Couples and Marriage Counseling

How Self-Worth and Self-Esteem Affect Your Relationship

girl with low self esteem low self worth looking in broken mirror

A low sense of self-worth and self-esteem can keep you from believing you are capable of achieving goals and living your best life. I refer to this as the inside and outside feelings. Self-worth is the inside of you and your core self beliefs while self-esteem is the outside of you and you as a person and your capabilities in the world. 

sad child with low self worth low self esteem sitting on window sill

Having a low self worth and low self esteem usually originates from traumatic childhood experiences such as abuse or neglect. If your parents often criticized you as a child, it probably left you with very low-self esteem, not believing in yourself, always doubting yourself and questioning if you deserve what you have.

Your parents likely have suffered from low self-worth and low self-esteem themselves hence were unable to model healthy communication, conflict management, assertiveness and healthy boundaries. 

Low self worth and low self esteem can negatively affect your relationship in many ways:

men having trouble in relationship because of low self esteem and insecurity
  1. If you have low self worth and self esteem, you tend to be jealous insecure in your relationship. You fear that your partner will be attracted to someone else and might leave you. You are clingy and want to be with your partner constantly. If your partner is unable to spend time with you, you jump to terrible conclusions that might push your partner further away from you.
  2. You may have difficulty simply being yourself because you are always seeking approval and trying to be liked by others. 
  3. You may have difficulty asking others for help and you may always feel that you are bothering others or you are a burden. 
  4. You have a hard time expressing yourself or your opinions and you often allow others to walk all over you.
  5. You spend too much time thinking about what your partner thinks or wants and trying to meet their needs while neglecting your own. 
  6. You are willing to do anything to keep your partner, even if you are in an abusive relationship. 
  7. You constantly seek reassurance from your partner and you always ask if they love you. 

Fortunately, individual counseling, or couples counseling can help you discover the root cause of low-self worth and low self-esteem and reverse negative thinking that will ultimately improve your well being and your relationship. 

By Katerina Fager, LCPC

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