The problem with the insecure man.

Love and Relationships Add comments

We have all met the insecure man. He is attractive, available and charismatic. He talks about the two of you sharing the future. You are falling for him and you really want to make this work.

But there is a problem. He is wounded. He may share how he became wounded. Perhaps he was emotionally, sexually, or physically abused as a child. Maybe he was bullied at school. It could be that his parents got divorced, or one of them passed away when he was young. Maybe his parents did not raise him at all. He may have had to deal with substance abuse (his own or someone he cares about), or perhaps the last person he had a relationship with cheated on him. Whatever the reason behind it, he is hurt.

When we love someone and want to be with them, it is easy to slip into the role of healer. When someone is scared to fully trust and make themselves open in a relationship, due to a past where doing so lead to being hurt, there is a tendency to shower them with love and patience, to make allowances for bad behaviour and to overlook shortcomings, but is this the right thing to do?

While you may believe that love heals everything, and you may be practicing that belief by overcompensating where he is lacking, it is important to remember that insecure people will adopt their own coping mechanisms in order to feel safe and it will not include considering YOUR feelings.

1) Insecure men seek to control the relationship. Examples of this are periods of high energy interaction followed by days or weeks of silence. Then reaching out after a period of silence with no intentions of following up. He just needed to know that you were still available to him IF he needed you – but right now he doesn’t. He was just checking the backburner to make sure you are still there where he left you. That makes him feel good.

2) Constantly finding ways to make YOU feel insecure. This can include ridiculing the way that you walk, talk, laugh etc. Often done in front of his friends or family for maximum impact. If he can make you feel worthless then he doesn’t have to worry that you are better than him. Its much easier to drag you down and make you feel the way that he feels, than to rise above his issues.

3) Passive aggressive dialogue such as highlighting your less attractive features ( wrinkles, cellulite, stretch marks, excess weight), but then reassuring you that he loves you anyway.

4) Angry outbursts that seem to come out of nowhere. A great way of making himself feel secure and wanted, is to create a storm and watch you scurry around in a blind panic trying to figure out what YOU did wrong, and what YOU need to do to pacify him. If you didn’t care you would walk away and leave him to his childish nonsense, so the fact that you don’t helps him to feel more secure, for a short time.

5) Another reason for the angry outbursts is when it feels like you are getting too close. He is feeling too attached to you. That gives YOU control. He can’t deal with that and it makes him angry. Angry at YOU for being in his head / heart. You are reminding him that he is insecure.

6) Digging for information that he can then use as reason to devalue you. For you, this conversation is about being open and honest. For him its about finding reasons to sabotage the relationship. He may ask you how many previous partners you have had (and then ask you again weeks later to see if you give the same answer). He might ask if you have ever cheated on a previous partner, (if you say yes then its a black mark on your character and he can tell himself that when his fears overcome him, and he needs a reason to run away and hide). If you feel like you are being profiled, you are.

7) Haughty behaviour, showing off. This can manifest itself in many ways. Looking down on others, referring to other communities or sections of society in a derogatory way. Measuring people by what they have rather then who they are. Behaving as if they are better than everyone else (a complete smoke screen that hides deep insecurity).

8) Other women. The deeply insecure man does not believe that he is worthy or capable of a healthy, committed relationship. He knows he is deeply flawed. But at the same time he doesn’t want to be alone. The only way to balance things out is to have a constant circle of women who are available to him. When one of them begins to see him for what he is, or he tires of her attempts to help him (he doesn’t want her help he wants her compliance), then he will swiftly move along to the next woman and start the whole process again. If you have ever been in an on /off situation with someone don’t be surprised if there is another woman out there working the opposite shifts!

There are two important things to consider when you are dealing with an insecure man.

1) Does he show you, with his ACTIONS, that he wants to change / grow / heal and commit to a healthy relationship with you, or does he respond to every bump in the road by reminding you that you knew what he was when you got involved with him?

2) What do YOU want for yourself? Do you want a loving, balanced, mutually respectful relationship, or do you want to be a martyr someone else’s dysfunction? If your answer to this question is yes then you may want to read my article on passive commitment phobia

Before you smother him with love and understanding in an effort to make him feel secure, consider that your actions may be hurting (you) more than helping (him). Its much easier for him to surround himself with people who accept his behaviour than it is to address his issues and improve.

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