If you’re suffering from jealousy, low self-esteem, and constant anxiety about your marriage, you probably already know that the root of all of those awful emotions is the same: insecurity. Plenty of people suffer from insecurity in their marriages, and the many unpleasant ways that it manifests itself can end up derailing a perfectly good relationship. But, now that you’ve put the hard work into putting your finger on the root of the problem, what happens next? It’s not enough to simply know what’s ailing you. You want to know how to fix the problem, and for that you’re going to have to go one step further. You’re going to need to know what causes insecurity in marriage to begin with.
Unfortunately, that’s a lot easier said than done! It already takes a tremendous amount of work to figure out that insecurity is the root of a lot of the problems in your relationship, and I know it can be exhausting to hear that it takes even more work to figure out what’s causing the insecurity itself. But, don’t worry. As a love and relationship expert here at Happily Committed, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people overcome exactly these types of problems, and I know it’s possible to get to the other side of this hill. That’s why, in today’s article, I want to help you pinpoint the root causes of your insecurity in a way that gives you a clear path towards overcoming them.
The Importance of Knowing What Causes Insecurity in Marriage
Before we go any further, I thought I’d share an experience I had recently that really illustrates how important it is to go the extra mile towards overcoming insecurity after you’ve identified it. It’s about a client, who we’ll call Kelly, that came to me for help rebuilding herself after a painful divorce. She told me her story, and it’s one I’ve seen play out time and time again: Kelly was suffering from serious and unexpected jealousy over just about every detail of her husband’s life. From nights out with friends, to female coworkers, to innocent weekends spent visiting his parents, Kelly was sure that Ryan was either cheating on her or about to cheat. It was a surprise to her, since she never considered herself a jealous person, and once her behavior started taking a serious toll on her relationship she did a lot of deep introspection to understand why it was happening. She finally opened up to Ryan about her insecurities about her role in their relationship, her own stagnating career, and her fears about the future. Ryan was receptive and understanding, and it seemed as though she had figured it all out: her insecurities were taking the form of jealousy and paranoia that Ryan would soon find someone “better than her.” They talked it through, and now things could finally improve between the two of them! However, to her complete shock and heartbreak, several months later, Ryan blindsided her when he asked for a divorce. So what went wrong?
Kelly did everything right when she took an honest look inward, and when she put herself out there by opening up to Ryan about how she felt. However, she made one crucial miscalculation: she equated the work it took to identify the problem with the work of actually solving the problem. They may feel the same, but they’re very different. In Kelly’s case, knowing that insecurity was causing her jealousy didn’t actually stop the behavior, because she didn’t do anything to overcome that insecurity. She continued being just as jealous and controlling as she had been before, only this time she felt like she was “working on it” because she was making an effort to understand why she was acting that way. Her honest but misguided effort to self-improve made it all the more tragic when Ryan simply couldn’t take it anymore, and walked away. My heart went out to Kelly, because she had been trying her best, but simply had fallen into a trap that many of us can find ourselves in.
How to Stop Being Insecure in Your Marriage: Identifying the Root Causes of Insecurity
So, what ended up helping Kelly out of that awful situation? We started by trying to gain a deeper understanding about the root of her insecurities, but that was only the first step! Our goal was meaningful change, and for that we needed to frame every one of those triggers in a way that gave her actionables that she could tangibly work on in her life. Spiritual and psychological explanations for insecurity are really helpful when you’re trying to identify it, but practical real-world steps are needed when it’s time to overcome it. So, as we start to take a look at the most common causes of insecurity, let’s do it in a way that also gives you some ideas about what to do to overcome them.
You’re Feeling Insecure Because You’ve Lost Yourself in the Relationship
One of the unexpected challenges of marriage is knowing how to keep your individuality intact. With the same group of friends, same home, same goals, and same problems, after a while it can really start to feel like you and your partner are two halves that make a whole. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being close and connected to your partner, there is a potential problem when it comes to losing sight of what made you ‘you’ in the first place! That’s because losing sight of your sense of self can really undermine your self-confidence over time, which in turn can lead to doubts about what your partner sees in you. Think about how it was when you first met, and how it felt like you were the center of your partner’s attention! At that time you were bringing your whole self to the table, and while today they probably love you much more than they did when you first met, you may feel like you somehow have less to offer. Of course, that’s all in your head, but the key is to really re-engage with those things that make you feel like yourself. Learning to do things without your partner, and stopping the cycle of codependency, is key! By rebuilding your individuality through your friends, hobbies, and passions, you’ll rebuild your confidence and overcome your insecurity. Overcoming codependency is something a lot of people have to do, which is why we have a course dedicated specifically to that here at Happily Committed. Click here to check it out.
The End of the Honeymoon Phase Left You Insecure in Love
A lot of couples begin to have problems as they move out of the honeymoon phase of their relationship, and while the vast majority of them can be chalked up to “growing pains”, there are some problems that can ultimately cause insecurity later on. Specifically, a lot of insecurity has its roots in couples experiencing the end of the honeymoon phase out of sync with one another. When you’re still feeling that same spark, and your partner is not, it can really sting. This is particularly true when it comes to sexuality, and sometimes the pain of one spurned advance can turn into years of self-doubt. The thing that makes this frustrating is that, in virtually every such case, you know that your partner’s feelings haven’t gotten weaker. They’re just different as the relationship goes on. However, you can’t shake the feeling that you simply used to be more desirable! Over time, that lingering doubt can turn into serious insecurity.
So, what can you do about this? The solutions are different for every couple, but ultimately it’s about looking forward instead of backwards. Let go of the expectations for things to be like they were when you first met, and instead take the long-haul mindset: you’re going to be together through many different iterations of your relationship as you keep growing together. That’s okay! Each one is beautiful in its own way. So embrace the future, do the things you like to do together, and find new things that interest both of you. Put in the effort. Keep new experiences coming, and you’ll find both that your insecurities will ease and that your relationship is thriving.
You’re Fighting Insecurities About Getting Older
Tragically, many people experience aging as a process that is filled with sadness and regret as our bodies get older. Of course, it’s human nature to long for youth, and when that longing is left unchecked, it can lead to some pretty serious insecurity. The good news is that, although this pessimistic view on aging seems to be the norm, it’s absolutely not something you have to accept and live with. Your views on yourself and your body are directly tied into your mental and physical health, and by taking care of your body, you can change the feelings that are giving you insecurities in the first place.
Here’s what I mean: taking care of yourself, exercising, and eating healthy are all things that can keep you in better shape physically. But they all serve a much more important purpose than that: these processes dramatically improve your mood, and thereby your self confidence, and thereby your day to day life. When we lead unhealthy lifestyles, the opposite happens: our mood degrades, we become unhappier and more self-critical, leading to the insecurities that transform us from happy individuals to anxious and sullen shadows of ourselves. Unfortunately, as we get older it’s easier and easier to lead unhealthy lifestyles, primarily out of sheer convenience! Most people don’t want to put in the time to exercise, or the effort it takes to eat healthier. But, if you do, you’ll have a new perspective and find that your concerns about aging don’t seem as serious as they used to. Putting a concerted effort to target your insecurities about getting older through physical exercise and a healthy diet is probably the most effective tool towards overcoming them.
How to Overcome Insecurity
Ultimately, the key to overcoming insecurity is in the details. Making the effort to take care of yourself, to nurture your passions, and to engage with your partner every single day are all steps on the ladder that take you out from under the weight of insecurity. Another way of looking at it is this: overcoming insecurity is about fighting complacency. The root causes of insecurity are all things that can slip into our lives, slowly and almost imperceptibly, as we settle into our routines. Then, suddenly, we find ourselves surrounded! That’s why it’s paramount to keep an eye out for those causes of insecurity, so you can nip them in the bud before it’s a serious problem. Of course, it’s not always easy to know how spot them, but that’s why people like us at Happily Committed do what we do: our job is to identify those roadblocks and help people make a game plan to overcome them. If you’d like to reach out to us for help, you wouldn’t be the first! Plenty of people struggle with these issues, and we know it’s possible to overcome them. Click here to contact me or any of the other coaches, and we can get started.
So, with that being said let’s recap some of the core causes of insecurity in marriage:
1. You’re Feeling Insecure Because You’ve Lost Yourself in the Relationship
2. The End of the Honeymoon Phase Left You Insecure in Love
3. You’re Fighting Insecurities About Getting Older
Each one of these insecurities can be overcome through some direct effort and hard work. For that, you’re going to need the willpower and desire to do it. The fact that you’re here, reading this article, is a great sign that you have what it takes. You’re already one big step ahead of those people who simply accept their feelings as unchangeable, permanent problems. I know you’ll make this work, and I’m rooting for you.
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