Social Question

poisonedantidote's avatar

How do you deal with irrationally feeling insecure in a relationship?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21539 points ) October 14th, 2012

As some of you will already know, I am in a relationship at the moment. Quite a serious relationship at that, as we intend to marry in about 6 months.

My girlfriend is the most amazing person I know. Not only do I deeply love her and care about her, but I have also come to see her as a role model for me.

She really is a nice person. She never judges people, she is kind, honest, very sincere and just generally a better person than me in every way you can imagine.

I have never been an insecure person, or even jealous for that matter. However, for some reason I feel insecure, probably caused by the high regard I have for her.

I have realized, that my insecurity will some times cause me to act a bit like an asshole, and I would like to remedy it.

We are not talking about anything relationship-threatening, or anything serious, but I would like to change it none the less.

For example, I some times find myself taking control when there is a minor problem, so that I can “assert my dominance” so to speak, and distract from the fact that I actually feel a little insecure.

This can lead to me giving my girlfriend a bit of a hard time for 10 or 20 minutes while we debate something.

The relationship is going very well, we have an understanding and level of honest communication that I have never seen before. So this is not a desperate plea for help or anything, just some general advice to help modify my behavior a little.

Any time there is a problem, we always sit down and calmly talk about it in a reasonable and honest way. My girlfriend even knows that I feel a little insecure, because I have told her while issuing an apology or two.

I don’t even mind being a little insecure, I think it is normal after all. I just don’t want it to become a fuel for me to act like an ass.

I even know, that I don’t really have a reason to feel insecure, because it really is going so well.

Just I find it affecting me at the least expected time.

I am capable of allowing her to do things many other men would not, and I don’t get jealous or insecure. However, at very unexpected times, I will some times (often in retrospect) realize that it is having or had an affect on me.

For example:

If she hangs out with a male friend it does not bother me. If she wants to go in to the Chipendales strip club for a laugh next time we are in Soho London, I would be fine with it. I would even hope she enjoys it and has a good laugh.

However, if we are lost and trying to find our way some place. I may act like a retarded dominant ape, to get her to follow me. Because for some strange reason, I don’t want her to think I don’t know where I’m going.

I will then begin to give her a hard time, and tell her she has no idea how dangerous the underground is, and to just stick close to me and things like that.

(there are also other examples, probably better examples too, but I can’t think of any now)

Any tips on how I can stop being insecure, or at least not allow it to affect how I act?

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10 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Ask her to challenge you when she thinks you are being overpowering, irrationally insecure or just plain silly.

Because for some strange reason, I don’t want her to think I don’t know where I’m going.

That is not a valid explanation; you need to ferret out the reason.

Coloma's avatar

I think accepting the FACT that all relationships are subject to breaking up at some point or another and the FACT, that even if you’re in the tiny minority of ” til death do us part”, death WILL part you, sooner or later. lol
It is helpful to see the transient nature of everything in life and put it in perspective.
If a relationship fails it is meant to fail so that the parties involved grow.

Your insecurity is based on your desire to have some sort of guarantee that you will not lose this relationship and there is none. Infact, the odds are good you will repel this person if you wear your insecurities on your sleeve. It is far too big of a burden for anyone to feel responsible for anothers security needs.
I say instead of focusing on the possible loss of your loved one you focus on your own strength and confidence that you can, and will, survive whatever life throws at you.

Shippy's avatar

It’s funny how we always notice the good points in others, I was thinking about that today. Even if they are really hard to determine, I will find them in another. But find them in myself? I really battle. I was even going to post a question about this and may still do.

Perhaps since she knows you are a little insecure about “you”, not the relationship, ask her if she can note down things she finds great about you. The list may surprise you.

I personally would sit her down and tell her, that you feel very strongly like acting like an asshole when you want to show your strengths. But armed with this list you could in fact act on those instead?

glacial's avatar

Please define “giving her a hard time”.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@glacial Generally being less calm and reasonable, and being a bit more irritable than usual.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Sometimes, when we come realize we have something more to lose than we believed and just how easily it can be lost, it rattles us a little. The fact that you recognize your insecurity is probably the best medicine, I suspect you just need time to adjust. It probably wouldn’t hurt to take a look around and make sure you know where it’s coming from, that should help you deal with it too.

In the meantime, relax, and if you feel a case of stupid coming on, take a deep breath, and think before you speak. If you find yourself preoccupied, mentally correct yourself and get back to focusing on enjoying your journey together; worrying about what might be has a nasty habit of blinding us to what is and our partners can certainly sense that “distance”. If it gets too serious get it out, laugh about it, and tell her to call you on it in the future.

Remember, she picked you just as much as you picked her, just be yourself and grow from there, it’s who she fell in love with and why she’s still around.

augustlan's avatar

Recognizing it is half the battle, so good for you on being self aware. If she challenges your behavior while this is going on, are you able to get it under control? Or does it make you angrier? If it’s the former, I’d come up with a signal she can give you to let you know you’re doing it. As soon as she notices the insecurity-fueled ass making an appearance she could squeeze your hand twice, or say a silly code word. Something to bring you back to yourself quickly, defusing the situation. Thank her for bringing it to your attention, show her some love, and move on. In this way, it becomes a small mistake, easily recovered from.

If calling attention to the incident(s) would only make you dig in your heels and ramp up the behavior, you’re going to have to work harder to change yourself. I don’t know how this happens, but a counselor might help, or maybe meditation? The one thing you don’t want is for her to change. She may get so used to this bad behavior that she becomes immune to the hurt it causes. I’ve been in her position, and getting used to it was not a healthy thing.

josie's avatar

It is not a good general philosophy of life, but when it comes to love, sometimes, you have to let go of the steering wheel.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

From the description, it sounds as if the two of you have a very healthy relationship. The only red flag, (note: in your mind), is when it comes to ”...I some times find myself taking control when there is a minor problem, so that I can “assert my dominance” so to speak, and distract from the fact that I actually feel a little insecure.”

This doesn’t seem to be the case, in general. One example cited (jealously) doesn’t support it. The other (knowing the right direction) does. So it may be a matter of introspective thought as to why certain scenarios trigger this emotion. Is it a matter of pattering behavior after a father figure? Is it something that you take pride in and suddenly feel insecure if challenged on the subject?

Drill down to what is causing it. It won’t hurt to talk to your partner about it either. As you said, this is a minor issue. She will most likely quell the concerns you have about it.

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