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Newish partner has no self-esteem

(17 Posts)
SensualSue Wed 11-Oct-17 19:31:11

I've relatively recently started seeing a new guy. He's really nice, respectfull good company and genuine. He's got a pretty good job, friends, social life independent of me, is intelligent and well read. He's also extremely good-looking and in decent shape. TMI but he is a first class lover in bed as well..
But he is always putting himself down, he thinks I'be done better than him in his career(you can't really compare them but I'd say we've both done well) He is never ever in any way bitter, just for some reason he's great at seeing and highlighting my attributes (which has done wonders for my confidence) When we've been out I've noticed other women clearly eyeing him up, & bless him he just does not notice.
He's not a drag or anything I just was wondering what was behind his perception.

AufderAutobahn Wed 11-Oct-17 19:45:27

He sounds lovely! Perhaps he was made to feel low and worthless at some point in his life. Could something have happened to him to make him feel like this? Not that I recommend dragging it out of him but maybe when he's ready he'll open up?

SensualSue Wed 11-Oct-17 19:57:20

I don't know is the answer. It all seems to come rather naturally to hlm

Farontothemaddingcrowd Wed 11-Oct-17 19:58:24

He does sound very sweet. And you sound lovely too, caring so much about him.

Offred Wed 11-Oct-17 20:32:26

He sounds nice but his lack of self confidence would grate on me after a while I think. Plus insecurity is a massive driver of controlling behaviour no matter how nicely it is framed... potentially a warning sign...

HipsterAssassin Wed 11-Oct-17 20:51:05

Agree with Offred. Just see how it pans out. He's on his best behaviour at he mo and what can seem oddly charming at first can end up being the beginning of the end. Keep assessing is my mantra. For at least two years.

Offred Wed 11-Oct-17 20:55:15

Yy to keep assessing....

It’s not a very big jump from this to you worrying about taking a promotion or pay rise in case he is upset or him getting involved in dodgy stuff with OW because he ‘doesn’t notice’ etc

Be on watch...

SensualSue Wed 11-Oct-17 21:02:50

I'm always assessing of course. I genuinely don't think he'a a control freak far from it. The men I've known to be possessive and difficult in the past were those with massive egos which he is not

Offred Wed 11-Oct-17 22:00:24

Having a massive ego is just a different way of expressing insecurity a lot of the time though.

Isetan Thu 12-Oct-17 09:11:42

I have to agree with Ofred, it will get old pretty soon if he doesn’t try to address it. Oh and you’re not his therapist, so what ever is behind his insecurities is not yours to assess or diagnose.

nousername123 Thu 12-Oct-17 10:19:34

My partner is the same, he treats me like a queen, I know no one is perfect but he’s as close as it gets but doesn’t know it. He thinks he’s not attractive when he is and women check him out all the time. Best thing you can do is compliment him lots and try to boost his confidence. Us women often fail to do this to men, but they need reassurance just as much as we do x

Offred Thu 12-Oct-17 21:14:09

Us women often fail to do this to men, but they need reassurance just as much as we do

I don’t think this is healthy.

For a relationship to be healthy and equal neither partner should depend on regular reassurance in order to have good self esteem.

This is a sure fire way to end up in a parent/child dynamic or a controlling abusive dynamic TBH.

nousername123 Thu 12-Oct-17 21:41:13

Telling your partner that you find them attractive is controlling is it??

Rescuepuppydaft2 Thu 12-Oct-17 22:02:33

My dh was similar when we first met, in his case his lack of self confidence was a result of emotional and psychological abuse by his narcissistic sociopathic Father and narcissist Mother. They destroyed his self esteem and made him believe he was worthless. Just through loving my husband, praising him when it natural to and complimenting him, as well as telling him I love him every day, I have watched as his confidence has grown. Telling him that his parents are wrong, that he is intelligent, fun to be around and a good looking man was first met with disbelief. But over time his confidence has grown (especially since he made the decision to go nc with his parents) and it has been lovely to watch him grow and flourish!

Yes it may be a red flag, however I would be prepared to give your bf the benefit of the doubt! My brother is on the autism spectrum and could easily be described as your bf above. He is clever, funny, a good looking man, great personality, successful and very well paid job. Yet he has zero self esteem, a mix of uncertainties, an inability to read faces/ emotions and several gf's who have really hurt him, (one in particular was violent and emotionally abusive to him). He is convinced he won't ever meet someone to settle down with. I guess I'm just saying that there can be many reasons for poor self esteem. It doesn't necessarily have to be a red flag, although there is nothing wrong with proceeding with caution.

Offred Thu 12-Oct-17 22:07:29

No depending on your partner to provide you with a sense of security can lead to controlling behaviour.

If someone is severely lacking in confidence/self esteem and feels entitled to get those things from their partner frequently leads to an unhealthy/controlling/abusive relationship dynamic.

Justaboy Thu 12-Oct-17 22:13:47

Does anyone find the perfect partner?.

YouSaySidewalkISayPavement Thu 12-Oct-17 22:48:03

The problem with a serious lack of self esteem (and it's hard to gauge how bad the problem is from your posts) is that in the long run it leads to the person devaluing their partner. This is the thinking:

Stage 1: I'm shit. She's amazing. How luck am I she wants me? Hooray. This could be love.
Stage 2: I'm shit but she still likes me. How can this be? Why does she like me exactly? I'm now a bit suspicious.
Stage 3: I'm shit. She likes me. She obvious can't do any better and is shit herself. I don't want to be with someone who would want someone like me.

It's Groucho Marx syndrome but will emerge slowly over a period of months.

It won't happen that "through your love" you build him up. The only question really is how bad is his self esteem issue and whether it is tolerable for him and you or whether it will follow the typical arc.

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