Have you ever had moments when you feel like your partner acting behind your back? So is it cheating intuition, or just your insecurity talking?
Part of being human is our ability to feel when something is wrong or when something bad is about to happen. Although it’s helpful, it can also leave us feeling anxious.
This can also happen in relationships. Sometimes you think that your relationship is in a good place, but then one day, you suddenly start having this sinking feeling in your stomach.
Maybe you start having this “feeling” because your partner or spouse is coming home late for the past few days or they are behaving differently (talk about signs of infidelity!).
And although you want to give them the benefit of the doubt, that sinking feeling is just too intense, and you can’t ignore it anymore.
This is even more complicated if you have already experienced being cheated on in the past. Of course, the fear of having to go through the pain again is just too much to bear.
However, let us not forget that even though gut feelings may be right most of the time, there are still some instances when they can be wrong and misleading.
And, most importantly, that feeling in your chest or your stomach doesn’t always mean that it’s your intuition sending you a warning.
Because, sometimes, it can just be your insecurity playing tricks on you, and you don’t even know it.
Cheating intuition and insecurity
Intuition and insecurity are both very powerful, and if you are not careful enough, you might mistake one for the other. You might not like its repercussions on your relationship.
Basically, both voices are at the back of your head, telling you that something might be wrong and action must be taken.
But, here’s the tricky part: they won’t tell you the same thing, so you must listen carefully to avoid jumping to conclusions and creating conflicts in your relationship.
Let me explain to you why:
Intuition is more of a feeling rather than a thought.
Have you ever experienced a sudden feeling of unease about a situation without really knowing why?
Like you were walking down the street one typical morning, and then there was suddenly a tightness in your body, and you started having goosebumps?
You looked around to check for any immediate danger, and yet, there were no signs of any threat around you. But you had this sudden “gut feeling” that something bad might happen.
And when you crossed the street, that was the only time you noticed a suspicious stranger who you initially saw in an alley taking the same route as you.
Now, this gut feeling is also what we call intuition. It is an immediate understanding of a situation without any thought processes and may be due to unconscious observations.
Here is what Jeremy Sutton, Ph.D. had to say about it:
“Intuition is not logical. It is not the result of a set of considered steps that can be shared or explained. Instead, while based on deep-seated knowledge, the process feels natural, almost instinctual.”
So, if you are in a relationship, and out of the blue, you feel a weight on your chest telling you that something is wrong with your partner, then you might want to pay closer attention to it.
Perhaps there are signs that you haven’t noticed before, and it’s your mind’s way of telling you to look closer and identify what exactly is going on with your partner.
Although there is no assurance that your intuition is correct, it is there because it is trying to send you an important message.
Like, your partner or spouse may not be really cheating on you, but perhaps there is something in your relationship or in your marriage that needs to be fixed or to be discussed.
Overall, intuitions or gut feelings are there not to harm you and your relationship but to help you become more mindful and find better ways of dealing with any possible threat.
Insecurity is a result of perceived self-inadequacies.
While our intuitions, especially when it comes to cheating, mean well and are only trying to protect us from any possible harm, insecurity is the exact opposite.
Even though it is also trying to protect us from being hurt, it comes from negative emotions, such as not being good enough or not being loved enough, and so the result can get messy.
People with unresolved emotional traumas are more prone to have insecurities because they are already programmed to have negative thoughts.
Alysha Jeney, MA, LMFT, explained it well:
“Our core insecurities often stem from attachment wounds, which is a way to describe any time there was a significant relationship that has ruptured our trust in the past.”
Of course, when you already went through betrayal, or let’s say, you were emotionally abused before, the fear of having to experience it again can be extremely distressing.
That is why when a situation you are currently in is starting to resemble the past. You might immediately shift into panic mode, making all your rational thoughts disappear.
With clouded thoughts and a blurry outlook of your present situation, this might lead you to jump to conclusions without really investigating and gathering any actual proof.
Now, here’s the bottom line: our intuition is trying to alert us to potential cheating, meanwhile, insecurity already has its own distorted version of the truth.
3 Key Signs Of Insecurity
Even after presenting the difference between intuition and insecurity, I’m pretty sure that you might still be having some confusion between the two.
After all, they are almost identical and related to one another since both of them can leave us feeling anxious about our present situation.
So, to make it more clear, here are a few signs of insecurity to look out for:
- Not fully trusting your partner
- Always seeking approval or reassurance
- Struggling with self-acceptance
To better contextualize:
1. Not fully trusting your partner
When you are insecure, every little thing that your partner or spouse does that is out of the ordinary will result in you questioning their intentions or their honesty.
For example, your partner just told you about an impromptu night out with friends. You did not mind it at first, but right after your partner walked out the door, your mind started to race.
“Are they just really having a few drinks at the local bar? Will there be people I don’t know about? What if they get too drunk and sees someone attractive?”
Or, when there is an instant shift in their behavior, like a sudden annoyance or irritability, you straight away think that it was because of you without really trying to ask them why.
But, what if, in reality, they just had a distressing call or text from their boss? Or maybe they have any other valid reason that does not involve you or their feelings toward you?
The thing is, it is easy to say that you trust your partner with all your heart, but when an uncertain event happens, your trust is suddenly debatable.
Thankfully, therapy may be able to help you work on your trust issues. If you want to learn more, you can read about it here.
2. Always seeking approval or reassurance
Another key sign to look out for is seeking other people’s approval and validation so much that it is no longer considered healthy.
Of course, it is normal to ask for other people’s opinions at times, but if you start to base your self-worth on them, then it can be a red flag.
Not being approved of, being rejected, or not feeling like you belong can leave you feeling dejected.
And so, you will always ask for reassurance that you are loved and cared for so your ego won’t get wounded.
3. Struggling with self-acceptance
The intense need for other people’s validation is often the result of a conflicted relationship with oneself.
You don’t see yourself as someone good enough, pretty or handsome enough, smart enough, or talented enough.
It’s so hard for you to see your own beauty, and yet, seeing perfection in other people comes easily to you.
You always compare yourself to other people and spend a lot of time trying to be them and hiding who you really are as an individual.
When you’re in a relationship, there will always be moments when you will question whether you’re just intuitive or your insecurities are getting the best of you.
It can be confusing, especially because both intuition and insecurity will make you question your surroundings and the situation you’re currently in.
They both want to protect you from harm and to shield you away from pain.
What sets them apart, though, is that intuition wants you to become more mindful and aware and take the necessary steps to confirm any impending danger.
It wants you to truly understand the situation and find healthy solutions.
On the other hand, insecurity won’t give you the possibility of dealing with a conflict in a healthy manner.
This is because insecurity will immediately make you jump to conclusions and attack your partner without really knowing the truth.
So, when there are signs of infidelity, take some time with yourself first and reflect.
If the sinking feeling in your stomach comes from the possibility that it might be really true, and you want evidence and confirmations, then it’s most likely cheating intuition.
But if this sinking feeling results from low self-esteem and there is already a formed belief with little to no evidence at all, perhaps it’s just your insecurity talking.
Now, remember, insecurity won’t do your relationship any good, even if your intuition suggests that there are signs of cheating, do not immediately leap into action.
Confirm first, and when it’s done, that’s the time you plan on the next best step to take in your relationship.
Recommended: Can Therapy Stop Your Fear Of Getting Cheated On?