Fiancee’s insecurities could put an end to relationship

DEAR AMY: I am a newly engaged man and very much in love.

My fiancee embodies almost every aspect of my dreams. Our common ground is deeply rooted in an appreciation of nature and love of the outdoors. We share political views and life goals. She is the most caring, generous woman I have ever met.

This amazing woman is tremendously insecure about her body image, her financial contributions to our union, her lack of higher education and her career. She is young and full of promise in so many ways at 24. I am plainly more established at 32.

It feels as if I am losing her to anxiety about these insecurities. I assure her of my support repeatedly, but this seems fruitless and almost perpetuates her unhappiness and insecurity.

Do you have any advice on how to help someone else overcome, or at least diminish, the impact of his or her insecurities? I may seem pessimistic, but I see this all imploding further down the road if not dealt with sooner.


Her lack of confidence affects my confidence. — Worried Fiance

DEAR WORRIED: Your worries are justified. If your fiancee doesn’t find strategies to deal with her insecurities, they could overtake her and create serious problems for your relationship. People who are deeply insecure beat themselves up. This makes them feel worse, so they spread their unhappiness around to the people who love them the most.

Your instinct to prop her up, support and reassure her is loving and kind, but it won’t fix what’s ailing her.

She could benefit from professional help. A therapist will help her explore the roots of her insecurities and anxieties. Your fiancee should then take this knowledge and make whatever changes she needs to make to gain confidence. If she needs to further her education or get a different job, she should do so.

DEAR AMY: My girlfriend "Brianna" and I are 19 and sophomores in college.

I’m crazy about her. She’s everything I could ever want in a woman. Or at least I think she is. This is my first serious relationship, and I’m worried I don’t have the experience to know for sure whether I’m in love with her.

I also have a friend, "Hannah," whom I am very close to. Within the past six months, I started to realize that I had feelings for her.

I can’t help wondering "what if?"


Brianna is amazing, but so is Hannah. And because the three of us attend different schools, I often meet other girls whom I wish I could get to know better.

Would I benefit from dating other women, or should I be grateful for the amazing relationship I have now and see where it takes me? Ten years down the line, I don’t want to regret anything.

What are your thoughts? — Boyfriend

DEAR BOYFRIEND: You’re 19. You’re not ready to settle down, so you shouldn’t settle down.

This is a very challenging but completely normal phase of life, and you should follow your instincts to see other people.

Brianna might be having the same feelings and impulses that you’re having. You should talk about it, candidly, and suggest that you both see other people.

DEAR AMY: Over the summer, I have lost somewhere between 12 and 15 pounds. Because it was mostly from the stomach area, I look much thinner.

I’ve just started my second year of high school and am getting a lot of comments about it, including compliments from some people who previously teased me in the locker rooms. I’m still the same person! I’m just 14 pounds lighter! I don’t really get their sudden attitude change. How should I respond to them? -- Confused


DEAR CONFUSED: If people who previously bullied you now compliment you, just say, "Well, I’m the same person I was last year, but thanks all the same."

Send questions to or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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