Is It Love or a Lockdown Based on Fear & Insecurity?

Posted by:

“Are you a man who loves and cherishes and cares for me?   Or are you a guard in a prison of maximum security?”

“Do we stay home all the time cos you want me to yourself, or am I locked away out of fear that I’ll find someone else?”

For some reason I’m really feeling the song Spotlight by Jennifer Hudson at the moment.  Not because I am in Jennifer’s situation, but because the words of the song ring so true with many of the relationship coaching and therapy sessions that I am doing with my clients at the moment.  Either one or both of the parties is under pressure and stress with what the other is doing.

Is your relationship just another form of stress?

Is your relationship just another form of stress?

The song, and what I see some of my clients going through raises questions about some of the behaviours that might get show up in a relationship when insecurity, mistrust, or fear are at play and the underlying reasons for your partners behaviour:

Is it love or a form of heart control?

Is it love or a form of heart control?

  • Are they calling and messaging you all day to send you love messages and notes, or is it because they want to check up on where you are and what you’re doing?
  • Are they suggesting outfits for you when you’re going out with friends because they want you to look even more amazing, or because they want you in the nun’s habit of a dress or monks cape so that you don’t look amazing unless you are out with them.
  • Do they want to stay in with ‘just the 2 of you’ most of the time because they simply love being in your company and staring into your eyes, or because their insecurities hit the stratosphere when there is a risk that other people might see you and find you attractive.
  • Do they want to know all about your day because they are interested in sharing that aspect of your life, or because they want you to account for every single minute to be sure that there was no time in that day to even talk to anyone remotely interesting.

A quick sense check is to notice if you are a different person when you are with them because they bring out the best in you, or are you holding yourself back because being yourself would be too much and too threatening for them?

I have been lucky enough never to find myself in the full force and grip of such a relationship, however I had a partner who unknown to me carried deep insecurities which eventually played out in such a way that I had no choice but to leave and bring the relationship to an end.

With my ex it came out in semi-jest: “You’re too good for me.”  “I often wonder what you see in me or why you’re with me.”  “You could do so much better than me.”  “You’re gorgeous.  What do you see in me?”

The comments were scattered over a period or 5 or so years so seemed harmless enough at the time.  It is also a bit of an ego boost when someone thinks you are that wonderful.  How it played out however was them going off and having an affair partly because “I was probably going to leave them for someone else one day anyway.”  With hindsight it all coalesced into a great big ball of: “OMG, how could I not have seen that coming?!!!”

The end was almost inevitable if not addressed.

The end was almost inevitable if not addressed.

I realised after it was all over that my partner carried the weight of waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’ and for me to come home and announce that I’d found someone else, someone better.  That would never have happened, but with those deep rooted insecurities and beliefs, it is likely that no amount of reassurance from me would have done the trick.

Jennifer Hudson sings: “Baby I do try, to show you that you’re mine, my one and only guy, no matter who may come along.  Open your eyes cos baby I don’t like.”

I realise now from my therapeutic work that for those ingrained and deeply rooted limiting beliefs, a different kind of intervention is often required, over and above just talking about it.

Jennifer Hudson goes on to sing:

“I don’t like living under your spotlight, just in case you think I might find somebody worthy.”

“I don’t like living under your spotlight, baby if you treat me right, you don’t have to worry.”


I realise that for many people, particularly when an emotional or financial dependency has built up, that it can almost feel like trying to come off of an addictive substance.

Is it real love or a twisted addiction?

Is it real love or a twisted addiction?

You realise it is damaging you but it feels good when it’s good.  You realise that in the long term it might be the end of your spirit but for some inexplicable reason you want them anyway.  You think about them even when you don’t want to.  They churn and turn over in your mind.  You rationalise their behaviour and might even make excuses for them and explain their crazy behaviour and stunts away.  Sometimes you even know you are being crazy for wanting them so much but you can’t help yourself.


I guess first of all realise that it might not all be in your imagination and that you are not the only person in the world to have experienced what you are going through.

Get some support.  One of the things that often happens with these types of relationships is that they subtly edge and squeeze out all of your friends, especially the outspoken ones.  If that has been the case start rebuilding those bridges and friendships so that you don’t feel so alone.

Speak to someone objective.  Your friends may not be the best person for this role because the likelihood is that they will hear your side of things and just agree with you in order to be supportive.  Find someone who doesn’t know anything about the situation and tell them the FACTS, all of the facts, not just your one sided view.  Tell them what you did and said, as well as the perspective from your partner because there is also a possibility that you could have been putting some fuel into the fire even if not intentionally.

Sort your own insecurities out.  At this point you might be throwing your hands up at the screen and shouting that you recognise your partner from the descriptions I’ve given, and therefore it is all their fault and it’s all being caused their insecurities.  OK, just for arguments sake, let’s pretend that this was a dance, a Tango if you will, and go with the old adage that it takes 2 to Tango.

Relationships are often like a  Tango and it takes two.

Relationships are often like a Tango and it takes two.

I can only speak from my own experience and that of the 100’s, and possibly after 14 years, 1000s’ of clients that I have worked with in this area.  At the time all of this was going on with my partner I had the unknown limiting belief that I wasn’t good enough and that I wasn’t worthy enough.  So even after the first affair, because I was so afraid of being alone and never finding anyone even as remotely as ‘good’ as him, I ‘forgave’ him and we soldiered on.  I say forgave in inverted commas because much as I tried I really couldn’t, and being someone who internalised things it just literally ate me up inside and eroded my sense of self worth even further which made me hold on even tighter to something that was getting dysfunctional.  When you resolve those issues you can’t even imagine putting up with such nonsense.

I discussed the poisoning effect that can stem from not sorting out your emotional baggage in a previous Blog Post.  It also outlines which modalities and therapies you can use the resolve your old emotional stuff, sort out your past, and open your heart again.

Go at your own pace.  I say this because good natured friends and family might try to hustle you out if they know what’s going on because on the face of it all it really is a very simple equation:

They no treat you right = You leave the situation

However, you really do have to see and really ‘get’ that for yourself.  Once you do it’s as though the light comes on and suddenly you find yourself on what I call the tipping point where it is then just an easy step to turn the whole situation around and almost flip it on its head.

Have a boundary.  What is the line that once crossed means that it’s over?  I watched an interview with Oprah Winfrey recently.  She was talking to the author of Simple Abundance, Sarah Ban Breathnach.  Sarah’s book spoke of being empowered and abundant, yet after the success of the book she found herself married to a man who controlled and mentally abused her and while belittling her also helped to spend of all of her millions and leave her penniless and destitute.  Oprah said: “Did he hit you?  Because for me, if a man hits me I’m out.  That is it for me.”

So what is your boundary?  What is the thing that if your partner does it you are out?

If it's true love in I'm.  No doubt.

If it’s true love in I’m. No doubt.

Jennifer sings: “If this is love, real real love, then I’m staying no doubt, but if I’m just love’s prisoner then I’m busting out.”

Think about today.  Think about today and the here and now.  Many people start jumping ahead into the future and thinking about being alone, or imagining a rose tinted future where their partner suddenly changes.  I’m not saying don’t plan for the future, however look at your life as it is.  What is happening right now?  Use that as the basis for your future planning.  If things stay the same what will your life be like in 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years time?

Identify what stops you.  If you know that something isn’t right, what stops you taking action?  Is it fear of change or the unknown that stops you?  Is it the thought of being alone?  Or is it genuinely because you believe in the relationship and share a deep love with your partner?  Only you can decide that, and one of the best ways I know is to sit with it and do some heart work because deep down, in your heart of hearts you really do know what the truth is for you.

What really stops you?

What really stops you?

Identify your gains.  For you to still be there if the situation isn’t good and you are simply being controlled and the relationship is unfulfilling it must get something for you.  For me it was a sense of security.  Knowing that someone was there for me.  Having someone to share things with.

Where other parts of your world have become diminished, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that this is as good as it gets and that there isn’t anyone or anything else out there for you.  Ask yourself if that is really true.

Jennifer Hudson sings: “Is this relationship fulfilling your needs as well as mine, or is this a just a sentence and I’m doing time?”

Is it a prison and jailer type relationship or marriage?

Is it a prison and jailer type relationship or marriage?

Take action.  If it really is a love connection then talk to your partner.  Tell them how it feels for you (not blaming them for doing things to make you feel bad) and outline what changes you both need to make in order to create a relationship that works for both of you.   One of the lines from Jennifer Hudson’s Spotlight is:

“If this is love, real real love, then I’m staying no doubt, but if I’m just love’s prisoner then I’m busting out.”

What did I do and how long did it take?

For me I used a combination of NLP, Hypnosis, and Time Line Therapy to breakthrough the limiting beliefs and the anger and frustration and fear that I felt.  I subsequently used the trilogy combo for the first 8 or so years that I was in client practice.

Nowadays I also add things like Hawaiian Huna, Access Consciousness, OTH (Opening The Heart), and maybe a bit of Past Life Regression or looking at the Soul Plan, etc.  Basically, with the wonderful array of modalities, processes and techniques out there, choose one that resonates with you and stay the course and do it.

For the basic Breakthrough Process it can be done and dusted in as little as a day if you are in the place of having had the realisation that you want to truly make some changes.

To get the ball rolling just sit and take a long look at your situation and ask yourself:

  • Does it grow or diminish you?
  • Does it add to your life and emotional wellbeing or take something away?
  • Are you better person when you are in contact with them, or a darker version of yourself?

I have also chosen a few of The Honesty Questions from my Is He/She The One CD:

  1. Do you enjoy their company?
  2. Do you like and enjoy spending time with them?
  3. Compared to what are you looking for in a partner, how do they measure up?
  4. Do they nurture your soul and give you the space to grow?
  5. Are you comfortable in their company and able to relax?
  6. When you think about seeing them does your heart skip a beat with excitement or does it sink to your stomach?
  7. Does it feel great imagining how you can grow and develop together or does it feel a bit like a life sentence?

As I previously mentioned we are back to your heart again.  It usually speaks the truth when you are still and quiet and open enough to listen.

If any of this applies to you, happy listening and exploring.

Marilyn Devonish ♥



Marilyn Devonish is a Business Graduate, holds a Post Graduate Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma, is a Corporate Trainer, Management Consultant, and Prince2 Project Manager.  She is also a Certified Trainer of NLP, Certified Trainer of Time Line Therapy, Certified Trainer of Hypnosis, Certified PhotoReading Instructor, Soul Plan Reader, and Certified Angel Intuitive and Tarot Card Reader, and Certified Life and Executive Coach.

She is also a Practitioner in EFT, EmoTrance, DNA Theta Healing, Hawaiian Huna, Access Bars, Access Consciousness, Energetic NLP, Positive EFT, Past Life Regression, Opening the Heart (OTH), Future Life Progression, and Reiki.

In addition Marilyn is Freelance Magazine Writer, Keynote Speaker, and Workshop Facilitator.  She has been in the field of personal development since the year 2000 after giving up on her Chartered Accountancy studies to become a Coach and Hypnotherapist.

In addition to running public workshops and events, she also designs and delivers bespoke Corporate and industry trainings.




Services Guide:

Workshops and Events:



About the Author:

Marilyn Devonish has been described as the UK equivalent of Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson, Anthony Robbins, a dash of Doreen Virtue, and the trio from Charmed all rolled into one. I (Marilyn Devonish) have admit that was too big of a statement for me to own, but I equally admit that I do like the sound of it and it did make me smile. Marilyn Devonish - Herself since Year 2000.

Add a Comment

Get the Supercharge Your Brain Free eBook

Use this link to get your Free copy of the Supercharge Your Brain eBook by Marilyn Devonish.  Whether you are looking to overcome dyslexia, dyspraxia and the perils of being a slow reader, or simply looking to supercharge your already good performance, this eBook will help. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!