Love him enough to understand how much these things eat at him.
Many of us feel some measure of insecurity when dealing with life experiences. But when it comes to relationships, there are unique insecurities that men struggle with in particular. But being the men they are (and by that I mean, living in a culture that doesn’t support men in sharing their insecurities), they’ll NEVER tell you about them.
So, I will.
Because the man in your life (if you truly love him) needs you to understand how much he struggles with these things.
You see, a man battling insecurity lives with a quiet gnawing fear, rather than a confident, positive intention. If your man can’t (or won’t) replace his fearful view with an optimistic outlook, his insecurity will remain … holding him and your relationship back.
Self-improvement begins with his willingness to imagine and create different possibilities for his life. And the way out of darkness is to turn on a light. And you can help him in that process by showing him compassion, support, and understanding.
Here are the four big things your man is super insecure about, but will never tell you:
1. He’s worried he’s not enough for you
He wants to please you. If your man feels he’s not pleasing you, it generates self-doubt and insecurity. The “I’m not good enough” complex also relates to fear and insecurity that he’s not good enough sexually. He worries he can’t “please you” in bed. This often comes partly because men typically orgasm before women. Usually after your man orgasms, his sexual desire and energy lower compromising his ability to keep going and please you.
It’s not always solely his problem, however. Often you have your own personal sexual insecurities which inhibit you from sexually arousing yourself enough, which causes you to take longer to orgasm. If your man takes on more of the responsibility to please you in bed, he also likely takes on more of the shame of poor sexual relations within your relationship.
2. He’s scared he’ll lose you
Your partner’s insecurity of not being good enough leads him down a road of fear — fear of losing you or that you’ll have an affair. From this place of fear, he can go in one of two directions, becoming passive and indecisive in the relationship, or becoming controlling and possessive. Or he may cycle through a combination, switching from the extremes of passive and aggressive. Sound familiar? It’s insecurity that leads to his passivity or controlling, jealous behaviors.
Whatever we focus on, we create the likelihood of it happening in our reality. By focusing on our insecurities (thinking that helps us avoid them) we actually illuminate them on the unconscious level. We tend to focus on what we don’t want to happen, yet where our mind (focus and attention) goes — we go. And thus, in time, your man might accidently create the very experience he fears … losing you.
3. He secretly needs your approval (and help)
Clinical psychologist Dr. Joseph Nowinski points out that with insecurity comes a form of dependence on others to look good and “do for me.” Is your man dependent on you for his well-being and making him look good? If he doesn’t feel good about himself, he’ll likely make you responsible for his inadequacies and vulnerabilities. There’s a likelihood that he’ll become demanding that you do things he feels he’s not capable of doing for himself, or want you to look a certain way to earn him respect amongst other men. Whether in passive or aggressive ways, his need for approval can simmer under the foundation of your relationship, unless he cultivates authentic confidence in himself.
4. His emotions scare the hell out of him
In general, as they grow up, boys learn and become conditioned not to feel, to distance themselves from their emotions. “Boys don’t cry.” “Suck it up.” “Don’t be a sissy.” He’s insecure about showing his emotions (even to you), so he has little emotional strength. He doesn’t know what to do with his emotions because he’s been conditioned to shut them down and tune them out. As a result, he often won’t know what to do with yours.
Author David Deida cites that a superior man knows how to “be” with emotions and is comfortable with penetrating your mood. Your man may struggle with this because it’s foreign and thus, it’s uncomfortable. Rather than admit this, he hides from his own emotions and negates your emotions. Even when he truly wishes to connect with you.
To overcome one’s insecurities, a person must first admit them.
This means telling the truth to yourself about yourself, and then sharing this truth with another. But know this ladies, your love and enabling ways won’t diminish his insecurities; it only keeps them going. Being supportive and accepting help, but your man must find the will to step up to the plate and do his inner work on his own in order for his insecurities to fade.
The more he feels he can trust himself and find confidence in his own skin, the more he’ll trust you and talk about his insecurities with you. Support him when he’s ready, but the first step is his.
Originally appeared at YourTango
More from YourTango: