Me Before We

Learn to love yourself first

Sex and Insecurity: Part 1

Would he betray you? Is she flirting? Maybe you have reason to be suspicious, but here’s another explanation: Many of us create feelings of insecurity in our relationships as a way to get back the passion we once felt. Read More

In a nutshell

No woman wants a man who WOULD cheat on her.

Every woman wants a man who COULD.

It's terribly unpleasant to think that someone is only with you because they have no other options. Therefore, some people create imaginary threats to their relationships to improve their own sense of self-worth when their partners ultimately "choose" them.

In a nutshell

Well summed up! Thank you!!

I loved this blog entry! As

I loved this blog entry! As a 25 year old in a committed relationship, this post was incredibly salient. I am so in love with, and dedicated to the woman I have in my life, but in some instances around others (especially attractive women) have become almost hyper-vigilant to the way I act if my partner is around for fear of upsetting her.

My partner is a wonderful and amazing woman, but has a deep seeded insecurity about herself and is constantly comparing herself to others and falling short. Your words on creating a "self fulfilling prophecy" ring true, as I've noticed recently that I'm almost resentful of the way I feel I have to act towards other women so as not to upset the balance at home.

Yet the answer seems simple enough to me. I need to talk to her. It's scary, difficult, and secretly I believe I'll be rejected or abandoned if I bring up this subject with her. Communication has always been our strong point, and so many miscommunications have been solved by just sitting and talking out our interacting perspectives.

Why is this instance so much more difficult? Why does sex / attraction make me hesitate so much more to bring up the conversation? ....maybe you have some thoughts, I know I'll keep thinking about it

Thanks again for a great post !

-Josh

Hey Josh

Thank you so very much for your comments. Anything that has the capacity to destabilize the "harmony" we work so hard to achieve in our relationships leaves us fearful of initiating communication, therefore making it more difficult. But you are right, talking to her is a good start, the best conversations can be the ones that you have in lieu of an argument, rather than on the heels of one during the making up session. I am going to be covering more of the dimensions of why communication on these loaded topics is difficult, so stay tuned. In the interim, it is clear to me that you already have great instincts!

insecurity

So insecurity is a good thing? We don't have to be ashamed of it? Thanks a lot, Suzie!

Bob, you can be ashamed of

Bob, you can be ashamed of anything you want to be ashamed about. You are the boss! xoxo

Interesting

It seems that, particularly after a relationship has been going on for a decent while (5 years)there is this sort of struggle between a feeling of comfort in each other and taking each other for granted--and it can slide from one extreme to another.

It is true that we, as a species, are easily bored, and often, the idea that out partner is also desired by others needs to be reinforced and serves as sort of a kick-start to renewed attraction.That can be a sort of dangerous precipice to dance along, however.While the feeling sort of awakens us and makes us, in this vein, more alert, some may find the "game" more attractive than what it is supposed to be reinforcing--Don Draper syndrome, if you will.

I'm just glad that, at my advanced age, my wife and I are past this stage.I find that we are both most attracted to each other when one or the other does something kind and loving unexpectedly, and that we really don't seem to need to play the game that we did, say 20 years ago.Other people really don't figure into the equation in the same way anymore.

Coach

Thank you. I appreciate that this is not a natural topic for u, I know the ones that are, and u r UNBELIEVABLE at them. Many of our interests overlap, and I know the incredibly flexible brain I am dealing with, so I know u will be a force even in this arena. Ever the teacher, and therefore leader as well as guide with a deep and meaningful investment in the lives of all your students - from before me at McBurney HS until your retirement from teaching HS a year ago. And you are still teaching from a very different pulpit. A True Teacher. Thank you for supporting me here. Now, as for your question...

Your second paragraph exactly sums up - but more eloquently - what I say i in the article.

Yeah Steve, I love that u read this, but... it is most definitely not an experience u can relate to, it's true. Your relationship is amazing. But we well know tweaking, adjusting and readjusting as well as managing expectations comes into play to keep it amazing.

Thanks...

Very true--we grew into this over nearly 30 years. We were both quite insecure in our own ways at the start, given we had both been married before--we sort of projected a good deal of baggage from our pasts onto our presents at the time and had to work very hard to grow out of it.

hard work...

I read the article. Very interesting indeed. Many of us base our self-worth on our desirability to others. We all like to know "we still got it" even if we never had it to begin with. I believe we all want the comfortable and reliable mate who will stick with us and never have a wandering eye that will threaten the relationship. The problem is that it makes us lazy. We take for granted our partner's fidelity and dedication. Every married guy I know jokes about never having sex with their wives as they are an "old married couple". Many women I hear talking will say how they just want to "get it over with" when it comes to sexual intimacy with their spouses. I have often thought to myself, "why is that?" In my opinion it is because so many of us take our partner for granted and just expect devotion and fidelity. For many of us the fidelity is easier than the devotion. Devotion can be hard. You have to feel it. You can't fake wanting to be with someone. Marriage and relationships are hard work and need effort.
Physical appearance takes work to keep it trim and healthy. It is easy to get out of shape, especially as we age. For some it is harder than it is for others but it takes effort to stay healthy. I believe relationships need the same. If left to get out of shape by being lazy, a relationship will suffer and not live up to it's potential. I am glad that my wife is true blue and doesn't make me feel insecure but I need to remember that and let her know that I appreciate it and love her even more for it.
We are far from perfect but we are happier together.

Thank You Brian

You are a great writer! Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. I wonder if you had a chance to read my first two posts... Some of the stuff u highlight is addressed. Other facets of what you just observed and wrote about will be addressed in coming posts, that's how spot on you are with the struggles that people go thru in their daily lives. I know your wife, and SHE IS HOT, so I agree you best remember that and show her that appreciation for her dedication to u!

Insecurity

About 2 years ago, I was in a relationship in which I was cheated on about 6 different times. We dated for about 2 years before the break up. Although the feelings of insecurity have lessened I still can’t help but shake them. I almost feel traumatized by it. My current partner is very faithful and loving, and I’m very consciously aware of this, but I have persistent dreams about her cheating on me and random bouts of paranoia if I see her talking with a guy I don’t know. I believe the dreams, and this paranoia, come from my own insecurities. Any advice on how to become more secure with myself?

i still can't shake them**

i still can't shake them**

Insecurity

Patrick, it's so understandable that what happened in your last relationship haunts you in this one. Once trust is betrayed, it's hard to feel sturdy again, even if you have tried to push the reset button with someone new. Being cheated on 6 different times not only takes a toll on the relationship (obviously) but it takes a toll on you. It can evoke shame, and can even make you question if you are deserving of someone steady, someone authentic who doesn't plan to betray your trust. Sometimes, even though we want so badly to feel safe in our current relationship, on some deep level, we worry that we are not deserving of good things, and then we start to erode the relationship we are in, in a way, inadvertently, and in a way as yet another self-fulfilling prophecy - "if you are not a cheater, then I am gonna drive you to cheat or constantly suspect you of cheating, because that's the world I know,but what I really want to do is have you prove once and for all that you would never cheat." Obviously, this formula doesn't usually work so well for either party in the relationship. Rather, start with feeling compassion for yourself that you have been through a lot, and keep communication open with your girlfriend. At the end of the day, if she somehow hurts you, you were no better of having prepared yourself for it than you are working on giving her room to be herself with other guys, and being forgiving of your own discomfort, which in turn deepens the trust between the two of you.

Testing their commitment

Thank you for this series, I am reading the posts over and over trying to get my self esteem and confidence back before I wreck my relationship.

My previous two long term relationships ended for the right reasons, but the feeling that I was left with was that I was not worth fighting for. I am not enough to make him stay.

I now have this irrational fear that my current boyfriend doesn't really want ME. He settled for me. I am so very different than his ex-wife and the women he is normally attracted to... I am trying to get the strong confident me back- but this fear of not being enough is holding me back. It is making me need so much reassurance, it is making me suspicious, it makes me angry.

I push and test and accuse so that he has to prove to me he will and is fighting for me. It is wrong, and dangerous. At some point he will get fed up with me no believing him... and I will have created the very situation I am most afraid of.

Samantha - I hope u read

Samantha - I hope u read today's. It applies directly to what u r addressing. I am so sorry u are struggling this way. It's awful, and unbearable. U are right. U can drive him away, but you post sounds like u so don't want to. Try to sit quietly and process stuff for awhile. Stuff has gotten kicked up that doesn't sound like it belongs to him. It's great that u are trying to find your way out of this pattern.

Suzanne, Thank you for the

Suzanne,

Thank you for the words of encouragement. Some where this last year among some huge life changes I broke. I'm trying to put me back together and maintain this relationship. He is too incredible for me to lose. And above all I don't want to hurt him.

The thing is; he knows and understands everything. So when I test him he calls me on it, pulls me close and asks if he passed again and how many more there are. I hold on to those moments and replay them-- he wouldn't do that if I wasn't worthy. But sometimes me head goes off the rails ...

Until this last year I never understood the saying 'one day at a time' now it's my mantra.

Rock on, Girl!

Rock on, Girl!

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Suzanne Lachmann, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist in NYC specializing in psychotherapy.

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