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What to expect when you love a man with low self-esteem

Here are some telltale signs of low esteem in a man.
Kartik calling Kartik

Low self-esteem in a man is often over-looked

You want the best in your man. You hope he will be good-looking, mature, loving and self-confident. However we don’t get all that we wish. Sometimes we don’t even realise what it is that’s missing. Especially in people we love. It’s worse when it is someone that we make love to too. Besides all the love we might feel for him, our hormones blind us to his faults. Sometimes it takes a couple of years and sometimes even a decade. There may be many faults in your man, he may have a short temper, he might be a lazy bone or an alcoholic or a gambler. The one defect that is least detectable is low self-esteem. This is one trait that is behavioural, and that gets masked by characteristics like bravado, a superiority complex or even by the strong silent type. The telltale signs of low esteem are prominently these:

1. Competitiveness

My friend was a very talented woman and while pregnant she had started to knit a blanket for her baby. Right enough her husband had to learn and prove to her that his knitting was better than hers. She laughed about it but a little uneasily. Then there was the time when for a wedding her brothers were tying a knot for the tie they were wearing. Our man got into a tizzy trying to learn to wear a tie better and faster than his in-laws. There was a frantic sense of competition that showed his diffidence.

man try to wear a tie
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2. Critical OCD

She soon noticed that the competitiveness had escalated to criticism. He was also a compulsive perfectionist, which was all right if he restricted to himself. The petty nit picking got onto her nerves. Each prickly criticism bristled and hurt. Soon she was hitting out right back at him; until she realised that he would get depressed with her retaliation. That’s when it occurred to her that he lives in the shadow of low self-esteem.

Read more: Why do men stay on in abusive relationships?
Read more: Dealing with an insecure boyfriend – 15 coping tips

3. Suspicious nature

The next feature of this behaviour was his being overly suspicious. She could not borrow a cup of sugar from the neighbour, or wave to a passing acquaintance as he walked outside the house. He was paranoid that she would find someone more interesting than him and would keep a silent watch over all her conversations on the cell-phone and she was forbidden to meet her friends unless he was invited too. He wouldn’t allow her parents to come over and stay lest they catch on. She once caught him stalking his friend who had once given her a ride in his car.

suspicious husband
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4. The Roving eye

Though he had all his fingers grasped on his woman, it did not deter him from letting his attention rove on other women. It did not help that she was open and fun loving and would draw his attention to a pretty girl on the road or in the mall. He would never return the favour. He was like a possessive dog with a bone and that was how it was going to be. Initially she was flattered by his possessiveness but it soon got suffocating. Low self-image has no space for another person.

quick bite

5. Self-pity

When things go wrong like a depression in the economy, causing business to go down, or ill-health, or even if he felt he was being ignored by his own siblings, he would go into a tirade of self-pity – why is this happening to me, why is my life so sad, and so on. He would then proceed to sulk. My friend had a decent sense of humor so she would tease him and try to get him to snap out of it. Kudos to her, she never let any of his low self-esteem traits affect her commitment to the marriage. She feels she can make him feel like a king of her life and so she does.

couple hugs
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Low self-esteem in the man you love is one of the lesser evils, and can be managed by applying tender loving care to his inner child. Make him feel well loved, pay him sincere compliments and never, never beat him down in any issue that you may be discussing. Help him see reason gently. Also when your friend’s circle sees how well you care for him, they will stay away from taking pot shots at him. Another important point to remember is that all men like to be needed, no matter how independent you may be. No need to flaunt it!

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2 Comments

  1. Okay, I agree the woman is super strong and she is managing it well but I object as to why? Why she is not leaving the man? Maybe the fact that this is what relationships teach us.

  2. Great!!! The girl who everyday faces this but still has no complaints, rather she makes her husband feel like king of her heart, she is simply amazing!

    So, girl, you are doing great and don’t let this bond break. Stick in there and develop some plan if possible to raise your husband’s self-esteem. He will love you more than himself once he discovers that it was you who changed him for the betterment.

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