Marriage should make both spouses feel secure, respected, and most of all loved unconditionally. When insecurity is present in a marriage these ideals are non-existent. So what exactly is insecurity? What does insecurity look like in marriage?
Often times, insecurity shows up in the form of jealousy and/or controlling behavior. Insecurity is that feeling of inadequacy, feeling threatened, and/or self-doubt. It shows itself through the constant need for reassurance along with unwarranted accusations, jealousy, or snooping. These actions will weaken trust and slowly but surely push a spouse away be it consciously or subconsciously. You don’t go through life without encountering feelings of self-doubt. As such, you should be mindful that insecurity can sabotage your marriage if you’re not careful. Insecurity can and will rob you of your peace and prevent you from being able to engage with your spouse in a relaxed and authentic way.
Don’t be a victim of insecurity instead be a victor in stopping insecurity from running your marriage by taking the following steps:
Know Your Value
When insecurity strikes, it strikes hard making you feel as if you’re lacking something. In marriage, there’s a ying and a yang, meaning each spouse brings different qualities and strengths that complement one another. It is possible to be equals in different ways. In order to feel more secure in a marriage, it helps to know what you have to offer your spouse.
Don’t subscribe to shallow societal standards. Instead, recognize that personality characteristics are major contributors to the overall quality of a marriage. Take a moment and consider your traits – perhaps you are thoughtful, honest, amusing, caring, or a good problem solver. I would be willing to bet these traits are far more valuable to your spouse. Now take some time and think about how you can make your spouse’s life better: Do you make them feel supported, happy, and valued? Spouses want to feel these things in a marriage, but far too often they don’t as a result of insecurities. Begin to focus on all that you offer rather what you feel you lack. This will begin to change your perception.
Boost Your Self-Esteem
Did you know that people with more marital insecurity have poorer self-esteem? When you are not feeling good about yourself on the inside, it is natural to want to look outside of yourself for validation. However, trying to feel good by getting approval from your spouse is a losing situation for any marriage. When your well-being depends on someone else, you give away your power. A healthy spouse won’t want to carry this kind of burden and it can push him or her away.
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Feeling good about yourself is a win-win for the marriage. You get to enjoy the sense of well-being that comes with genuinely liking and most importantly loving yourself. Self-confidence is an attractive quality that makes your spouse want to be closer to you.
Building your self-esteem isn’t difficult. Building self-confidence comes with experience, but there are two steps you can take that will rapidly improve how you feel about yourself. Learn to silence your inner critic and practice self-compassion, and retrain yourself to focus on the aspects of yourself you like instead of the ones you don’t like.
Retain Your Independence
A healthy marriage is comprised of two healthy spouses. Becoming overly involved in a marriage can lead to poor boundaries. Maintaining your sense of self-identity and taking care of your needs for personal well-being are the keys to keeping a healthy balance in your marriage.
When you aren’t dependent on your marriage to fill all of your needs, you feel more secure about your life. Being an independent person who has things going on outside of the marriage also makes you a more interesting and attractive spouse. Ways to maintain your independence include: Making time for your own friends, interests, and hobbies, maintaining financial independence, and having self-improvement goals that are separate from your relationship goals. Don’t forget to do you!
Feeling secure in a marriage depends on trusting your spouse but, more importantly, on learning to trust yourself. Trust yourself to know that no matter what your spouse does, you will take care of you.
Trust yourself to know that you won’t ignore your inner voice when it tells you that something isn’t right. Trust yourself not to hide your feelings, trust yourself to make sure your needs are met, and trust yourself that you won’t lose your sense of self-identity. Trust yourself to know that if the marriage isn’t working, you will be able to leave and still be a whole functioning individual. When you trust yourself, feeling secure is almost a guarantee. If finding this kind of trust in yourself seems very difficult on your own, you may wish to work with a professional who can help you learn how to do this.
Remember no one is perfect—we all come with baggage. It isn’t necessary to be perfect in order to be in a happy, healthy, and secure marriage. When you take your attention off of what other people think and keep the focus on yourself, you can’t help become a better, more secure version of yourself which translates to a better and more secure thriving marriage.