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Rangie's avatar

Aside from counceling, what would you do to handle a very insecure spouse?

Asked by Rangie (3661points) April 12th, 2010

If this insecurity manifests itself in starting arguments all the time, how do you handle the arguing. My sister could benefit from some very clever comments.

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14 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

money helps one feel more secure… help the spouse with money.

Rangie's avatar

Well suddenly I am feeling insecure, gimme the money. lol
But if it is not about money, perhaps not feeling worthy, or fear of the future if the partner leaves. How do you relate and communicate, if you can’t get a word in? I believe he tries to stay in control by ruling the house, having the last word, not physically, but following what she is doing and who she is talking to. He doesn’t stop her, he is just insecure like he might loose her.

Rangie's avatar

Sorry about the spelling of Counseling. It is late.

susanc's avatar

Is this historical or recent? Is it getting worse? Is he afraid of getting old, or something like that? Is he old enough to have had
a little undiagnosed stroke? Trying to get a feel for the situation….

Sophief's avatar

Well I am a very insecure person and I have never started an arguement with my partner. I would of thought insecure people would be the exact opposite, trying to be the best they can so they don’t argue?!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Counseling is the way to go, both as a couple and individually. It sounds like he needs to work managing and needing his need for certainty, while learning to respect her boundaries. Even within a committed relationship, people are entitled to privacy. They need to go as a couple and learn to manage his anxiety, before it destroys the relationship. Sometimes in this situation, the person who is anxious will destroy the relationship by constantly pushing the boundaries and forcing their partner to constantly have to prove that they care or are truthful. No one wants to live on the defensive all the time.

atav's avatar

there are several fantastic books,

A Complaint Free World
The Magic of Thinking Big
The 4-Hour Workweek

wundayatta's avatar

If a spouse is insecure, then I would find ways to help bolster his (her?) sense of self-worth, by admiring and appreciating him early and often. Be sincere about it, but every time you find yourself thinking anything nice, give voice to it.

If the spouse is insecure but in denial about that, and trying to control the other spouse, it will be hard to break through to them. You have to understand their psychology if you are going to do anything useful. This means creating a safe environment for him to talk. It means listening and not defending yourself all the time. She has to listen, listen, listen and bite her tongue the whole time. Her goal is to understand him, not defend her individual actions. If she gets in defensive mode, forget about it.

The goal is to find out what worries the spouse. Why does he need to control? My guess is that it has to do with a fear about being lovable, and a worry that she will leave him once she figure out how no good he is. This is probably not a conscious fear, unless he is a pretty self-aware person.

The other thing that would help is if he does become aware of his behavior and what is behind it. This can come out in counseling, but it seems that is not an option. Perhaps the wife can serve as counselor, but that’s tough, too. Again, listening is probably the best that can be done here. Letting him talk until eventually he tells himself what he is feeling and why. Then maybe you can work on it in a more conscious way.

But it’s tough doing things without the awareness and help of the other person. It’s actually a form of manipulation and he’ll catch on. So it would be better to explain overtly that you want to try to listen better, and understand him better because you think this will help both of you. Who knows? Maybe he’ll want to join in.

Rangie's avatar

Some really great advise. I will have to go through my other sister to give this information. She hasn’t spoken to me in 2 years. Her husband managed to convince her that I am not good for her. That all stems from a show car. He had a show car, so we got one too, and thought we could go car showing together. He was too jealous of our car to keep it together. He couldn’t handle it, so started an issue over it. Silly, stupid things people do over jealousy. Again, insecure.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’d never marry them. If I did marry them and all of a sudden they’d start to feel insecure, it’s time for a long talk and some action to remedy the problem.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

A lot of reassurance, gentle physical contact (not necessarily sexual). Try to find ways that can help them bolster their own self confidence, concentrating on something he or she is good at. No phoney praise though.

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Rangie's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I will tell her. thanks for the good info.

Rangie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think that may be one of the problems here. They didn’t know each other very well before they married. They still knew the “best foot forward” person. I don’t know if she can remedy it or not. But she is the subservient type and will let it go on and complain behind his back.

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