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I didn't want to hijack another thread, so I started a new one. My x wife had low sel-esteem coming into our relationship. She wasn't physically abused, but she just never got any positive comments from her mother. She always got the feeling she would never amount to anything and that she was stupid. She was always the "good-girl" in her family. She was the one that didn't give her parents any grief, and i think she felt like that should deserve some positive reactions, but it didn't. Has anyone else here suffered from low self-esteem or been with someone in a relationship who had it. Does this create a different role for the other person in dealing with this, even though it may seem to "go-away," are there still certain things this person needs that others may not long-term? The following was posted in another thread.

This is a primary driver (or anti-driver in this case) here. If someone has pathologically damaged self esteem from childhood or early adult experiences, marital love on it's own will not be enough to overcome the dysfunction. Current estimates indicate that 25-33% of American women were sexually abused at some point in their childhood. This has to play out badly in their adulthood.
 

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So, nobody else has had a similar issue? that must be a first; a problem that nobody on TAM can relate to.
 

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Has anyone else here suffered from low self-esteem or been with someone in a relationship who had it. Does this create a different role for the other person in dealing with this, even though it may seem to "go-away," are there still certain things this person needs that others may not long-term?
I'll bite.

I've suffered from low self esteem, but I'm sure it was from a combination of being sexually abused and needing to be the good girl (added pressure from my parents contributed to this). I needed approval from my father and I never was a daddy's girl, but longed to know he loved me. He was an emotionally distant parent, while my mother wasn't necessarily an affectionate parent either. No hugs or I love yous growing up in my house.

It took me a long time, and several bad relationships to get the confidence I have now. My husband and I get along very well in every area, but emotionally he was far more whole than I was when we met over 10 years ago. He grew up with a single mom, but a huge family that always gave lots of love and support. They were affectionate and told each other they loved one another all the time.

I found that what I need from him is constant acceptance. I need to know he loves me as I am, baggage and all. Since he's been showing me that he does with fierce consistency, I've been able to truly open myself up to him and trust him. Trusting a man has been hard for me since I was about 10 (that's when the abuse began).

Is this what you were looking for southbound?
 

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I'll bite.

I've suffered from low self esteem, but I'm sure it was from a combination of being sexually abused and needing to be the good girl (added pressure from my parents contributed to this). I needed approval from my father and I never was a daddy's girl, but longed to know he loved me. He was an emotionally distant parent, while my mother wasn't necessarily an affectionate parent either. No hugs or I love yous growing up in my house.

It took me a long time, and several bad relationships to get the confidence I have now. My husband and I get along very well in every area, but emotionally he was far more whole than I was when we met over 10 years ago. He grew up with a single mom, but a huge family that always gave lots of love and support. They were affectionate and told each other they loved one another all the time.

I found that what I need from him is constant acceptance. I need to know he loves me as I am, baggage and all. Since he's been showing me that he does with fierce consistency, I've been able to truly open myself up to him and trust him. Trusting a man has been hard for me since I was about 10 (that's when the abuse began).

Is this what you were looking for southbound?

You'll bite??? Is there something about this topic that seems a little weird and that's why there are no responses? I thought it seemed fairly tame.

As for your comments, yes, I was just looking for someone who had a similar situation and could describe what it took to deal with that. I was just curious if my x wife's low self esteem led to her being unhappy in our marriage. Perhaps i should have paid more attention to her than even the normal wife would need, and i guess i didn't. I guess she and I were totally different in this area.

Personally, I never needed all the emotional stoking and telling me I was great in this or that. I just needed sex to feel her love(yes, i am the typical man). I grew up in such a great environment, perhaps it was too good. It wasn't over the top to the point it was sappy, it was just normal to me. I always felt loved and felt like I was as good as anyone else, even though others might have had more. I just never longed for someone to validate me verbally, etc. So, I guess i had a difficult time understanding someone in another situation and their needs.

I think it's difficult to relate to something if you've never walked in those shoes. Sure, we can hear it described and talked about, but it just isn't something that we can say, "I truly understand it." I guess i may have failed to give her the positive attention she needed, which may have caused her to think i didn't love her.
 

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You'll bite??? Is there something about this topic that seems a little weird and that's why there are no responses? I thought it seemed fairly tame.

As for your comments, yes, I was just looking for someone who had a similar situation and could describe what it took to deal with that. I was just curious if my x wife's low self esteem led to her being unhappy in our marriage. Perhaps i should have paid more attention to her than even the normal wife would need, and i guess i didn't. I guess she and I were totally different in this area.

Personally, I never needed all the emotional stoking and telling me I was great in this or that. I just needed sex to feel her love(yes, i am the typical man). I grew up in such a great environment, perhaps it was too good. It wasn't over the top to the point it was sappy, it was just normal to me. I always felt loved and felt like I was as good as anyone else, even though others might have had more. I just never longed for someone to validate me verbally, etc. So, I guess i had a difficult time understanding someone in another situation and their needs.

I think it's difficult to relate to something if you've never walked in those shoes. Sure, we can hear it described and talked about, but it just isn't something that we can say, "I truly understand it." I guess i may have failed to give her the positive attention she needed, which may have caused her to think i didn't love her.
The topic isn't weird. Just very personal. I know this is anonymous and all but for some people it's difficult to talk about their hangups... it triggers them. It doesn't bother me to talk about my abuse now, but it took a long time to get here.

IDK, but even though my husbands upbringing was very wholesome and loving, he was very sympathetic to me and what I had been through. He wanted to know what made me tick, so we talked.... A LOT. He tried to understand me on a deep level and I totally appreciated that. I'm the first to admit, I'm a complex person. Introspective and a deep thinker... he's a lot lighter than I am, but peeling my layers was something he felt was a challenge that would in turn be very beneficial for him should any problems arise in our future. Very simply, he wanted to know exactly what he was getting into. He didn't find my bags to be too many or too heavy, so he went all in with me.

We feel safe with one another. We keep each others secrets very well, and in turn we have an extremely close relationship. I have always wanted that... I didn't have it with my ex husbands (two previous marriages). I could never open up to them because they used the little bit they DID know to hurt me.
 

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The topic isn't weird. Just very personal. I know this is anonymous and all but for some people it's difficult to talk about their hangups... it triggers them. It doesn't bother me to talk about my abuse now, but it took a long time to get here. .
Oh, I see. My wife's just came from verbal abuse. I don't ask that anyone expand on details of what caused their low self-esteem if it's uncomfortable, I'm just wondering if that creates a totally different marriage than someone who enters without low self-esteem and how should the husband deal with it. thanks for your comments.
 

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Oh, I see. My wife's just came from verbal abuse. I don't ask that anyone expand on details of what caused their low self-esteem if it's uncomfortable, I'm just wondering if that creates a totally different marriage than someone who enters without low self-esteem and how should the husband deal with it. thanks for your comments.
Sure.

I'll say this... genuine empathy and understanding goes a long way. One of the things my husband said quite often in the beginning of our relationship was "I may not know how you feel, but I understand." I took that to mean that he could never really know my pain as he didn't experience it himself, but he could understand my being in pain over what ever it was. He told me that I needed to really be loved. That I hadn't felt loved in a long time. He was totally right, and this is only from knowing him a few weeks at the time. He said I had a sadness about me and that's where it came from. Feeling empty. My kids couldn't even fill that space.

I fell in love with him that very day.
 

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A person with low self esteem is very very different from someone who has self confidence.

It can affect every single aspect of their lives. It affects what decisions they make, how they react, and even how they treat other people.

Lots of us "rescuers" out there pick up on this and want to know how to deal with it. There are many ways. But really you are just enabling it.

I honestly don't believe, for one second, that a person cannot truly recover some sense of self confidence. No matter what happens to them.

You can be understanding if someone is depressed. You can help out with things if they feel overwhelmed. You can give lots of verbal confirmation to help them feel better about themselves. You can bite your tongue and let the small stuff slide. You can make an effort to thank them for the things they do.

Sometimes, though, it comes to a point where it's just an excuse for bad behavior.
 

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I struggle with low self esteem, every single day of my life. I've been working on it, and I "think" I've gotten a better handle on it, but it's still a battle for me. There are many things in my life that I would love to wish away, being a broken person is one of them. I've always been like this, there hasn't been a day I can remember were I felt like I was a good person, deserving of good things. What can I say? Being this way sucks, but I'm the only one who can change it.
 

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I didn't want to hijack another thread, so I started a new one. My x wife had low sel-esteem coming into our relationship. She wasn't physically abused, but she just never got any positive comments from her mother. She always got the feeling she would never amount to anything and that she was stupid. She was always the "good-girl" in her family. She was the one that didn't give her parents any grief, and i think she felt like that should deserve some positive reactions, but it didn't. Has anyone else here suffered from low self-esteem or been with someone in a relationship who had it. Does this create a different role for the other person in dealing with this, even though it may seem to "go-away," are there still certain things this person needs that others may not long-term? The following was posted in another thread.

I have extremely low self esteem but in certain areas of my life. I'm very confident of my ability to provide for myself and uphold my responsibilities. I'm pretty good at my job and am confident at it. Ditto for school. Working full time, studying full time and support my husband and myself, I'm frustrated and exhausted, but confident about myself.

However, I have self esteem issues when it comes to how I look. My ex and his family, at the beginning of our relationship made me feel very ugly. I was thoroughly convinced that I was ugly and didn't deserve anything good and that the only reason my ex was with me is because it was him, no other guy would want to be with me because of how I look & dress (his words).
Later on he spent years trying to fix that and redeem himself, but the damage was done.

Now, I have to remind myself constantly that I am beautiful the way God created me. I am perfectly healthy, pretty smart if I do say so myself, and I think I'm a fairly decent person. I have to remind myself that if someone has a problem with any part of me, that's THEIR problem NOT mine. I am beautiful and if anyone thinks I'm not, well who gives a crap what they think anyways.

This mantra helps, but not really because its just ingrained in me and I'm convinced beyond logic that I'm fugly. I'm so well loved by my family (parents, siblings), it's a bit ridiculous how much they love me and what they will do for me. I guess because my ex was my first and last bf and we were together from a young age, what he said left a lasting impression.

How this affects my current relationship is that I'm over sensitive about anything my husband says. If he says a lipstick doesn't suit me or yesterday my makeup was better (I ask, & he gives an "honest" answer :rolleyes: ), I jump down his throat.

I think someone with low self esteem issues has to be treated with sensitivity. Someone can call me dumb 'til they turn blue but it wouldn't bother me. Tell me my nose is big and it'll keep me up at night.
 
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