8 Ways to Let Insecurities Ruin Your Relationship
How many times do we allow something imaginary cause us anxiety, pain, and fear in our lives. How many times do we let our insecurities strangle beautiful potential in a moment of time, an opportunity for a memory, or special and pure interaction with someone we love, now those precious minutes/hours/days/years of life now given over to that insecurity? I believe many of us women experience this in our friendships, relationships with our family, but most in our relationships with our boyfriends/husbands. It is not only harmful to us, it is especially painful to the one we project our insecurities and pain onto. For me, it is an especially painful cycle when I not only allow my pain to continue to hurt myself, but then recycle itself and become more powerful by hurting the person I love. The goal in dating as well as throughout marriage even post dating is to continually learn from these times and "discrepancies" (in my case, tears/anger/yelling/retreating/hiding) and BREAK the hold for the future. Obviously, these insecurities and pain were not adopted by us in the course of a day, so they, most times, will not be removed in a day either.
I am sharing 8 ways either I've let insecurity cause harm in my relationship with Steve (either to him, myself, but ultimately, both of us) or ways women have experienced insecurity in their own relationships and have shared with me during our sessions. In doing so, we can see how I/we can be PROACTIVE in battling before they take hold of us! I make it sound like our insecurities and pain and past has power (which I understand, it FEELS like it has ultimate power, especially to those of us who have felt intense pain/harm), however, THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY POWER THAT YOU DO NOT GIVE THEM FIRST!
Please know, Beautiful, this is all coming from someone who needs to consciously undo the shackles of her insecurities every day. Every challenge is an opportunity for us to learn. Don't let these harder times in your relationship be in vain. Use them to be open and vulnerable with your boyfriend/husband and communicate with him. It's only in laziness that we allow the uncomfortable reality of confronting these deep rooted parts of us put our relationship/marriage in a choke hold.
We have the ability to TAKE ACTION!
1. We are the best mind readers in the world.
Obviously. We know exactly what they are thinking or what they mean at every given time, right?
Oh. So wrong.
You and I do not know exactly how he meant that statement he just made. All we know is how we interpreted it. Does that mean he is wrong and we are right? Absolutely not.
Keep in mind that filling in the blanks using your insecurity and your feelings as the tool will only end in destruction.
If you have nothing productive to do, like, starting a conversation if you have any questions or are in the dark about something, then press "mute" on that negative voice in your head.
She has nothing to add that is beneficial.
2. If things do not go exactly how you had expected, or he does not act/react how you expect, then he does not love you.
When in the history of ever have you ever been pleased by going into a circumstance with expectations? I would argue that most of the time you can say: Never.
Having expectations of how an event, conversation, date should go to the most minuscule detail completely robs joy and subtle surprise from yourself AND your partner from being able to provide that for you. Having "romance novel" /MTV realtity show/ Holleywood movie type expectation of your partner, and how he should react, talk, reply, stand, sit, eat, etc will not only leave you feeling like you are constantly dissatisfied (you want a fantasy), but will leave your partner feeling like he is and never will be enough for you. How can that kind of relationship thrive?
*note: having respect for yourself and how you should be treated is NOT wrong. Knowing your worth and that you should be treated and regarded as precious and loved is NOT having unreasonable STANDARDS set for the man you chose to be with.
I am also NOT stating that any sort of verbal/physical abuse is acceptable.
3. The world revolves around you and how you 'feel'.
"I feel like you don't even care!"
"I feel like you think I'm ugly!"
An epidemic that has been showing it's ugly affects in relationships (and on social media alike) is that we have complete given up reason and logical thinking to our "feelings" and emotions.
I don't know if you know this, but there's about one week a month where I'm pretty positive NONE of us can trust our feelings or emotions for one damn minute! :)
We need to be mindful of the fact that not only do our lives not revolve around our feelings (or that our lives SHOULD not revolve around them), but our partner's life is not purely to comfort and coddle every eb and flow of your ever changing emotions.
4. We focus on things that are 'wrong'.
Why is it so natural for us to focus on all the things that we don't like or that don't go "right"?
We should actively practice self control and grow our world view in a sense that just because we think something is not good does not mean it is not good. (does that make sense?) When you both get in an argument, it does not mean that you are a horrible person or a horrible girlfriend/wife. It also does not mean that he needs to DO something to "fix it". It could just be what it is. A fight. Fight. Kiss. Grow. Move on.
This includes, perhaps, that annoying little noise your boyfriend makes by habit. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean he shouldn't have free will to do his little quirky habits (whatever they may be) in peace. Let it go. :)
5. We compare.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
We compare ourselves to other women.
We compare ourselves to the illusion of what we think he wants.
We compare ourselves to his past girlfriends/flings.
We compare flaws to his flaws.
We compare the good things we have done to the good things he has done in the relationship.
We compare him to our past relationships.
We compare him to television, song lyrics, and the role people play on Instagram.
Simple: DO NOT COMPARE.
The girls of his past are IN THE PAST. Stop bringing them up. He is just wanting to be with you now, in the present. Don't hold him to his past. He left it there. (and if he didn't, end the relationship.)
The beautiful thing about you and your partner is that you both are unlike anyone and anything else, both individually and as a couple. Embrace that. Love that.
6. We psyche ourselves out.
We create and play out an entire conversation or interaction before it even happens! Gah!
How much stress and anxiety do you feel when you do that!? Then, you end up greeting him with weapons drawn. Cocked and loaded!
Stand down, Woman!
Let's practice and put into action giving our relationships a CLEAN CANVAS at all times. Every conversation. Every disagreement. Every minute. Every day.
7. You expect him to be your source of self assurance and confidence.
Oh Sweet Girl.
This is one I understand all too well. And despite how "nose up and reassured" the girls you see on Instagram seem to be, I tell you, they are feeling the weight of this too.
Aside from knowing that you are created beautiful, perfectly and with a purpose, you are also the woman that he chose to love and give his life to (for you married women).
For those of you dating, your man is spending this time of his life with you to see if you are potentially the one to spend the rest of his life with (if that is not why you are dating each other, break up. It's a waste of time.)
We need to stop putting the pressure on our men to be our EVERYTHING in the sense that they are responsible for our confidence and if we feel worthy. YOU ARE WORTHY.
This kind of thinking is SELF DESTRUCTIVE and HURTFUL TO THE MAN YOU LOVE. How much would it hurt you to know how much you love him, and yet him not feel the beauty and wonderful weight of that love on his heart.
He is there with you. He wants to love you. He DOES love you. Quit making him prove that every time you have a bad hair day or a pretty female walks past him or likes his picture on Instagram. (Besides, you should take it as a compliment, not a threat, when girls acknowledge what you got! Trust is important. Trust is vital.)
8. We only see in black and white.
Just like life, relationships and love is not just black and white.
There are sometimes going to be beige and grey areas where we don't necessarily see a definite answer or reassurance one way or another.
We need to be at peace with that.
You aren't always going to understand him (and vice versa...duh). This does not mean he is going to cheat on you, that you suck, or that your relationship is lacking. We are intricate being and only the Lord knows our every thought and our hearts. Part of the beauty of relationships and ultimately, marriage, is to spend life learning and discovering more about each other, but knowing that there will always be more mystery and depth to journey and navigate in your love. How excited and intimate to share that with him.
I send so much love to each of you girls.
Life is hard.
But life is also AMAZING.
I have fallen into the trap to many times of building a little web of my insecurity for Steve and I to live in for as long as I choose. Then, in hindsight, I see how SILLY and what a waste of our precious time that was. Aside from growing from and using those times as a learning experience, they have done NOTHING to deepen and grow our love. Gratefully, God is good and His love for us has a way of filling in where my love and Steve's love may have cracks and needs healing and grace. I pray that you allow this same kind of 'glue' to hold you and your partner together when times are tough. Don't push him away because that is what you feel you deserve. Hold him close because you know you both are so blessed to have each other despite both of your pasts.
And as always, I share my life with you girls, so I share photos to supplement the journey.
Here is a photo of My Love and me in Flagstaff over Valentine's Day weekend.