Insecurities can Damage Your Relationship

Having periodic doubts about your partner isn’t unusual, especially after a major argument has occurred. After these times, we do tend to question our relationships. However, new research shows that when concerns or doubts about our relationships exist – especially if we can’t count on our partner – it can lead to instability in the relationship. Also, not surprisingly, these doubts decrease how satisfied we are in the relationship and casts a shadow over it.

Confidence in Relationships

The research, conducted at Florida State University, studied how couples looked at each other. Its emphasis focused on relationship satisfaction and the level of conflict in the relationship. Specifically, this study looked at what happens when one partner feels anxious or insecure about their relationship and their partner. It also tracked attachment levels in the relationship. Basically, the researchers were interested in how confident the participants felt about their relationships.

How the Study Was Conducted

The FSU researchers asked 157 couples questions regarding their communication and expressed their connection or level of attachment to one another. They also looked at:

  • how satisfied partners were in their relationships
  • what kinds of conflicts occurred
  • their comfort level with feeling emotionally connected to one another.

In addition, they examined actions that influenced the lack of trust. They looked at actions associated with attachment anxiety as well, such as being afraid you won’t be taken care of by your partner.

What They Found

The results indicate that partners who were not seriously attached to their partners were more likely to have unsatisfactory feelings about their relationship. Additionally, the volatility of the relationship really had a negative impact on relationship satisfaction. This, in turn, affected the success of the relationship. Interestingly, women who were insecurely attached to their partner negatively affected their partner’s feelings towards the relationship too.  

It should be noted that the study did not look at long term relationships. Three-quarters of the participants were dating and half were in a relationship that was two years or less. Of course, in the dating world, there would be much more instability, but the bottom line is that instability negatively affects those relationships too. Perhaps this is because “just dating” contributes to more positive feelings associated with getting to know a person. However, there isn’t much trust because you are still learning about each other during the beginning stages of a relationship. Therefore, feeling insecure in your relationship can damage your relationship no matter which stage you are in. This includes couples who are casually dating or are in long-term, committed relationships.

How to Create Relationship Stability

Overall, of course, it is better to have more confidence and trust in your partner. A trusting environment translates into a much more stable environment. It is common sense, but now it is actually supported by research.

Here are ways that couples can create more trust and, in turn, greater relationship stability:

  • Following through on promises and commitments.
  • Taking accountability when you make a mistake.
  • Asking for help.
  • Checking in with one another daily.
  • Being consistently truthful.
  • Making sure that both of you are on the same page emotionally.

The key to building trust is two-fold. The first part is communicating clearly and consistently. The second piece is to have your actions and behaviors directly correspond to your words. However, if you still find yourselves having trouble with creating relationship stability, consider getting professional help and working with a skilled couples counselor on these issues.

The research shows that if we are not feeling emotionally attached to our partners, our relationships do tend to suffer. Also, if you don’t trust your partner then it is difficult to be emotionally attached to them. Yet, there are things that we can do to address this problem, including increasing the level and frequency of our communication and following through with consistent actions and behaviors. These can help create more trust between partners, and improve relationship stability and satisfaction.

Category: Couples · Tags:

Comments are closed.