Having a spouse who suffers from low self esteem can be agony. Common signs of low self esteem are cynical look at things that go around them, the need to reign over you with an iron fist. If you are reading this article because your spouse suffers from low self esteem then I’m sure that you wish that I am going to reveal some magic potion that will build their self esteem and allow you to have a good married life.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any magic potions (and either does anyone else have one) and the truth is that YOU can’t build their self esteem, only they can. They have to do everything, we are merely their strong support system to help them.
After that disclaimer, though, read on to learn 5 different ways that you can build your spouses self image.
1. Encourage them to pursue past interests. Brainstorm with them what they liked and were good at when they were younger. Encourage them to do more of this or take a class. You never know, you might also find those things interesting and then you can do those things together.
2. Just “out of the blue” buy for them a little nothing. Sometimes it is nice to do little things “just because”, such as giving gifts, leaving notes and doing other special things for your partner. These things can (and should) be done outside special occasions too.
3. No put downs, not when the two of you are alone and surely not in public. Even though you are tremendously frustrated with him/her, refrain from “put downs” and find a less destructive way to deal with your frustration. Remarks like, “you are so lazy” or “stop just sitting around and do something” will further erode their self esteem. Your spouse will use such statements as a proof that he/she is really a total “loser”. And, besides this, you should always have the sensitivity not to embarrass ANYONE in public..
4. Be curious in what interests THEM. Do you still remember what their favorite pastime was or is? Have you an inkling of their dreams and wishes? If you don’t, then it is a good idea to explore and discover what they are so you can discuss these topics with them. For example, if you discover that your husband likes old cars buy a magazine about old cars. When he starts talking about them listen to what he says (no matter how boring it is to you)”. Find out her favorite dinner and make it for her. This demonstrates your love and care for your spouse by actions, which speak louder than words. In addition to building their self esteem, an added bonus is that when you show curiosity in what your spouses does you will also build intimacy.
5. Remember not to go it alone. One of the most powerful compliments that you can give someone is to ask what they thing about something. After you ask them what they think obviously you can’t make fun of it. If you disagree then try to have them think that your idea is really their idea. Whether it is a major purchase or just a small thing, ask what your spouse thinks. Whether you are deciding where to go on vacation or changing the color of the bedroom carpet, ask them. This tells them that you trust and value them and this can greatly enhance your marriage.
Your wife’s or husband’s low self esteem is the root of lots of marital problems. You can’t change them yourself but you are definitely in the position to help them to build their self esteem. Take the 5 measures above and enjoy your marriage with someone with a better self esteem.