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How Do I Overcome Insecurity in My Relationship?

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I often get asked some variation of the following question:
“My partner’s done nothing to violate my trust, yet for some reason I feel insecure in the relationship. How do I overcome this insecurity?”

Everyone we see in the world is a reflection of ourselves. Your partner is a mirror, and something they’re reflecting back at you is triggering your insecurity.

Watch this short video to uncover 7 steps to overcoming insecurity in your relationship, or continue reading below.

Step 1: Uncover the triggers
When are you being triggered? Is it when your partner checks their phone? Is it when they don’t respond to your text messages? When they come home late from work? When they spend time with a specific person?

Be as detailed as possible when identifying your triggers. People, places, smells – every detail can help you uncover the key to your insecurity.

Step 2: Identify your fears
Why is this triggering you? What are you afraid of? What fears come up when you think about your girlfriend spending time with a male coworker? Where does your mind go when you don’t hear from your boyfriend for a few hours?

Explore the depth of your fear by continually asking yourself “Why?” Why does it bother you that you girlfriend didn’t come home last night? Why does it bother you that she may have been with another guy? Are you afraid to lose her? Are you afraid to be alone?

Step 3: Separate fact from fiction
What parts of this situation are fact, and what parts are (potentially) a manifestation of your mind? Take a step back from the situation and view it objectively.

Your girlfriend suddenly decided to put a password on her phone: FACT.
Your girlfriend suddenly decided to put a password on her phone… and seems to giggle a lot when she reads text messages that are most likely, probably, you think from another guy: DANGER ZONE – GRAY AREA.

Create two lists: one with the hardcore facts, and one with things that aren’t as concrete. Trusting your intuition and using your heart and gut as a guide is important. However, it’s easy to let our thoughts spiral out of control. So make sure you have these two list clearly separated.

Step 4: Communicate
Use this list of facts to have an open and honest conversation with your partner. Tell them what you’re working through. Explain the triggers. Explain the fears. Present the facts.

Do this once you’ve cooled down and feel grounded – NOT when you’re defensive and scared – and come from a place of honesty and love. You want to improve the relationship, right? Be calm and clear. Avoid the “gray area” topics as much as possible, especially in the initial stages of this conversation. Avoid blaming. When you talk about your fears, take responsibility for how you feel.

Step 5: Take action
Come up with ways that you and your partner can work through this insecurity together. Own the fact that you feel insecure – that’s YOUR story. There may be things that your partner has to own as well though (i.e. that he stays out late at night and doesn’t call to tell you where he is).

Actively work on your communication and transparency in the relationship. Journal about your fears and process through those emotions.

Step 6: Practice patience
It’s a process to grow and move past insecurities, so be patient with yourself. Continue to communicate with your partner, continue to identify the triggers that are occurring, and continue to practice stepping back and responding – not reacting.

There may be times when you falter and find yourself in the midst of a fight. If you catch yourself reverting to old thought patterns and fears, step back – breathe – and remember the mantra: “Every moment offers the opportunity to start again.”

Step 7: Decide
Remind yourself that you are choosing to be in a relationship. Relationships require vulnerability and surrender, so it makes sense that your insecurities are being triggered.

We tend to label our emotions as either good or bad. However, in a relationship, the ups and downs are part of the emotional wave. Remember that you are choosing to ride the wave.

If you don’t want to surf, get out of the ocean.

You’ve got this.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony B March 27, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Right on target with all seven steps!

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Victoria Gigante March 27, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Awesome Tony. Glad you found value in this post.

Sending Peace & Calm,
Victoria

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Alana March 31, 2014 at 12:49 am

I think your advice is great and I’m really struggling with some insecurities! In my previous relationship my exgirlfriend cheated on me with my personal trainer from our gym (I know it sounds like a soap opera but its truth) I was stunned because I was with this person for 6 years and never thought she would ever do anything like that. This trainer was her trainer as well and aware that my ex and I were a couple. My ex would txt with her all the time and I thought it was because they were buddies, but it turned out they started being together.
I now have a wonderful, amazing girlfriend in my life and we have been together for 2 years. I love her and trust her (or thought I had no problem trusting her) but recently she reconnected with an old friend of hers- who is also a lesbian but is in a relationship with someone- and they have known eachother for a few years. But since my girlfriend has reconnected with this friend they txt everyday and maybe even talk on the phone everyday. This has been going on for a couple of months now. Her TEXTING IS MY TRIGGER I know this. And I’m trying to look at her talking to this friend as a good thing for her, but its so hard for me to get past this uncomfortable feeling. And I also feel stupid for feeling insecure if that makes sense. I even had a dream the other night that she cheated on me with her friend. I told her about it and she asked me if I was jealous of her talking to this friend and I told her no because I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it or make her feel like I don’t trust her because I love her and want to believe she would never do anything like to damage our relationship. I dont know if I should bring this up…. I feel like I already wasn’t truthful about my feelings. Or if I should just suck it up and recognize its my problem?

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Victoria Gigante March 31, 2014 at 9:52 am

Alana,

Thank you for sharing your story. Focus on steps 3-5. Having an open and honest communication, and owning your parts of this story (i.e. the fact that you have a history of being cheated on and understand why you’re being triggered), will help you come up with a way that you and girlfriend can move forward. If your girlfriend has an understanding of what you’re working through, perhaps she’ll make more of an effort to be transparent about her communication. Give her the opportunity to show up for you. It’s not about jealousy – it’s about FEAR: Fear of not being good enough. Fear that she’s found someone else. Fear that you’ve created the same situation. Own your story. Work through it. Don’t accuse. TALK from your heart.

Sending Peace & Calm,
Victoria

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Alana March 31, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Victoria THANK YOU!

We spoke and my mind was put to ease. We just got on the topic of how a partner should communicate with their friends and what is over stepping boundries. I was able to see the facts from the fiction and gain an understanding of her relationship with her friend. I know that i do trust her %100 and she never did anything to make me feel other wise. It WAS all fear based thoughts creeping up on me and I totally acknowledge that. The thing that I find the hardest to do is to “own my story”. When you wrote that it hit me. I have a hard time owning my story because I feel weak or like I’m bringing baggage along with me that’s not fair to bring. By making a conscience decision to own it, you have to face it.

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Victoria Gigante April 1, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Alana,

Awesome. I’m so happy to hear that you’ve communicated with your partner. Remember: It’s a practice. So be patient with yourself, and with your partner. YES: Owning your story means taking responsibility for your life. When we do this – that’s when the magic starts. 🙂

You’ve got this.

Sending Peace & Calm,
Victoria

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Brad April 6, 2015 at 5:49 am

A year later, how did it turn out was your gut right or wrong?

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Victoria Gigante April 14, 2015 at 8:48 am

Brad,

Whenever I’ve followed my gut, it’s always guided me in the right direction. Which situation are you referring to specifically though?

Thank you for your comment.

Peace & Calm,
Victoria

James April 30, 2014 at 6:50 am

Your advice is good but I think because the world is so technologically advanced and everything revolves around mobile phones, internet. All social media such as Facebook, Whatsapp, E-Mail etc.I believe it changes a perspective on relationships. It changes the trust boundaries slightly.
I met a girl last year and we hit it off straight away and said we didn’t want anything to serious.. but then we found ourselves texting daily and seeing each other 4+ days a week including spending night with each other. We were getting so close to each other without even realising. Both made each other very happy. 3 weeks went by and she even made an effort for my birthday. The only thing that was starting to bother me as a couple more weeks went on was I noticed she was talking about her ex quite a lot. “when I was with” as if it was a thing of the past. saying she hadn’t been with anyone for nearly a year. Her phones rings a few times and she darts out of the room but usually when her phone rings she used to just answer it in front of me. But I thought it could just be something really private so I thought nothing of it. Then she used to have to be back home at certain times to go to her uncles to look after his dog while he was working but then she said her ex lives beside where her uncle lives and I became a little more suspicions and things started to add up in my head. So I went through her phone. The huge thing no one should be thinking about. But I was paranoid. I’d been through this situation before and thought it must be me because of my previous encounter to this situation. I must be the insecure one. So I went through it and if I found nothing I would be the one with a huge problem that needs to be sorted. And low and behold. She had been going back to her ex’s behind my back. A friend text her saying “up to much?” and she replied “in bed with (his name) lol”. Never felt so upset / Angry. asking my self why?. She got out of bed the next morning and I had to confront her. I couldn’t lie and hide the fact what I had done because I knew deep down I shouldn’t have done it and if I was wrong then I would have held my hands up and that is something I would have had to live with. but on the other hand I didn’t want to not go through it. ask her and have her lie to me. Whilst still being taken for a mug / rebound until she wasn’t happy. Whilst going through her phone I realised she had slept with him just a month previous to me but she made me believe it had been nearly a year that she had even been around him. She had been with him nearly 4 years and obviously still loved him. I asked her “why” she went back. the response I got was “to see if I was happier with you and not just pretending like I was with him” OUCH!
So we give it about a week and since we both screwed up on the trust side of things we gave it another try but both had trust issues. me more than her i’ll admit. but she had changed as a person. She then opened up about all of her problems in life. with home issues / family issues / things him and her went through. She has a lot of things she needs to deal with before a relationship but she hates talking about things and rather just ignore them until they went away then pretend they weren’t there. Such a difficult thing to try deal with. She said shes been depressed for years and thought about suicide daily. I thought what have I got my self into. But I cared for this person and I knew she was so much better than she was making her self out to be. So I stayed and kept trying then she was hiding things again. We had said we would talk if anything was bothering us. I was the only one to kept that promise apparently. I brought them up instead of going through her phone and she just got angry. Ignored me for a few days. Agreed with everything I said just to keep me happy and moved on. Then she hid something else and it was like a repeat process. I mentioned something about a guy on her facebook and I was then blocked. She had herself and a guy as a display picture on there. I mentioned it. the picture was removed but she has no idea why that one specific picture had disappeared.. Going through someones phone in my eyes is not as bad as people make it out to be with the way technology is these days. Its reassurance that you can trust the person your with. I do think no one should do it. But if you have a gut feeling then check it out. Don’t be taken for a fool because your the nice guy and shes not used to that. Thats her problems she needs to sort out. There is a lot more to this story to what happened but i think ive typed enough. Also there is her side to the story as their is always 2 sides. but this is my point of view in my eyes what I seen. If a girl goes through a guys phone its fine. If a guy does it to a girl all hell breaks loose. Unfortunately on this occasion this girl was sorta perfect for me. her down falls were her issues from her past. being so god damn stubborn and independent and said “shes fine. always am and always will be”. She needed and needs help but won’t ask for it or allow it but most importantly she is a compulsive liar.
At least when I went through her phone I mentioned it straight away. I could have not said anything when I already knew the outcome of it but I chose to be honest. because thats all I ever wanted. If she had told me I would have been hurt but I would have respected her for telling me. That’s all I have ever asked of anyone. Trust and you will gain respect.

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Victoria Gigante May 4, 2014 at 7:33 pm

James,

Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sure many of the readers will find value in your insight and experience. While this all seems very painful, it sounds like you’ve walked away wiser and more clear about what you’re looking for in a relationship. It also sounds like you’ve used this opportunity to solidify your boundaries. Remember where your responsibility begins and ends in intimate relationships. At the end of the day, we all have to take responsibility for our personal growth and development.

Sending Peace & Calm,
Victoria

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Mike May 16, 2014 at 1:53 am

My Girlfriend of 6 months has been a wonderful experience. We unfortunately work opposite shifts and can only spent time together on the weekends. We cherish this time for sure. We often discuss through one on one and text how much we would like to spend more time together and if any free time comes up we will make it our priority to be together. Since this time the hours of work have changed and Fridays we get out earlier and that would be a great opportunity to have more time together. But since the hour changes my GF has taken this opportunity to go out with her girlfriends from work. This does hurt as it’s one of the triggers that I have trouble coping with. Her friends are all women in what they call unhappy relationships. They all tend to go to the same bars and fling and hook up with the same group of guys from work. Yep I’m fighting the insecurity of having my GF hang with these types and not able to find the patience to let it be. My GF tells me of when she is out, the guys at her table are the ones that like her and she tells me nothing will happen she loves me.
Please help me cope or give me the direction I need to move on?!

Thank you

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Victoria Gigante May 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

Mike,

Read this: http://www.victoriagigante.com/how-do-i-overcome-insecurity-in-my-relationship/

You have a choice: Either the two of you work to find a solution to move through this – or you move on. I’ve outlined what you can do in the article above.

Sending Peace & Clarity,
Victoria

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Carlo May 27, 2014 at 9:44 pm

My insecurity heightened when my ex girlfriend left me for no reason (at least she never told me). A broken relationship somehow destroys you. Is it my fault? I don’t know. But I knew that I felt shame, and unworthy to be loved and accepted.

I feel that the “cure” with insecurity starts with loving and accepting yourself first. Filling that empty love tank in your heart. When I did, I started to feel that I’m worth so much more, and I must not settle for less. From experience, it really starts within.

Once I felt “I was worth it”, the triggers became irrelevant. Now, I’m happily married to the best woman in the world.

All the best for you Victoria!

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Victoria Gigante May 28, 2014 at 10:11 am

Thank you for sharing Carlo. The feelings you had when your girlfriend left you unexpectedly are normal. You are correct – self love and acceptance are critical to overcoming security! Until we love ourselves, we will continue to attract people into our lives to fill a void – rather than to enhance our lives.

So happy to hear you are happily married!

Sending Peace & Love,
Victoria

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Charity June 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Hi, I have been in a relationship with my Boyfriend for It will be a year on June 21st this year. He contacted me on Facebook and went on from their. We had our good times but also some frustrating times like any relationship. I love him very much, he is my First Love. But Today, he gave me in ultimatium if I don’t change he will free himself of me. I have been insecure in the last few months by checking his Facebook and other social media. He even had to delete me from Facebook. He is in the entertainment industry so he meets beautiful women all the time in his work and field.I am afraid I might lose him to someone else, but actually I’m pushing him further away. I really need to take control and work on me and found out why I am like this. Should I have a talk with him, like a deep conversation. What should I say or do?

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Victoria Gigante June 16, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Charity,

Thank you for sharing a bit about your story. As I mentioned in this post: Have an honest conversation with your boyfriend about how you feel. You’ll be able to tell a lot by his reaction. The more you let this bottle up inside, the more anxious you’re going to feel and the more difficult it’s going to be to have conversation with him.

Sending you peace & strength,
Victoria

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Derek June 30, 2014 at 8:03 am

Victoria,

That is some great advise. I went through two relationships one was with my wife and the other with someone later on. Both times i found out there was another man kicking around. One was my best friend and the other was my boss.

Now I’m struggling with my current relationship because my girlfriend’s best friend is a male. They have been friends for over 15 years. He told me that i stole his girl and ever since that he has been very distant towards me. I confronted him about it and said to my girlfriend that if i’m standing in the way of them then i’ll leave. She burst into tears and said no don’t do this. I’m just finding it very hard because of my past not sure how to overcome this.

I want to marry her but i feel i’m letting her down because of my past.

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Victoria Gigante July 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Derek,

Thank you for sharing your story. Check out this article I wrote: http://www.victoriagigante.com/how-do-i-overcome-insecurity-in-my-relationship/

Pay particular attention to the part about separating fact from fiction.

Sending Peace & Clarity,
Victoria

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jake October 17, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Victoria
Should I worry if my wife is texting another man who she did sleep with. My wife and I met in college and there is a long story, he was the other guy when she was in a relationship with someone else . I have mentioned it before but she said not yo sorry that I was the one she loved. I don’t think she would cheat, but the emotional connection she and I have I don’t want to lose becausevshe is talking to this other guy

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Victoria Gigante October 23, 2014 at 8:25 am

Hi Jake,

In this situation, it’s your responsibility to communicate with your wife how you feel (as outlined above). If your wife does not want to change her behavior or adjust accordingly, you cannot control that. So, it’s up to you to decide how to move forward: Either accept the situation or change it. Look within yourself and really figure out WHY this situation is bringing up the feelings you’re experiencing. This is important. Also, when you approach your wife, avoid speaking in an accusatory tone. Speak in “I” statements and OWN how you feel.

Make sense?

Sending Peace & Calm,
Victoria

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Tommy November 20, 2014 at 4:38 am

Hi,

I’m sorry that this story is overrated and may be has nothing to do with the article, but I’m really desperate and don’t know what to do, my apologies.

So, I’m really concerned about my girlfriends past, I can’t get it out of my head.

Ok, so she started dating and had a boyfriend when she was 11, and she went down on this guy when she was about 13, she had sex with only one guy before me when she was almost 16 (I can tell that she hadn’t had a lot of sex, so I believe her) and this might sound unusual, all this so far doesn’t bother me that much, the thing that does bother me is that before me she had 29 other boyfriends and she’s only 18. When she was “available” it sound as if every time she happen to meet a guy, she would end up french kissing him, now this really pisses me off, I’ll give you an example; The other day we were in her car and we were talking about go bowling us two alone or with some friends, and conversation led to she telling me about she and her girl friend going out and two guys approached them and just asked them if they could go and get something to eat all four of them, and my girlfriend be like, “we just said, umm ok” and laughed as if they were two idiots making a fool out of themselves, so, all four of them when bowling and she told me that at the end her friend (my girlfriends girly friend) ended up kissing one of the two, and then I asked: Did you kiss the other guy? the answer: yes.

I think she was too easy, I mean her first kiss was when she was 11, a guy told her to meet at a spot between clases in school, she went there, he grabbed her hips and just kissed her, I mean really, as easy as that? I have to point out that she grew up without a father, and that may be why she needed male attention, i don’t know, I still think that 29 boyfriends is way out of my confort zone.

Maybe its me thats too old-fashioned, I just don’t know what to think, I mean, I’m a jealous person I have to admit that, I think I feel so inferior to her. I lover her and she loves me, but this has been bugging me for the last 3-4 days, and had me thinking that I’m not ready to settle, I really would like her to be my girlfriend and also ultimately my best friend, but at the same time, I would like out history to be more in-balance so to speak. Please tell me what you think.

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Teresa March 5, 2015 at 6:05 am

I’m struggling really bad right now with insecurities I’m having in my relationship with my bf and im desperate for help before it’s too late and I’m alone..so about a week ago my bf tells me he wants to have a threesome and I became instantly hurt and angry…and he couldn’t understand why…I told him it’s because asking me that makes me feel like I’m not good enough and im not enough for him anymore…and I can’t get over the fact and he told me I was making a bigger deal than needed please help me understand am I not normal for being upset?

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Victoria Gigante March 5, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Teresa,

Thank you for sharing a bit about your story. There is no “normal” in this situation. Your feelings are valid, as are his. Your partner isn’t doing anything “wrong.” He has a right to desire a different type of sexual arrangement in your relationship. However, since this wasn’t the arrangement you had when you started dating – it makes sense why this may come as a shock to you and seem painful. From what you’ve written, it sounds like you were under the impression that this relationship was a CLOSED relationship and that sex would only be had between the two of you.

If your partner desires to have a threesome and you’ve decided that this isn’t something you’re willing to do, that’s OK. Just understand that the arrangement has changed. If you don’t agree with this change, you have the option to leave. This may sound harsh – but it’s true. Yes, you can try to uncover WHY he’s suddenly decided that he wants to explore different things – but that still won’t change the fact that he DOES.

I encourage you to really get clear about what you value when it comes to sex in a relationship.

Sending Peace & Clarity,
Victoria

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donna y March 10, 2015 at 9:32 am

you are right in a lot of things . but what if the my partner .he dosnt want to communicate with me . texting is were i get upset with he use to text me all the time now harley ever . if i dont text him he gets mad. thats why my insecurities, start running wild. is he with another. why. no text ect. what did do wrong, with him it is a nonstop insecurities. am i going crazy then comes the stress . he is very controlling. likes do mind games on me he likes to abouse me emotionly and mentally do not know what to do. he also has insurities, because when he comes around he start all woman cheat it is not going to be able to breakup with him. he imformed me he disides help me sop my triggers.

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Victoria Gigante March 15, 2015 at 5:33 am

Donna,

Thank you for sharing a bit about your story. I understand these types of situations are complicated, which is why it’s difficult to comment on what you’ve written. This is the type of situation that we’d need to talk about more deeply because if you re-read what you’ve written there’s really only one major question that I’d ask you: Why are you staying with this person? Again, I do understand the complexity of situations like this (emotional and mental abuse) so I know the answer is sometimes not within our reach. This, however, is the question I’d start asking myself if I were you. I’d also seek outside support to help you move forward.

Sending Peace & Strength,
Victoria

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Mike March 14, 2015 at 12:17 am

My girlfriend of 1 year wants to spend a life together. Wants to start a family. But when it comes to remembering my birthday, it always comes up as her past bf’s birthday. She says she was really into him.
This comes up in picking lottery numbers or looking ahead at upcoming family birthdays etc.
Should I be concerned?? LOL!! sorry for the laugh. Maybe more nervous!?
It hurts. But is it worth worrying about?

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Muhammad May 7, 2015 at 4:30 am

Hi, i have a fiancee i have been with for two years now, i do see her on daily basis, she do tell me about people asking her out and i always tell her to tell them she is engaged but she wouldnt. Instead she gives them a chance they talk on phone and sometimes i meet them together at her place chating, i told her i dont want that but she wouldnt listen, one even bought her a gift which she showed me, and i became angry with her for collecting the gift, pls advice me on what to do,

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Victoria Gigante May 10, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Muhammad,

Thank you for sharing a bit about your story. You know what to do. I’ve outlined the process in this article. If you’ve already expressed your concerns and your fiancee won’t address the issues, you have a decision to make: Accept the situation as it is or move on.

It’s not easy, but in the end – it will be worth it. Trust your gut. What is it telling you?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Sending You Peace & Strength,
Victoria

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Mike May 10, 2015 at 8:43 pm

Wow!! What is she afraid of!? She is keeping her avenues open!! That sounds like a non committed shallow individual! With a selfish ego to boot!
Don’t let her selfish inconsiderate ways make you less a person!
She is not a life partner but more of a player!?
Move on brother!!
You will find a woman that will wear the ring with joy and
Fulfil your life with the same!!

Sincerely

Mike

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Chupacabra May 18, 2016 at 7:52 pm

We are called a narcissistic generation. We are told that technology and social media are giving us an inflated sense of self. But most of us don’t walk around feeling like we are all that great. In fact, there is one underlying emotion that overwhelmingly shapes our self-image and influences our behavior, and that is insecurity. If you could enter the minds of people around you, even the narcissistic ones, you’re likely to encounter ceaseless waves of insecurity. A recent survey found that 60 percent of women experience hurtful, self-critical thoughts on a weekly basis.

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Lee June 20, 2016 at 7:37 pm

Hello,

Thank you for the tips.

I ve been into a new serious relationship. I never been into serious relationships before and I find it really tough. The guy is sweet and understanding, but I always feel that I have nothing to offer to him. I m not that interesting, not that funny.. I m just average..
I was raised in a very conservative family; all they cared about is education and nothing else. They never taught me how to swim, ride bikes, dance, and have fun. I worked on myself a lot when I grew up. Many of things have been improved, but being in relationship reminds me that I am not like others and reminds me that i have a lot of things missing in personality and life style. Its tough for me to be in a relationship; almost unbearable.

I keep thinking why should he stay with me.. I m not special at anything .. Being close to him makes me feel helpless and highlights my inability to do many things.

Any advices!?

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