How low self esteem can affect marital relationships
This is the story of Phoebe and how low self esteem almost cost her a great relationship.
Phoebe grew up in a lower middle class home with 7 other siblings. Every one jostled for attention from mum and dad but mum and dad were usually too busy to notice. Phoebe was never told she was beautiful or worthy or enough. She never heard those words spoken either to her or to any of her siblings at home. Compliments were a rarity at home. However, whenever she did something wrong, she never heard the last of it! Her wrongs were often hammered on and magnified 10X over. So, in her mind, she was worthless.
When she eventually left home for university, she saw a totally different world! A world where it seemed as if she had a magic wand that drew attention like a magnet! Men flocked around her, telling her how beautiful she was and how they would die for her. She couldn’t believe her ears. She drank in every compliment, every flattery, every smooth word like she was dying of thirst! She couldn’t get enough!
Because she didn’t want the flattery to stop, she did everything she could to keep them coming. The more men who flattered her, the better she felt about herself. Any day that goes by without someone new seeing and acknowledging her was a terrible day in her books.
Before year 1 ended, Phoebe had lost count of how many sexual partners she had had!. Each encounter left her feeling low, like a crack addict after the high has worn off.
This continued even after graduation. She eventually met and married this lovely young man who loved her warts and all. He showered her with compliments, gifts and praises. Phoebe loved him silly too!
However, she found herself craving the “sexy mama, sweet chic” comments and messages from men online and offline.
Inadvertently, this started to cause problem in her marriage. Her husband couldn’t understand why she would allow men speak with her that way. Meanwhile Phoebe felt there was nothing wrong with it. “After all, they know I am married now” she would say.
It came to the point where the marriage was almost going off a cliff. Phoebe’s husband was always hurt and they were always arguing. He decided to try marriage counselling before throwing in the towel. It was there that the reason for Phoebe’s behaviour was unveiled.
Phoebe was suffering from very low self esteem. Even she didn’t know it. She had always thought of herself as a super confident woman. She however, realized that, all this time, she had been hiding her low self esteem under the clock of bravado. It was all Pseudo-confidence.
She actually didn’t think much of herself and this was why she craved validation, compliments and attention from others.
That was what made her feel powerful, worthy and wanted.
It took her actively working on building back her self esteem for her to pull back from this self sabotaging behaviour, heal her marriage and her husband’s heart and get her life back on track.
Low self esteem comes in different shapes, sizes and colors. But they all have one thing in common – the stop us from having a fulfilling, satisfying life.
To build our self confidence and esteem, it is crucial that we take a long, hard look within. We need to, first of all, figure out what are strengths are. knowing our strengths – what we are great at, makes us feel good about ourselves and gives the boost we need to see ourselves in better light.
Therefore, the first step to building self esteem is to – DISCOVER YOURSELF!
I can help you do that, if you like. You could send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . I would love to hear from you.
Working on building our self esteem is the greatest gift one can give themselves!
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© Amaka Chibuzo-Obi