My wife and I have an insecurity problem. She’s insecure. I’m not. Okay, maybe that’s reversed. Maybe it depends on the day…or the hour.
One of my readers recently sent us the following praise, along with a question:
I have found your blogs to be very honest….you guys put it all out there and expose the reality that it isn’t all ribbons and rainbows! Appreciate and value the perspective you both share.
Anyway, how do you navigate the waters day to day together without losing connection and/or questioning the direction along the journey?
The questions really are about insecurity. I am not joking when I say that the insecurities in our marriage ebb and flow with the tides. But as long as we know that truth prior to getting into the boat, we tend to find our way through stormy waters. Here’s how:
- Talk openly. We got much of our fighting done prior to getting married. We went through a 12-week pre-marital counseling program at our local church, where we talked about all the stormy waters of a relationship: finances, in-laws, children, expectations, sex (…can he say that?…yep!…), church, communication, work, etc. The program created an environment where we could talk openly about these issues before they arose, since we knew they would arise sometime in our marriage.
- Walk humbly. The storm will get thicker the more your focus on your own individual losses, feelings, emotions, goals, etc. As an attorney, I can argue (or justify) my way out of any marital situation. But that is not the best route for the relationship. Most of the time when I think I am “right” about something, I dig my heels into my position and let her have it! And every time I do so, I am closer to losing what I love most. I have learned that even if I have the better side of the argument, most times I can calm the storm with two words: “I’m sorry.” If you humble yourself, you can minimize each of your insecurities.
- Hold tightly. We navigate the waters without losing connection because we hold each other tightly…both literally and figuratively. In a literal sense, no words can give my wife the security she desires more than a tight hug, arms wrapped around her tightly, and a kiss on her forehead. Figuratively, we walk hand-in-hand through each challenge. When your hands drop from your partner (out of selfishness, anger or laziness), you stand alone.
- Laugh regularly. When you realize that you are navigating rough waters, with no oars in the boat, and you are out of food, sometimes you need to look at your spouse and say, “Good time to start a diet, sweetie! Look out Sports Illustrated: Couples Swimsuit Edition here we come!” Courtney and have become marital comedians over the past few years because we have decided to change our outlook on situation. It does not always take the hurt away, but a giggle or a smile will often help you weather the storm.
- Learn continually. All of this may sound really good and may help you through a fight or two, but Courtney and I find success when we remember the lessons of a prior storms just as we are going through a new storm. It won’t be a guarantee success this time, but we often know what “not” to do based upon the prior challenge. And so will you.
Question: How do you deal with insecurities in your relationships?