If you are feeling insecure in your marriage, it is possible that the source of insecurity may not be in the marriage itself, but within you. The good aspect of understanding this is that you now have a starting place for exploring why you feel insecure. However, you will still want to let your spouse know how you are feeling so he or she can help you. Take some time to evaluate where the root of the problems lies, in you or in your marriage, before talking to your partner.
Possible causes of insecurity in a marriage
One of the biggest causes of feeling insecure in a relationship is feeling insecure about yourself. When you don’t see yourself as worthy of love, you may naturally be afraid that the person who supposedly loves you will eventually stop, once he or she finds out about the real you.
These self-doubts can lead to negative thoughts, leaving you to suspect your spouse will find someone else more desirable than you. It can lead to nagging ideas, such as, “Why hasn’t he texted me back? He must be mad at me!” or “She’s late getting home from work. Is she seeing someone else?” Thoughts like these keep you emotionally imbalanced and insecure, and might cause you to feel clingy or suspicious.
Another common source of insecurity in a relationship comes from baggage left behind from other partners, family, or friends who have hurt you. If you become suddenly insecure, irritable or frightened when your spouse does or says something, stop and think. Was there anything that happened in your past that could be coming up to haunt you? It is critically important for a healthy relationship that you try not apply the sins or hurts that someone else caused you on to your spouse.
But maybe the problem really is the relationship. Think objectively about your marriage. Have you had any recent major life changes that have put extra strain on one or both of you? Examples could be the birth of a child, infertility, a recent move, a new job, promotion, or job loss, or a death or illness in the family. Are you spending less time together than you were before? Are you snapping at each other lately, or sitting in angry silence? If any of these things are happening in your marriage, chances are that you are both feeling insecure in your relationship.
How to talk to your spouse about your feelings
If you have determined that the issue may actually be within yourself, it is important to let your spouse know that you are not blaming him or her, and you are trying to make things better. Share how you think some of your old fears are causing you to feel insecure in your relationship. By starting this way, your spouse is reassured that you are not pointing fingers, you are just opening up. And opening up can actually deepen and strengthen your relationship.
Share what you have realized through your self-evaluation and explain how your feelings make you jealous, touchy, or needy. Ask your spouse to be understanding and talk about ways your partner can assure you of his or her love while helping you become stronger and more confident.
If the problem is caused by an issue in the marriage itself, starting in this manner might still be a good way to start a conversation without putting your spouse on the defensive. Your partner might open up that he or she has also been feeling that way lately. This is an excellent opportunity to examine the root causes, but do not let it devolve into an argument! If it starts to turn into a disagreement, try to stop it by saying something like, “Ok, we’re both having really strong feelings about this right now. Let’s think about it more and pick it up later. I’m just really glad we’ve started to talk it out.” Positive affirmations like this can leave the conversation on a strong note.
Consider whether you would benefit from individual or couples counseling. If you are dealing with deep-seated feelings of insecurity or clear marriage problems, the gentle guidance of a trained marriage counselor will greatly increase the likelihood of successfully overcoming the issues and returning to a more stable relationship.