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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been reading here for a while now and haven't seen much talk about self esteem. I'm wondering if anyone is putting a lot of effort into showing love to their spouse and not getting the results that they expected. Assuming no EA or Pa is it possible that progress is slow due to low esteem.

If someone feels ugly inside and doesn't love themselves maybe they'll have a hard time accepting the love that you're trying to show them. You could speak their love language everyday, but only see your spouse struggle with themselves as to what they're feeling.

My spouse has a low esteem, and I'm sure I contributed to that in some ways in the past. During this time I am working hard to show that she is worth everything to me, and have seen some progress in her esteem. I'm looking for others experiences, and what ideas you might have that might help other than exercise, and speaking your loved ones love language.
 

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Yes, low self esteem can lead to an affair ( E or P) . You can prevent it by making your spouse feel loved and giving them the validation they need. But often, the insecure spouse's low self easteem is sunk even lower by the neglect and unappreciation of their SO. That is most likely to push them in the arms of a third person.
You don't read about it on here because haven't yet read a thread about how to shower your spouse with love. Tried to initiate one, but had very few responses and zero new ideas- guess it was not as exciting as the threads where there is a WS to castigate. Lol...
So, I'm glad your love language gestures work with your wife. I strongly believe that if one feels loved and cherished at home, the risk of them to stray is slim to none.
 

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According to your other post 7 years ago she got sad after your 2nd child was born and that she's depressed. 2 years ago she got a job where she started hanging out with man hating, bitter, on their way to divorce women. A few months after that her attitude got worse towards you. 8 months ago you got the ILYBINILY speech and she wanted a divorce. She's agreed to counseling and you seemed optimistic about the results.

That said there is little you can do to raise someone else's self esteem. And if you made it worse then it will take quite a while to recover from that. I think I read it takes 3 months of good behavior to undo every year of bad. So lets say it started 7 years ago. If you do everything perfectly it will take approximately 2 years to put this right.

There are no quick fixes. I know you're talking about love languages and you want to know how to help her but I get the feeling what you really want is it fixed NOW. Yeah that never works. These things take time and if anyone should know it's me. Took me years to win my husband back after treating him less than he deserved. :(
 

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I have to admit that I don't understand the self esteem issue.

Self esteem has it's source right in the title. It's feeling good about yourself, not a reflection of what anyone else feels about you. If your self esteem is low, then presumably you're failing to live up to the ideal self image you've created. Either that ideal is flawed, or you are, and only you can decide if you're "worthy" or not. When you're a bad person, you should feel bad about yourself. It's part of the feedback loop.

Jeffery Dahmer had low self esteem. Anyone want to argue that his feelings were misguided?

How do you build self esteem? By succeeding in coming closer to the ideal you seek. You can't give your spouse self esteem, but you can give them feedback to counter misperceptions they might have about themselves. It doesn't mean telling them they're good when they're not, but it does imply helping them correct their self perception.

The bigger problem in the US today might not be low self esteem, but a sense of exaggerated self esteem, especially in the increasingly narcissistic youth.
 

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I'm a fixer, myself. We all just want to help, and it seems honorable.
I've had the urge to walk my spouse into the bathroom, and stand in front of the huge mirror and make himself look at himself. Really look. And say out loud what he sees and thinks.But I havent done it. Because if I was standing there, I don't think he would tell the truth.

The only thing I can think of is to be the example. "Be impeccable with your word" and don't put yourself down.
 

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^ That...

You can influence her self-esteem, but SHE makes it what it is. If she is not willing to be vulnerable enough to believe the GOOD things people tell her, it won't change. We all develop our self-imaged based on a combination of what people tell us about ourselves and what our own experiences tell us. She's giving her own experiences more influence right now.

About the only thing you can do is to ask her what would make her more willing to believe it when she hears a compliment or praise.
 

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I struggle with very low self-esteem every day. It's a hard road to navigate. Self-esteem and confidence go hand in hand. Honestly I have seen highly successful people (at work) have really low self-esteem when it comes to relationships, and vice versa. All people, unless they are outright paranoid, know when people are patronizing them and saying all the nice stuff but don't really believe it. Do you believe the compliments you are telling your wife, or are you just saying them to "build her up"? If someone needs to be built up then it is easy for the wrong word to bring them down. IMHO, it shouldn't be about her building self-confidence, it is better to approach it by not eroding the base she already has even further. Imagine a tower. The tower was built to be a certain height. If you build on top of it you get a narcissistic person like someone mentioned above. If you dig out the ground beneath the tower you get depression and lack of confidence. But the tower is still there.
 

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The only thing I can think of is to be the example. "Be impeccable with your word" and don't put yourself down.
I like this :smthumbup:

Definition:
Self-esteem is generally considered a personality trait that reflects a person's overall sense of value and self-worth. Self-esteem involves how you generally feel about yourself, your abilities, appearance, emotions, attributes and behaviors. Some people have very high self-esteem while others may have very low self-esteem.
I feel the some of the challenges to a healthy self esteem are...

1. Daring to BE who you are...before others, not following the crowd for "acceptance"...True belonging is when we are accepted for who we are.

2. KNOWING what you have to offer...what your gifts are, let your light shine...but allow others to praise you... while you acknowledge the gifts of others.

3. Holding your personal boundaries with others so you are not taken advantage of...you stand up for yourself and not feel bad for saying "NO" or disagreeing.

4. Yet being vulnerable enough to be REAL with people...showing a humble side as well...this is where you find connection with others.

5. To not take offense too easy as many are just speaking out of their own hurts, it's not even personal...and if it is, it often speaks more of that person than yourself. A compassionate person with a healthy self worth will never be a "bully".

6. Those with a self esteem also have enough "self-compassion" when they miss it themselves...They are true to go Make amends if they have caused HURT....but they also forgive themselves...realizing we are all fallible...they learn & grow from their mistakes...but don't allow these mistakes to paralyze them.



I think this is the best book one can buy on this sort of subject....written by the "shame Researcher".. she gets to the root of true belonging, and finding ourselves.. which aids in Loving accepting ourselves/ loving ourselves.

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

 
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