How To Fix Low Self-Esteem In Your Marriage

Last week, we met Mimi and Jordan, a lovely young couple whose dating relationship was marked by Mimi being attracted to Jordan precisely because he did not fawn over her. Mimi, although very pretty, smart, and nice, had low self-esteem. She kept that well-hidden with great social skills but in her heart of hearts she did not believe in herself; she felt weak and unsure. Therefore, if a boy would be too admiring, she foolishly felt that it could only mean one thing: He would expect her to take leadership in the relationship and that was something she didn’t feel she could do. Jordan was reserved. He was a responsible person and a hard worker and did not seem to expect anything from Mimi except to be there for him. Oddly enough, once the marriage got underway, Mimi felt the absence of the very thing she had been afraid of in other boys — attention. Actually, this makes sense: The attention made her insecure while dating but once married she felt needy because of her own insecurities. The more she complained to Jordan, the more irritated he felt; she was no longer the same sweet girl he had been dating. Now that Mimi and Jordan have been married for six months and the marriage seems to be heading to that unnecessary and terrible place starting with the word “d,” is there a way to avert this tragic next step? Of course there is. Mimi and Jordan engaged in a short course of counseling to address three issues: Mimi, Jordan, and them. Issue #1: Mimi: Mimi needed a little time...

3 Things People Can Do To Help Spouses Overcome Insecurity

Elizabeth stood back and looked at the job she had just completed. She had created a display for her work team and it was clear and well organized. But Elizabeth walked off in disgust, thinking it was awful. And no one could convince her otherwise. She came home depressed. Childhood Origin of Insecurity Elizabeth’s insecurity is clear from her childhood. She grew up in a home where no matter what she did or how she did it, it was never good enough. Her parents would say that since they knew she was smart, they were sure she could “do better.” This is not a formula to bring out the best in a child. Instead, it’s a formula for insecurity. Being married to Sam didn’t help. It seemed she could not meet his expectations. However she did things, Sam found a reason that they could have or should have been done differently. In other words, Elizabeth married her parents. Sam deserved a big bright award called the “Aiding and Abetting Insecurity” award. For some peculiar reason, he thought that if he told Elizabeth how to do things “better,” then she would mind-read what Sam thought was better in the future. That’s a good trick: Get annoyed at your spouse for doing something you didn’t agree with so that miraculously she (or he) will (a) know next time what you wanted and (b) actually agree with you that it is the better way. So here’s the question: If we could wave a magic wand over Sam to be a nicer, kinder, gentler, more supportive husband, would that take away the insecurity...
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