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This emotional insecurity is so unlike me. How can I stop it?

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Okay, short version: Baby Boomers (tail end) married 13 years, separated November 2012 through June 2013, now back together.

I chose to leave due to the anger and hostility that seemed overwhelming at the time. Being away managed to help me realize why my husband acted in this way. He sought therapy and anger management. I sought peace, quiet, and the gym.

Since my return to the marriage, I now have bouts with terrible insecurity. Like who on his social media page might be someone who wanted to connect with him. That seems stupid and incredibly adolescent. I catch myself looking at him and wondering who he may have seen during my departure.

Why? I have never in my life been an insecure individual. Never. Even though he continues to profess undying love and admiration for us. What the heck happened to me? I never dated during the separation, never even thought about it in such a short time. Why do I even care?

We are happier and more mentally healthy than ever. But I seem to be having a very hard time with this. It's so out of my character I don't even understand myself. Help!

This question was submitted by 'Lyrech'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Lyrech and thank you for writing in. It sounds as if this break has done you both a great deal of good and your marriage is working really well.

What is not working so well is your imagination. I wonder: do you know for a fact that he saw anyone else during your departure? Or is that simply your imagination overacting?

It may be that he did, of course, and if so, then it seems as if he now feels that the grass isn't greener on the other side. But if he said he didn't and you know him to be an honest man, then of course you need to either start paying less attention to your imagination and/or start using it in a new way. So how do you do this?

Imagination drives behaviour, which is why people who are insecure in relationships act insecure by checking their partner's social media activity and the like. It can be hard to artificially force yourself not to act in some way when your feelings, fuelled by what you imagine, compel you. It's easier to work with the imagination, not against it.

You can't stop people connecting in these times and most of these connections online are meaningless, in that they don't lead to much more than a tally of 'friends'. But, of course, me saying that does little.

I helped create a whole program around overcoming the kind of relationship insecurity that spoils good relationships. Because this program deals directly with how your imagination is used and misused, I can't do better than recommending it. But this isn't to say there isn't something out there more suitable for you.

It sounds like your marriage is really working and all you both need to do is enjoy that.

All best wishes,

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - July 3rd, 2015 in

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