Saturday, July 7, 2012

Real Relationships: How do you deal with Insecurities in a Relationship?


How do you deal with insecurities in a marriage?

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the next few posts will be focused on answering some of your questions about relationships (marriage, dating, and pretty much any relationship topics.).  I've asked my readers to write me with any relationship questions they want answered or discussed through this series.  This was one of the first questions submitted for the "Real Relationships" series and I want to start with it because it's a question that a lot of people deal with in relationships- whether married or dating.

Insecurity is the seed of discontent.  It's like a poison that seeps into a person's heart and mind and begins to fill them with confusion and doubt and fools them into believing they have no control.  I think it's a poison that we have all dealt with at some point, because it attacks in so many areas of our lives- relationships included.

I want to tackle this question by looking at two components to insecurity within a relationship: Yourself and Your Significant Other. 

Yourself:  What kind of counselor would I be if I didn't start a topic like this with the most influential person you will ever know-yourself.  So much of insecurity can only be dealt with by looking inward at your heart.  There comes a point to which no matter what your partner does or doesn't do...insecurity can still thrive, if the seed of it inside your heart has not been removed.  So you have to start there.

A lot of our insecurities as human beings stem back from our wrong beliefs about who we are.  Wrong beliefs can be placed on us from the time we are children and all through our adulthood by parents, friends, family, sinfulness, and even ourselves.  These beliefs shape the core of our view of self, and in turn how we act, and react to the world around us.  They are the filter that take in our reality, and if our filter is dirty...everything we see will be blemished as well.

When we live with insecurities, we can and will interpret anything and everything with a negative perspective.  This can taint the relationships that we are in, causing us to assume that our partner cannot be trusted, or has negative intent...when really, the culprit is our tainted views of ourselves.

I knew someone who had a really hard time with this.  She struggled with insecurities and negative thoughts and feelings about herself from her weight to her looks to her personality deficits and character flaws.  She magnified these weaknesses and eventually began to believe others did so as well.  These things slowly began creeping into her relationship with her husband, and she began to interpret all his actions as putting the spotlight on her insecurities, though he was only trying to encourage her and help her grow.  These interactions began to ware on their relationship and formed a barrier of mistrust and doubt between them.

I don't want to oversimplify such an important topic, because it's not like a person can just wish these negative thoughts and feelings away and like magic they are gone.  Years of negative build up might take years of removal...but with God's help, and our efforts...miracles really can happen- even in our emotional worlds. 

The process of dealing with our insecurities takes self-reflection, lots of it...and hard work.   Work to identify and then replace these negative thoughts and beliefs with the particular, God's truth.  It takes some serious energy to actually start believing this stuff, and seeing ourselves from the perspective that God wants us to be seen. 

For some, these insecurities run deep, and the help of a professional counselor is necessary.  For others, surrounding yourself with people who will speak encouragement into your life, getting real with your beliefs about ourselves, and starting to open our eyes to how God sees you will be the first steps in the process  You are valuable and worthwhile, according to Him...and it's time to find that out for yourself (Genesis 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Romans 8:1, Psalm 139, Matthew 10:31...).

Start dealing with yourself and your own insecurities as the first step...because at the end of the day, you are the only thing that you can control.   

*I'll tackle the next step to dealing with insecurities in my next post: Your Partner