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Old 08-01-2011, 11:49 PM
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River River is offline
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Default Self Esteem & Relationships

Some questions for discussion:


How important is self esteem in the creation of healthy, loving relationships?

How is self esteem furthered where it is insufficient?

On a scale of 0 -10, with 0 being the least and 10 being the most of healty self esteem, where is your average placement on the scale over the last year?

Has your placement on that scale changed in recent time?

If yes, why/how do you think it has changed?

Please answer any or all of these questions. No pressure to answer all of them!

Also, please feel free to offer your own questions or comments, independent of my own.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:12 AM
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How important is self esteem in the creation of healthy, loving relationships?

Always crucial, but probably even moreso in poly relationships, where one's dearest may have another who is also dearest, and where there is the risk that one may sometimes feel less dear to one's dearest.

How is self esteem furthered where it is insufficient?

Meditation and mindfulness practices allow one to catch oneself at all kinds of unhelpful habits of thought-feeling and to loosten the grip of these habits through gradual disidentification with them. (Typically, we are quite identified with our habits of thought, feeling, activity/action.) Low self esteem is ... get this..., a habit. It can be changed when recognized and seen through.

On a scale of 0 - 10, with 0 being the least and 10 being the most of healty self esteem, where is your average placement on the scale over the last year?

I'm probably at about 8.5 at the moment, and over recent weeks (8-10 weeks). Before that I was at about a 4-5, going back years and years. On bad days I was bouncing round in the 1-3 range.

Has your placement on that scale changed in recent time?

Oh, yeah! You betcha.

If yes, why/how do you think it has changed?

Perhaps mainly I got so freaking tired of my own self-caused misery that I was willing to die to/of the old familiar self. Dramatic changes are like little deaths that we biologically survive while psychically dying some good deal (only we become more of what we've always really been, more ourselves). I intensified my spiritual practices of meditation, mindfulness, metta (loving-kindness) and took plenty of risks.

Dramatic changes always, it seems to me, involve taking significant risks. One has to risk being oneself, authentically..., expressing one's self authentically.... For me, this has been a process of unmasking and removing bandages and armor and crutches..., learning to fly free from self-imposed constraints of every kind.
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Last edited by River; 08-02-2011 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:46 AM
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How important is self esteem in the creation of healthy, loving relationships?

I think it is imperative to a healthy relationship. It allows a person to assert themselves and avoid intentional or unintentional manipulation or forced suffering because they don't feel they deserve better.

How is self esteem furthered where it is insufficient?

Independent pursuits that challenge us in areas that "we" value. Taking on some one else's challenges i.e. rock climbing would do little for our sense of esteem if we didn't value the achievement.

On a scale of 0 -10, with 0 being the least and 10 being the most of healty self esteem, where is your average placement on the scale over the last year?

7. I have great self esteem in some key areas but the sources of my failing which represent the remaining 3 threaten to wash over me entirely sometimes. My 7 has to be strong or I am lost.

Has your placement on that scale changed in recent time?

It has remained the same for two years. Before that it was a 0 for just over half a year. Prior to that 6 month period it was probably an 5.5 for several years and before that it was a 9.5 for many years.


If yes, why/how do you think it has changed?

9.5 - followed the path of what I considered to be righteousness and manliness.

6 - cheated on my wife and was a poor parent as the result of my poor ethics and honesty.

0 - lost my wife and daughter and myself entirely.

7 - counselling, self study, new awareness and understanding of myself, and the support of Redpepper's love lifted me from the ashes of my own destruction.
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:54 AM
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How important is self esteem in the creation of healthy, loving relationships?

It's vital. Without it, a relationship becomes an exercise in insecurity and neediness.

How is self esteem furthered where it is insufficient?

I think you hit it squarely when you wrote of breaking bad mental habits. My own habits tend not only toward self-deprecation, but actually toward self-vilification. I call myself names and castigate myself for making poor decisions, or even for simple mistakes.

I am trying to make a habit out of catching myself when I start to do that, and correcting myself. Better to say to myself that I made a bad decision, than to call myself a stupid asshole.

On a scale of 0 -10, with 0 being the least and 10 being the most of healty self esteem, where is your average placement on the scale over the last year?

6 or 7, I would say.

Has your placement on that scale changed in recent time?

It's improved.

If yes, why/how do you think it has changed?

Since figuring out that I'm poly, rather than a near-sleaze who's been suppressing a desire to cheat, I've been able to ditch much of the guilt over how I feel about other women. Feeling is not doing, after all.

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Old 08-04-2011, 03:21 AM
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How important is self esteem in the creation of healthy, loving relationships?
Very. Using a relationship to create self esteem is only a temporary fix. Having moments where it is lacking, a healthy relationship can allow for and encourage growth. But at least for me, I believe there needs to be a strong sense of self in order to have a healthy relationship.

How is self esteem furthered where it is insufficient?
Having someone in your life that has faith in you when you do not, can help you to move forward faster. It can be a boost to finding your self worth. But again I think it is personal growth, not something someone else can provide. I do think that having that support can provide a safe place to step out of the hole of low self esteem that may have become a comfort level.
On a scale of 0 -10, with 0 being the least and 10 being the most of healty self esteem, where is your average placement on the scale over the last year?
The last year... I've probably bounced from 4-9. Average about 7 or so.
Has your placement on that scale changed in recent time?
Not really. I've been a pretty steady 7-8 the last few months.
If yes, why/how do you think it has changed?

Even though it's been steady, I'd say I changed from last years low to this years highs because of the personal work I've done. Karma and I had a long list of things we needed to work on when we decided not to divorce. For me it was an awakening of sorts. I rediscovered my ability to depend on myself for validation and that went a long way towards raising self esteem. I feel empowered in the ability to openly discuss things with Karma. I no longer feel like I shouldn't be feeling a certain emotion, I own it and figure out what it says about the situation and how it needs handled/addressed.

Entering onto this path with Karma has made me really look at myself. I had to address the "I'm not enough and that's why he needs someone else." as well as the "I'm a fool because he cheated." That last one was really an eye opener. Removing the blame and shame from myself and placing it where it belonged. I was not the one who cheated, I was not the one who lied, and while I played some part in the downfall of our marriage, I am not to blame for his actions. That was really freeing and empowering for me. I gained back a lot of self worth/self esteem when I took charge of my life.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
Some questions for discussion:


How important is self esteem in the creation of healthy, loving relationships?

How is self esteem furthered where it is insufficient?

On a scale of 0 -10, with 0 being the least and 10 being the most of healty self esteem, where is your average placement on the scale over the last year?

Has your placement on that scale changed in recent time?

If yes, why/how do you think it has changed?

Please answer any or all of these questions. No pressure to answer all of them!

Also, please feel free to offer your own questions or comments, independent of my own.
great questions...
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:03 PM
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nicothoe nicothoe is offline
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How important is self esteem in the creation of healthy, loving relationships?

Essential. If your self-esteem is low, then you find yourself to constantly questioning the love somebody has for you, or that they deserve better. That is just as much hurtful to them as it it damaging to you.

How is self esteem furthered where it is insufficient?

Try not to compare yourself to others. Let's face it, there is always someone who is richer, smarter, healthier, more athletic, more handsome, more skillful than you are. That doesn't been those people are better than you. Everybody has qualities that will draw the right sort of people to them. When you start to measure yourself against other people, you lose sight of why people love you.

On a scale of 0 -10, with 0 being the least and 10 being the most of healty self esteem, where is your average placement on the scale over the last year?

9, with the occasional 6. For the most, life has been good. Every so often I slump into a hole, but usually pull myself out after a day or two, and with lots of communication.

Has your placement on that scale changed in recent time?

When I started out in poly almost 3 years ago, I would argue it was pretty low, perhaps a 3. It has gradually increased over time.

If yes, why/how do you think it has changed?

Those first weeks few weeks of poly, my thought process was "who is going to want me? how am I going to find somebody else? the wife has it so easy, suitors will be coming out of the wood work." Yeah, don't tell me I'm not the only guy to have thought that!! It is also an unfair statement. Sure, women may have an easier time finding someone, that is, if all they are after is sex; but if they want an honest relationship, to be treated with respect, to be loved, then they have it no easier.

I started chatting online with other women, and they seem to be interested in me. I was very quiet and shy in person, so communicating via a computer has always been much easier. After a the first few flings, then I had to toss out of the notion that my wife was the only person who could be attracted to me. How often do we have a loved one compliment us, only to think "Well, they would say that!"? As if somehow their biased opinion doesn't really count. Ever wondered why it's biased in the first place?

Out of the relationship with girlfriend, I developed a trend of wearing skirts. Yup, that's right. Skirts. I don't crossdress, meaning, I don't have any desire to look like a woman. I do it because...well, skirts are fun. Colorful. Sometimes they have bright sparkly things. My shyness meant I spent an entire life blending into the background, trying not to be noticed. Wearing a bright flowing skirt in public tends to have the opposite effect....and I love it. I no longer care what other people think. In fact, they are probably more embarrassed than I am. The fact of the matter is, wearing skirts boosted my self-esteem. It gave me confidence to be who I am, and break with conformity.

There was a time, halfway through my relationship with the girlfriend, that she came close to breaking up with me. There were too many stresses in life - work, money, problems with her extended poly family, and she needed a break. Her house mate of ten yeard, who is also poly, told her "but I really like him", and probably advised her against ending things. Having someone who knew my girlfriend better than I did, who had seen her other relationships (and hate many of them), basically tell her not to let this guy go....well, that was another huge boost to my self esteem!

Last edited by nicothoe; 08-04-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:24 PM
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How important is self esteem in the creation of healthy, loving relationships?

Extremely important. I have seen someone with no self esteem and they become their partner. There is no self, and it seems the relationship is very lopsided. It becomes based on insecurity, and neediness.None of these relationships last. I have yet see this person keep a relationship over 2 years. Jewell and I still are still our own people. Yes we mesh together, and the reason we do is because we love ourselves and are our selves. In turn we love each other and foster that. Our unit is so strong because we love our strengths and our weaknesses.

How is self esteem furthered where it is insufficient?


Alone time. Finding yourself.

On a scale of 0 -10, with 0 being the least and 10 being the most of healthy self esteem, where is your average placement on the scale over the last year?


I would say 3-9 with a lot of shit I had to work through. The nine being the break through. The three getting stuck and momentarily not wanting to grow.

Has your placement on that scale changed in recent time?

Yes.

If yes, why/how do you think it has changed?


Redefining myself personally, and with my marriage. Diving into this poly relationship. Recovering for PPD probably helped a lot too.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:31 PM
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nicothoe,

The fact that you go about in public wearing skirts puts a huge smile on my face and makes my heart all warm. Makes me want to organize a Skirt Day, where all men can go about in skirts! Wouldn't that be fun? I'm not worried it would become ordinary, but it would be fine with me if it did! Skirts are perfect for hot summer days!

Actually, lately I've been thinking of getting a skirt to wear around the house. I'm not feeling bold enough to go out in pubic wearing one, yet! But if lots of guys would do it ... I'd join in.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:37 PM
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"Recovering for PPD probably helped a lot too."

PPD?
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Last edited by River; 08-04-2011 at 03:40 PM.
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