3 Ways your self-esteem may be sabotaging your relationship

When we think of relationships, we normally think of how our partner is treating us, whether we are happy and having our needs met. We tend to weigh the pros and cons of the relationship and then decide if it is working out or not.

We may define our happiness by how much love we feel we are receiving. While this is an important factor in any relationship, we may forget to also consider how our self-esteem may also contributing or affecting the level of happiness in our relationship.

Here are 3 ways your self-esteem may be sabotaging your relationship. See if one of these ways may be your situation.

1. Your self-esteem is one of the indicators of how much happiness you feel you deserve. When I say you deserve, I don’t mean in an intellectual way, as we all say we feel we deserve on that level. I am speaking more to the subconscious areas of our lives. For example, if on a subconscious level we feel our partner is too good for us and will certainly leave us once he/she finds out about who we “really” are, we may be unknowingly sabotaging the relationship. How do you know if you are sabotaging a relationship? Well if you find yourself provoking fights when you are feeling insecure. You may also be pushing your partner away, rejecting or criticizing him or her, when you are feeling scared or powerless, Your reactions may be indicators of where your self-esteem is at the time.

2. Another way your self-esteem can influence your relationship negatively, is by how you may be dealing with confrontations. You may have had a childhood where disagreements led to ugly arguments and verbal or physical violence. On a subconscious level, you may have said to yourself, “Arguements are ugly, I never want to fight with my partner”. Instead of making a decision to learn how to express yourself calmly and rationally, you decided that you need to keep the peace and any cost. You do this by being passive, avoiding conflicts and minimizing problems. However, all decisions we make, come with a cost. By avoiding discussions, you are also avoiding resolving these conflicts. Over time, these unresolved issues can fester and can create resentments and hostility leading to a desire to detach emotionally from the relationship.

3. The third way your low self-esteem may affect your relationship could be
through the need to control situations and can be expressed through anger, insults and threats when these needs are not met. Your low tolerance for frustration and imperfections may be an indication of your own lack of feelings of control which you project to your partner or children creating feelings of rejection and criticism in them. The partners of these "controlling personalities" often describe their approach to their partner as “walking on eggshells”. They say they never know when the eruption will occur. This creates a lot of insecurity and a lack of trust or feeling safe in the relationship.

How do you know when the issue is your self-esteem and not your partner triggering your reaction. Ask yourself how you are feeling about yourself today. If you are feeling positive and secure, chances are you will react differently to a wet towel left on the floor or a bill paid late, then if you just received a bad evaluation at work, or a speeding ticket. We take ourselves with us wherever we go, so how you are feeling about yourself will affect how you perceive a situation and how
you choose to react.

As you focus on raising your self-esteem, communicating more effectively, discussing differences calmly and respectfully, there is a ripple affect that cannot help but influence how you treat your partner and how your partner will likely react in turn. That is not to say that each of us must not forget to take responsibility for what we bring to a relationship and the mistakes we make, but a higher self-esteem will make it easier for you to pick the high road, for you to be proud of how you are dealing with situations, set a good example for your children, and for you to become the partner, you wish you had.

Author's Bio: 

Rhonda Rabow is a psychotherapist with over 25 years in the counselling field.
Her expertise is in empowering her clients to feel back in control of their lives.
She deals with such topics as raising self-esteem, couple relationships, parenting, depression, assertiveness training and grief counselling, to name a few.
Rhonda has a FREE monthly newsletter offering a different article on empowerment every month,as well as a free e-book, at www.rhondarabow.com. You can also find her new e-book at this site called, "Discover the 3 Secrets to Living Happily Ever After." You can view more of Rhonda's free articles at www.helphelpmerhonda.ca