For about six weeks, my husband's been living and working in another state. He accepted a lateral move position within his company, 14 hours away. As I prepare myself and our kids for this huge out-of-state move, we're struggling with the impact his absence has left in our current home. Along with being apart, we're faced with relationship complications we never experienced, or even anticipated, in our 10 years of marriage. There are a few ways my husband accidentally makes me feel insecure, even though I know it's not his intention. Still, when we're living states away these actions have that much more of an impact. After all, he's not here to reassure me we're, or I'm, OK.
Throughout our early days of flirtatious dating, I presented myself as a mildly confident woman. It wasn't a total lie, honestly, because I was younger, a little more carefree, and on a journey of self-discovery that allowed me to do whatever I needed to achieve personal joy. If things didn't work out between us, at the time, I knew it would be his loss and not mine. Once things became serious, and we settled down in marriage with children, I struggled with a growing list of insecurities that hadn't surfaced in those early days. Be it from lingering postpartum depression (PPD), self-esteem issues, or things my husband did through the process of learning to parent together, there are some things he did, and continues to do now, that trigger those same insecurities.
I know my husband would never intentionally do or say anything that hurts me directly. That's not the kind of guy he is. Still, in being away from us (and even the brief weekend he came back for Mother's Day), these accidental mishaps drudge up old feelings I'd love to never have again. Here are some things he may not realize he's doing that make me feel so insecure.
When He's Always On His Phone
We live in the golden age of technology and it's great. Really, it is. My career is largely internet based, so I rely heavily on technology and the use of my phone to return emails and whatnot. However — and this is a big one — my husband has no business on his personal phone. It's all games and social media. So, all the times I'm in need of real face-to-face contact, he's buried in internet nonsense or scrolling whatever feed and feel incredibly insecure as a result. I don't want to compete with Clash of Clans and, honestly, why should I?
When He's Inconsistent
Some days, my husband texts and calls all day because he's missing me,or can't stop thinking about me. Other days, however, I don't hear from him unless I'm the one calling or texting. I understand he gets busy with work at times, but it's the inconsistency that heightens my insecurity. If he remained one way, or the other, I'd know what I can rely on as opposed to guessing how involved or invested he'll be on any given day.
When He Compliments Me At Weird Times
One of my husband's greatest traits is his ability to really see me. I could have a face full of breakouts, feeling my absolute worst, and he'll tell me I'm beautiful. While I so appreciate that he does this, I can't help but feel the attempt is merely to counter my insecurity. In other words, the compliments thrown my way at the most absurd times (when I have a face mask on), feel only like an emphasized alert to the fact that I'm not actually beautiful in that moment. In a way, he's only drawing attention to my insecurities, instead of combating them.
I know he really means what he says, and this is my issue, but by pointing out how lovely I look in my baggy, hole-ridden pajamas, as opposed to a time I'm all dressed up, feels like a cruel joke.
When There's Little Mention Of Me Via Social Media
It's so trivial, and completely unintentional, but I feel insecure about how little my dear husband posts anything about me on social media. I have to remind myself to take it with a grain of salt because he doesn't do Twitter, has abandoned Facebook, and mostly scrolls Instagram. Even still, all the #wcw or random "just because" pictures lacking on his feed make me feel a little less appreciated.
When He Forgets To Check-In
Some days, again, my guy is super attentive to us. He calls the minute he's supposed to (sometimes earlier), and checks in often. These things matter now that he's in another state because it's the only connection my children and I have to him at the moment.
There have been a few times over the last few weeks, though, where time's gotten away from him and he's either late to call or forgets altogether. There's not much that makes me feels more insecure than being forgotten by anyone, let alone my life partner. Again, I know he doesn't do this on purpose, but it will never not feel like a slight, no matter what the reason is behind it.
When He's Not The Best Listener
Here or not, my husband has always had issues in the listening department. It's our biggest communication breakdown and it seems like no matter how we've worked on it, I can't help but feel insecure when it happens. Like, am I that boring? Or has technology furthered the communication gap with its instant gratification, therefore making actual conversation nearly impossible? Either way, even when he doesn't mean to, this one hurts.
When He Doesn't Notice The Small Things
My husband is pretty basic. When I try to read into the subtext, there usually is none, so the times he doesn't comment on a new shade of lipstick (when I rarely wear it to begin with), or a pretty dress I've worn for a date, I have to fight my insecurities knowing he's not aloof on purpose — it's just the way he is and always has been. To be fair, most of the time he does notice the small things, but sometimes they go completely under his radar. Hence the inconsistencies, again. Sigh.
I know that my husband isn't responsible for my insecurities. I'm a grown-ass woman and they're my issues to deal with. Still, there are times when he certainly doesn't help alleviate them. I'm sure I've done things to make him feel insecure as my partner and father of my children that I certainly don't mean, too. I guess what I'm saying is, we can both benefit from working on these things so neither of us are made to feel a certain way that's not intended. That's really what marriage is anyway — two people in love, coming together to lift each other up, not tear each other down, intentional or not.