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Low self-esteem? A caution


river dog
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I've been particularly affected my recent, short relationship and particularly the nature of the break-up. It never really got off the ground and I could see the potential.

 

Now I am in NC as it makes a lot of sense to take some time for myself and have a think. Now about this low self-esteem thing that keeps cropping up. It's like the dumpee has something wrong with them and that is why they were dumped.

 

"Thing is River Dog, you have to look at yourself and your low self-esteem"

"I don't have low self-esteem. At least I didn't before, she has knocked it a hell of a lot but I don't have low self-esteem!"

"See, you are taking it personally. That is a sign."

"Of course I am taking it personally. You have jumped into standard psycho-babble about taking responsibility."

"Well you must have been the nice guy, all clingy and needy"

"You may have a point in how I acted with this girl but I am not intrinsically clingy or needy and after all these years, no woman has ever described me that way. Difficult yes, clingy no"

 

Look, I've checked and I don't have low self-esteem. I take risks, I seek no-one's approval. I am successful, with very well paid jobs at Apple and Microsoft. I made enough money to take a few years out here to restore a house and explore other avenues. I have made a documentary this year, planning another and I am thinking about writing a book. Probably about getting your ex back

 

I don't think I am bad looking, 6' 2", not overweight and I own all my own teeth. I have no debts. I speak 3 languages and have lived in 4 countries.

 

If anything, I am clearly boastful. Well, for purposes of this discussion let's call them counter-arguments.

 

So, in my retrospection I have come up with a theory:

 

My ex was emotionally unavailable. That's right she didn't want a relationship. She asked me out, she jumped on me, she initiated intimacy while I was still thinking about it. Then she backs off asking me to go really slow. I chase a little and she pushes me away. Sure, I could have handled it differently but I think the outcome would have been much the same.

 

I think she is emotionally unavailable but her ego cannot help but play the game for a while. I don't hate her for that and I forgive her.

 

So, before you go rushing off to buy all those self-help books and pull your back out in a yoga class, take a closer look at your ex before deciding you are the one that needs the 10,000 mile service.

 

You might just be perfectly just you.

 

There, I feel better now.

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Nice post, it made me feel considerably better about my last relationship, reflecting upon it and how it ended. I have made a habit out of beating myself up because I simply can not grasp why my ex would not put any real effort into our relationship and then her going and ending it. Stupidly I have blamed myself a lot ... even though I can honestly say: she was simply a BAD girlfriend. Always blaming me for anything she could while taking no responsibility for herself and her actions. Funny how really loving someone can blind you and turn you into a doormat for a while, which I have to admit I had become to her ... all in my attempts to salvage a doomed relationship all by myself. But, I have finally come to realize she just isn't emotionally available and like your ex, she also simply didn't want a relationship.

 

I could have done without all her games too, she's really hurt me with them, especially telling me she wanted to marry me right before breaking up with me. Ouch! But maybe that's what it took for me to realize I'm better off without her. F her! I can do WAY better.

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Hey RD,

You do not come accross as having low self-esteem. Just the fact that you can talk about it and with such wit is evidence of the contrary. But I agree that having been back-stabbed the way you just were can shake your confidence momentarily. Look at the big picture: you are successful, do not seem bad looking at all in fact, and have that knack for banter that most girls like. Feel better.

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I can relate to you jman. My ex of four years told me a day and half before she left that she wanted me to meet her family in July (just a few weeks later) that was right before she left with her internet 'friend' that flew in to meet her. She was emotionally unavailable to. I guess she didnt want a real relationship either. Yeah she made me dinner and ironed my wrinkled shirts for which I was appreciative and said thank you but thats not what I care about in a relationship. I need an honest emotionally available loyal person to be with.Why do some women think thats all a guy cares about having dinner made? I never asked for that once. Thanks for the great post RD

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I found this on link removed - my ex was not this extreme but she scores 4 out of 6 to my knowledge.

 

 

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For example:

One day she's your best friend, the next she won't even speak to you - yep, she was hot and cold.

 

"She has all the normal biological urges to be with a man, and genuinely wants to have a successful relationship, but the very second her emotions are aroused, the lurking demon of her buried hurt rears its ugly head and she runs away." - yep, that's her.

 

"filling up every moment of her day and night with work" - yep, that's her. Sometimes two jobs, day and night

 

"This is why many of the Walking Wounded seek out emotionally unavailable men." - yep, I think she was with my married neighbour for some time before we met. His wife and kids left him around the time we bust up.

 

"With women like this, it's always one step forward and 10 steps back." - yep, I even demonstrated this to her with my fingers walking one step forward, two steps back on a table whilst explaining to her how I wasn't happy with the situation.

 

"One minute they love you and the next they're picking fights or screaming at you for some imagined transgression on your part." - yep, she got really mad a couple of times for no discernible reason. The last time was minutes after she was whispering sweet nothings (she was working another fiesta) and then she pushed me away. when I approached. I walked.

 

"They are often unsoundly jealous, and will accuse you of having affairs without any evidence" yep, she suggested that I was chatting up other girls when I was out of her sight (while she was working the bar, of course).

 

Guess it's up to me to have a think about this in terms of my current NC and no, I am not looking for an excuse to break it quite yet.

 

Anyway, I have walked so I haven't done too much harm to either of us by my actions. According to the author:

 

"Give her some space and emotional breathing room."

 

Thanks for listening - might help someone else one day.

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My self esteem was low before I accomplished much of anything.

 

The years I accomplished most did nothing positive for my self esteem. In hindsight it was more like running away from myself while my self esteem dropped.

 

Looking at the reasons, low self esteem led to bad decisions accross all aspects of life. Too much work, unrewarding relationships, playing around too much to keep "happy".

 

To let go of false hopes, regrets and taking it easy built my self esteem.

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And sadly enough, the nastier such people are, the more infatuated you become

 

That's the rub. What is that about? Do we see it as a challenge? Do we think we can redeem them? Do we avoid rejection at all costs?

 

Great post Rd, but the question is knowing all this, why is it so hard to forget about her?

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Good questions

 

What is that about? Do we see it as a challenge?

Yes, a lot of us want what we can't have, that is one of the possible benefits of NC for the dumpee. The dumper can't have the dumped back.

 

Do we avoid rejection at all costs?

Fear of rejection is very potent. I read recently that emotionally we are only driven by two polar opposite feelings... fear and love. Everything else is somewhere in between. Think about it.

 

Two of the most powerful words in our language are "go away" and thereforeeee the fear of hearing them. If the dumped actually does go away and stays away, the dumper might wonder where they've gone. His or her power has just gone with them.

 

In fact, most of the time "go away" (nuisance situations aside) increases someone's desirability. In a milder form it is a common seduction technique to elevate perceived social value e.g. "I'm busy, got to go", "I'll call you later", ending the phone call first, ending a date early etc. They play on our fear of rejection and that is a player, ladies.

 

Do we think we can redeem them?

Some will stick around to try and change them. Then they could become codependents and that is not a healthy situation to be in.

 

Great post Rd, but the question is knowing all this, why is it so hard to forget about her?

Because it took a week of research to figure this all out, before that, I was confused and I thought it was me - that was for 3 weeks! I like studying things I don't understand.

 

NC, this forum, Google and reflection, what a combination. Now I am going to write that book

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