I’ve been married almost ten years. One might assume that since I’ve been married for so long that I wouldn’t have insecurities. But as I reflect on my life, I realize that I’ve always had insecurities in every aspect of my life, even my marriage.
Some background on my past. I’ve always been a big girl, even at a young age. I remember in first grade some older kids called me “fatty,” and another person jokingly called me “jelly roll.” Once I went through puberty it just got worse, because then I had to ride that emotional roller coaster, too.
But as a young teen I was determined to change all that, and I lost twenty pounds in three months and bought a whole new wardrobe. I thought it would help me feel better, and it did ease my insecurities—until I met my husband.
Young and madly in love, I still had doubts that I was worthy of love. Even though I had lost weight and felt better about myself, I still couldn’t shake the thought that I wouldn’t be able to hold on to him.
I would go in circles. So my husband and I talked about my insecurity: why I doubted him or imagined the worst possible circumstances. One second I would feel totally fine and the next minute I’d freak out because of him not answering his phone. When I couldn’t reach him my mind would jump to the worst conclusions: for instance, I wondered if he was cheating on me because I wasn’t pretty enough.
After six years of this cycle of insecurities, the fighting and the constant threat of being left, he broke. He confided in me that he wasn’t happy and that he couldn’t take the mistrust anymore. I was seven months pregnant with our third child, and I was emotionally drained and working through things myself, so I moved out.
But as emotionally drained as both of us had been, we fought with every fiber we had to stay together. I pushed myself into trying to be his best friend like we had been earlier in our relationship, and after two months of being friends and dating each other again, we moved back in together and we welcomed our son into the world shortly after.
I felt better after that, but I still found myself repeating the cycle. When he wouldn’t answer his phone, I would go crazy. I would once again accuse him of cheating on me and search for a way to validate my craziness.
I would go through the cycles of “I’m fat,” “Why would you want to be with me?”, and “I’m so ugly!” He would say, “Baby, you look fine, you’re not fat, you’re perfect, and I love you and only you.”
He would talk me down off the cliff. I would say, “If you’re not happy, then leave! The door is right there!” He would say, “What are you talking about?” He would sense my cycle and start to break down my fears and bring me back to reality.
After almost ten years of marriage I still go through this. I know that my insecurities are ridiculous—especially because my husband has proved to me time and again that he is patient and there for me. But I have learned that in order to move on, I need to face the self-doubt about who I am head-on. That’s why I’ve tried to become more aware of the cycle, and it helps me to stay calm. I have also come to realize that I can’t do it alone. I need my husband to help me work through my insecurities. We have become a team that knows the other’s doubts and ways. This helps us know we are not alone.
Yes, trusting is hard to do when your insecurities are at their finest. But I’ve found that by working together and keeping an open line of communication with my husband, those insecurities don’t need to control me. Because, ultimately, love is greater than doubt— and no matter what the insecurities may try to tell me, yes, I am worthy of love.
Flickr/ Elödie Le Gåll