Emotional Insecurity: How It Can Shipwreck Your Relationships

Emotional insecurity can shipwreck our relationships.

This article is about emotional insecurity and how it affects us in our relationships.

Isolated road with fallen leaves
Image by chulmin park from Pixabay

Emotional insecurity can have deep roots. Most of what we experience negatively can be directly related to wanting to be loved, cared for and chosen.

Here’s a quick story about a young woman whose unmet needs were creating a vacuum in her life.

I felt her heartache as I sat across the table from the young woman. Holding back tears, but not words, she sat at the café table needing someone to understand her struggle.

She had done everything she knew to get her husband to attach to her but he seemed disinterested and disengaged with them as a couple.

He cared about his wife’s needs but was busy with work demands, He especially disliked conversations about their relationship. He felt frustrated trying to meet her needs.

He wanted to but could not adequately meet them, with each one He met, it seemed another one surfaced.

Over and over they went through the cycle, ending back up at the beginning with no progress being made.

It was overwhelming to her husband. She had unmet needs that turned into neediness.

He was trying, but he had his own personal issues with communicating. He felt like he was failing trying to express His love to her.

This only complicated their struggling relationship.

As we talked, her bottled up tears couldn’t be held back any longer.

She said, ”I know I’m hurting and the more I hurt, the needier I have become in our relationship. I don’t know what to do.”

She had deep hurt and felt like she was in a perpetual cycle. She felt trapped by the emotional needs she had and felt desperate.

Who doesn’t have a need?

What Does God Say About Insecurity

God has wired us to have needs and not to be self sufficient.

Unmet needs can manifest into neediness.There is a difference between having a need and being needy. And asking for your spouse to do his part isn’t being needy.

It’s having enough self-awareness to know if you have a need or have placed demands on your spouse because of underlying needs that havent been met.

When there are abandonment issues or rejection, personal needs exceed what your spouse could ever provide.

Regularly doing a heart check-up internally will help you assess where you are, along with a skilled counselor.

A good counselor can help you drill down to the root of your greatest need and help you unpack your emotional suitcase.

Even though scripture says, God shall supply all of our needs doesn’t mean we can be fully satisfied without relationships.

Even if we are called to be single, God gives us meaningful relationships that fill our hearts with love.

There are various ways God meets relational needs in our lives. Good friends. Community. Activities with like minded people. Supper clubs. Bible study groups. Book Clubs. Harley Davidson groups.

Getting our emotional love tank filled is key to living loved and enjoying life.

God said to Adam, “It isn’t good for you to be alone.”

Companionship would answer something in Adam’s heart, not just the animals and not just God.

Although they had a perfect intimate union, God knew Adam had a need for Eve.. Adam needed a helper.

Someone who would make him laugh, make him crazy at times, but ultimately enjoy life together. Turns out, they didn’t have a perfect intimate union one hundred percent of the time.

Because, fights happen. The whole garden thing with the serpent caused a ruckus and blame started getting slung around at each other.

Every single one of us are hard wired to be loved and to be cared for. It’s a need, not just a desire.

Insecurity in Relationships

So what happens when we are dropped in life? We are all products of imperfect people. Life after the fall of Adam.

You know, that earlier garden situation where Adam and Eve blamed each other for being at fault.

We desire someone to pour in the healing oil of love. To choose us, to want to know us.

Maybe from birth you never experienced a healthy bonding experience with your birth parents.

Maybe, you were abandoned, never knowing who your Dad or Mom was, creating a vacant hole in your soul. which is meant to be filled.

Absentee parents who were never there can create deep emotional insecurity.

Maybe your heart feels orphaned because basic needs as a child were unmet, now as an adult the needs have manifest.

If not filled by God, we begin to seek ways to get the need met. Not all the ways we choose are good for our soul.

Sometimes, choosing unhealthy relationships creates even greater insecurities and magnifies the need that is underlying.

There isn’t a person out there to complete you. They compliment you with their unique giftings and you do the same for them.

The book of Colossians says, ‘We are complete in Christ.’ ( Col. 2:10)

He is the only one to complete us.

We can have healthy expectations in our relationships, but our definition of healthy expectations differs vastly.

The personal need is determined by the one asking.

Making sure the need isn’t coming through emotional insecurity is helpful. Self-awareness is key to knowing what you need accurately.

Healthy relationships provide stability and a soft place for our hearts to land.

Insecurity and Sexual Promiscuity

Sexual promiscuity is often a sign of searching for love and trading love for a sexual experience which leaves you less than satisfied.

Not only is it damaging to the soul but creating more rejection and an even greater need.

I had a conversation with a young man who said,” He enjoyed having friends with benefits.” I looked at him with love and had the conversation a Mom would with her son.

Concern about his heart and lifestyle, I shared how deep God’s love was for him and how He was hurting himself.

He professed to be satisfied with His arrangements, but His eyes told me something different.

With a hardened heart He listened, barely.

His heart opened only enough for a crack of light to let the seed of God’s word begin to work.

Over time God was doing a work to heal and prepare His heart for genuine love not just, friends with benefits.

His pain-filled eyes let me know his hunger for love was unmet. His Dad died at the age of 12 and He took on a dangerous dance. Sex instead of love.

When He needed his Dad the most as He moved into adolescence his unmet needs surfaced.

Love wasn’t around but abandonment was. Rejection from a long-term girlfriend was. And being mad at God was.

Lust didn’t satisfy him but it seemed safer because He disconnected from His heart’s need. Exchanged love. Love that would heal the abandonment and rejection He experienced.

This young man had an orphaned, detached heart God wanted to reach. God wanted to bring a genuine love into His life, satisfying Him more than a life of promiscuity.

He could have sex whenever He wanted, but He didn’t have love. The very nature of love is to give to someone else not take something from them.

Years later, He found love. He’s married now and has a family. He’s settled and happy. Love can do that. God can do that.

We have a Heavenly Father who can make all things up to us.

God’s word shows us this in Psalm 27:10

When my father and my mother forsake me then The Lord will take care of me.

Psalm 27:10

There is a reason why doctors and nurses encourage skin to skin contact with infants and their mothers.

This creates the first bonding experience that we have outside of the womb.

Think of a baby’s first words, the first words they begin to babble and express with their milk-stained lips, they breathe out the words of their creator, abba-abba-

This is not coincidental. God has designed us to cry out to him even from infancy and cry out Abba, which means Papa or Daddy.

 Jesus had a very intimate relationship with His Father not a stoic, rigid relationship.

When Jesus said, If you have seen me then you have seen the Father. That reflects the oneness and intimacy they shared.

This is still the same relationship God desires with each one of us as His children. This love establishes and secures us, filling us up with His love.

David references this in the Psalms, how we are created from birth to look to our Heavenly Father for our strength and refuge.

From the mouths of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

Psalm 8:2

When the need to be loved naturally by our parents isn’t met we begin to search for the hole to be filled.

 It can cause us to look for it in any place that will give it.

Healthy or unhealthy We are designed by God to live loved.

If we aren’t experiencing love we become needy.

Emotional Insecurity

Emotional insecurity can manifest in various ways if someone hasn’t been loved well or experienced love.

It can cause you to be demanding and try to extract love from someone who doesn’t freely give it.

We want to be loved by our spouse, our friends, our family.

God uses many different people to bring love into our life.

Sometimes, when we have unmet needs we become fixated on whatever the source we perceive as not meeting our needs.

This can result in us smothering or suffocating the person we want to receive love from.

Our needs cause us to try and extract it from the person we desire it from.

Rather than looking inward and tapping into the love God has deposited within us from him, our great needs cause us to search.

We then become disappointed when our expectations aren’t met.

God has never designed one person to meet every single solitary need you have or they would be God.

Anytime we look for a person to only be what God designed himself to be we are in danger of making someone else a god.

That’s a lot of pressure for anyone. God is the only one and true God designed to be God to us.

Man-made gods always disappoint. They’re idols. Like any idol we sacrifice for we end up not satisfied.

Devoting ourselves to whatever or whoever it is, hoping it will fulfill us.

Left with emptiness and sacrificing everything for the person or thing we have put in the place of God. Whoever or whatever that may be.

Leaving a wake of dissatisfaction. No person is designed to fill the God sized hole in our hearts. Only Him.

He’s jealous for you. He wants to heal the ache. He knows what your insatiable hunger and need is. He holds the key that unlocks what you need.

Prayer for Insecurity

Here’s a prayer for insecurity for you to think and meditate on. The more you can speak this over your life the more freedom you will experience.

Father, I thank you that your word says, I am the apple of your eye. I know according to your word that you are close to the broken hearted.

You would leave the ninety-nine to come after the one who has wandered because of rejection. Thank you for being my strong refuge.

Thank you for writing my name on the palm of your hand. You never forget me and you will never leave me.

I need to know your love is everlasting. Help me to know that Jesus and let your love secure me.

I thank you for hearing me and healing my insecurities. Help my relationships to be healthy and strong.

Forgive me for looking to a person to be what only you can be to me. I thank you for the new thing you are doing in me.

All of us have dealt with emotional insecurity. We can settle into living loved when we grasp how deep God’s love is for us. He can satisfy and make up in any area of our lives we feel love starved.

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