Do you struggle with a constant desire for approval from others, especially your spouse? If so, your desire for approval may be hurting your marriage! 

Children learn to modify their behavior in order to receive love and acceptance. This behavior can continue into adulthood by seeking approval from others as a way to feel important and validated. Over time, one begins to attribute their value to how others perceive them.  If they perceive themselves as less than and unworthy, they will forgo their own needs and desires in order to be accepted by others. Eventually, they will begin to compromise their own values and stop listening to what is right for them.

Insecurity and the constant desire for approval can create lasting damage in marital relationships. This can destroy your love and affect your partner in unforeseen ways. The most concerning issue that can appear is a pattern of codependence.  Codependency involves sacrificing one’s personal needs to try to meet the needs of others. Someone who is codependent has an extreme focus outside themselves. 

If you struggle with a constant desire for approval, consider these ideas: 

  1. Understand insecurity and codependence. Are you continually trying to get approval from your partner?  Are you stuck depending on your partner to make you feel better each day? Does your desire for approval make you question everything you do? Insecurity naturally attracts people who feed it and your partner may not even realize it. Your ability to make decisions is impaired since you have to ask their opinion all the time. In many ways your ability to act like an adult is affected. 
  2. Notice your partner’s reaction. Initially, your partner may lovingly give you constant approval and support. However, in many cases, your partner will eventually get tired of your neediness and obligation to help you with every decision. They can also feel fatigued from your constant questions and desire for approval. 
  3. Work on reducing your insecurity. You can eliminate your need for approval by gaining self-confidence. First, realize that this is hurting you and your partner. Take action to reduce your insecurities through counseling, coaching or medical help, keeping a journal to write down your thoughts, or participating in yoga or meditation to change your mindset. 
  4. Practice self-care. One of the reasons you seek approval from others may be because you don’t love yourself or take care of yourself. Self-care can range from taking a bath with your favorite essential oils to reading a book by a favorite author, practicing your favorite exercises or doing your beloved hobby. 
  5. Avoid expecting applause every day. It’s important to retrain your mind and change your expectations. You may be doing important things, but you can’t expect to receive applause at every turn. Others are busy and don’t always notice your contributions. It’s unwise to demand their attention all the time and beg for their approval. The other side of this involves letting go of being perfect by embracing your mistakes and imperfections. 

Relationships that are built on insecurity and codependence usually don’t last. For a healthy relationship, it is important to reduce your desire for constant approval. Your goal is to encourage a balanced marriage by being secure and confident without your spouse supporting you or lifting you up every moment! Try these ideas and make a change today!

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