February 14, 2020

When You Feel Insecure In Your Relationship

You would think that after you have been married, your insecurity about your relationship should dissipate. That the longer you stay together, it should resolve itself. Unfortunately, I have not seen this to be the case.

Granted, I know that my view may be skewed. People who are happy and secure in their marriages don’t show up at my door. They’re not the ones sitting on my couch week after week. What I have found is that there is no positive correlation between length of marriage and security in the relationship. Sometimes there’s an inverse correlation.

It pains my heart to see women of any age sitting in an insecure relationship. There is so much more to life than being stricken with anxiety and disease over the most important relationship in your life.

So, I’m going to talk about this and hopefully help you a little if you find yourself walking the balance beam of insecurity in your relationship. I’ve been there and it sucks the joy out of your daily life. Nobody should have to live like that. 

Stop putting yourself in his shoes

have you ever put yourself in his shoes and said, “If I forgot to call when I said I would, it would mean I don’t care.” It sounds like logical thinking, but really, you’re just creating stories that are untrue and increasing your insecurity.

The reason why you can’t put yourself in his shoes is because you can’t possibly be him, of course. So his motivation and the meaning behind what he does will always be different than yours. And that’s okay. So, if you don’t call when you say you will, that means one thing. If he doesn’t call when he says he will, that means a totally different thing. Don’t make the mistake of creating false meaning about his actions. How about- ask him instead?

I’m talking about longer term relationships here. If you’re in a new relationship and your guy isn’t calling you, he’s sending a message to you. In longer term relationships, it’s complicated. There are way more things involved and it doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t care.

Stop trying to understand him and accept what is

My husband and I will never innately get each other. We are way too different. We grew up in different places, in vastly different eras and in different families. We used to struggle so much and we still do sometimes, but now we are struggling more together and not against. It’s a different struggle – a healthier struggle. 

Two people struggling for the same purpose feels comforting. Two people struggling against each other is demoralizing. Your spouse is not your enemy. He is with you because his deepest desire is to love you and be loved. Hold onto that. It is the truth. 

It’s all his pain, his issues, his walls and yours too that keep you from that goal. But if you both recognize that the common ground is that you both desire connection, it helps dissolve your issues with each other. Yes, you both desire connection. And I know this to be true because these desires are hardwired into humans. You are not a unicorn in this. It’s everyone’s desire. 

Resist the desire to control

When we feel insecure, we try to control things to minimize our anxiety. Controlling people are insecure people. Controlling people are anxious people. Control is about fear. We fear that something will happen that is devastating and we control to try to keep that from happening. 

I had a client who was always worried her husband would cheat on her. She created all kinds of rules and would block him from all kinds of activities that she thought could lead to cheating. But here’s the thing. People don’t like to be controlled. And they will push back. His pushing back made her feel that he was pushing back on being faithful. That’s not what was up. That’s just the story she told herself. Which in turn made her feel more insecure.

He wasn’t pushing back against being faithful. He was a grown man and was pushing against being treated like a child. She needed to get deep and honest with herself about what her fears were and she needed to understand that she couldn’t control him in any way shape or form. But she could control her actions and thoughts that were actually pushing him away.

Find the root of your insecurity

If you notice that you’re starting to feel like you need to control, instead ask yourself ‘what am I fearful of?’ You’ve got to figure out what leads you to want to control in the first place.  Did you have an unfaithful father? Did you have an undependable mother? Were you betrayed or hurt in a past relationship- or even in the past in this current relationship? Make sure you’re addressing the original issue instead of trying to fix it or keep it from reoccurring in the present.

Take a look at your own value

When you find yourself feeling insecure in a relationship, it’s often because you feel there is something lacking in yourself. What is it? What is making you not see your value in your relationship? Is this coming from yourself or is this coming from some dynamic between the two of you?

What you need to do is build your own self-esteem. Research has shown that your self-esteem is directly correlated to how secure you feel in your relationship. It makes sense; if you don’t feel secure in yourself, you’re certainly not going to feel secure in your relationships. But the problem isn’t the relationship!

Keep your independence

This might sound counterproductive, but the healthiest relationships are ones where neither is in a state of desperate neediness, but where both are in a healthy interdependence. When you lose your sense of individuality, it’s easy to slip into a desperate need for your partner. It’s easy to expect and need your partner to fulfill roles for you that aren’t really his job. It’s important that you have your own space and independence. Then, the place you two intersect is full of health. This reduces your sense of insecurity.

Build trust in your intuition

Sometimes we don’t trust ourselves and so we don’t trust the relationship. If we have an inkling that something is wrong, instead of following through, we second guess. We start to feel crazy and insecure- oh man, I’ve been there! But we are really dead right. Test your intuition by regularly by writing down your first inkling and recording later how right you were. You may find out that you are more trustworthy than you think.

The reality is, sometimes our insecurity is based in ourselves, and sometimes our insecurity comes from our relationship not being a healthy one. And the dynamic between the two of you is not creating a secure and healthy relationship. You’ve got to address that too. You’ve got to take it apart and look at it. Has he given you reason to feel insecure? Or is this just a normal state of your life? 

Strong women don’t always feel secure. But strong women address their insecurities and work on them. Determine that you will no longer walk on a tightrope, that your life is too precious to be lived precariously. Build a foundation, even if you are building it yourself. Those self built structures are the best because they are built just for you. You’ve got this!

Would you like to listen to this post? Click here to listen to the podcast version! Enjoy!

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