Get Over It! Are Your Partner’s Insecurities Your Problem?
Let’s face it – confidence is sexy. Most of us would agree that folks who are needy or seem unsure of themselves are not the most attractive folks on the planet…and who wants to embark on a relationship with someone who’s insecure? But have you ever found yourself in a relationship with someone who seemed to have it all together, but then somehow turned into someone you didn’t recognize? Someone who now questions your every move, someone who now checks your cell phone, who wonders who you’re talking to, who wonders where you’re going? How come you didn’t see it coming? And an even bigger question is – are his insecurities your problem?
Your first thought may be that their issues aren’t for you to fix. If they’re bringing their baggage from a past relationship into your relationship, then they need to work it out on their own. After all, you didn’t cheat on your partner, his or her ex did…right? You didn’t cause the mistrust in the relationship, so why should their hang-ups be your responsibility? It’s a fairly rational response.
However, most relationships are not built on logic and rational thought – they’re build on emotions, both good and bad. In some cases, feeling insecure is a result of low self-esteem, past trust issues or a host of other reasons that have nothing to do with anything your partner may or may not have done. But in other cases, even the most confident person can suffer a bout of insecurity that they never even saw coming. We all have insecurities about SOMETHING, so saying that we have a fear, a hang-up or issue with how the world sees us shouldn’t be this terrible, negative thing that we have to be ashamed of. Some might argue that it’s naturally human nature to feel insecure sometimes.
So what to do when your partner starts tripping? Do you tell him or her to just get over it? Do you break up with him or her because you ain’t got time for all that nonsense? It may seem like the easiest thing to do since it’s fair to say that you can’t make a person feel secure. You can’t fix their trust issues. You can’t give them confidence.
Or can you?
What many people fail to realize is that choosing to be in a relationship means you take responsibility for someone else’s heart. You both become vulnerable the minute you decide to be a committed couple. When that happens, it’s important to look at your actions and how they affect your partner. Are you a person who stays out late without calling? Are you secretive? Do you limit access to your partner when it comes to passwords, email, social media, etc? You don’t have to give up your privacy just to be in a relationship, but giving your partner a reason not to trust you, even if you feel your actions are justified, could contribute to the feelings of insecurity that your partner feels creeping up where it was once non-existent. Maybe your partner wasn’t an insecure mess when you met him, but maybe he became one because you flirt with every man you see, or take your cell phone with you to the shower. Sure, it’s harmless to you, but to him your actions may give him cause for concern. He probably really wants to trust you, but you might be making it hard for him to.
If you’re dealing with an insecure partner, try to see where your actions might be contributing to the problem. Now, if they’ve always been this way from the beginning of the relationship, then there’s probably nothing you can do. But if your once super-star partner has become needy, clingy and unsure of himself, then find out where all of this insecurity is coming from and try to help him through it. Communication is key on both sides – it’s not TOTALLY your responsibility to make all of your partner’s insecurities go away. But what is important is that you do what’s best for the relationship, and your goal should be to make your partner feel safe and secure within the relationship. If he says that it bothers him when you go out with your girls and come home at 4am without checking in, then you have a decision to make. You can either think “he’s trippin’, I’m grown and he needs to get over it!” OR you can acknowledge your man’s feelings and stop doing the things that trigger his insecurity (within reason of course). Allow him to tell you how your actions impact him, and then decide if changing some of your behaviors is worth it in order to allay his concerns.
Now in some cases, there will be NOTHING you can do to make your partner feel more secure in the relationship. You can’t build self-esteem or confidence in people – that has to come from within – and if their insecurities are based off of imaginary situations or circumstances or just completely irrational, then you probably should run. But if owning and changing some suspect behavior on your part can get back that super confident, super secure man you first met, then isn’t it worth it to work through his insecurities together?