How to help your insecure partnerDave Smith
No matter how you try, it seems you cannot convince your partner that you are committed to them. Maybe your partner is sticky, jealous or protected by staying distant. Whatever the dynamic, they think you think the worst of them and fear that you will leave. So what can you do to show that you don’t need to worry?
Paradoxically, the best thing you can do is stop trying to prove your point. No matter how many times you tried, it has not worked; and if you keep trying, you will continue to get the same result. They may feel better briefly, but it never lasts. And it can’t last because the problem is in your perceptions, and you can’t “make” those perceptions change. (An important caveat of this reasoning is that it does not apply if you have earned your distrust.)
People who suffer from chronic insecurity in their relationships generally feel unworthy, inadequate or unkind. As much as I disagree with this self-perception, there is nothing I can do to change it: they are the only ones who can do it. However, you can support, encourage and encourage this change.
An important first step is to truly listen when they express their insecurities. Instead of arguing, let your partner know that you listen to them. Tell them how your self-perceptions affect you, highlighting any compassion you feel. And I just wish you felt better with you. “Then you could slide,” This is also
Especially difficult because that’s not how I see you at all. You are so wonderful in my eyes. “Note that the last statement does not focus on changing the opinion of your partner, but emphasizes that you see your partner differently. By not directly challenging one’s perceptions, your partner could be more open to look differently.
If your partner becomes sticky or acts in an insecure way that bothers you, try asking what is going on with them. Listen in a way that connects you with how you feel, even if you disagree with their perceptions.
For example, when Kathy was (once again) trying to prevent Brian from going out with other friends, Brian asked him why he didn’t want him to leave. He explained his fear that he knew someone better and left her. Leaving aside her frustration, she explained that it hurt to see her suffer with jealousy when she loved her so much and had no plans to leave. Then Brian asked her what she could do, except give up her friends, to help her overcome jealousy. After an argument, they agreed that he would call her once during the night and then when he was going home. Kathy agreed to call her friends and try to make her own plans to leave. While Kathy’s jealousy problem was not resolved, she developed a little more confidence and sense of security in her relationship. This change did not happen because Brian showed his fears were wrong, but because he showed understanding, compassion and support.
As much as an insecure person wants his partner to continue reassuring him, and his partner wants to offer him that peace of mind, that approach too often eventually leads to greater fears and greater frustration. But when a safe partner constantly loves, supports her distressed partner to reconsider her fears and encourages her to develop more positive perceptions, then positive changes tend to occur. Over time, the anxious couple develops greater self-pity as they struggle with their growing self-awareness about their insecurities. The anxious couple can absorb the messages of love, feel more positively towards themselves and have more confidence in their partner.
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