Skip to content

How To Deal With Personal Insecurities In Your Marriage

Deal With Personal Insecurities Marriage

It’s perfectly normal for most of us to have moments of self-doubt now and then. However, insecurities can create a gap between you and your partner in a relationship. Learn more about how to deal with personal insecurities in marriage and create a meaningful bond.

A “Taking Things Personally Inventory.”

You: “How can you ignore me like that? I work so hard at being nice to you.”

Your spouse: “I don’t know what you are talking about?”

How To Deal With Personal Insecurities In Your Marriage
How To Deal With Personal Insecurities In Your Marriage

An interaction like this can lead to a breakdown in the connection between you and your spouse. In this event, Sarah was telling Lucas about her difficult day at work and Lucas was not paying attention to what she was saying…hence her feeling that he was “ignoring” her. She upped the ante by letting him know how “nice” she is to him.

This post is about how to use Sarah’s reflections about her interaction with Lucas as a guide for you in your interactions with your spouse. Sarah’s reaction is an example of her “taking things personally.” “Taking things personally” gets in the way of identifying what may be a problem in the relationship, i.e., her husband not paying attention to her in the way she wants him to. Let’s see what happens.

Here’s how to deal with personal insecurities in marriage

Sarah is “taking personally” Lucas not paying attention to her. She experiences this as him “ignoring” her. It is certainly legitimate to want, even to expect, your spouse will be interested in what is happening to you. However, Sarah characterizes what he did as “ignoring” her, instead of describing that he was not attending to her in the way she wanted him to. Lucas is likely to agree that he was not paying attention to Sarah in the way she wants him to. He is unlikely to agree that he was “ignoring” her.

Sarah’s angry because she thinks that Lucas has “ignored” her. Emotions like anger and fear (being miffed, teed off, annoyed, anxious, etc.) are compelling. And, these emotions go hand-in-hand with how we fall into the trap of characterizing rather than describing our partner’s actions. Take a look at my post “Your Emotions Are Not Things in Your Head” to get a better understanding of how emotions leading to characterizing signal that we are “taking things personally.”

Related: How to Communicate Unhappiness in Your Relationship So Your Partner Really Hears You

Lucas is now on the defensive and Sarah is on the verge of “hunkering down” in her position, when she takes a deep breath and gets out her “Taking Things Personally Inventory” to figure out what is going on within her. Here is a copy of Sarah’s worksheet for you to following along.

How To Deal With Personal Insecurities In Your Marriage
How To Deal With Personal Insecurities In Your Marriage

Here is what happened. Sarah starts to tell Lucas about an incident that happened to her at work. Lucas does not respond to her or engage with her around her comments. She angrily says to him, “How can you ignore me like that? I work so hard at being nice to you.” Lucas looks up and says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Related: 5 Reasons Feeling Insecure In A Relationship Is A Red Flag

Sarah’s Personal Inventory

The worksheet is a personal inventory designed to sort out what is going on before this incident flairs into a nasty conflict. Sara starts by sorting out her understanding of the episode by completing Columns 2, 3, and 4. “How Did I Experience the Event,” “What Did I Feel” and “What Did I Do” as follows.

Sara would write “Lucas was being inconsiderate to me” in Column 2, “How Did I Experience the Event.”

Then she would write in “I was very angry and hurt at the same time” in Column 3, “What Did I Feel.”

Finally, she would enter “I angrily accused Lucas of ignoring me and asked how he could do that to me” in Column 4,“What Did I Do?

She might have called him a name, or said “You are so inconsiderate, I can’t believe you act this way.” This kind of accusation can be embellished to make a real case against your partner (e.g. ending up with “You always are …).

Pages: 1 2

Catherine Aponte

Catherine Aponte is a clinical psychologist who worked with couples for more than thirty years. She writes a Psychology Today blog and contributes posts to The Good Men Project. Throughout her career, she has been devoted to helping couples create and maintain a committed and equitable marriage. Her guide to achieving a committed, equitable, and vibrant family and work-life is in her book A Marriage of Equals (https://www.marriageofequals.com/). She trained at Duke and Spalding Universities and taught marital therapy courses at Spalding University as an Associate Adjunct Professor.View Author posts