Does a love relationship feel like it could just melt away? Does it feel like you have to take ‘steps’ in the relationship to insure that it doesn’t? You could be suffering from ‘male insecurity.‘ What the hell is that?
Male insecurity is the disturbing feeling of being unable to trust the emotion of love and having to control it if and when you allow yourself to have love in your life. It goes something like this, you meet someone and you start dating. You’re able to remain cool and calm during this early period in the relationship.
You start seeing this person more often and you start ‘falling in love.’ As soon as that happens, your ‘need’ to see this person starts getting mixed up with a feeling of insecurity. You start to feel uncomfortable with the absences and you start thinking (obsessing?) about what your lover is doing when not with you.
At first you try to keep this insecure feeling hidden from view. You try to tolerate whatever is happening in the relationship that makes you uncomfortable. In the meantime, your love for each other deepens and you start setting up your lives together. You convince yourself that the insecurity you’re feeling will go away the closer you and your partner get. At least that is what you are hoping for.
Time passes. Unfortunately, the insecurity you feel does not go away in time. The feeling seems to be growing the deeper your relationship gets. Now comes the hard part. You start to feel like you have to start ‘controlling’ your partner to relieve yourself of the painful insecurity you are feeling. This is precisely when the trouble starts.
While battling inside yourself with the insecurity you feel, it seems to you like ‘control’ is a great idea. It makes perfect sense to you, in your current state of mind, that curtailing your partner’s activities, asking for proof of whereabouts, checking cellphone logs, demanding calls and texts at predesignated times, and going along for the ride, make perfect sense to you. What’s the big deal?
You don’t understand why your lover has to complain. If your partner only knew the benefits that come when ‘trust’ is reinforced in these various ways, right? The problem is, trust does come. Instead, greater and greater ‘need’ shows up and more painful insecurity is the consequence.
Depending upon the personalities of the people involved, this kind of experience could fracture the relationship resulting in a breakup. For some couples, especially those individuals with lower self-esteem, excuses are made, and the problem is ignored hoping it will go away in time. It doesn’t.
Instead, the pains and discomforts of insecurity increase and the forms of control applied get stronger. You don’t let your lover out of the house if you suspect something’s going on, you take things your lover will need to get away or go places, you control the money, you apply force to make your lover understand how hurt you are, and you lose control when you feel your partner is hurting you and disregarding your feelings. Now there’s fighting, police, orders of protection, and more pain.
Where does all of this insecurity come from? Whether it’s the milder or more intensive form of male insecurity, this disturbing experience is a byproduct of life-long love-life disappointments. With ‘love-life’ defined more broadly as our experiences with love starting when we were born, this kind of insecurity has its beginnings in relationships that did not deliver what they were supposed to.
Plainly stated, most insecure men know what it’s like to be severely disappointed in love. Growing up they experienced hurt with no healing, which continued as a deep mistrust of love into adulthood. Now as adult men, being ‘in love’ creates a mixture of insecurities past and present that get acted out in present love relationships.
If you find yourself in this kind of situation over and over again in your adult relationships, it’s time to heal the hurts that are complicating your ability to ‘love securely.’ The ability to love securely involves being able to take a risk on love without controlling it’s ability to hurt or disappoint you. Seem impossible? To be in love you’ve got to feel like you can take this risk, heal hurts if they come, survive as an individual, and not give in to desires to control the person you love.
You’ve got to also know that insecure men, before they’ve identified this problem and started working on it, are probably finding lovers who have the kind of ‘personal issues’ that are tailored to drive insecure men crazy. If you’re ready to do a little work on yourself, find a good counselor, ask to work specifically on your love-life insecurity, and think twice about the partners you’re finding during this time period.
Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan