“Sometimes anger is just fear wrapped up in insecurity.” If it’s one thing I’ve noticed just through being in a relationship and through my coaching and interactions with my audience it’s that we aren’t nearly as “hard” as we claim to be. For some reason we feel the need to express our frustrations and fears in the form of confrontation or being nonchalant. In other words we will blame others for all they are doing wrong or we will act like we don’t care about anything because that’s easier than admitting that we are afraid. Here are a few things we are afraid of but don’t want to admit it.
1) Afraid that you will end up alone.
I’ve found that many times we spend more time worrying about if our mate is cheating on us outside of our relationships than we actually do investing in our relationships. We spend so much time searching for problems, going through phones, and fighting over social media because we don’t want our mate to potentially be with someone else. Many times if you undress the insecurity though, it is rooted in fear that your mate may find someone else. This fear that someone else might come in and sever your bond.
2) Afraid that you will be in it by yourself.
Many times when a family is built or even before a family is built, there comes these disagreements about who does what in the relationship: arguments about who provides the most funds or who does the most housework or who handles the kids more. Instead of working as a team it becomes a competition and instead of admitting that you’re afraid to go at things alone it becomes a counterproductive blame game.
3) Afraid you won’t be good enough
A lot of times we project our own internal inadequacies on to someone else. We gain a little weight and don’t feel attractive then suddenly we start accusing our mate of cheating or of suspicious things. Maybe you are having a tough time at work, not getting the promotion you want, or feeling like you aren’t appreciated. Some of that is rooted in not feeling good enough, but sadly sometimes it’s expressed in anger or insecurity towards our mates. It’s in these times we should seek support from our mates instead of picking fights.
4) Afraid they might do better than you
I think this one is a great spin off of the last point. Sometimes we see our mates starting to build up some momentum in areas of their life and maybe we aren’t keeping up. They are getting promotions and you aren’t, they are getting awards and accolades in organizations and you aren’t, or maybe they started a business and you haven’t. They are starting to realize their potential while you feel stuck. Sometimes this can breed jealousy and resentment instead of encouragement and support.
5) Afraid of being HAPPY
I know it’s hard to believe but I am convinced that some people find comfort in dysfunction. It’s what they’re used to and it’s what their normal is. I call it “normalized dysfunction.” Because of this sometimes your mate can’t stand when you are happy or if you are trying to make them happy. They see you smiling and they find a way to bring you down off of your happy high. Truth is that sometimes people can’t handle peace and are truly afraid of the newness that they may call happy.
Being afraid is a natural part of life and I think we have to be willing to admit it. Sometimes admitting being afraid to your mate helps him or her to understand you more and many often help them learn how to support you better. Instead of letting your fears turn into dysfunctions, allow your fears to humanize you. Sometimes those fears and vulnerabilities can bring a couple closer together.
BMWK, does your spouse (or maybe you) have any of these characteristics?