Insecurity And Jealousy In A Relationship, And How To Control Them

Insecurity And Jealousy In A Relationship, And How To Control Them

Image: Shutterstock

A healthy relationship has no scope for insecurity and jealousy. And where these two negative feelings exist, there can’t be a normal relationship.

It is important to note that insecurity and jealousy have some roots. They can’t seep into a happy relationship just like that. And they don’t come alone because they result in anger, anxiety, and depression.

MomJunction tells you how to identify these negative emotions, and address them to bring your relationship back on track.

Relationship Insecurity

Relationship Insecurity

Image: Shutterstock

Insecurity is a feeling of inadequacy where you think that your position in the relationship is threatened or being usurped by someone else.

For example, your partner gets promoted in her job, and she draws a higher salary than you. This makes you feel inferior to her and thus insecure that she might not value you anymore.

Severe insecurity deprives you of peace and ruins the relationship too. Therefore, understand the reason for that feeling, and address it.

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[ Read: Arguments In Relationship ]

What Causes Insecurity In A Relationship?

Below, we list the most common reasons for insecurity in a relationship:

  1. Issues in childhood: Insecurity can sometimes stem from your early childhood. The way you were treated or loved in your childhood carries forward to your adulthood as well. For instance, as a child, if you were ignored, you have a fear of being abandoned as an adult.
  1. Lack of self-esteem: In your growing up years, if you were repeatedly made to feel that ‘you are not good enough’, the feelings of self-doubt are carried into your adult years, leaving you doubtful about your worthiness.
  1. Problems in past relationships: A bad relationship in your past can leave scars for long and the feeling of insecurity lingers even after the relationship ends. Cheating and infidelity make it difficult to trust the person in the current relationship.
  1. Harboring irrational fears: Most people are insecure in their relationship due to unreasonable fears and baseless assumptions. For example, when your spouse goes out of town on a business trip, you fear that they are meeting someone clandestinely.
  1. Assuming problems when none exist: When your partner doesn’t answer your calls, you assume that they are out with their newfound love and are ignoring you. When in reality they might be driving or in a meeting.
  1. Expecting perfection: You want your relationship to be perfect, and anything out of the ordinary makes you feel insecure. When you strongly desire perfection or you want your relationship to be in a certain way, and when it doesn’t, then it gives way for insecurity.

Insecurity, therefore, does not necessarily arise from your partner’s behavior but is more to do with your deeper feelings.

So, how do you know if you or your partner has insecurity?

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[ Read: Trust In A Relationship ]

Signs Of Insecurity In A Relationship

The signs of insecurity are obvious, but a person who is in that situation, might not be able to see them. Here are the signs of insecurity and how they can harm your relationship:

  1. Constantly checking your partner’s phone: You do not miss to check your partner’s phone whenever you get a chance. And this you do clandestinely. You want to know who they are talking to, texting, and Whatsapping. You also check their browsing history.
  1. Anything they do has to be with you: When your partner says they are going out to a party with their colleagues, you start getting anxious. You don’t trust your partner when they are away from you.
  1. Anything you want to do has to be with them: Your entire life revolves around them. You might leave your friends, family, or anyone to spend time with your partner. That can be a dangerous thing to do in a relationship. If your partner is not available or is away for some reason, you become restless and anxious.
  1. You don’t want to confront your partner: The classic sign of insecurity is that you avoid discussions that can lead to confrontations. But when you hold back things within, you can get suffocated, and you will eventually explode. Confrontation is essential if you want to have an intimate relationship.
  1. You bring up your partner’s ex in your conversations: You keep asking questions about your partner’s ex to check if your partner is missing them, or still thinking about them. It indicates your insecurity about yourself and the relationship. You need to realize your self-worth before getting into a relationship.
  1. You need reassurance: You have the constant urge to be reassured that your relationship is good. You continually seek approval from your partner and when you don’t receive it, your insecurity emerges.
  1. You constantly accuse your partner: You might perceive yourself to be not worthy of your partner, and assume they will find someone better than you. Hence, you accuse them of cheating. When you continually accuse your partner of cheating, you pose a risk of your partner actually cheating on you.

Being insecure in a relationship is nothing less than self-torture. Take every step possible to fix it.

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[ Read: Boundaries In Marriage ]

How To Overcome Insecurity In A Relationship?

Insecurity can be the beginning of a host of other related issues such as mistrust, suspicion, arguments, and lack of intimacy. So, nip insecurity in the bud before it aggravates. Here are a few things you can do to deal with iit:

  1. Realize your worth: Insecurity arises when you feel you lack something. To feel secure, you need to realize your value and what you can contribute to your relationship to make it successful.

Use your positive attitude, patience, and cheerfulness to make your partner feel special and loved. See what you can offer instead of focusing on what you lack.

  1. Trust yourself: Insecurity springs from lack of trust in your partner. But, it is more important to trust yourself before you trust your partner. Irrespective of what your partner does, trust your instincts. Trust your inner voice, listen to it, it tells you the truth. You will feel more secure when you trust yourself.
  1. Be independent and balanced: A relationship is healthy when you and your partner are independent. It doesn’t mean that you have nothing to do with your spouse but means that you can do things and make decisions on your own. Being independent also makes you attractive.
  1. Improve your self-esteem: When you have poor self-esteem, you tend to depend on your partner for validation. When you seek their opinion on everything, the pressure can weigh them down, and they tend to look down upon you.

To build your self-esteem:

i. Be compassionate towards yourself rather than being critical.

ii. Stop the negative thoughts such as, ‘I am not good enough for him,’ or ‘I am not beautiful.’

iii. Focus on the good things about you. You need to feel good about yourself naturally, that’s when your self-esteem and confidence improve, and your partner gets attracted to you.

All of us have our imperfections. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect to be happy and secure in your relationship.

  1. Set relationship rules: Having relationship rules can save you from a lot of pain. For instance, rules such as coming home early from work, no hanging out with friends at late nights without intimation, scheduling date nights, and sharing your personal and professional goals, etc., can help you feel more secure in your relationship.
  1. Give your partner space: Being in a relationship doesn’t mean being together 24/7. You and your partner need space to breathe and grow individually and together. If you pressurize your partner to spend time only with you, that will only push them away farther.
  1. Stop reading your partner’s mind: If you are constantly trying to decipher or read your partner’s mind, it is a futile attempt. That will only make you anxious and more insecure. If your guy generally talks less, don’t assume it as his lack of interest in you. Stop reading their mind as it can only damage your relationship.
  1. Focus on positive things: Look at the positive aspects of your relationship instead of trying to find mistakes in your partner. It’s not to say that you have to put up with your partner if they are behaving rudely with you, but you can deal with a positive approach. Create a positive environment and the vibes are sure to make you feel secure in your relationship.
  1. Have an open discussion: It never hurts either of you to have an open and honest discussion. Ask your partner how it feels to be in your shoes. Just let them know why you feel insecure and understand if your fears are genuine.
  1. Pursue your interests: Sometimes you can get paranoid about everything your partner does because you are obsessed with them. Engage yourself in some activities that interest you or preoccupy yourself with something productive.

If your partner is unruly or is cheating on you, then your fears are justified. But if your relationship is good and you are still feeling insecure, you need to work on your relationship because it might soon lead to jealousy as well.

Insecurity and jealousy often come together.

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[ Read: Tips To Fix A Broken Relationship ]

Jealousy In Relationships

Jealousy is a negative emotion in response to a real or assumed threat to your relationship. It is common in all relationships, but most prevalent in romantic relationships.

Jealousy can initially seem good because it makes you feel that your partner cares and loves you. But when it becomes severe, it can ruin your relationship. Knowing the signs can help you address the problem.

Jealousy In Relationships

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What Causes Jealousy In A Relationship?

Jealousy can lead to anger, hatred, and despair. Let’s understand what causes jealousy:

  1. Insecurity in your relationship: Like we said before, insecurity leads to jealousy. Jealousy is a reflection of your insecurities that lie in your subconscious.
  1. A way to deal with fears: The fear of your partner finding someone more attractive than you, the fear of your partner leaving you, and the fear of being cheated can make you feel jealous.
  1. Competition with others: Competition to a certain extent is healthy, but when it becomes extreme, it rears its ugly head in the form of jealousy. Jealous partners try to outdo others instead of being their original self. They find everyone to be their competitor.

[ Read: Stages Of A Relationship ]

A little jealousy is alright and can charge up your relationship and is also healthy for your relationship.

Helen Fisher, the author of Why We Love, says, “A certain amount of jealousy in a relationship is fine. It’s like waking up to a reminder that you are lucky for having got an attractive partner, and that can motivate you to be loving and nice to your partner.

“However, when jealousy is chronic, debilitating and overt – that’s when it becomes a problem.”

You need to know how to control your jealousy, or else it can damage your relationship.

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Signs Of Jealousy

The common signs of jealousy include:

  1. Excessive control: Jealousy triggers controlling behavior, which includes invading your private space, restricting your interactions with friends and colleagues, and probing about everything. Such behavior becomes an everyday affair even under unwarranted circumstances.
  1. Possessiveness: A jealous partner wants you to be only theirs, and no one else should even eye you. They even stalk you to find out what you are doing and with whom you are talking. It is a dangerous situation to be in.
  1. Threatening: Jealous people threaten their partners to control them. They involve in hurting themselves, destroying things, or being extremely violent. They also threaten their partners without resorting to violence, such as through bullying, criticizing or by threatening to leave them.
  1. Anxiety: When you are jealous, you are constantly anxious as to what your partner is up to. You don’t want to involve in activities that you once enjoyed as you are preoccupied with your worries.

If your relationship is plagued by jealousy, you need to work on it or get help to end it.

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How To Control Jealousy In A Relationship?

Here are some strategies that can help you do it:

  1. Trust yourself and your partner: Trust is the foundation of your relationship. Have trust that your love can tide the tough times. Believe in yourself and your partner unless, of course, your partner is cheating on you.
  1. Have an open discussion: If you doubt your partner, have been checking their phone calls, texts, and emails, tell them how all of this is affecting you. Your partner will appreciate the fact that you are honest with them, instead of checking on them behind their back.
  1. Set boundaries: Discuss with your partner about what is causing jealousy in you and define boundaries in your relationship, which are reasonable and practical.
  1. Stay calm: When you have chosen to love your partner, you need to understand that there are risks involved and realize that it’s not going to be all rosy. When you feel jealous, stay calm, take a deep breath, and let the feeling subside by focussing on the positive aspects of your relationship.
  1. Don’t compare yourself with others: Jealousy springs when you compare yourself with others. The grass might seem greener on the other side, but it’s green when you water it. Nurture your relationship – be nice, loving, and compassionate to your partner and be grateful for what you have instead of feeling bad for what you don’t have.
  1. Don’t build up on your feelings: It’s normal to have negative feelings on certain days but don’t let them build up. Your partner doesn’t belong to you alone. They might like interacting with various people out of your relationship. It doesn’t mean that they are having an affair or a casual fling with them. However, it doesn’t mean you should ignore their infidelity.
  1. Convey your feelings: To be in love means to have the freedom to express your feelings without any inhibitions. There’s nothing wrong in expressing your feelings, but you need to communicate them in a way that doesn’t hurt your partner or spoil your relationship.

If you feel your partner is paying undue attention to some other person and making you feel jealous, tell them how you feel about it. Put it across politely and in a neutral tone.

  1. Heal yourself: If you have had a past relationship that was painful such as being cheated or betrayed, you might have difficulty in trusting your present partner. But you need to heal yourself of your past relationship and move on so that you are happy in your current relationship.
  1. Understand that relationships come with ambiguity: No matter how far you have come in your relationship or how loving you may be, there is an element of ambiguity in all relationships. You need to accept that as part of life. However, give your relationship the best shot instead of accusing your partner.

[ Read: How To Be A Good Husband ]

Negative emotions ruin your relationship to the extent that there is no going back. You need to make sure that things don’t go beyond repair. Identify the reason, and address it. The cause of the problem can be you or your partner or both. The sooner you recognize the problem the better will be the result.

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Do you have anything to share about your relationship experience? Do leave your comments below.

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