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Self esteem

(36 Posts)
NormskiNamechange Thu 07-Jun-18 07:11:11

I’ve seen a lot about self esteem written on these boards.

Posters are often advised that they need to work on improving their self esteem, as this is the source of jealousy in their relationship.

I’m suffering from low self esteem I think. My question is this: how do you improve your self esteem? What practical things do you put in place?

To give a bit of context - I work with my DP and a few years ago, he behaved inappropriately (in my view) with one of our colleagues. I don’t think he had a physical affair but he definitely fancied her (in my opinion). He denies that he did but he stared at her bum in front of me, he stood me up to go out for drinks with her and generally ran around doing stuff for her that he didn’t do for me.

From that point on, i felt like I changed completely. I went from a secure person who didn’t worry about things to a person who is tense a lot of the time. If we are passing women, I wait for him to stare at them. I worry when he goes out with friends.

We have a new person starting at work and I’m tying myself up in knots about who it will be and imagining him behaving like he did with the other colleague. I don’t even know if the person is male or female.

I know this isn’t healthy so how can I improve my self esteem and learn to trust? Would counselling help?

I’m sorry for the length of this post.

Shoxfordian Thu 07-Jun-18 07:17:29

Its not a self esteem problem; its that your partner was a twat and you still don't trust him. Why did you stay with him? Next time don't put up with this shit

NormskiNamechange Thu 07-Jun-18 07:21:07

Thanks for responding. I stayed with him because i thought that I was over reacting at the time.

He isn’t a twat most of the time. Honestly.

I really want to trust him and be chilled though. I’m sitting in tears thinking about the new colleague and I know that’s irrational.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 07-Jun-18 07:22:39

Why did you choose to stay with your partner despite his behaviour towards this woman?.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 07-Jun-18 07:26:41

No you were not overreacting at the time. You seem to be wanting to make the best of a bad job here re him and this relationship (the He is not a twat most of the time. Honestly made me think you are settling). Why have you settled for so little here?.

Trust can be almost impossible to rebuild once damaged in any way.

ravenmum Thu 07-Jun-18 07:26:52

Low self-esteem is when you feel like you are not good enough. For example, if your bf is a bit quiet and you immediately assume he must be going off of you because you are boring. Your worries about your inferiority make you see everything through that filter.

This sounds more like you are justifiably anxious because you have seen your partner flirting with other women. Not because of any worries you have about yourself?

NormskiNamechange Thu 07-Jun-18 07:27:37

We talked about it and he convinced me that I was overreacting. He told me that I was just jealous and that all men looked at other women. He also said if my behaviour continued it was likely to push him to get together with someone else.

He hadn’t been inappropriate before so I thought perhaps I was overreacting. I’ve tried to leave a few times but I find it hard.

I do need to work on myself esteem but I don’t know how .

ravenmum Thu 07-Jun-18 07:28:25

Though you could be suffering from a lack of self-esteem if you think that you are lucky to be with this partner (as no-one else would have you) and will therefore put up with all kinds of shit from him.

ravenmum Thu 07-Jun-18 07:29:59

(Cross posted.) In that case, your self-esteem issue is that you believe the twatty, manipulative crap your partner tells you rather than trusting your own judgement.

WalkingOnAFlashlightBeam Thu 07-Jun-18 07:30:39

Try this.

It has similar techniques as the ones you’d use in conjunction with a therapist. It’s a self help course. Really effective and completely free to work through at your own pace.

Ryder63 Thu 07-Jun-18 07:36:19

Your 'D'P is an entitled twat. Don't put up with the crap he's forcing on you. Let him go and stare at women's arses all he likes - as a SINGLE man.

ravenmum Thu 07-Jun-18 07:37:23

In the long term, it helps if you can achieve something that makes you feel proud. That might be academic achievement, it might be getting good at a sport, working hard in your job, joining a club and becoming a much-appreciated member of a group. Anything where you feel like you have done something well. That rubs off onto other areas of your life.

Therapy is also excellent if you find the right therapist.

MissTulipan Thu 07-Jun-18 07:38:18

It’s a tough one and I think self esteem needs to be tackled from different angles. Read books, even watch tv shows or films with confident female characters. Try and spend time with women you see as confident, learn from their behaviour and how they live. Maybe try an exercise class to get away from your partner and be with other women. Broadening your horizons I think can be helpful.

NotTheFordType Thu 07-Jun-18 07:44:26

"No you were not over reacting, ur partner should not have any human responses once they've agreed to be exclusive with you"

Come off it. Humans are human, they are going to find other humans attractive whether they are in a relationship or not. The test of monogamy is whether they act upon the attraction.

OP counselling would definitely help in working on your self esteem and insecurity issues.

elephantscanring Thu 07-Jun-18 07:44:35

he convinced me that I was overreacting. He told me that I was just jealous and that all men looked at other women. He also said if my behaviour continued it was likely to push him to get together with someone else.

Wow. So your dh is a gaslighting twat. NOT all men look at other women. My h doesn't.

I reckon your self esteem would be a lot higher if you left your h. He doesn't act like he loves you or cares about you.

Peanutbuttercups21 Thu 07-Jun-18 07:46:17

Sounds like the problem is your partner

He is the one chipping away at your self esteem....

Onemansoapopera Thu 07-Jun-18 07:49:56

There will be very few people of either sex or haven't had a look at an attractive colleague or fancied someone other than their OH its human and doesnt make him a twat, regardless of MN's generic catastrophising, the difference is you were there to witness it which must give you a knock.

The only way to have good self esteem is to separate your 'self' from comparison to or (perceived) judgement by others. Your worth is not determined by your partner EVER. So you have to remember that woman you were before you were shook and invite her back to the present.

ravenmum Thu 07-Jun-18 07:54:26

It's human to look at other women's bums. But nice men will not do that openly in front of their gf and then threaten to dump her if she complains about it. Nice men do not stand their gf up to go for drinks with another woman, then say their gf is overreacting if she complains. If a nice man is caught doing looking at someone else's bum, and his gf complains, he'll be a bit embarrassed and apologise.

Namethecat Thu 07-Jun-18 08:01:11

I would start with self care. Have regular hair cuts, get your eyebrows threaded. Have a shopping spree for some new clothes. Try some new make up and perfume. Spend time on yourself, tell yourself you are a lovely person. I know this sounds a bit daft, but like yourself, smile at your image in the mirror and tell yourself you look great.

Onemansoapopera Thu 07-Jun-18 08:02:53

We don't really know the whole story do we, as OP said its only her opinion that he fancied her. Maybe they were great mates with ace chemistry, it can happen. If my dp was accusing me over wanting to be off with my mate, I'd consider leaving him too, not because I wanted to be with someone else but because low self esteem erodes relationships. Unless he comes on and gives his side we'll never know.

ravenmum Thu 07-Jun-18 08:07:03

"he stared at her bum in front of me, he stood me up to go out for drinks with her and generally ran around doing stuff for her that he didn’t do for me" ... "He also said if my behaviour continued it was likely to push him to get together with someone else."
No, we don't know the whole story, but this would be more than enough for me to end a relationship. I'd rather be with a man who was more intelligent.

NormskiNamechange Thu 07-Jun-18 08:30:32

His story was that he didn’t fancy her and that I was jealous.

Thanks for the input - I’m grateful for all of it. Some helpful advice for me here.

pissedonatrain Thu 07-Jun-18 08:42:47

There's a big difference than having a discreet glance at an attractive person and ogling or fawning over them doing things for them.

He crossed the line and then gas lighted you telling you that your feelings are wrong and if you kept it up, he would cheat on you.

Why are you with this twat? I imagine you'd feel much better about yourself without this knob chipping away at you over time.

ravenmum Thu 07-Jun-18 08:47:21

He's entitled to his opinion, same as you.

"Learning to trust" is tricky. I'm starting to think the trick lies more in learning to live with and accept uncertainty, not seeing it as a reflection on you if someone is untrustworthy, accepting that you may have to break up with your partner at some point (not seeing it as the end of the world), and making sure that if you do break up, you will still have activities/friends/etc. to keep you sane. If the idea of him cheating throws you into a panic as "you can't live without him" then of course you'll feel anxious. Reflect on whether you really couldn't live without him.

Clairenewbie Thu 07-Jun-18 08:55:04

You can’t stop men staring at other women most times they can’t help it and don’t even know their doing it, you subconsciously do the same with men, but I agree putting you to the side to go drinks with her? Hmmm nope wouldn’t allow that, send him packing out your life, you’ll thank yourself later for doing it.

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