Insecurity can plague the best of us, even those who are beautiful, self-confident, and seemingly leading charmed lives.
We all have our own worries and doubts about ourselves. It’s normal to experience days when we feel extra low and need a bit more reassurance.
But what if it goes overboard? How does insecurity affect relationships? Does it lead women to cheat?
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about this issue.
Let’s dive in!
What is insecurity?
First, let’s talk about what exactly insecurity means.
Insecurity involves an overall feeling of anxiety or uncertainty about your skills, abilities, and worth as a person. This typically impacts your mental and emotional health and sometimes even your physical health.
In terms of relationships, insecurity rears its ugly head in many ways and affects various aspects of a relationship.
Research has found that psychological insecurity is significantly related to neuroticism and dependency. It also affects emotional intelligence, openness, and agreeableness.
Thus, insecure people have trust issues and are unwilling to show vulnerability to their partners.
How an insecure attachment style impacts relationships
The role of attachment style is always an essential aspect of our interpersonal relationships, especially romantic ones.
That’s why any conversation about relationships needs to include a discussion of attachment styles.
Here are two examples to show you how an individual’s attachment style comes into play.
My college friend Angela is someone whom I can say has a secure attachment style. She can share her feelings openly and seek support from her partner when faced with relationship issues.
Angela enjoys being herself—flaws and all—with James, her husband. And whenever they have an argument, they can manage conflict in healthy ways.
On the other hand, my friend Sandra tends to be needy and clingy in her relationships. Ever since I’ve known her, she’s been through one relationship after another, unable to break this pattern.
Curiously, while Sandra shows a great deal of dependence on her boyfriends, she finds it so hard to share her deepest fears and weaknesses with them.
Her relationships never reached that point where she was comfortable and trusted her partner enough to bare her authentic self.
Sometimes, she even resorted to selfish or manipulative tactics to keep her man close to her, not realizing that she was, in fact, pushing him away.
Women like Sandra have an insecure attachment style. They tend to associate love with anxiety and are afraid of not being loved or seen as worth loving.
Attachment Anxiety vs. Attachment Avoidance
A closer look at the insecure attachment style would show us that it comes in two forms: anxious attachment and avoidant attachment.
Both types stem from the belief that your partner isn’t emotionally or physically available to you.
Those with an anxious attachment style have deep-seated fears of abandonment or rejection. They look to their partners for validation and emotion regulation.
Women with this insecure attachment style typically tend to be jealous and clingy and develop codependency with their partners.
Meanwhile, women with an avoidant attachment style sit on the opposite end of the spectrum.
They persistently avoid physical or emotional intimacy and are uncomfortable expressing their feelings.
Just like those with attachment anxiety, they have difficulty trusting people. However, their response is different—instead of clinging to their partner, they avoid getting emotionally close.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a woman like this, chances are, you’ve felt a wall between the two of you.
While both types are forms of an insecure attachment style, they’re not the same in terms of risks for cheating.
According to a study from Florida State University, people with attachment anxiety were more likely to cheat. In contrast to that, attachment avoidance did not lead to infidelity.
So, do insecure women cheat?
Unfortunately, yes. As the study mentioned above shows, an anxious attachment style might make a woman more prone to cheating.
Women who struggle with low self-worth may look outside the relationship for more attention and validation. The foremost question in an insecure person’s mind is: “Why would anyone find me attractive?”
So, if someone else starts giving them that attention, it feels great and assures them that they are indeed desirable.
For some people, it’s so easy to understand and accept that we are all worth loving, but with insecure women, it isn’t that simple.
They may have developed these insecurities from past experiences, and these fears have shaped how they view relationships, whether they know it or not.
As much as they want to overcome them and avoid cheating, it’s too easy to slide back into this pattern of behavior. The need to feel validated can be so much stronger than their willpower.
What causes a woman to feel insecure?
A woman may feel insecure due to her past experiences or specific issues within her current relationship. Some of these include:
- Weak primary caregiver relationships in childhood
- Lack of attention
- Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
- Recent failure or rejection
- Disastrous past relationships
- A feeling of neglect
- Discovering that her partner keeps secrets from her
How do you know if she’s feeling insecure?
You can easily spot an insecure woman by these signs:
- She’s easily hurt or offended.
- She tries to control everything in the relationship.
- She often feels jealous.
- She is critical of other women.
- She is sensitive about her appearance and body image.
- She tries to please everyone.
- She engages in attention-seeking behavior.
- She demands constant attention, reassurance, and compliments.
How do you deal with an insecure partner?
So, if you’re in a relationship with an insecure woman, does that mean all is lost?
Not at all.
There are a few ways you can nurture a relationship with an insecure partner. All you need is a lot of understanding, patience, and compassion.
1) Identify the real problem
As mentioned earlier, insecurity is a sign of low self-esteem. However, there may be other fears behind it, so it’s best to analyze and understand the situation.
Once you’ve gotten to the root cause, encourage her to discuss how you can work together to address it.
2) Assure her that you love her and care about her
Because they struggle with feelings of unworthiness, insecure women crave constant reassurance that they are loved. Reassure her that you love her, even when you’re having an argument or going through a difficult time.
3) Be supportive and let her know you’re there for her
It’s easy to dismiss the fears and worries of an insecure person, but it’s rarely productive and may even do more damage. Let your partner know you’re there to support her, even if it’s just a simple matter of listening.
4) Compliment her
Insecure women tend to grapple with questions about their worth and beauty. Make sure to focus on the positives and tell her what you love about her.
5) Spend quality time together
Feeling neglected is one of the main reasons why insecure women cheat.
Thus, it’s essential to spend quality time together, so she receives the attention she needs from you.
Even something as simple as having a meal or watching a movie together can go a long way in making her feel valued.
6) Offer small gestures that show her you’re thinking about her
You might think that giving small gifts or making small gestures might be too inconsequential, but the opposite is actually true.
Little things like leaving a note on her bedside table or offering her a blanket on a chilly night show her your thoughtfulness.
If you’ve been away the whole day, you can get a bag of her favorite chips on the way home. This is a simple way to let her know you were thinking of her even while you were apart. Small gestures like this help build trust and security.
7) Be aware of manipulative strategies
People with insecurities sometimes engage in manipulative strategies or emotional blackmail to keep you close to them.
As scheming as that sounds, they may not even be aware they’re doing it. Watch out for this behavior and approach the subject carefully when it happens.
8) Discuss your personal issues and express your feelings in a healthy manner
Offering support to an insecure partner can be exhausting, so you must also remember to take care of yourself.
Don’t be afraid to tell her how you feel, but take a compassionate approach so she won’t feel defensive or put up a wall.
9) Create healthy boundaries
Lastly, take a step back whenever you need to. You can’t fix all your partner’s issues; at some point, they need to learn how to resolve their fears themselves.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and drained, spend some time away from your partner and focus on your own emotional well-being.
Love is never easy, especially when insecurities are in the picture. Insecurity can lead a woman to be unfaithful, destroying what could otherwise be a loving relationship.
The good news is, according to research, the right responses can foster a more secure relationship. You can help your partner rise above her fears and worries.
As long as you’re willing to put in the work, a romantic relationship with an insecure woman can eventually grow to be healthy and stable.