Low self-esteem and issues surrounding self-worth are things that a lot of people have to deal with, and although it’s hard for them, it’s also incredibly difficult being married to someone that’s struggling with these issues.
If you are married to someone that struggles with low self-esteem, you’ll know how much it can affect your relationship, and you can feel utterly helpless although you want to heal this person and make them see their own worth.
Some people don’t even realize that they are in a relationship with someone that struggles with these issues, and this can be even more problematic. If you’re with someone that has self-image issues but you never realize, you could actually be adding to their problems and adding to the destruction of your own relationship without even realizing it.
Don’t panic though, because you’re not alone and this article is here to help get you all clued up, so you’re ready to overcome any marriage issues due to self-esteem.
We’re first going to take a quick look at the signs of low self-esteem, just in case you’re unsure whether your partner has issues with this or not, and then we’ll dive in to take a look at the 8 things you can do to help heal your husband and support your marriage.
- 1 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem
- 2 8 Things You Can Do To Save Your Marriage
- 3 FAQs
- 4 All In All
Signs Of Low Self-Esteem
1. Negative comments about themselves
If you notice that your partner never has anything good to say about themselves and only ever puts themselves down, they could be struggling with low self-esteem. People with low self-esteem don’t believe in themselves and think that everything they do is bad or useless, so look out for self-hatred as this is a clear sign someone is struggling.
2. Comparing themselves to others
People with low self-esteem constantly compare themselves to others, so you should be concerned if your partner does this. If they don’t have any confidence in themselves in romantic relationships, they might specifically compare themselves to your ex-husband or previous long-term partner.
3. Taking criticism badly
Although people with low self-esteem are always criticizing themselves, they can’t handle it when other people try to criticize them. Obviously, no one likes to be criticized, but someone that struggles with self-esteem problems will be incredibly sensitive to any type of criticism and will easily fly off the handle after hearing it.
4. Always needs to be validated and accepted
Does your husband always need to ask for your opinion before doing something? Or perhaps he’s always asking whether you’re happy in your marriage? If your husband is doing anything like this, it’s most likely because he needs to feel validated and accepted, by you, because he can’t give himself either of these things.
Everyone typically gets a little bit jealous from time to time in a relationship, but someone that has low self-esteem will be much more jealous, and the jealousy they feel could cause a lot of problems in the marriage. If your husband gets extremely wary of you spending time with friends or being around other men, this is a concern.
8 Things You Can Do To Save Your Marriage
Now we’ve taken a look at the signs of someone that struggles with low self-esteem, you’ve hopefully come to the conclusion of whether your partner does have some issues with regards to it, or not. If you think they do, there are some things you can do to help them heal and stop it from destroying your marriage.
However, it’s vital to say that you are not expected to fix your relationship, and your partner is the one that needs to work on themselves, you are simply trying to support them to figure it all out. If your partner has become toxic to you in any way, it’s best to leave the relationship or seek professional advice.
1. Empathize with him
One of the most important things you need to do is to try and empathize with your partner. Your partner will not want you to give them sympathy, and in fact, if you do it could actually just make your partner stay at the level of self-esteem they’re currently at.
Instead, try to imagine how it feels to be them, and try to figure out why they struggle with these issues or have a distorted self-image. Once you have reached a certain level of understanding, you will be able to help in the best way possible and not patronize or damage your partner, or the relationship further.
2. Say kind things to him
If your partner doesn’t believe in himself and doesn’t believe he is worthy of anything good due to the fact he has been repeatedly criticized or has spent a long time criticizing himself, it’s vital that you say kind things to him and try your best to limit the criticisms you give to him.
You can specifically try to target the areas that he finds difficult to be proud of or be confident about, but overall you need to just try and be a kind person to him and build his confidence back up. If his low self-esteem has been triggered by the relationship, it could be because you are criticizing him all the time, so think about what you say before you say it.
3. Support him with his endeavors
People that struggle with low confidence in themselves need an extra boost of support when they try to do things for themselves. So, make sure you are constantly supporting your partner’s endeavors and showing him that you believe in him.
You can show your support for him by not overly questioning him about his ideas, by showing you support him by physically helping or listening to his plans, and by not knocking any ideas he comes up with. With your added support, anything he puts his mind to will feel a lot easier to achieve. Without your support, he might give up on things or do them half-heartedly.
4. Ask his opinion
A really simple but effective way to improve someone’s self-belief is by asking for their opinions on matters and asking for their advice in problem-solving. If you normally try to solve all of your problems by yourself, start sharing them with your partner.
For example, if you have a problem at work, rather than keeping quiet when you get home, share these issues with your partner and ask for his advice. Although this only seems like a small gesture, it will mean the world to him that you think he’s capable and good at giving advice. Similarly, rather than making decisions for both of you, ask his opinion when matters concern the two of you as a couple.
5. Give him responsibilities
If your husband doubts himself, he might not think that he’s a good person to take on responsibilities, or he might be scared of criticism if he messes up doing something. It’s your job to show your partner that this isn’t true, and you need to give him responsibilities.
For example, maybe it’s time you take a step back and let him do the weekly grocery shop. Even though this might seem like one small, insignificant task your husband will feel like he’s actually able to do something well, so much so that you are trusting him with doing it. Obviously, it goes without saying that after he completes this responsibility, for example going to the shop, don’t criticize him if he messes up.
6. Show him how much you enjoy being intimate with him
Men, in particular, can get incredibly concerned with not being good enough in the bedroom, and if they get in their heads too much about not being good enough for their lover, performance anxiety is common. Performance anxiety might actually be the reason that your husband is dealing with low self-esteem in the first place, so it’s incredibly important that he knows how much you enjoy being intimate with him.
You can show your appreciation for him by initiating sex with him, but you can also just be open with him and tell him how happy he makes you in the bedroom. This will instantly boost his confidence.
7. Don’t act like his mother
Nothing will help less than if you act like his mother. Although you want to be caring and try and boost your partner’s confidence, the more you do for him and the more you try to obviously take care of him, the worse his self-esteem will get. He doesn’t need a mother figure, he needs his wife to be a woman that needs a man.
If you are doing everything for him, just stop. Your husband needs to take on the responsibilities of being an adult and act like a grown man. As soon as he starts to become more independent and sees you as his wife rather than his caretaker, he will feel better.
8. Make sure you are happy and have strong self-esteem
Relationships, where self-esteem and self-image issues are present, are really difficult, so it’s incredibly important that you take care of yourself. When the person that’s by your side is dealing with low confidence and self-image, it’s easy to be dragged down too. So, indulge in some self-care and remember you’re not the one that needs to save your husband from these issues, you are just there to support him so that he can save himself.
Low self-esteem can really affect a marriage, or any romantic relationship because it encourages jealously. If one person in a relationship has low self-esteem, they might believe that they are not good enough to be in a relationship with their partner, and therefore they will feel like their partner could cheat on them and go off with someone that’s more worthy. It can cause tremendous amounts of insecurity, jealousy, and sometimes even control.
Hopefully, all of the points in this article will have helped you understand how you can help your husband that’s dealing with low self-esteem in great detail. However, overall you can help your husband by supporting him, giving him responsibilities, asking for his opinion, and letting him be an adult human being by himself. Dealing with self-esteem issues in relationships is incredibly difficult, so stay strong.
At the beginning of the article, we took a look at the signs that men with low self-esteem typically show, but overall you will notice that a guy with a lack of self-confidence and a harsh self-image will feel criticisms deeply, will criticize others, will be jealous and will put themself down. A guy like this will also have very low self-acceptance, and therefore constantly seeks approval from others and needs to be accepted.
There are an array of reasons why someone might struggle with low self-esteem. The most common cause is being overly criticized and put down throughout childhood, as this causes the person to continuously never feel good enough. Other causes could be if someone is cheated on in a lot of previous relationships, a pressure to act more masculine, or even performance anxiety in the bedroom.
Most people with low self-esteem will be introverted and therefore will avoid social situations. They will often experience anxiety and depression and may try to self-harm. On the other hand, people that deal with low self-esteem might actually take out their frustration on others, and therefore will act like a bully or will be violent and controlling.
All In All
It’s hard being married to someone that has low self-esteem, but it should vet better as long as you recognize it and act accordingly. Hopefully, after reading this article you are now more informed about the signs of low self-esteem in men, and the ways in which you can help your husband or partner if they do suffer from this issue.
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As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.