When I was younger I often felt inadequate and “not good enough” to be friends, lovers, or business partners with certain people. Sometimes I simply couldn’t understand what others saw in me. I was very insecure.
I ended many promising relationships because of my insecurity. In my mind, it felt easier for me to end it before they did. Walking away rather than risking the heartbreak of rejection was how I justified my behavior to myself. But after awhile, as I grew emotionally, I began to realize that I wanted and needed the comfort and support of long-term relationships.
So what did I do, and what can you do if insecurity is damaging your relationships?
You need to understand that a good relationship is about sharing ideas and enjoyable moments with another, to help each other grow in healthy ways, both together socially and as individuals. If someone really does treat you poorly or lies and cheats you out of something, feeling insecure is a natural and reasonable response. However, if you’re actually in a generally good relationship with someone, then it’s time to…
1. Stop trying to read minds.
Most relationship problems and associated social anxieties start with bad communication, which in turn leads to attempted mind reading. Mind reading occurs when two people assume that they know what the other is thinking when they don’t. This process of wondering and trying to guess what someone is thinking is a rapid route to feelings of insecurity and stress.
If someone says one thing, don’t assume they mean something else. If they say nothing at all, don’t assume their silence has some hidden, negative connotation. Likewise, don’t make the people in your life try to read your mind. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Give the people in your life the information they need, rather than expecting them to know the unknowable.
It’s also important to remember that you aren’t suppose to know every little thing going on in the minds of others, even the people closest to you. When you stop trying to read their minds, you really begin to respect their right to privacy. Everyone deserves the right to think private thoughts. Constantly asking, “What are you thinking?” can provoke a person to withdraw from a relationship to find space. (Read Getting the Love You Want.)
2. Stop looking for perfect relationships.
You will end up spending your entire life hopelessly seeking the right lover and the right friends if you expect them to be perfect. Even worse, the process of doing so will drive you mad, as you feel more and more insecure with every failed relationship that doesn’t live up to your fantasy of perfection.
We’re all seeking those special relationships that feel perfect for us, but if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to realize that there are no “perfect people” for you, just different flavors of imperfect ones. That’s because we are all imperfect in some way. You yourself are imperfect in many ways, and you seek out relationships with people who are imperfect in complementary ways.
It takes a lot of life experience to grow fully into yourself and realize your own imperfections; and it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest imperfections, your unsolvable flaws – the ones that truly define who you are – that you are able to proficiently select harmonious relationships. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for imperfect people who balance you out – the perfectly imperfect people for you. (Angel and I discuss this process in detail in the Relationships chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
3. Stop judging current relationships based on past ones.
Think about those times when you passed an unfair judgment on someone merely because they reminded you of someone from your past who treated you poorly. Sadly, some people pass judgments like these throughout the entire duration of their long-term relationships. Simply because they were once in a relationship with someone who was abusive, dishonest, or who left them, they respond defensively to everyone else who gets close to them, even though these new relationships have been nothing but kind and supportive.
If you carry old bricks from the failed relationships of your past to your present relationships, you will build the same flawed structures that fell apart before. So if you suspect that you have been making unfair comparisons between your present relationships and a negative one from the past, take a moment and consciously reflect on the hurtful qualities of this old, negative relationship, and then think of all the ways your present relationships differ. This small exercise will help you let go of the old bricks and remind you that past pains are not indicative of present possibilities.
4. Stop inventing problems that don’t exist.
Inventing problems in our mind and then believing them is a clear path to self-sabotage. Too often we amuse ourselves with anxious predictions, deceive ourselves with negative thinking, and ultimately live in a state of hallucination about worst-case scenarios. We overlook everything but the plain, downright, simple, honest truth.
When you invent problems in your relationships, your relationships ultimately suffer. Insecurity is often the culprit. If you doubt yourself and you don’t realize your own worth, you will pass on any opportunity to let others care for you, and you will remain stuck with the insecurity issues that weigh you down.
The insecure passenger does not trust anyone else to drive. They feel out of control. They imagine that the driver is not paying attention. Or they may even fantasize that the slight jolting of the driver stepping on the breaks is a sign of doom via an impending collision. They freak themselves out by assuming that the visions they have invented in their mind represents reality.
What you need to realize is that there are normal idiosyncrasies to any relationship. There are ups and downs and mood changes, moments of affection and closeness and moments of friction. These ups and downs are normal. Wanting to be absolutely close and intimate all the time is like wanting to be a passenger in a car that has no driver.
Next time you feel insecure, and you catch yourself stressing about problems that don’t exist, stop yourself and take a deep breath. Then tell yourself, “This problem I’m concerned with only exists in my mind.” Being able to distinguish between what you imagine and what is actually happening in your life is an important step towards self-confidence. (Read The Road Less Traveled.)
5. Stop focusing on the negatives.
There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. Even if it seems perfect now, it won’t always be. Imperfection, however, is real and beautiful. The quality of the happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance, and in inverse proportion to their intolerance and expectations. It’s how two people accept and deal with the imperfections of their relationship that make it ideal.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to accept everyone into your life who is willing to accept you, even if they are obviously not right for you. But it does mean that if there are occasional difficulties in your relationships, you don’t have to jump to the bold conclusion that the entire relationship is bad, and become so distressed that the relationship ends, or so insecure that the other person questions your intentions.
No meaningful relationship will always work flawlessly all the time. Being too black and white about the quality and health of a relationship spells trouble. There will always be difficulties present, but you can still focus on the good. Insecure people constantly look for signs of what’s not working in their relationships. What you need to do is look for signs of what is.
Having an appreciation for how remarkable the people in your life are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So notice their strong qualities, cheer for their victories, and encourage their goals and ambitions. Challenge them to be the best they can be. Every day, acknowledge just how amazing they are.
The floor is yours…
What relationship issues do you struggle with? When it comes to your relationships, what makes you feel insecure? Please leave us a comment below and share your thoughts.
Photo by: Martin Gommel
Omg everything you’ve just said my husband called me out on it last week. I’ve been insecure my whole life and the only time I wasn’t, I didn’t care about anyone or anything you or your feelings didn’t matter to me. I just didn’t want to be that person again so I turned into my own worst enemy. Thanks for the article, it was great will try to implement this into my life.
I must agree that this article is on point with myself too. I wasn’t prepared to find such a reading as this that helps to put things in perspective. Many times failing may seem a better answer because of not feeling “good enough” in our own mind of insecurity. Taking the risk to persue love and a strong relationship that has to have trust and communication without judgment.
You are correct that no one in this world is perfect. Plus thinking that I have to control because I’m insecure is a sure fire way to have my relationship to end. Thank God, He gave Me a mind to work on myself so I can improve me. Thank you.
Thank you Marc, your post is just what I was looking for. I’m happy that it is helpful for me, but so many other people too!
I will try to keep to the basics and keep this as short as I can… I’m 47 years old, I’ve been completely single for the past 12 or 13 years and TOTALLY independent, I maybe dated once every 2 or 3 years during this time but usually one or two dates is all I allowed and then I brushed them off, one time it lasted for a whole month (wow, I was on a roll lol) but that one ended at his request. Now, I am currently in a relationship, a real one, it’s been about 5 months now, he even put a ring on my finger and we hope to get married next year. My problem is not only that I am insecure and overly cautious but i also have zero tolerance for the rare arguments that occur. I am trying so hard not to run when this happens because this man has rapidly become the most important person in my life and I love him beyond measure but I am finding it increasingly difficult not to run when we have a fight. And though I try not to say hurtful things when we do fight (I use to do this bad in my relationships when I was younger) the man I am currently with has a tendency to say things that really hurt and after the fight is over I have a HUGE problem trying to forget and move past the things said even though I know he didn’t mean it. It consumes me and I fear it will eventually control me and I will wind up walking away from the most amazing person to ever come into my life. I don’t know what to do……… I need advice and I would rather it come from a stranger than someone I know…. Help me.
Pam…What your doing, “running when arguing even though it’s rare” is what people do when they feel they don’t deserve something or someone, they may subconsiacely push people away or cause problems to leave because they feel insecure or unworthy. So stop the insecurety and let you’re self be happy!!
Esther Tolbert says
Please try to determine if you both, or he, is verbally abusive. If that’s it, then that’s the reason you have trouble getting over the things he says. Respect is a very important part of a healthy relationship; don’t play down its importance because you feel he didn’t mean the things he said. Marrying someone cruel will bring lots of misery.
I’m the exact same as you however I’m only 17. I realised that i was running away from all the people in my life after even just one fight… Some of them yes, i had dodged a bullet – but in this case with my boyfriend of 9 months I know that while I may not regret losing him after I do, I will regret it in the long run.
As for advice, try to accept that NO ONE is perfect, and that you are going to have fights… Even though I’m still abit young , I’m trying to take examples from old people (crazy i know) – don’t throw away something when it can easily be fixed. As long as he makes you happy and respects you and vice versa – I don’t see why you should run away. I know it’s hard but in the end it will be worth it if you really like this guy 🙂
Goodluck! And I don’t blame you if you don’t really take my advice to heart I mean I guess I’m kind of inexperienced compared to other women… Just my opinion and from what is getting me through my relationship c:
I can’t really give you advice bc for the most part im in the same boat im very insecure as well me and my boyfriend just got in a fight over it this morning and he called me insecure twice this past week. The only problem I kindof have that contributes to my insecurity is my boyfriends not the most affection type and he’s okdee a lot older and set in his ways all I would want from him is just a hug here and there or a touch once in awhile during the day as he walks by me anyways sorry didn’t mean to make this about me but I just wanted to let you know you are not alone
you need to decide if you want to be right or in a relationship. You will make mistakes. Do you want grace at those times? If so, you have to be willing to forgive and be forgiven. Being vulnerable is scary, but worth it and necessary to make marriage work. Best wishes.
I can speak from experience. I’m married for 28 years and going strong.
I found this article helpful thank you. I was in a bad past relationship that shattered my confidence and trust, I took a break from dating for two years and I have been in therapy for the last two years and it has helped tremendously. I think the most difficult thing for me has been to learn to trust myself again and I am still getting there!!
I am also in a wonderful new relationship, which I am in constant fear of destroying because of my difficulties in trusting this new person and in my tendency to catastrophise and imagine the worst. But I have learned that taking risks with your heart again is worth it but it is not easy at all. I recently read something that said you should not look for constant verbal reassurance or validation from your partner and that it must come from within, and from an objective evaluation of the way the person treats you.
I have a tendency to worry and run every positive things my partner has said to ease my insecurities- but reading this has made me try to stop doing that actively. I understand now that you can’t know everything your partner is thinking, if they don’t tell you everything it doesn’t mean they are lying, and constantly questioning someone’s trustworthiness in turn, makes them question if they can trust you to stay with them.
You can’t invest in a relationship, or be happy and intimate without trust, and if it doesn’t come naturally, you have to work at it. You can’t control everything to stay safe, if someone will hurt you it is about them, not you.
Also it is very hard to work at trust and nothing is perfect, but you also need to learn to trust yourself and know when someone is not treating you properly. So I think I am going to try to be happy and thankful for the person I have, because he is wonderful, and not at all like my ex- it’s time to let that part of me go. Thank you for your help.
This was an eye opener! I am currently in a relationship and I do not want to be the one who ruins it because I am so insecure! This article like slapped me in the face and made me realize that I do everything! I never knew I was so insecure until I read this! Thank you for the eye opening experience! I hope I am not too late and can fix my issue and keep the man I love.
Wow, I’m reading through this entire article and it explains exactly what I do, to the T! This helped a lot. Thank you so much.
Elizabeth H says
This really helped me recognise a lot of things about myself. I have previously been cheated on and the relationship I am in now is suffering because of it. We split some months ago and whilst on a break he saw his ex girlfriend, we have been amazing since being back together however she text him the other day and he was completely honest with me about it but now everytime his phone goes off I feel sick. I feel like he’s acting differently with me but I’m not sure if I’m overthinking it. He said to me last night that I’m so worried about things going shit that I’m making them shit. I’m turning into a psycho!! He’s been online on whatsapp loads tonight and im convinced it’s to her. I’m thinking of walking away to save the hurt that could come from him leaving me for her? I’m stumped and feel so low!!!
Amazing article. Completely uplifting and insightful.
Looking forward to the next.
I have been married for 25 years. My wife has always been insecure. I feel like I have to have to have an explanation for everything I do. It is to the point where I won’t even talk about the things I would like to do, cause of the negativity I know she will respond with. I feel like I’m on eggshells almost continuously. I have to account for every dime I spend. I have never given here a reason for any of her feelings. Well maybe the money, but not really, I’m careful about the way I spend and do a lot of research before spending and always try and find the best deal I can.
Forget about doing anything with friends of mine. She has got a little better over the past couple of years, but not much. I am at a loss for what to do. She would never agree to counseling or anything like that. Now with menopause years beginning I am concerned that is may get worse. It is to the point to where I’m actually reluctant to talk about things I would like to do, or things we could do. I have friends that go on week long hunting trips, play in bands, golf, bowl or whatever with the guys and I think “man how cool would that be”. I think about it, but would never bring it up, cause I know I would be scorned just for mentioning it. I guess sooner or later, I’m just going to have to man up and say what I want to say, and just take the heat of the argument that is sure to ensue. I’ve been as patient as I possibly can. I honestly think most guys in my shoes may have thrown in the towel a long time ago.
Perhaps I’m selfish, but do not feel at my age I need to have to provide a detailed reason for wanting to do something. I would never leave her, and I would never cheat. Just wish more than anything that she would say something like “that’s a great idea honey, go for it” other than, why do you want to do that, you know it wont work out” or “that will cost money” or “Are you going through an age crisis”!! “You are not 18 anymore” “If that’s what you want to do then, do it” ” If you’re not happy, I’m sorry I’m not the perfect wife”, “If that’s what you want to do then, fine”. All comments of course which lead me to do nothing because of the feeling of guilt she leaves me with.
Esther Tolbert says
Truthfully, your wife needs to get a life of her own. Not sarcasm either! Encourage her to do something with her friend (s) while you are out with yours! Encourage her to develop a hobby ! And make sure you’re not going out with friends who are a bad influence. If so, that would cause insecurities in her. If not, man up!!! You both need to get a life, both by doing things together AND apart! Maybe if you were doing fun things together, she wouldn’t care if you had fun part from her?! If the only time you are longing to do something fun is when she isn’t present, that’s a serious problem!! She’ll feel jealous and insecure about your friends! Hope it helps!
I want to thank you for writing this article. It helped me feel better about a lot of things! The mind can be a very scary place, but once you can gain control and remember that all is well, well you are golden.
Over the past 7 years, I was having relationship with wrong guys (eg: he had a girlfriend already, he had drinking issues, and so on). Somehow I picked to be with those scumbags rather than better guys who wanted to be with me. My psychologist friends said I was self-sabotaging myself yet I know that’s true. By the time I met the guy I thought Mr. Right (and this one really was a good noble man) and we got engaged, he left without any explanation. This event surely traumatized me and made my insecurities get worse.
After the last relationship, I tried to engage and get closure with a few guys but it never worked. In some cases, I thought those men were under my criteria while in some others, they’re just too good to be true to like someone like me.
Currently I finally decided to start a relationship again after 3 years. Despite his imperfections, I like him. While not only he but almost everyone says I’m too good to be true for him, now it’s still me who feel less vulnerable in this relationship. I’m having constant nightmares and obsessive thoughts that this relationship somehow will end up badly.
I read your post, sadly I did pretty much of those five wrong actions you told and still do. Even though I realized things you wrote are true, I still can’t get over it. Do you think I need a professional help?
Hi. I’m dating a guy who’s 20 years my junior! He’s very sweet and loyal. He’s a martial arts trainer and trains a group of girls. In fact that’s where we met and clicked. I’ve stopped going because I can’t see him training other girls and it drives me crazy to think what could happen there. I hate feeling this way because I trust him and I know he enjoys this thoroughly. I can’t stop thinking and it’s sabotaging my relationship with him.
This really spoke to me at a time when I am having insecurities… not because the relationship is bad, or I don’t trust him, but because the insecurities get the better of me sometimes now that we are in a long distance relationship. Reading this stuff helps a lot 🙂
This is in response to Leslie (I only just recently found this site so forgive me for it being so long from your original reply). I too am very very insecure in my relationship, with someone who is very loving and accepting of my “dark sides” as he has some too. But more often than not I find myself inventing things that he is doing, and those thoughts get VERY dark, perverted and twisted. He has finally been able to understand, I would rather create the problem that doesn’t exist, destroy what is good, be the one to end whatever is going good in my life, so that it won’t hurt as much, when the inevitable end comes. At least that is what I tell myself. My problem is I don’t know WHY I feel this way and do these things. I am very thankful that I have found this site as it is very inspiring. I hope it can help me as it seems to have helped you!
@Bill: I am your wife so to speak. I am sure that what you are feeling is exactly how I have made my husband feel, and it hurts me knowing that I have caused him to feel that way as I am sure it hurts your wife too. We do not choose to be this way, but we can choose to get to the bottom of these feelings and change it. I applaud you for hanging in there with her through this, just as my husband has chosen to do, but at some point you will have had enough. What we are doing is not fair to either of you. I have chosen to get to the bottom of my insecurities and work on building a loving and trusting relationship with my husband…be the wife that he deserves and the woman that I deserve to be. I wish you the best of luck!
Esther Tolbert says
Please see above reply to Bill.?
Clare Kelly says
I’m struggling with age – my skin is changing yearly and I’m panicking – my partner says he doesn’t want to be with anyone else but when we’re out, at the gym, at the supermarket, on the beach, and he sees an attractive woman he doesn’t stop looking at them – it makes me feel so sh..t and I think that he only wants to be with me as it’s convenient and he wants/wishes he could have the women he’s staring at! I wish I could stop feeling like this. Your article has helped a little, thank you.
This article helped me so much! I am guilty of creating problems that don’t exist. I have been through a tough divorce, from an abusive husband, and am currently in a new relationship. It happened a lot sooner than I expected but it’s caused me to really evaluate myself as a person. As a result, I’ve actually been able to point out my insecurities. I have discovered that I am afraid someone I love will see my shortcomings and realize that I don’t have it all together, then get rid of me because of it. I fear that I am not put together enough to be loved. The man I am with now has never made me feel that way and it’s solely me imposing my negative thoughts on him. Understanding where my anxiety comes from has helped me to work through it. Thank you so much for this article! It made me realize that I am not alone!
Thanks for this. I have just – at the age of 28 – realised I’m insecure in my relationships. I noticed it after I hit a massive attachment panic very quickly during very early dating and acted like a crazy woman. It was deeply disturbing, I didn’t feel like I was in control. But I’ve now read up on preoccupied attachment and read through diaries which have shown me that I have in fact been insecure in all of my relationships – picking up on ‘signs’ they will leave etc. – and even though I’ve known it’s irrational at the time (I knew I was being irrational this time too…) I have still allowed it to affect me. My anxiety does not concern itself with cheating or trust issues (I’ve never been jealous etc, I have always trusted my partners). It’s seems to stem from a feeling that I might mess up – or I have messed up (in bizarre ways I invent to match my anxiety). This makes total sense considering my childhood. I was very clingy with my mother as a child (father entirely emotionally absent if physically present), and she has attachment issues of the same flavour as mine but much more extreme. She would be very affectionate up until I ‘did something wrong’ and then I would punished severely. Something wrong could even just include me not getting an A at school, or forgetting something. Then she would snap and I would be disproportionately punished.
I’m glad I can now spot the insecurity in me because, oddly, I couldn’t remember any of it. If I hadn’t have read back on my diaries I would have swore blind that I had never wanted to be closer than my partners wanted (that sounds claustrophic to me), and that I had always absolutely trusted in my partner’s love for me. Apparently not, although my behaviour must have been very controlled and I must not have been excessive in my needs with the other person because all of my relationships have been long and stable, I have rarely been left (I normally leave eventually), and no one has ever described me as clingy or needy (although technically, I’d say I am).
What puzzles me is WHY I’m insecure. I consider myself to be intelligent, capable, independent (at least I am when I’m single…), kind, fun, adventurous, exciting, successful, good-looking, empathic, quick-witted, likeable and unique. I would love to go out with me! In fact, the only thing I don’t like about myself is how weakened I become by men (and I’m hoping to change that). I can only assume I learned insecurity in my relationships with my parents and it is automatically brought up by romantic relationships.
My plan is to be consistently more assertive and outgoing in all areas of my life to continue building self esteem. When I meet someone new, I’m going to leave reminders everywhere to myself to be assertive, and that I’m proven to be perfectly capable of handling my emotions by myself so that I’m not ‘afraid’ of the pain of leaving them. I’m also going to leave reminders that there are millions of men in the world and many of them will be right for me (I often think I am only compatible with a select few, but this is irrational).
I hope it works because my self esteem drops when I am in relationships and improves when I’m single. I want to reverse that trend. I also want to have children one day and would not want to pass this misery on!
My partner is extremely insecure…although we have only been together for 2 months, we are starting to bicker over the smallest things in the last week. He straight away ended it because of this . He thinks that if we are fighting now, then the relationship just won’t work. I’ve told him countless times that no relationship is perfect, and it’s up to us to work with each other to make it work. We’ve hardly had enough time to adjust to each other. He is extremely insecure and he knows this but still stands his ground. He only notices the negatives and seems to forget how well we connect mentally… How compatible we are……how much we smile and laugh when we’re together. I know what we have is special. His insecurities are blinding him to all this.
This article has helped me so much. Hopefully once I show this to him, it will open his eyes and make him change his mind.
Great post. Very encouraging, I appreciate it. I have a tendency to focus on problems that don’t exist and “make up” negative scenarios involving my partner that don’t exist. Scenarios that are totally incongruent with your reality. My negative imagination sends me to a place of emotional turmoil and then I’m worrying about things that don’t exist and begin to project an attitude that drains me and is unattractive to her. It’s classic self-sabatoge and I’m working really hard to quiet the “voices” of negativity and change the images to positive when my negative imagination comes in to play. Wish I knew how to stop it from happening all together, but in the mean time, I’m getting better at catching myself and breathing and smiling and reminding myself of the reality that’s right in front of me. Thanks for having this space for me to share.
I think I’m insecure in my marriage because my relationship with my child’s father he left the relationship and our son’s life. So I guess that’s why I can’t really trust men. I love my husband and he still want to make this work even though I am insecure.
Like many others I feel insecure and in the past I was constantly asking others “what are you feeling/thinking”. It pushes people away, just as you said in the article. Now I have learned to admit to my insecurity and I say something like “I’m worried that you don’t like that thing I did this morning” or “I’m just in need of some reassurance”. Try it!
This article is so true, i had to read this. We all get insecure sometimes or have our doubts or whatever. But an imperfect relationship doesnt mean a bad one.
Loving people for who they are and how they fit is good. Sometimes someones imperfections can be what you love about them.
No relationship is perfect, and thats ok because it doesnt mean its not a good relationship just because its not perfect.
You have to see people for the good in them not just the negative we all have our own insecurites, doubts, and concerns about anything in life really but if something isnt perfect certainly doesnt mean its not good.
This article is pretty accurate, you have to take things for what they are and enjoy life and be grateful for what you have and what is there instead on sometimes focusing on what is not there.
Being insecure about things even if you have feelings about them or being negative or creating things will just drive you nuts and cause undue stress, its not worth the stress you just have to give the benefit of the doubt sometimes and hope for the best.
Somethings you cant control or do anything about things. I know sometimes its hard to have strong feelings about something but it still can not be true. You just have to hope for the best and calm down and relax.
Life is stressful enough, extra stress cant bring anything better to it. Just be happy with what you have and appreciate what you do got thats my take on it. Never try to take anything for granted.
Sarah, you described me to the T!!! It’s so crazy to me that I can be the perfect me when I am single but when in a relationship I become very insecure and feel I need a lot of attention from the guy I am dating or I freak out and wonder why he isn’t interested. My latest bf is busy with work during the week and we don’t text much anymore (the first 6 weeks were constant texting and calling…) now we are on month three and we talk often like pretty much a text or long phone call every day but I still question if he cares or can meet my needs when we are apart. It’s frustrating because I have a ton of friends and know I’m smart, successful, kind, attractive, fit, fun, and the list goes on… just get so insecure when I am dating someone. I don’t want it to ruin my relationships. Sometimes I wonder if maybe this current guy isn’t right for me since he can’t meet this communication need of mine. 🙁
This is just perfect, it is just what I needed to read. I struggle with insecurity and have my whole life. I am in what I believe to be a great relationship for the most part, although I am hanging on to past memories of bad relationships and find myself being triggered by certain things my current boyfriend does, and this causes a downward spiral in my confidence in the relationship which of course leads to days of pointless arguing over nothing. My biggest problem is that my boyfriend “withdraws” when the stress of life has him down, which is completely opposite from the way I deal with things, I tend to express every emotion as I am feeling it. When he withdraws and begins to complain about the difficulties that life sometimes bring, for some reason I jump to the conclusion that I am to blame somehow, and I begin to create scenarios in my head that he is leaving, or that he might find someone better than me who provides him with a more satisfying life (because I feel like there are so many out there that are so much better than I am). I am creating problems that don’t exist. The next time he withdraws I will not assume it is because he is not happy with me, I will be patient and let him get through his mood the way he prefers to. If you have any other advice for me, or maybe some self help books to recommend, I would really appreciate it. Thanks you for writing this.
This was great. Wife and I stopped making love 3 yrs ago and it was b/c of her insecurity (financial). We lost our house (bad bank choice on my part) and we were struggling to make ends meet.
She said she began to feel like all was for naught and that she just didn’t want to do anything but sleep.
Well another year passed, we found out her pelvic floor had collapsed and she needed reconstructive surgery. So, I didn’t make any requests for a year and then she still wasn’t “interested.” I can blame it on menopause but a part of me feels like she just doesn’t want me anymore. IDK… Well, it’s been 3 Loooong years and I’m 40, have a sex drive like a teenager and she is just…. not interested. We haven’t been on any dates, I bring her flowers (and her comment is ‘Why did you waste money on these?’), it’s just that I feel like there is something wrong with me that has driven her away.
If I attempt to reveal my feelings to her and have a sensible conversation on this subject, she gets upset because she just doesn’t do “drama.” IDK, I guess I just have to accept that our marriage is what here parent’s marriage was… separate bedrooms, no affection toward one another and just living as room mates.
But, I have to now admit that maybe I just need to stop thinking about it and go on with my life. I love her and will spend the rest of my life with her, just gets so frustrating b/c she wants nothing to do with discussing the issues.
Vent over…… :/
Thanks so much for this! I have had a a fair share of bad relationships. I am currently in a relationship with someone and we both feel that we are perfectly imperfect for one another. However, our downfall lately is my overwhelming insecurity and doubts and his inability to communicate his feelings. I am the one constantly asking “What’s wrong?” “What are you thinking?” etc…..and he always asks me why am I so insecure and sensitive to things? We both agreed that we would work on our own flaws and try build from there. He will work on expressing himself more and acting like he cares and I will stop being so insecure and acting like an argument is the end of the world. Reading this article was my first step.
sharon jennifer says
I thank you so much for this article surely have taken the points well,i have been struggling with insecurity in my relationship with my husband,i feel inadequate the fact that he has quite more female friends and male friends,i have been struggling to understand that but maybe i am insecure and feel inadequate compaired to those girls but i choose to change taking into account what i have learned from this article seriously choose to believe that am fearfully and wonderfully made because insecurity is truly slowly beginning to crumble our marriage,thanks so much.
Thank you, this was so beautiful. It really opened by eyes and made so much sense. Right now I’m in a new relationship and I was starting to feel insecure and not good enough for this new guy that I’m with. He’s just never someone i would imagined myself to have ever been with. Sometimes i feel like our lack of communication throughout the week means something else. Like maybe he isn’t into me anymore, or possibly even seeing someone else. In the past I’ve been cheated on so I think that’s why I’m creating problems that really aren’t there. can’t build a new relationship with old bricks, like you said. So thanks again for this lovely advice. Really helping a girl out!
I would just like to start with thank you. These 5 steps have helped me to see some of my own insecurities and how I can improve them. I have just started this relationship with the most amazing woman in the world and she was afraid to lose me because of my insecurities in our relationship. She is the type of woman I would have never imagined would even give me the time of day, but thanks to this article I can truly say I trust her and can work towards a better future for her and I. This article has shown how I can fix or at least begin to fix my insecurities so i do not lose this woman. Thank you very much for showing me that my insecurities can be helped.
This is another great article. How I wish I read this before I got into a relationship I’m in now! I’m guilty of all of those things, we both get along so well but I’m now beginning to see the problems I’ve been causing, and I really regret it. It’s gotten to the point I’m slowly jeopardizing the relationship. I guess you only learn the hard way when it’s someone you truly love.
To anyone out there, if the relationship is golden, please don’t let your fear or any negativity get in the way and just enjoy the ride. I was far too cautious in mine and being fearful will not let you be happy. I hope I’m not too late in fixing this issue.
Many thanks Marc & Angel!
I’m in the same situation…. me being insecure and emotional constantly… asking whats wrong and are you sure you want to hang out with me? He gets so mad when i say stuff like that and its like vicious cycle because it seems like hes pushing me away and not being physical. I realize that hes distant because of my insecurities but I’m trying really hard not to say stupid insecure things but I’m kind of getting the cold shoulder from him and all i want is go to the amazing relationship we used to have. Do you think he will come around and be more loving? If so what do i need to do to for him to want to be with me still?
Yes makes lots of sense…but my dilemma is….
In a relationship of 2 1/2 years….live together…in my 50s…he is 61. He is still legally married although separated 9 years ago…he just won’t/can’t divorce…says he is totally committed to me…but terrified of divorce or marrying me….now getting to stage where it hurts so much to hear this…I am leaving him…does this make me insecure ??? Or just normal !
@Sharon: I think you are normal. “Total Commitment” in your heart and head, means transcending fear of divorce (is this a financial thing?) and fear of re-marriage, in order to truly satisfy the heart of his beloved. He cannot do this, apparently: transcend the fears…
I find it normal to have to move on when the pain of lack of commitment to you is overriding your love for him. It’s terribly sad, but you still have many good years ahead of you (I am a 65+ year old woman) and you want an equal partner. You deserve an equal partner, not a scared little boy….
This article helped me tremendously! I’m in a long distance relationship, and I find myself constantly needing him to validate his feelings for me. When he doesn’t validate it in a way I want him to validate it, I feel insecure, unsure of our relationship, feeling like everything is wrong. I suffer from general anxiety, which doesn’t help, and a lot of the times there’s absolutely nothing wrong! Then I think maybe it’s because we’re not close together physically, but then after reading this article I realized that I would be feeling the same way regardless of the distance. A lot of my issues is that I’m afraid of making the same mistakes I have made in the past, and it looks like I’m repeating the same mistakes subconsciously. Thanks again for the article, I made a copy of it, and I’m making myself read it when I find myself going through this loop of negative thoughts.
Thanks so much for this post. I have an incredible marriage which I’m learning to appreciate and am trying to be more mindful of how my insecurity can damage that relationship when I let it takeover. The point made on how damaging being a ‘mind reader’ can be has a lot of truth for me and something I want to abolish in myself. Thanks!
I am really struggling with feeling that it is going to end!! I have had a abusive previous relationship and I don’t blame it on that!! It just seems too good to be true and with that he doesn’t like insecure women. I don’t want to loose what I have got but don’t no how to stop it!! When I am with him it doesn’t cross my mind but when we are not together I sit there and cry.
My boyfriend and I have been together for a year now. And I find myself recently having feelings of abandonment, I trust him, we were both cheated on by our previous partners, right there I see myself bringing that negative experience into our relationship, but I know he wouldn’t cheat on me. But I still have that feeling that he isn’t paying attention to me; he recently started back up his college semester (I work, don’t attend college, more free time on my hands) so I know he is preoccupied with studies and such living with roomates, I know there is no funny business going on because we are both gay, and his roommates are female. But those feelings of him not paying attention to me are still there. I tried chucking away the old bricks of my last relationship and see how much better he his than my ex, all positive when she was all negative, but she flooded me with attention, almost to the point that I was drowning in it, so I think there in lies the feeling of abandonment, and lack of attention, but with him, even the previous semesters he had time for me, ado those times he was more receptive was when his semester was already further along, I think I just solved my own problem just not in my head. I just need to wait until he, finds his groove in his semester before the attention will return, I just have to be patient. 🙂
I’ve started feeling insecure since I read one of my boyfriend’s facebook messages. I didn’t read it on purpose, but once I read one line I had to keep on reading. I found out that a girl in his class had a crush on him and was explicitly asking him to break up with me so she could be with him (We had been dating for 5 years then). Although he didn’t give her any chance or hope and told her he loved me, she just wouldn’t leave him alone. Reading all those messages really carved on my mind and self esteem, before that point I was really confident and never had those negative thoughts. Now I think about him cheating on me all the time and I see every girl as a threat. I obviously don’t act on it and try to keep it cool but on the inside I’m stressing out. I really think about the worst case scenarios and in my mind I imagine a lot of problems that might not be there but that I somehow want to believe. Now we’ve been dating for 6 years and when we’re together it’s great but these thoughts won’t leave me alone and I don’t want them to lead me to destroy my relationship. I often think that he might find them more attractive or smarter, funnier and I have stopped believing that I’m such a great match for him, which I always thought about myself before. He’s a really decent guy, he respects me but in my mind it’s like he could be one of those guys that would fall for another girl anytime and that would be capable of cheating on me. I know he wouldn’t but the thoughts won’t leave me alone. I have found this article so relatable to what I’m going through, and I really used to think our relationship might be suffering, but maybe my imagination could be the main problem.
“It’s all in your head”. I torment myself with wild, negative thoughts that don’t do my self esteem any good. This article helped me to realize that most of my insecurity in relationships is all in my head. I worry that friends won’t accept me. I worry that plans will go awry because I did something that changed their mind. If a friend doesn’t call or text me when they say they will, I get nervous and anxious and believe it’s all about me. And, of course, it is not. I am hoping some professional help will guide me through this. But your article helped me realize that most of my anxiety or insecurity is all about what’s in my head.
Thank you so so much for writing this. It was exactly what I needed right now.
Just knowing that I am not alone in this was very much helpful and hopeful.
I am so happy I came across this article. I’ve struggled with trust issues most of my adulthood. I am not sure where it stems from other than I was raised by a single verbally abusive mother who showed little to any affection. I was out in my own since I was 16 and develop a thick skin to navigate the world on my own. Despite the obscurity of my upbringing I did well for myself. I am a 37 successful profesional. Ive manage to over come my self sabotage in my career most times but I still struggle with it. My relationship with men is hard. I always end up breaking up and leaving men that all they do is love and live for me. It’s almost as is I can figure out how to be loved. I focus on all their negatives and suffer because of it. I want to have a companion but my pain becomes so unbearable that is easier to leave them and move on. I have a wonderful relationship most days when I’m not trying to sabotage it. I don’t like feeling so insecure and pain. The more the relationship progresses the more my fears increase to the point I’ve lost sleep and I’m constantly in a state of anxiety. I feel that he lies that he is looking at other women online in person everywhere. In my head it’s almost as I feel I am not physically attractive that he prefers other. I get irrational thought about why he is with me because of course it can’t be because he really loves me. I invade absolute everything about his privacy email, fb, phone text, calls, you tube, credit card, bills, etc. most of this I suffer in silence only seldomnly do I act out on my negative thoughts. They get blindsided when I break up with them because they have no idea the agony i feel.
no need to mention name, i have a best of best friend in my life, i never had an attachment with anyone like him in my life. I Used to be alone and be myself but he made me to involve with him, he started sharing everything and used to care me a lot. don’t know when i had started trusting him but he is really a good human being. now a days he started hiding something with me , when i notice that i feel like angry on me whether i dont know i lost trust on him or on me. Each situation am feeling uncomfortable, if he share something am not able to response like earlier if he not tell also i feel like he hiding something. Because personally am unlucky person in everything. i dont want to loose him also am not able to trust him like earlier. when am expressing something i will tell every thing in rude way which can not accept even myself. Really i trust him like god, my sixth sense always trust him like no where he is neglecting me. Still sometime his behavior with others like i feel he neglecting me or he purposely hiding something with me. Pls help me out with this depression i want to be peace he will not speak openly sometime if i ask anything its become more disturbance to me. I expect only pure friendship from him without any cheating or hide. Pls help me to understand the issue and need peace of mind. Why i cant accept or reject even.
Sometimes I notice my girlfriend seeks attention from other guys. This seems to be one of her only insecurities. She doesn’t get overly jealous, she is not clingy and she doesn’t care what I do with my free time. I find that though her seeking attention from other guys gives me some insecurities that I struggle with. It makes me jealous and clingy. Makes me wonder what she is doing when not talking to me.What should I do?
insecure girl says
I am in a relationship with an amazing man. He is Nigerian and I am South African. We have been together for 10 months. He is amazing but because of our completely different cultures we fight all the time. I have become so insecure because he feels it’s okay to admire every pretty woman that walks into the room.. I have eyes only for my man. The thing is, he treats me like a queen and I know he loves me. But I can’t seem to get over the fact that he loves to admire beautiful the woman. By the way I am quite pretty I’ve been told. I don’t know how to get past this.. He keeps telling me I am all he wants. But still he turns his head to every pretty lady. Am I being too sensitive??
Claire Andrews says
I’ve been feeling insecure about my two year relationship since I found evidence that my boyfriend now fiancé had been chatting up random girls on social media and even a friend who he doesn’t even know. He even said he was sorry for cheating on me. It leaves me feeling confused, low, depressed and to the point where I’m trying to bring us back close again and sort all of this out. It is destroying me because I don’t want to let him go. I still love him.
I think a huge part of not feeling insecure or jealous while being with someone, is the way that the person also treats you in the relationship. If you partner SHOWS you that you are important, they make you feel like you are the only woman in the world, they treat you with love and respect, and they don’t give you a reason to doubt. My now ex would constantly be on his phone watching pictures of half-naked women, on snap chat watching those vids of women asking for sex, he has flirted with other women while out with me, and has been logged on dating websites, I even found condoms in his work bag! I think that in a situation like this, it makes it very hard to trust because you never know where their boundaries lie.
I am so glad I found this article.
Just today I realized that all of the negative things I feel about my 5 year relationship with my boyfriend, are all completely made up in my head.
My boyfriend called into work today because he wasn’t feeling well and instead of being concerned for his health, I immediately thought he was lying. I drove 20 minutes from my job to our apartment and found him, just like he said, sick.
I used to lie a lot, in my youth, to the point where my lies and my reality blurred into one another. I changed my life around years ago but now I feel like I do not deserve my boyfriends honesty. I am trying my best to get through this because this is the most healthy relationship I have ever been in and he doesn’t deserve my insecurities.