Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: How can I overcome insecurity within a relationship? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.
The strategies that have worked for me look something like this.
First, really accept, and I mean accept right down into your bones, that you can lose your partner. It absolutely can happen, that’s the truth, and nothing can change that truth. If you let someone close to you, you might lose them. They might change, they might leave, they might get cancer, they might get run over by a bus. You might lose them, but you will still be okay. It will hurt, but you’ll get better. You can’t ever become secure if you’re codependent. You can’t ever become secure if you think you will die without your partner.
Second, value yourself. You have worth. There’s a reason your partner chose to be with you, even if you don’t see it. Yes, you have flaws. Yes, you’re imperfect. So what? So does everyone. Yes, there are people in the world who are smarter than you, better-looking than you, richer than you. So what? Out of seven billion people, nobody is exactly like you. Nobody offers exactly what you offer. And it’s what you offer that brought your partner to you.
Next, trust your partner. They are with you because they want to be. They had other choices, and they chose you. That’s awesome! Celebrate it. Trust that you have something your partner likes. Trust that given the freedom to do whatever they wanted, they would want to support and cherish you, because they care about you.
When you feel wobbly, talk about it. Not in a “I feel threatened when you like someone else’s picture on Facebook so I want you to stop doing that” kind of way, but in a “I love being with you and love our relationship, and sometimes I feel wobbly, so can you reassure me and tell me what you value in me?” kind of way. Start with the assumption that your partner loves and cares about you, and wants to support you.
And keep doing these things. Self-esteem is a process, not a state. It’s no different from writing or playing an instrument–some days you might not feel it, but that doesn’t matter, you’ll get better with practice.