Insecurity in marriage is one of the more problematic conditions that can arise. All too often, one spouse senses the insecurity of the other but doesn’t understand the basis for those feelings. To make the conundrum worse, the person who is feeling insecure often doesn’t understand their own feelings or concerns. This can lead to misunderstandings, which can balloon into assumptions, which then evolve into walls and wedges between you – needlessly no less.
In this particular area, I can speak from a great deal of personal experience. I am blessed to be married to a woman whom I admire tremendously, find irresistibly attractive on so many levels, and in general, I feel like she deserves better than I can provide for her as a husband. Whereas I seem to find fault in myself quite easily, I fail to find any major fault in her. There are little things to be sure, and of course she has features, like everyone in the world does, that can be taken in a negative context under certain circumstances or in high or repeated doses. However, overall she exceeds all of my hopes and expectations of what a wife should be and goes to great effort to ensure that our marriage is a refuge and sanctuary for the both of us; a place of safety where we can be ourselves, with each other, and find comfort and joy without the outside world intruding in upon us.
Whenever you have something of such great value, there is fear of its loss or destruction. In today’s world, there seem to be so many destructive influences that would do anything to break those bonds and tear down those protective walls– to cut those ties that bind us together. Either for spite or in the name of progress, we can find our marriages besieged by outside influences who are committing acts of great evil in the belief that they are doing great good and advancing some noble cause. Eventually, you will have to combat both your own fear and insecurity and these influences with the same weapon – Faith. You need to have faith in your wife, her love for you, your creator, and His love for the both of you which He has joined together. Though we may kindle the flame, the divine spark bestowed by God is the source of the fire of our love in which our passion for each other burns. Like it’s source, love is timeless and immortal and cannot be destroyed unless we assist in dousing the flame through our words, thoughts, and actions. What God has joined together, no man or woman alone can put asunder unless we allow it.
One thing that I have noticed very clearly is that people who view your relationship from the outside often have trouble believing that such arrangements are a mutual choice of both parties and with their full consent granted without coercion of any kind. Most commonly, people find it hard to grasp that a modern woman could or would willingly submit to a lifestyle that involves making her first priorities behind God, her husband and children (in that order). That an educated and intelligent woman would saddle herself with more than 2 children, and then sacrifice monetary gain and professional advancement in her field to stay in the home and care for her husband and those children unless she was in some way coerced.
To be totally honest, as rare as it has become in our society – her husband may also do some soul searching as well, as I know that I do. I thank the good Lord every single day for my wife and I often ask myself what I have done to make me worthy of her gifts. Not just the gifts of my son and daughters, but of her tender and loving attention to my needs. With her home and supporting me my career began to take off, she is my best friend, my life coach, my sounding board, my proofreader, my ethics professor, my leadership trainer, and my rock. When people made statements like “behind every good man there was a great woman,” I had never really realized what they meant until I experienced it for myself.
The deeper your devotion to each other, the more that you begin to realize that you are not in control and do not seek to be. When you reach this point, you are giving yourself fully to your spouse and your attention is focused on her instead of the outside influences which seek to distract you from her. One side effect can be a sense of insecurity, fueled in large part by the fact that you are set apart from so many in our society – and that that large segment of your peers seems to fervently object to the manifestation of your relationship. All the influences designed to shatter your marriage, or at least erode it until it is more on par with the norm where everyone puts themselves first and worries about their spouse someplace at number three or higher. “Friends” who taunt and tease when you don’t complain about your wife or run her down, or eagerly head for your marital bed rather than the local strip joint or bordello with them. Peer pressure in general, exerted on both of you to act out or engage in behavior destructive to lifetime pair-bonding. Even modern pseudo science which tries to justify promiscuity in the name of genetic diversity or the behavior of bonobo chimpanzees – as though through the assumption that we are descended from apes that our natural inclinations should be to emulate their behaviors is a correct interpretation of the natural law.
The other fuel is a sense of unworthiness which I find to be a personal struggle. While my wife often assures me she feels the same way, it nevertheless gnaws at me. The truth be known, to love and be loved in return is something very special which cannot be bought or earned. It cannot be forced or coerced either. Such love can only come in the form of a great gift, one which should not be questioned – but simply accepted and returned to the best of your ability. It is in this way that a marriage becomes a reflection of our relationship with our creator. When we are able to understand and accept this love from a spouse, we learn to accept the love of our creator. The same insecurities which plague our marriages also plague our relationship with God. In learning to overcome them in our marriages, we also are learning to overcome them in our faith.
While questioning and soul searching are completely normal human behaviors, they only serve a useful purpose if there is a satisfactory answer to be found. I can assure you, as someone who has already pondered my wife’s love until my ponderer was sore that “just because” is the best answer you will ever get – after that you reach a point where you must accept her love in good faith as a gift. She can not truly tell you why she loves you, she just does – any more than you could explain to her why you feel the way you do. Sure, you might be able to list things to like about her or pale justifications for how you feel, but in the end you both know the truth in your hearts. God has joined you together and in doing so given you both a priceless gift in each other, if you can just put your doubts aside and accept it. Treat both your love and each other with the care and reverence they deserve, ignore the outside influences, and accept that while you will never be worthy – you should never stop trying to be so.
Do your best to quell your fears, often just a touch or a hug can allay the apprehension you are feeling. Remind yourself, that she too will need the same gentle reassurances. Openly questioning this gift leads to no possible positive outcome, so avoid doing so. Best to draw her close, breathe her in, and feel the tendrils of electricity move between you. You will find that this reassurance is enough, especially if you linger for a moment or two and savor the moment. Make no mistake, such love is a risk, people are imperfect and you always run the risk of having your heart broken. But without taking the risk you can never experience the bliss either. The same is true of your faith in God, unless you make that leap, you deprive yourself of the comfort and joy which are to be found there.
I’d love to be able to tell you that love conquers all, but the divorce rate in our country speaks otherwise. I would however, argue that many marriages suffer festering wounds from selfishness, pride, greed, avarice, and vanity which leave them susceptible to fear and doubt. That fear and doubt keeps people from placing their faith in each other, and in God. It keeps them from that leap of faith, which separates them from the others love like a brick wall. In doing so it also ensures that they either never truly bond together as one or it rips the bond between them apart leaving them forever separated, bitter, angry, anguished and grieving for either what has been lost or what never was that could have been. Overcome the obstacles to your faith in your wife and your love for each other, and in doing so you will learn what you need to accept the love of our Creator together.
Don’t fool yourself and think anyone can accomplish this overnight, I’m still working on this after over 20 years and sometimes I seem to take two steps back before I move forward again. I have come to believe that the experience of the journey is what is important; since now matter how far I progress it seems that the path before me still stretches past the horizon. What I can promise you, is that the depth of your love can stretch just as far since I have not been able to find any end to that either. The further I progress the more I realize that it is truly without boundaries. I can also promise that as you learn to accept the love of your wife and find security and surety in it, you will also find security and surety in the love that God has for both of you and your holy union.
As always I welcome any thoughts, questions, comments or observations. Feel free to follow me – or drop me a line at email@example.com – especially if you have a subject you would like to see me write about in a future post.