Not content with being me

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2007
Not content with being me
10
Mon, 04-19-2010 - 9:41pm

Hi,


I've always been happy and confident with who Iam up until June of 2009.Thats when everything changed and my self esteem virtually dissapeared.


I was engaged to someone I had been with for almost 4 yrs, then In june I found out that he had been cheating since 2007 and had spent our money on escort services. I found out this and much more only a month or so before the wedding.About 3 weeks after finding everything out I finally left and moved back in with my dad. Finding out all the secrets my ex fiance had destroyed me. I felt like what am I missing that made him cheat,of course the girls he was talking to and messing around with were the complete opposite of me which didn't help. Iam very thin however Iam really short, with brown hair. These girls were taller,giant boobs with blonde hair. I felt incredibly inferior and like I wasn't good enough.


I have a new bf now and he treats me amazing. There isn't one thing I would change about him.The first few months we were together I felt so beautiful and deserving and trusting. But the last few months for whatever reason the feelings I had last june/july are creeping back.I feel like why on earth is he with me when he could be with someone taller with a better body, someone smarter that has a real career.I know he is attracted to me,he has never done anything to make me think otherwise,but I can't help but think these things.I hate thinking them because I know Iam deffinitly not ugly,I have had many people say I should get into modelling.Yet I still can't help but compare myself to almost every girl that walks by, like why cant I be that tall or have boobs like that or why cant I have as nice a butt as that.It's like I almost hate myself (which I know I don't) for being who Iam.


I know all these feelings stem from what my ex did to me,I used to be super confidant and tell myself and believe that I was beautiful.I used to trust people and believe no one would or could hurt me.Now its like, I can imagine my new bf cheating even though deep inside I know he never would.He is different from my ex. I really don't want to have to talk to my dr about this,I know thats what most ppl that respond to this would suggest but I just don't know how I would bring it up.What would I say? "hi,it's Hollie, I have no self esteemm,what would you suggest?" Plus his secretary tends to interrogate you before actually making an appointment, trying to decide if its worth for a person to come in.She's somewhat of a bitch.Anyways I would like some insight on how I could build my self esteem back up to how it was less than a year ago. I guess it's good I haven't had this issue for years and years, I think it would be alot harder to undo.

Hollie

Hollie

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 10:19am

hey, hollie, welcome to the board. i'm sorry that your ex cheated on you, but it wasn't your fault. it didn't mean that you were less attractive or not good enough - it was a choice that he made without any regard for you. maybe he was insecure or freaking out about getting married or just being selfish; who knows? but it had *nothing* to do with you.


the first thing that i would do, if you haven't done so already, is get tested for any STDs. that is the last thing that you want showing up two years down the road. secondly, if you want to, talk to your doctor about it. tell him that you have trust issues

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2007
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 10:29am

Thanks for your reply. A week after I found everything out last June I got tested for STD's! That was my first concern,that I dealt with immediatley.


I do realise that it wasn't my fault,I know obviously my ex had issues and was probably insecure himself. Its just,the thoughts I have unfortunatley are what come along with that type of betrayel.


I realise that it's completley irrational to think these things,and I know deep down my current bf loves me to death and thinks Im beautiful, we've had many talks about our pasts and I've talked about my feelings and insecurities now, he understands. Its just one of those things where you know what your thinking is ridiculous,and maybe you'll go through a phase where you feel confidant again,but there is always that little voice in the back of

Hollie

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Wed, 04-21-2010 - 11:57am

you'll be okay. it's just going to take some time to replace the doubts with new ones. those girls whom you perceive to be prettier/smarter than you? they existed before you met your current BF, and there's a reason why he's not with one of them: because he wants to be with YOU. he didn't choose one of the other girls; he chose you. people are drawn to each other by mutual interest, so every time you doubt your relationship with your BF think of all the things you guys have in common and what you find attractive about each other. and ask him to do the same.

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Wed, 04-21-2010 - 3:03pm

I struggle with this myself. I think a portion of the problem is not being able to forgive. Forgiving really is not the for the person who offended, but for yourself. To learn to let go of the past & accept the present for what it is. I heard a great quote from a Zencast podcast. The speaker said, "The definition of forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past."

I used to have nightmares of my H having an affair right in front of me. This stem from the fact my father having an affair so openly that when his secretary went into labor it was my mom who forced him out the door to support her. They stayed married while his secretary and a 2nd child of theirs.

I guess I had never forgiven my father and so I feared the same in my H. Then, as I've heard so many times, if you believe in something strong enough it will happen.

So after a great deal of stress & deaths in the family my H went into a depression & started on an antidepressant, which triggered a manic episode & he had an open affair. With her though, she was older, larger, less attractive. Which gave me the advantage look wise (and the mother of his children), but wow - what a blow to me as a person - my personality. THEN .... he went on anti-psychotics & did what he needed to do (quickly) to come back home. Since then I have gained weight & feel I've also lost my looks.

It's been 4 years and yet I worry constantly about who I am & how I look. Yet, he's being loving and 100% committed to our marriage & treating his manic-depression. I know, deep down, it all comes to me forgiving him AND MYSELF. I have a lot of anger toward myself for accepting his abuse. I think this is where I have the hardest time healing.

So perhaps, part of what you feel is that you have come to a point in your life where you need to let go of the past & accept the present. To find in your heart forgiveness for both him & you. His cheating had nothing to do with you. A person who cheats has a personality flaw (like cowardice) and/or perhaps a mental illness. In your case perhaps he would never have chosen one of those type of women he would come home to day after day. They are 'toys' to him. Where as a 'real' woman is somebody like yourself. Somebody trustworthy & beautiful at the same time.

Peace




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Thu, 04-22-2010 - 9:33am
you're absolutely right. i was hoping that you'd offer your two cents in this discussion. why do you think you accepted your husband's abuse?
Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Thu, 04-22-2010 - 1:53pm

There are many, many reasons.

ONE:
Some of it I didn't even realize was abuse until I reflect back. Which is sad because once I could see it I did see the warning signs even while we were dating - but was blind toward them.

As we've heard many times over, we marry our parents. I never understood this statement until my H was in mania (psychosis) & the therapist I was seeing at the time explained it something like this. I hope I can do it right.

If we do not feel we are accepted by our parents and we find a partner who carries the same traits as our parents, then we get this 'need' fulfilled. So in other words, by my H having narcissistic traits (my mother) and was raised by a single mentally ill mother as an only child who never met his own father (like my father) I was able to see I could be accepted & loved by somebody who had these traits, even if it was not my own parents.

I think all of this goes on in the subconscious.

TWO:
I was stunned, confused, etc. I had left town & all was good. Came home a week later to a totally different human being.

THREE:
This was a bad reason, but I felt a sort of ownership. Ever since I met my H I saw this side of him which hurt a great deal. I believed as long as he received unconditional love (which he didn't get from his mother) then one day that particular pain would fade & more of the good, passionate, loving side would become more strong. When my love alone was not working I knew he would have to hit bottom for real change to happen. Well, having an affair was so against the grain of this man, I knew this was his bottom. I was not willing to spend over 10 years of my life waiting for him to hit bottom for some other woman to get the benefits of him bouncing back.

FOUR:
I was raised w/o a father and I was willing to fight to have a father for my children. I remember as a child wishing my father had actually died rather than go have another family somewhere else. I knew, as my father, the guilt would be so horrendous their father would fade completely out of their lives.

FIVE:
If he didn't fade away I feared this other woman. She was an alcoholic (and as it turned out she too was in psychosis) and I just saw these two being the worst possible parental examples. This woman also could not have children on her own. She latched onto my H a week after she found out again she was not pg & her H asked for a divorce. I feared part of her attraction to my H was our children. She was adept enough to rip my marriage apart in a matter of days, what could she do to rip me out of my children's lives as well? So I was willing to do whatever needed to keep her out of their lives.

SIX:
My first reaction was a divorce. I had no money & so was seeking out legal aid. The day I was to meet with the lawyer I had this small voice coming from my belly saying, 'this is wrong.' As the day progress it got louder & louder. I tried to ignore it. I was at the lawyers waiting room, tons of people in there. I had set up a babysitter for 2 hours. After sitting in the waiting from for over an hour that voice got so loud it was screaming & I could hear nothing else. I told myself if I walked out that door I was not going to come back. I would do whatever it takes to bring my H home. I sat with the thought for about another 10 minutes, I was still not called back & knew I needed to retrieve my kids. So I asked for my money back, walked out, and decided to learn about manic-depression. I learned to not fight, just listen. I learned not to push, just wait. I learned to turn off my emotions from him. I learned to let him talk about her to me & give no judgement.

---

Wow, this was therapeutic :)




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
Tue, 04-27-2010 - 1:27pm

holly,


I completely and utterly understand how you are feeling.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Wed, 04-28-2010 - 7:55am
thank you for sharing your (husband's) story. i'm glad this was therapeutic for you, and hopefully you'll look back on what you wrote here whenever you need to. do you think you'll ever be able to forgive your husband, or yourself?
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Wed, 04-28-2010 - 7:58am
hey, lorena, welcome to the board! you've given some great advice, and i especially like the affirmations that you mentioned. would you mind if i listed them in the folder below, where someone else could read them if they needed some encouragement?
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
Thu, 04-29-2010 - 1:25pm

Glad I could help!