Relationship Insecurity; Is it My Problem or Ours?

by Alaina L. Lewis

Who is that girl you were looking at? Why is your phone always on vibrate; you don’t want me to know whose calling you? How come I can’t read your text messages, are you hiding something? If you’re not telling me goodnight, then who the hell are you saying it to? Who’d you go to the movies with? Keep it real, are you cheating on me?

Insecurity — often the elephant in the room. When it comes to these particular problems in a relationship, no one will argue that it’s not a natural feeling, but when you’re involved with someone and constantly reciting the questions posed up above, you’ve moved far away from the norm and crossed over into something that should be viewed only as a major problem.

How did you get here? Was there an incident that made you lose trust in your mate? Are you unconsciously blaming them for something the last person did? Feeling uncertain about someone or the outside actions of the person you’re with, sucks. How you got to that point often sucks even more. But when you peel back the layers on your reaction to their every move, especially the ones you know nothing about, in your eyes insecurity may seem harmless, but moreover it’s really a serious “control problem.”

“The best way I can keep from getting hurt is to stay aware of their every move. All. The. Time.” Right? Wrong.

You may thinking by nagging, prying, lurking and accusing your mate of the things unseen is a brilliant way to circumvent a problem, or that you’re seemingly scaring them into “staying in check.” Unfortunately, you’re doing nothing more than trying to control the outcome. Keyword: Control.

Control neither helps the situation or prevents your biggest nightmare from happening. No one wants to be in a relationship that feels like prison, or probation. Love isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be mentally taxing.

Control truly does the exact opposite of our seemingly brilliant intentions. It forces your “victim” to move further away from you and chips away at the bridge the two of you are building when it came to laying down the foundation of your relationship— unless however, you’re with someone who is willing to look at your issue, as more than just your problem, but rather as our problem for the fixing.

I was once in love with someone who hurt me deeply. His name was Immanuel.  We were young, he was living for the moment, and I was a victim of his “life of the party” mentality. After five years without him, most of which he spent trying to win me back, I finally conceded one day. I said ‘yes,’ and agreed to give it another go. My biggest mistake was not still loving him after all these years, rather it was allowing him back into my life and not having full trust, or complete forgiveness for what had transpired when we were younger.

Unfortunately when I took him back, I stayed riddled with the possibility of ending up on the wrong side of the page— being further victimized by this person who I felt had changed for the better this time around, even though my mind was constantly telling me to be on high alert for what he was doing when I looked the other way. I became a nag, an annoyance, a bass-ackwards Miss Cleo who thought I could throw a few trinkets on the table and have the answer to who he clicked over and talked to when he left me on hold for 45.2 seconds. Some b*%$h, that’s who. *facepalm*

I was a beast, the worst — but not in the beginning. Ignoring the initial problem and not working through our trust issue together, lead us to existing in a relationship that was nothing shy of “emergency planet earth.” Immanuel thought that my insecurity was my problem for the fixing. I felt like it was something we should have addressed from jump and worked through together.

Couples have to understand that a little reassurance truly does go a long way, however, when one person doesn’t want to practice this logic you have a situation where one of us is endlessly hurting, while the other begins to detach. The problem only compounds, and the insecurity in the relationship starts to amply. Unfortunately, if you didn’t know it, you’ve just signed up for a control problem.

People will say that insecurity is an individual’s problem. I’m willing to say that my thoughts on this waiver and truly depend upon whether or not you’ve put in the initial work to illustrate to your partner that you’re not doing anything to break their heart. If you truly address a problem from the begining and it continues to exist thereafter, well then it’s no longer “our” problem, it’s theirs for the fixing.  Some people are looking for heroes, and no one should feel forced into wearing a cape.

My point? Consider this.

When you sign up to love someone, you sign up to work with them through their struggle, as much as they sign up to work with you through yours. You don’t have to own someone’s issue, but if you choose to be apart of their life, you should make a choice to help them in their issue, especially if it’s something you did that caused the problem in the first place. If they’re unresponsive to your nobility, then they problem isn’t yours to help them fix. They need to work that out on their own.

Like the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink, however, if you buy a horse and chose to make them your own, you need to be willing to help them quench their thirst, or don’t saddle up to begin with.

What say you Clutchettes and Gents? Is insecurity a two person problem or should your mate work it out on their own? Dish.

  • Erin

    This describes my last relationship to a tee. I feel like if your significant other does something to hurt you and thus you lose trust for them, and they do absolutely nothing to make up for what they did… they don’t feel sorry about it, they don’t try to handle the situation, or don’t care to do so… that the best bet is to just walk away before you become the “insecure” one in the relationship. I feel like everyone in a relationship makes mistakes, but if you’re not willing to work thru them together, when they first show face, then they just create bigger issues in the end. Get out while you still have a piece of your sanity left.

  • Sandra

    I dont know. I hate when a guy swaets me about where im going and who im with. But i guess if i was trying to build something long term it WOULD make sense to get to the bottom of the problem for the sake of salvaging what we have. Interesting points. Good resd!

  • EST. 1986

    How does one ‘fix’ another person’s insecurities?

  • Lili

    I’ve been this person before. Alls I wanted was someone to reassure me. He had cheated too though. Dudes just don’t get it!

  • Lili

    I think people have to understand that when you love someone, you need to help their work through their demons. Half these people out here expect relationships to be some sort of fictitious fairytale or some sort of perfect world.

    NO. When my man lost his job, he got so insecure about me leaving him for someone who had a career, or could afford to keep me in the lifestyle we had before he got laid off. Some women would be turned off and run the other way. I just sat him down, told him that I wasn’t going to go anywhere, and HELPED him get over his fears.

    That’s what insecurity is, FEAR. If you don’t want to help a person fix their demons, then really don’t be with them in the first place. I also agree that if you put in the work, and they aren’t responding like they get that you’re not going anywhere, then it’s time to give them the middle finger and keep it moving! You can’t help everyone!

  • Lisa

    As one of the leaders in my Church I see this often, I loved how you asked the question, “how did we get here?” And to be honest with you, I have been there, not a good place to be… This was a very good article…

  • Lisa

    I don’t think you can fix someone elses insecurities, we all need to be completely healed before we start a new relationship, it is unfair to expect the new person to fix what someone else broke.

  • http://halloftheblackdragon.com Greg Dragon

    What you call insecurity is what we call “crazy” in man language. We hear women tout trust constantly in conversation so when a woman is wanting to go through our phones, emails and history it comes off as a bit much – especially if we feel that we have given no reason for you to be accusatory.

    One of the problems in relationships is the patience angle and many women look to us guys to be patient, help them through these insecurities, and assume we know that we will be rewarded with a great girl if we temper the drama. From a man’s perspective this does seem like a lot, actually it seems like too much.

    “Good men” have gotten to a point where having to answer for the sins of their “bad boy” brothers is too much; so when a woman asks an honest man to prove his honesty it appears to him that she is wrongfully accusing him and is beyond hope in ever trusting men again.

    Better you find a way to cure the insecurity with your girls instead of looking to a man to play along in helping you past it.

  • EST. 1986

    Is anyone ever ‘completely healed’ in life?

  • Alaina L Lewis

    Perfectly put. Was the conclusion I came to, and hope all people come to if the other party isn’t willing to put in the work!!

  • paul

    What is it that these self appointed good man types offer women over and above hypothetical coulda beens – that coulda been if only women dated them?

    And how come they can only “compete” against men they ASSUME have failed women, rather than compete as equals with other men on with whatever they have to offer?

    That’s pretty sad dude – that the only way you can “look good” to women is if the competition looks bad. Means you must not have nuttin.

    I feel sorry for you, I really do.

    smh

  • Downsouth Transplant

    when you contribute to the problem of insecurity, you need to contribute to the working of a solution, however if you are paying for the sin of others then i see how it is an impossible venture to try & fix anything since you had no input into it:) IJS

  • Lady P

    Insecurity is a two person problem if caused by one of the mates. If you’re harboring alot of insecurities based on your previous relationship, the best method is for that person to handle those issues on their own. If not handle, it will prevent your current or future relationships from flourishing or moving forward.

  • LMO85

    That was an apt response….Kudos.

  • Pseudonym

    Depends on the level of insecurity. I know I can be made to feel comfortable and secure in a relationship with someone who shows dedication to me and is consistent, reliable, and accessible.

  • http://sixfoota.tumblr.com DeezaPeeza

    A face to the name & silly rhetoric. It all makes sense now & I’ma leave it at THAT.

  • http://sixfoota.tumblr.com DeezaPeeza

    That was in reply to Greg Dragon but for some reason at my job, Clutch acts up.

  • Diva J

    I think part of the problem is that many people fail to learn from their mistakes, and so they continue to fall into the same patterns. Which leads to a continual need to “Control” these uncontrollable situations. Often times, we as women expect that “He” has changed, or can change, will change, and fail to realize that for anyone to change they have to want to change. Many times we make it too easy for these so called men to stay in relationship and “play grownup”, without any of the responsibilties that come along with it. So it makes there need to change or actually unneeded.

  • Diva J

    I think what happens in these situation is that we as women refuse to learn from the mistakes we and others have made. We continually to date these “boys” who have no intent on growing up and behaving like men. We make it to easy for them to remain in the same suspended state that they were in at 20 when they hit 30 and sometimes even 40. By continue to date, or strike up relationships with these “boys” and not take their actions for face value, we never assist them in growing up. We allow them remain at the status quo, and we reinforce their behavior as acceptable. Until we as women start taking the action of our men the same way we will take the actions of another woman or stranger, we will continue the cycle of date these “players” or “losers”

  • Anjaleha

    This is so true, too often we end up in these totally dysfunctional relationships.

  • Angel

    CLUTCH!!!! You spoke to me today. My god this was right on time. That whole “control” thing, I had never heard that before about insecurity or even thought to look at what I was doing that way. But its SO TRUE!!! Wow. My boyfriend didn’t cheat on me or anything, but the last 5 guys did. I didn’t want to be in the relationship I’m in now, as quickly as I got in it, but my boyfriend kind of let me know that if I didn’t move quick I’d lose out on him because he was thinking about moving to LA and needed a reason to stay. First thing I thought was that he had a chic in LA, so I made the move to get serious.

    I’m going to seriously examine what I do to him, cause I know I’m driving him crazy with my issue, and I already feel that whole compounding the problem thing due to me not believing his reassurance.

    whooo lawd. Thank you for this, fo real!

  • MamiNels

    So true! You can’t control anyone but you can control how you respond to them. So if they’re unresponsive to your nobility, get ghost.

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