When we open discussions about relationship problems that couples face on a daily basis, the most common contenders tend to be jealousy, infidelity, and a host of other issues. That said, getting to the root of these problems can be a challenge in of itself, as couples are forced to acknowledge deep-seated obstacles that are causing these matters that are appearing on the surface.
A great place to start is with insecurity, a hurdle that can be brought on by many different factors, both outside and inside of the relationship. In some cases, your insecurity is actually exasperated by your partner. Some of us are just naturally less confident and have more self-doubt than others. Whatever the case, overcoming insecurity is healthy and beneficial for every relationship, no matter the severity.
1. Acknowledge insecurities outside of the relationship.
Chances are that your struggle with insecurity and/or self-esteem is a result of events from your past. Perhaps you were in a relationship, romantic or familial, that ended poorly for you. The truth is that we all have baggage, though they come in different shapes, sizes and colors.
For many, it can take a lifetime to let go of the baggage from our past, but that doesn't mean you have to carry it alone. Your insecurities feel much lighter when you allow your significant other to help you carry them.
Talk to your loved one, or someone else that you trust. Process your insecurities by admitting they are real, and you may find yourself dwelling on them less and less.
2. Acknowledge insecurities within the relationship.
Relationships would probably be a lot easier if we could read minds (maybe not). The power struggle between couples can sometimes be due to doubt and uneasiness with that person. Since you can't read minds, communicate with your partner about these doubts you're having about the relationship. They can't fix anything if they don't know that there's something to address.
A word of caution, however, is to avoid dumping all of your insecurities on the person at once. The last thing you want to do is make your partner feel like they are a villain. Instead, wait until the situation is happening so that you can manage these problems one step at a time.
For example, let's say you're feeling a little jealous because your significant other spends a lot of time with someone of the opposite sex. Rather than bottling this emotion and bringing it up randomly over something else, talk about it when he or she says they're going to spend time with this person. At that point, you can calmly communicate that the situation makes you uncomfortable, allowing you to open a dialogue and find a solution or compromise.
3. Embrace the difficult conversations.
When we realize that a conflict or fight is approaching, we like to avoid it at all costs. We may even think this is helping the relationship, but it's actually just making the eventual conversation more volatile.
Part of having open communication that facilitates security is doing so when it's not easy. This lets you and your partner know that you can trust each other to talk about anything, which will reduce the stress from these conversations later on.
4. Respect their privacy.
When we suspect our significant other of being unfaithful, we're tempted to act on this insecurity by looking their phone, spying on their social media profiles or talking to his/her friends behind his/her back.
The problem is that this is a no-win situation for you. If you find something incriminating, the approaching fight will now be about two things: his/her infidelity and your disrespect toward their privacy, even if it has been validated.
If you don't find something, you now have to deal with the guilt that comes along with not having trust for your partner, especially if your wrongdoing comes to light.
This can be difficult advice to apply after the relationship has already started, but it's still useful for individuals to take hold of. Before you go down the road of loving someone, make sure you love yourself first. Love yourself for the good qualities, bad qualities and everything in between. Get your house in order and develop a sense of self that will last through any relationship you take part in. Doing this can help you maintain a relationship that is both lasting and fulfilling.
5. Start loving yourself, first.
If you're already in a relationship, then you can still apply this. Start doing things independent from your partner, within reason. Work toward the goal of building a satisfying lifestyle that isn't completely contingent on the success of your relationship, and you'll find that the stress from trying to keep your relationship "perfect," may begin to dissipate.
Keep in mind that fully overcoming something as daunting as insecurity is very difficult and requires a focused effort. No matter what you're going through, know that seeking help is one of the best solutions to making this process controllable and successful.