- 4 mins
How to Improve Self-Esteem in Relationships
Having kids can be the biggest test of any partnership. Had you asked me ‘how can I improve my self-esteem in my relationship?’ a few years ago when my two were just teensy-weensy, I could have easily given you a prescriptive therapist answer. Truth be told, at the time I found life’s demands and circumstances both taxing and tiring. So the golden dream of what always was a fulfilling relationship felt far away for a while. Fast forward to both children in primary school and healthier work-life balances, I am thankful that the pipe dream of a deeply rewarding marriage has returned to be a reality.
So with this in mind, here are a few tips to help you improve your self-esteem in relationships:
It’s super important to express your needs in any relationship and not just within a romantic connection. If you find it tricky with the kids around, look for a quiet moment in the evening or even get some help for an hour or two so you spend some quality time with each other. It’s great for you to really listen to their feelings too. You don’t have a crystal ball so knowing what is on each other’s minds and how you both work is crucial to a successful partnership. Guilt and inadequacy will only result in a communication breakdown. Instead, let each other know that you appreciate them as a way of improving relationship self-esteem. Convey how they make you feel loved, cared for, respected, desired, admired, and valued.
Meeting each other’s core values is really the bottom line. The other stuff doesn’t matter too much so criticizing each other for the small details will only lead to tension and bad feelings. According to Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by Dr. John Gottman “… when contempt begins to overwhelm your relationship you tend to forget entirely your partner’s positive qualities….” Working out what your values are is as simple as knowing which beliefs you hold most dear … and what you wouldn’t be able to let go of. Sharing these core values with your significant other will make up a relationship bedrock of respect and satisfaction. What are your governing beliefs and how are they compatible with your most important people? Mine are determination, passion, integrity, generosity, humor, appreciation, thoughtful parenting, and most importantly a sense of belonging to the earth. Phew- after 22 years we’re still a match! There are soooooooo many core values but work out the ones that belong to you. Let go of the trivialities and nitpicking and focus on how you do meet each other’s core traits.
So much of how we treat our nearest and dearest is wrapped up in how we treat our own selves. So having a good relationship with ourselves is key to having good relationships with others. Having the courage to express your needs, put healthy boundaries in place, be truly intimate, and feel deserving of love all come with a good dose of self-worth. Studies tell us low self-esteem can come from feeling a lack of unconditional love from a parent.
Some suggestions to help improve self-esteem are:
- Talking to a qualified therapist.
- Observing your internal voice and being more self-compassionate.
- Make well-done lists of all the things you appreciate about yourself that day.
- Meditate daily as this will reduce negative thoughts. Much of poor self-esteem is rooted in the past or the future but meditation is all about the peace of the here and now.
As always wishing you much love and happiness. Just remember your innate beauty and importance and this will guide you into fantastically fulfilling relationships.