What exactly is self worth? Is it truly defined by words alone, or does one need to see actions accompany those words as well? My self worth fluctuates between empowerment and self destruction; as if comparing the powers of the sweltering sun to the power of pond scum. On days where I feel empowered, I refuse to accept the occasional negative comments, glances or suggestions that I am not the person that he is looking for. Things about me he feels need to be changed. On days when I feel that all we have worked for in this relationship is slipping through my fingers because of his sudden alienation or refusal to express his thoughts, I turn to jelly and I no longer have legs, rather I am a lifeless blob that sits and and produces liquid that cannot be stopped until I am fed some type of apology or recognition of the existence of my sorrows.
It is frustrating to me, that I cannot yet find a happy median, where I can realize that I am lovable with faults and dynamic with the strengths I bring to the relationship.
We both question what we feel about ourselves and realize that in order for the two of us to form a bond that will be strong enough to withstand our intermittant tribulations that surface sporadically in our relationship, we must first fight and kill the demons within that continue to repossess our souls; making it difficult to move forward without fear.
The fantasy of marriage is like a cloud over my head... beautiful in sight, stormy in memory of mine past, and somewhat transparent and not concrete where the future is concerned.
I guess my goal should be not hovering between present and the future. I should plant myself where I am now, nurture and feed the self doubt, the anger that arises within the two of us over our inability to console ourselves when we are in the midst of great self doubt, and make sure that our roots are strong enough to sprout outward toward a future that goes beyond the present week.
We love each other. No doubt. I often wonder, however, is love enough? Is that all it takes? Can love conquer all? Or, do factors beyond our control and vision dictate a future already mapped out? Is my Karma out of whack? Or does it evade me because I've never been able to perform a necessary exorcism to erase my heart of all the pain I've suffered before I met this man?
I guess time will tell. Focus, conversation, affirmation and love will line the path. I will continue to walk the walk with him for now. Neither of us are confident enough in ourselves to commit completely. There is always that shadow of self doubt shaking its ugly, domineering finger our way. I wish I could grab it and destroy it. My fear is that if I do, what will I have to cling to when I am uncertain? What will be my crutch? I will have to stand on my own and look at myself... raw, naked and ashamed; for having allowed myself to beat my ego up through the years for incidents beyond my control.
There's a lot to your question, and please understand that I'm only making comments as "another person" (rather than someone who has any answers).
Self-worth is not defined by words. It's a feeling and it's a belief that we are decent people who are worthy of respect. If we're secure in our sense of self-worth we also tend to have a sense of "others worth" and realize that other people are usually decent people and worthy of respect too. If anyone (ourselves or someone else) does some "horrible" thing that rightfully loses the respect of others, that's a different thing. In general, though, self-worth is knowing that we're generally worthy and respectable human beings. If we measure people by their decency (being good, kind, and caring) rather than some other measure of worth (money, education, looks, coolness, youth, etc.)it isn't difficult to recognize everyone's (including our own) worth.
Your post struck me as making a relationship more complicated than it needs to be. Respect is always part of love. If people love and respect each other they respect each other enough to keep the comments about the issues, rather than making attacking comments. Disagreements can exist without either person feeling like less of a person. It's about the "issue", not the person. If someone makes the other person feel "small" too often then that will erode the relationship, and it's usually a sign that the "offender" doesn't respect the other person enough. People in relationships will have their disagreements. If they have the right relationship those disagreements, by themselves, won't wreck the relationship.
If you have sorrows that are yours and that are making you "less whole" as "half of a relationship", then you need to seek some professional help with working out those issues on your own. If your partner has non-relationship-issues of his own, he should do the same. If it isn't that either of you has "inappropriate issues" then it could be that you are not well suited for each other. Your post made me think you're mixing together a bunch of different issues and turning them into one big "lump". It struck me that you could use someone to help you sort out all the little issues, so they're not all blended into one big one. Then you can look at the "neat pile of organized issues" and deal with them, one at a time.
Everyone will find himself wrong at one time or another. Being wrong, and admitting it, are not the signs of less self-worth. A person with self-worth is comfortable seeing when he's wrong and admitting it. Self-worth is about seeing oneself as perfect. People with a sense of self-worth see that they're "worthy" in spite of not being perfect. Sometimes, though, people worry a little too much about whether or not they have a sense of self-worth, and whether others see their worth. A relationship shouldn't always be about sizing up the "worth" of the people in it.
An unhealthy relationship can erode the sense of self-worth in a person, so sometimes it's important to figure out which came first - the lack of self-worth or the relationship.
You know what, I have had all those questions and all those doubts, went to counselling lately..... wish I had gone years ago.... she just gets me to talk myself round to what I actually want out of life, and myself, and how to get it, and be pleased with my achievments.... still going .....
You can't use a realtionship as a mirror of yourself ...you just can't. it is important to have your own concept of what you are about instead of depending on someone else to define who you are. A good relationship should bring out the best in both people. If you are going to nitpick at each other's faults then you might as well be married ha ha ha.. just kidding!
I have struggled with self esteem and identtiy issues in my younger years and found that searching for someone significant to boost my self esteem is not the answer. Often my fear of being alone would bring me to the point you are at.. knowing in the pit of your stomach this may not work but still have that fantasy about marriage and love conquers all. Love can change and relationships can change and then all you have is yourself. Are you happy with yourself? If not then you are the only one who can make the changes!
I agree with LisaHW. It sounds like the confusion of a lot of issues. I never did understand confusing one's self worth with being in a relationship. The two things are entirely different entities.
That being said, these 'issues' don't need to be pathologized, either. Everyone doubts their self at some time or another, and life is always a little bit up and down as far as feelings--about anything. You already nailed down what you need to do: to see yourself raw--and when you do that--understand your real self, you will be more apt to withstand the slings and arrows that will always cross your path. Far from seeing a poor withering soul--I think when you use honesty in self assessment, you are more apt to assert strength.
As far as your relationship--the question I always ask my sister (who sees things this way)--is what is this eternal state of homeostasis called 'marriage' people look for? It seems there is this fantasy of 'tying everything up pretty with a bow,' and "happily ever after." But that is a fairytale. Relationships are dynamic. Again, learning to live with the ups and downs that occur between two people, and not allowing those things to destroy the greater love that you both have is the key.
That being said, I think the old self esteem mantra concerning co-dependency, blah, blah, "you don't need another person to make you happy," is pop psychology and an enduring sadly negative myth. One of the most satisfying things in life is a good relationship, and people naturally seek to be part of a couple. It's a strong innate drive within us all--or most of us. I rather think going against that drive is what is wrong and unnatural.
When I was reading your post I kept thinking that probably the other half of this (I'm guessing it's a guy, but I'm just assuming...sorry if I got that wrong)--the other half probably isn't even thinking about ANY of this stuff. Nah, he's bopping along somewhere thinking about if he wants curly fries or regular fries with his lunch, and all the while you are off on this relationship introspection overload...
It's so typical that women get into this. I think every woman should be alone for a couple of years at least and just learn to enjoy her own company, so that when a guy comes along and you do like him, you don't end up analyzing his every burp and fart for clues to what it means about your relationship.
That's just me though, and my guy tells me I'm barely even a girl. The first time I asked him a 'girl' question he freaked out--Like, who are you! Who has stolen Pam!!!??? Stop that! Stop it right now!
Seriously, don't put so much on the other person. Guys can't carry that.
I agree with pg. I beleive you can only be comfortable in a relationship when you gain self-confidence in who you are and what you want to do for yourself to be happy. Getting to know yourself and having parameters to your values in life gives you a grounding force to find the right relationship. Sure, there is always some give and take in any relationship, but not where one in the relationship must always feel the need to do a reality check, unless you are okay with shape shifting just to please your significant other. That seems like alot of work on one side and not a trait for a deepening of the relationship.
On the other hand, some of the longest relationships I have seen in my circle of friends were not void of battles. Sometimes a good verbal discussion on how each person is feeling about the relationship, along with options for improvement. Most of the time it added strength to the bond, ocassionally it opened the door to walk free and get what you really need for a healthy bond.
Just my thoughts
I find all of your comments valuable. I have always sought out counseling for myself and the two of us (yes, he's a man) are seeing a therapist 2x a month together to keep things going well so that our past and our fears don't sabotage the wonderful relationship we have. I also know that he doesn't sit around like I and many other women do wondering about things and we are both realizing that anything negative that happens between us; needs to be identified by the person who submitted it and accept that as their issue and not the other persons. this has helped quite a bit. thanks for the comment.
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