Understand and Overcome Insecurity in Relationships
Insecurity in relationships can be a debilitating and destructive issue. There are a host of different obstacles that can crop up to test the strength of a couple’s bond, be it financial strain, family issues, and even career paths. Insecurity is a similar issue that is usually overcome early on in a relationship, but for some this can be an issue that either brings a prospective relationship to an early end or threatens the happiness of a long-time relationship.
Causes of Insecurity in Relationships
There can be many causes behind a person’s relationship insecurity. For most of us it’s just one of those “stages” in a relationship that has to be overcome in order for things to progress. In the beginning, it’s a case of two people who are trying to get to know each other on a deeper level and this can be a little scary, especially when it comes to opening up and letting one’s true self be observed and—ultimately—judged. Being exposed for what we really are—past, present, and hopes for the future—is an unnerving feeling but it’s one that most people are willing to go through when they feel that they’ve met someone worthwhile.
The fear of exposure and rejection can become so deep-seated in an individual that they feel they must always hide certain aspects of themselves in order to sustain the relationship. It could be something from the past, a physical trait, or even emotions. A common cause behind insecurity in relationships is a traumatic past. For instance, the girl who was cheated on may take an oath to herself that she will never let a man that far in again, so she builds a fortress inside that will ultimately keep anyone from getting to know her weaknesses and playing them against her. This kind of history can leave such an imprint that it blinds a person to their current circumstances.
Low self-esteem is another common cause of insecurity. A person who suffers from low self-esteem may undervalue their own worth so much that they appear unsupportive, uncaring, or overly anxious to their partner. They are likely to expect that their partner will cheat, leave, or mistreat them because they feel that they don’t deserve better treatment.
When Does Insecurity Become a Problem?
As mentioned before, insecurity in relationships is fairly common in the early stages of a relationship. If it is not overcome it can eventually reach a point where both people in the relationship are being negatively affected by the insecurity. Take for example Jane and her boyfriend John. Jane was cheated on by her husband a few years ago. She has been dating John for a year and a half and although she knows that he’s a good, honest man, she just can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of panic whenever he is late or if he doesn’t answer his cell phone right away. Jane feels that it won’t be long before John loses interest and leaves her—she’s just sat on the edge waiting for their relationship to fall apart. She even feels that what they have is just too good to be true.
The story between Jane and John is actually quite common in relationships where one partner has had a bad history with relationships. This fear of Jane’s is extremely destructive because her actions would become increasingly clingy and suspicious until she, herself, pushes John away. John will eventually feel that no amount of reassurance will get through to Jane and after a while he might actually decide to leave her as a result of this.
Being with a partner who has a negative self image can also crumble a relationship. Let’s use Donna and Derek for example. Derek met Donna at a party and he was astounded that she agreed to go out with him. Many months have passed since this first date and Derek and Donna have become very close…except that Derek has a very poor self image. He constantly utters remarks like, “I’m not good enough for you,” and “Some guy is going to come steal you away from me.” Donna is very attracted to Derek but he puts himself down so often that she finds him hard to be around. She feels that his negative and pessimistic comments and actions are becoming viral—as though they rub off onto her and bring down her spirits. She really thinks they could have a future together but she feels that if she were to stay with Derek that her own confidence would dwindle and she would be sucked in by his cloud of negativity.
Ways to Overcome Insecurity in Relationships
Overcoming insecurities is a process that definitely can’t be done overnight but it is absolutely possible. If you are suffering from insecurity and you feel like your relationship is taking a dive, then you might consider trying a few of these tips:
One of the best ways to work through insecurity is to talk to your partner. If something is bothering you then you need to speak up and express your concerns with your partner. If you really want your relationship to progress then you’re going to have to drop some boundaries and let your partner get to know the real “you.”
Try to refrain from snooping in your partner’s private things. Text messages, emails, credit card statements, etc. can easily be misunderstood and it really doesn’t speak well about your trust in him/her for you to make this move. If you have a feeling that your partner is up to something dodgy, you need to voice your feelings about it.
Self confidence can definitely be boosted by a partner’s positive and encouraging actions, but sometimes it can be refreshing to do things on your own. Try to accomplish something that you enjoy and that you’re good at. You’ll soon realize that you’ve got a lot going for you and you don’t have to have your partner around to reassure you.