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Feeling Insecure in Your Relationship? Here’s Why.

Does it feel like you struggle to be emotionally secure in your relationship? Are there times when anxiety grips you and you are overcome with fears of rejection or abandonment? Do you read your partner’s behavior and think they don’t want me, need me, or desire me? These are all signs of insecurity in your relationship. And here’s the important part, it’s ok that you feel the way you do.

These feelings, however unpleasant, are sending you important signals about two things: first, that there may be something wrong in your relationship, and second, that you may have an unresolved past hurt that is interfering with your ability to feel safe and connected to your partner.

Something May Be Wrong in Your Relationship

Let’s tackle the first one about something being wrong in your relationship. If your partner is

engaging in activities that are causing you to feel insecure, then you are not crazy. Texting other men/women, inappropriate boundaries with others, threatening the relationship with comments such as: “I can’t do this anymore” during a big fight, “I’m leaving you” but never leaves, or “You’re crazy - there is nothing going on” without stopping the behavior… These behaviors and types of comments are all signals that something is wrong in your relationship.

Healthy partners want to increase security and emotional safety in the relationship. They take

your concerns seriously, stop hurtful behaviors, and reassure you when you are upset. They don’t threaten to end the relationship but instead work to resolve issues and reconnect. Healthy partners work on their own “stuff,” strive to learn from their mistakes, and learn from what their partner needs. Why? Because you are important to them. You and the relationship matter.

You May Have an Unresolved Past Hurt

Now, if it is hard to identify with the first reason you are feeling insecure, then perhaps it is because you have an unresolved past hurt and it is interfering in your ability to feel safe and connected. It may be that you are getting triggered by your partner’s behavior and that you are projecting your fears onto them, believing it is their intent to make you feel the way you do. If this is the case, then recognizing the difference between your fears and your partner’s intentions is a starting place.

If your partner is communicating that you are “reading” into things and that they love you and care about you, then they may not be gaslighting you - they may be trying to tell you that they don’t know how to help you feel more secure. Being able to contain your fears long enough to communicate them, reduces your partner’s defensiveness and will more like bring about the kind of loving, reassurance you want.

What Should You Do?

It can be difficult to know the difference between what you perceive to be coming from your partner, versus coming from inside you when it comes to insecurity in your relationship. The best thing to do is sit down with your partner and tell them how you feel without criticism or

blame. Let them know how important the relationship is to you, and that you want nothing more than to feel secure with them. Be careful of your tone. Make sure it is soft and gentle and not aggressive or defensive. Tell your partner that you understand how they might get confused sometimes when they read into things, but that you also want your feelings to be taken seriously.

Tell them some of the ways they can comfort and support you when you feel insecure and what you really need from them during those times. You might be surprised that they are able to hear you in a new way and work to collaborate with you to make you feel more secure in your relationship.

- Tom Philp, LPC & CEO

Stonebridge Couples Therapy

(918) 398-7678

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