NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Overcoming the Insecurities That Are Ruining Your Relationship

I've seen many clients in my psychotherapy office in New York City, both individuals and couples, where personal insecurities were having a negative effect on their relationship.  Often, this takes the form of one or both people needing constant reassurance that they are loved by their partner.

When Needing Constant Reassurance in Your Relationship Becomes a Negative Habit
Needing constant reassurance about your relationship can become a negative habit.  This dynamic can ruin a relationship fast.  It can be exhausting, especially when the person doing the reassuring realizes that no amount of reassurance will alleviate his or her partner's insecurities.

Overcoming the Insecurities That Are Ruining Your Relationship

The following fictionalized vignette is an example of where one person's insecurities in a relationship can have a negative impact:

Jane and Bob:
After Jane and Bob were dating for three months, they realized that they had fallen in love and decided to become exclusive with each other.

As soon as Jane realized that she was in love with Bob, she started feeling insecure:  Did he really love her or was he just telling her this?  Would he meet another woman at work, where there were so many attractive women, and leave her?

When they were together, Jane was vigilant as to whether Bob was looking at other women.  If she thought she saw him looking at another woman, she would panic and ask him for assurances that he loved her.  At first, Bob was flattered and reassured Jane.

But when it kept happening nearly every time that they went out, he began to feel irritated and he told her she had nothing to worry about, and it was annoying for him to feel pressured to constantly reassure her.  This only made Jane feel worse.

Jane's insecurities got worse over time.  If Bob didn't call her back immediately, she wondered if he was with someone else.  When she mentioned this to Bob, he got angry.  He asked her if he had given her any reason to think this.

When Jane calmed down, she knew, in reality, that Bob wouldn't cheat on her.  But once doubt crept into her mind, she had a hard time containing her worries and keeping it to herself. She felt compelled to ask him about it.

After a while, Bob got frustrated and told Jane that she should go to therapy to deal with this.  Jane knew that Bob was right--she was having a problem and if she didn't overcome these insecurities, their relationship wouldn't last.  So, she sought the help of a licensed mental health professional.

During her therapy, Jane realized that a lot of her insecurities stemmed from feelings of abandonment from childhood.  Jane's mother was in and out of her life from the time Jane was born.  So, Jane needed to work through this early loss and her fears of abandonment so she wouldn't displace her fears on Bob.

Jane also developed better coping skills in therapy.  As she was working on her earlier trauma, she learned how to contain her fears and insecurities so she no longer blurted them out to Bob.  Soon, they were getting along much better and talking about moving in together.

Getting Help in Therapy
Assuming that your romantic partner doesn't give you any objective reasons to feel insecure about your relationship, your insecurities might be linked to unresolved childhood issues.  It's hard to see this on your own because your fears and insecurities often feel so real in the current situation, even though they're really part of an earlier trauma.

You could benefit from getting help from a licensed mental health professional who can assist you to work through your fears and insecurities.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.