Q. Carey asks:
I am 33 and have been dating someone who seems to be a very insecure guy. He is very jealous, and is always accusing me of wanting to break up with him or of having another man. I thought maybe he was trying to tell me that HE indeed wanted to break up, but when I confronted him, he said he never wanted to break up with me. I am a little tired of all of it, but I really like this guy. Can you give me any advice on how to stop this game he plays? Thank you.
A. Relationship Coach Rinatta answers:
Carey, your guy has one of two things going on. Either he is very insecure indeed and is asking for reassurance, or he is trying to build up his self-esteem by demanding that you declare your faithfulness and affection for him on a regular basis.
To find out which one of these two things is going on, take a look at the rest of his life. If he is timid and hesitant, needing lots of reassurance in general, then he really is just insecure. Insecurity is annoying to deal with, but there are worse things, and it can get better with time and some help.
On the other hand, if he seems more self-centered and selfish in the rest of his life, then he is using you to build up or keep up his self-esteem. This is more problematic, but it can still be dealt with effectively.
Here is what you need to do:
1. Realize that he is not playing a game – he is trying to get his emotional needs met in a relationship, same as everyone else. Meeting emotional needs is why people get into relationships. He is just going about it the wrong way.
2. Examine how you may be contributing to the problem. Do you flirt with others? Do you do things to make him jealous? Do you ignore him or his needs when he tries to talk to you about them? Clean your side of the street and make sure you give him no reason to distrust you.
3. Let him know that you are not willing to fix his insecurity and fulfill his need for reassurance, since his need seems to go far beyond the norm. Let him know you would be happy to talk about how he feels, as long as he knows that what he feels are HIS feelings and have nothing to do with your action or your character.
4. Challenge him to look for the root of his feelings in past relationships and his childhood instead of looking at you as the cause of them.
If this doesn’t work, you may have to let him go, as constantly reassuring someone of your faithfulness and love, especially when you are doing nothing wrong, is impossible to do without resentment.
Guys, the same thing applies to relationships where the woman is insecure and the man is on the receiving end of the insecurity game. Check your side of the street, guys, to make sure you are doing nothing to trigger her insecurity. If you are, stop and put in more loving actions towards her. If she’s still insecure, ask her to take a look at her feelings and where they are coming from.
Want me to support you through this process of managing your partner’s insecurity
with your guy or gal?
Consider setting up a ProblemSolver Advice & Coaching Session in which I will teach you how to speak to him so that he will hear you on this issue, yet not offend him or turn him off.
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