It can be heartbreaking to watch someone you love wrestle with their own self-worth. Having a partner with low self-esteem not only hurts them, but it can affect your relationship as well. There are ways you can help, however.
To really be able to help your partner, you need to understand what self-esteem truly means and where it comes from. The truth is that self-esteem is deeper than just dressing the part. To make real changes, you will need to dig deep. Self-esteem isn’t just about feeling good about how you look or having confidence. Self-esteem means having a sense of self-worth and self-respect.
Look to the Past
A lot of times people with low self-esteem feel the way they do because of something that has happened to them in the past. It could even be something they learned from a parent or someone else close to them.
Talk It Out
Without pressuring your partner too much, it may help to talk about their issues. They may or may not be willing to discuss their feelings of self-worth, and might even brush the whole situation off as silly. It’s important that you do not force the issue too much, as you want them to come around in their own time and not feel pressured.
Sometimes, especially if the situation is particularly bad or is affecting your daily lives, seeing a therapist can help get to the root of the problem. Your partner may be more comfortable talking to a professional, and you need to be okay with that, too.
Show Unconditional Love
No matter what, it is very important that you maintain and show your unconditional love for your partner. The very idea that you love them unconditionally, even when they cannot find that love for themselves, is going to be what keeps you both holding on.
Speak Your Affections
Your partner may not understand or realize their self-worth, but you do. Let them know by speaking your affections out loud and often. Avoid making it all about their physical looks, though; remember that self-esteem is much deeper than that. When you can, tell your partner all of the ways that they are a good person and how deserving they are of love and respect.
Teaching another person about themselves is a daunting and sometimes near impossible task. You might be feeling irritated, upset, or your own self-esteem might take a few hits as well. Try to be patient and give your loved one the time and space that they require.
Don’t Give Up
Most importantly, don’t give up on your partner. Low self-esteem is a deep and complex issue, so it will take time and work. It’s not your job to fix them, but you can help them by having patience and the strength to support them through the process.
With patience, love, and determination, you can help your partner overcome their low self-esteem. It may be a tough process with heartbreaking moments, but the two of you can make it through. Have hope and confidence that your partner will eventually, in time, come around and see themselves for the wonderful loving person you know them to be.