Insecurity can strain your marriage and cause it to fail if you don’t take steps to resolve the insecurity, says therapist Mark Tyrrell. He notes that some levels of insecurity are normal at the beginning of a relationship, but after the relationship settles into a pattern, insecurity should become less of an issue.
Jealousy and Suspicion
Insecurity can cause you to see problems where none exist, notes Tyrrell, leading to suspicions that the partner is engaged in activities he shouldn’t be, such as cheating or hiding something or planning to leave. In reality, your spouse often isn’t doing anything to warrant the suspicions. Distinguish between fiction and reality, realizing that many of your fears will never materialize. In an article on PsychCentral, psychologist Daniel J. Tomasulo suggests that suspicion is sometimes justified if you choose partners who aren’t reliable, and he suggests that you draw clear boundaries, require that your spouse respect you and your feelings and insist that negative behaviors stop. If your feelings are unfounded, focusing on the good things in your relationship will help, says Tyrrell.
Anciety and Reassurance Needs
Insecurity can make you anxious and cause you to constantly ask your partner to reassure you of her love and devotion. Tyrrell suggests that you work at assuring yourself that things are fine. Challenge what you think is happening with what is really happening and calm your fears by seeing the relationship for what it is. It might not be perfect, but a clear picture of reality can help you target what’s wrong. You can also explain to your partner that sometimes you need validation and let her help you see what she sees in you. Believe that you partner's support and love are unconditional until proven otherwise, suggests Sandra Murray, Ph.D. in an article on Psychology Today.
Clingy and Needy
A clingy and needy partner can make you want to run away to get some space. Your partner needs the freedom to be and do things on his own, and he can’t if you demand that you always know where he is and what he is doing. Tyrrell says this can occur because of your need to control all aspects of the relationship. He suggests you make peace with the unpredictability of life and the relationship, rather than trying to control everything. Find a hobby or something that you find enjoyable so you can turn your energy into something productive.
Baggage of the Past
Insecurity can cause you to see visions of the past overlaid on the reality of the present. If you were hurt in the past, it’s normal to have some fears about a recurrence, but remind yourself that your current spouse is not your former partner. Don’t abandon the marriage for fear that the past could repeat itself. Instead, work at making your current relationship healthy and happy, seeking out professional help if you can’t get a handle on the problem by yourself. Don’t turn your spouse into your therapist, counsels clinical psychologist Seth Meyers, because it could burn her out and destroy your relationship.
Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.
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