How would your partner or former partners describe you?
What would your close friends say about the quality of your friendship?
Would words like clingy, needy, jealous, or anxious come up?
Or maybe they would say you’re exhaustingly self-critical, constantly needing reassurance and ever-increasing amounts of attention?
Do you often say to yourself, “I know I’m pushing him/her away…but I just can’t help it?”
Why can’t you help it? What keeps you pushing your relationships to the brink of failure? Then watching helplessly as they fall over the edge, out of your reach?
It sounds like you’re suffering from relationship insecurities.
Try these steps to feel more safe and able to love the way you’ve always wanted:
Take a good look at why you feel the way you do.
Maybe your insecurity is warranted. Maybe not. It’s wise to step back, and try to take a more objective view of your behavior, and that of your relationship partner. You may need the help of a therapist to start that process, especially if your insecurity has been the downfall of multiple relationships. A therapist can help you examine your significant attachments historically, and help you make connections you might overlook on your own.
Don’t be a relationship psychic.
As much as you think you know what your relationship partner is thinking, don’t invest a lot of time in mindreading. Insecurity plays with your mind, and can create a pattern of thinking that gets in the way of real understanding and communication. Mindreading just stirs up miscommunication, accusation, and confusion. Assumptions become inevitable without a sincere effort to communicate openly. Try to assume less and ask more questions, be curious and seek clarification. What you may be reading as rejection, disinterest, or withdrawal may be something far less serious.
Get out of the relationship driver’s seat.
Especially if you keep driving your relationship over the edge. Overcoming relationship insecurity involves less time spent controlling your partner, and more time building trust. You can’t force your partner to remain strapped in the seat beside you. Allow your partner to drive too. Learn to live with the uncertainty of your partner’s turn at the wheel. Anxiety and insecurity often result from a desire to cling to what is certain and safe.
Resist the relationship script in your head.
Your past relationships, a strong imagination, and a lack of independence make it tempting to live by the stories in your mind. A failed marriage may write “you’re not worth keeping” in your mind. Your partner’s hobbies feel like a lack of attention to your relationship. Your communication and interactions start to be colored, informed, and directed by an internal dialogue, rather than anything you’re saying to each other. To overcome insecurity, you must remain present and engaged in what is really happening now.
Relinquish the idea of constant reassurance.
Asking your partner to repeatedly assure you of his or her love and commitment is exhausting. It adds tension to the relationship. It communicates a lack of trust, and an inability to see and address your partner’s needs. Your relationship shouldn’t be all about you. Focus on building your partner up, and demonstrate a willingness to develop more independence, and self-assurance. Relationships don’t grow well, and trust cannot be established, if your partner’s sole function is to make sure you’re okay.
Take time to deal with your insecurity. Rid yourself of clinginess. Embrace your own worth and put a halt to the self-sabotage. Dealing with relationship insecurities will help you be a better partner and enjoy the people in your life so much more.
If relationship insecurity is ruining your relationship couples counselling could help or call Neil Ward Counselling on 07970 860 711