How Your Self-Esteem affects your Relationships

SELF-ESTEEM

How Your Self-Esteem affects your Relationships

Do you stand up for yourself in relationships? If you don’t establish boundaries no matter how nice the person you are dating is, they will cross them. The truth is that relationships take both people sacrificing and contributing time, energy, patience and love for it to work. Here is how your self-esteem affects your relationships, though you might not be aware of when or how.

First, let’s define self-esteem. This is how you feel about yourself. Do you have a positive or negative self-image? What is your self-worth like? Some people think they’re worth a billion just for smiling. Others feel their utterly worthless. Most of us fall somewhere in between this spectrum. Self-esteem should not be confused with the ego which is the deciphering of your self-importance, helping you to realize how unique and extraordinary you really are. If you have low self-esteem you are liable to think you are lucky to have your partner. But they are just as lucky to have you. You will spend all of your time catering to their needs and fail to speak up for your own needs. It will be all give and zero take. You might expect your lover to know what you want and feel disappointed when they can’t read your mind and suddenly make your desire reality.

But this isn’t living in reality. After a while pent up anger, frustration and resentment will be pointed at your lover. You will be driving away the very person you want in your life. Or else you will be the perpetual servant waiting on your lover without receiving your fair share in return. Find ways to pump up your self-esteem. Start dressing how you want others to perceive you. Believe in yourself. Outline your dreams and ways to make them a reality. Celebrate each small accomplishment and watch your self-esteem grow. Write down five things you love about yourself and refer back and reflect on those things often. Ask your lover, friends and relatives to tell you what they love about you. Write down your skills. Think about how you can use those skills to better your station in life.

Perhaps go back to school, assert yourself and ask for a raise, or quit your job and do a year volunteering in Africa. In your relationship, show parameters. Ask to get your needs met. Be polite but direct. Be patient. Show the person and tell them. If they can’t take part in an equal exchange of power and care get rid of them. Know how to establish and assert yourself or else you’ll be taken advantage of in love and all aspects of life. For more advice read, Self Confidence NOW: Proven Strategies to Instantly Improve Your Self Confidence & Boost Your Self Esteem by William Wyatt.

Don’t Marry for Love

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Don’t Marry for Love

We mostly consider those who marry for other reasons besides love sick, depraved, morally bankrupt or in some sort of unenviable position that elicits our sympathy. The truth is people marry for all kinds of reasons, not always for love. Some are trying to escape a rotten home life. Others are afraid of being single. There are those escaping poor financial prospects. And those seeking power and position, the original reason why most people tied the knot historically, procreation notwithstanding. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century that we have the idea of romantic love we have today. And the 1970’s change in divorce laws and focus on the pursuit of personal happiness that made everyone crazy to marry for love. But perhaps our standards for what love and romance are are too high? Are our expectations getting in the way of true marital bliss? People who marry for companionship may marry for a better reason than love. And oftentimes their relationship and their marriage remain stronger because of the lack of elevated expectations.

Of course love is an important human emotion. No one is saying not to marry for love. But there has to be other things to consider. Is this person kind and considerate? Do they really care about you? Do they have any destructive behaviors that will hurt you, themselves or tear down the marriage? Be realistic when choosing a mate. If you are running off for love but everyone in your life is telling you it is a mistake, do some soul searching. Look into your heart of hearts. Is there some reason why things won’t work out? Remember that love changes. People grow and change over time. Marriage is supposed to be forever. But you really don’t know what storms your marriage will weather. As quickly as it comes over you, love may leave. It could be one reason why they have drive-through wedding chapels in Las Vegas. Love is a great motivator. But common interests, common values, a great sense of humor, excellent communication, trust, and respect are all qualities to consider in a mate as well. If you are marrying someone forever they should definitely possess all of these qualities for the relationship to survive and thrive. For more advice read, 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy.

The Most Expensive Weddings Lead to the Shortest Marriages

ENGAGEMENT-RING

The Most Expensive Weddings Lead to the Shortest Marriages

The price on weddings has risen significantly in recent years. So-called “normal” couples today incorporate detailed websites, photo booths and giant ice sculptures into their marriages, and even throw weekend-long events. The industry likes to marry the idea of love and commitment with how much is spent. But although most of us scour the plan looking for ways of saving a few dollars, some wish money was no object. They secretly drool over celebrity-style affairs in exotic locales, taking place in lavish venues where so many luxuries abound their guests’ heads spin. We dream of becoming a part of what looks like modern day royalty. But be careful what you wish for. All of that style may be hiding a lack of substance, according to a study out of Emory University. You would think those who shell out the most mean it the most. But this study found the opposite to be true. The most expensive weddings lead to the shortest marriages. Two economics professors came to this conclusion. They also found that the higher the price-tag for the engagement ring, the greater the likelihood of divorce.

3,000 participants, married only one time, took part in this study. They found that those men who spent $500 to $2,000 were 1.3 times less likely to get divorced than those who spent $2,000 and $4,000. Those who spent $5,000 to $10,000 on the wedding were 3.5 times less likely to get divorced than those who shelled out over $20,000. In an email to Big Think researchers wrote, “Advertising has fueled the norm that spending large amounts on the engagement ring and wedding is an indication of commitment or is helpful for a marriage to be successful.” Though they’ve found a correlation, determining causation is far trickier. The economists surmise that such a big event inflates the expectations of the marriage. The couple is enchanted into the notion that things are going to be easy from here on out. Both parties have unrealistic expectations which undermine reconciliation when the couple hits a stumbling block. Those who have a more moderately priced affair have a level-headed view and so are ready when the inevitable difficulties arise.

No matter how much you plunk down for your wedding, there are some qualities that can be sustained by both parties to give the marriage the best chance of success. The first is to focus on the positive rather than the negative. There are little things that will inevitably drive you crazy. But if you can remember how supportive and understanding they are, you can perhaps overlook the hair they leave in the shower drain or that they are never once on-time. Invest in your relationship. This could be time, energy or thoughtfulness. But you get out of a marriage what you put into it. Communicate clearly and make sure you understand what your spouse has said or is saying. Lots of fights boil down to miscommunication. Fight smart. If you hurt your partner but win the argument, have you really won? Learn to let the little things go. And find ways to increase your closeness and strengthen your bond. For more on how to achieve marital success read, Strong Marriage, Happy Life: The Core Principles of a Successful Marriage and How to Make Your Marriage Work by Sonya Dawson.

Why Staying Together for the Kids is a Bad Idea

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Why Staying Together for the Kids is a Bad Idea

Trying to stick together for the children, even after you’ve done everything possible to resurrect your marriage, usually just makes things worse. Even when the children are shielded from the arguments, they can sense the hostility like a tense fog over the house. Some kids even report feeling relieved when hearing of their parent’s divorce, the opposite of what we picture would happen, begging them to stay together. But having things appear to be working and having them actually working are two different things. You can’t hide the truth from them. They live there, too. And they know, already. Kids have an incredible beat on what’s happening with their parents. It’s some sort of natural inclination. But to deny it is to insult their intelligence. Children also model their romantic relationships after their parents. If you stay together without any longer feeling love, commitment or any tender feelings at all towards one another, what kind of message are you sending them? Will they do the same in their future marriages or relationships? Don’t you want them to be happy and follow that happiness, wherever it may lead? If you stick together, your sacrifice is wasted. In fact, it is doing more harm than good.

There are lots of considerations when getting a divorce. There is the financial burden, which everyone will endure, including the children. It can be hard in a variety of ways. There is telling them, the possibility of moving and putting them in a new school, custody battles, and fights over asset allocation, child support and alimony. The average divorce lasts somewhere in the vicinity of six months. The most hotly debated and contentious can take years. For those in no financial condition to divorce, a separation until the means for a simple divorce can be arranged may be the best answer.  Some worry about the stigma. But today, divorce is so common the stigma has virtually evaporated. What generally happens when it is all over, or at least when a new pattern settles in, is things get better. Without living in a contentious household, the kids feel more secure. They will relax and be themselves. More focus will now be placed on them instead of on the elephant in the room. Parents can also feel that they are being upfront with their children, and the kids won’t feel lied to. There are also lots of life lessons being portrayed that can carry over into their love lives, once they grow up. Children learn to have realistic expectations for relationships, love and marriage. Too many people today have some sort of Disneyesque vision, skewing their expectations. They just are not realistic when it comes to love and relationships in the real world. But children of divorce see past all that. They are also less likely to jump into a committed relationship without thinking about it, and who with.

A divorce helps children see their parents as people. They see their parents in many different roles; sometimes as a worker, of course as a parent, a friend, child, and a sibling and when they start dating again, as a partner to someone else. In other words, the kids don’t take their vision of their parents for granted. They also recognize more closely that their parents are flawed, or to put it a better way, human. But children who see their parent’s marriage as an ideal to be lived up to, suddenly cannot choose what their heart wants. They keep chasing an ideal that they will never catch instead of the reality of love that is before them. Everyone has to find someone right for them. And those two people have to develop a relationship that works for their particular personalities. But when we try to bend a relationship to match some unrealistic ideal, things are bound to run in to trouble.

Children can see their parents more as people who have hopes, dreams, flaws and regrets. They also gather insight into how bad relationships operate and how good relationships work. Usually, parents get into other long-term relationships after divorce, or get remarried. So instead of focusing on having children coming from a “broken home,” realize that if your house is full of contention, either explicit or implicit, it is affecting the children far more negatively than you think. It’s best instead to have the courage to move on with your life, embrace who you are and after you heal, allow yourself to love again. These are great lessons to pass onto your children. They will learn to be brave, and go forth in the world to find the love that they deserve, the kind that is right for them. To learn how to operate and move forward when you have kids and a separation is looming read, The Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can Thrive by Robert Emery.

The Things You Learn from a Breakup

signs trouble

The Things You Learn from a Breakup

Breaking up is so painful, and being dumped, that’s the worst. But once you are over those negative emotions you will come to see that it all happened for a reason. Remember that things happen to even the best laid plans, and things usually happen this way because they are meant to. Now you know what it is you want and how to make a relationship work, which you can take into making your next relationship so much better. The most important elements are those you can take away with you and make your life healthier. Here are some things you learn from a breakup. You learn that it takes two people to have a relationship. If one person is engaged and the other person has checked out it simply will not work. Lots of times you’ll look back and wonder why you tried so hard to please the other person without realizing that the other person wasn’t giving back what you were putting into things. Next you learn that it’s important not to put all of your eggs in one basket. You have to be independent and self-sufficient. You never know what’s going to happen. But you can always count on yourself. So keep your finances separate and always know what you would do the next time you are in a relationship if it suddenly ends. That doesn’t mean to be paranoid, just realistic.

Remember that love is a verb. It’s a constant unfolding. You can’t force someone to unfold with you, nor can someone force you. It has to be a natural process that both parties take part in. Don’t think someone is going to change and suddenly wake up and step to. It’s not going to happen. The only person you can truly change in this world is yourself. You can either love someone with the faults they have, or you can’t. Don’t try to mold the perfect person, or even find the perfect person. Just find someone who is perfect for you. Remember to embrace yourself, even in a relationship. Explore your own interests and hobbies, and hang out with your own friends. Validation and happiness are internal, not external. Of course we all seek validation. It’s only natural. But it should come from deep within yourself. Loving the idea of being in a relationship and loving the person you are in a relationship with are two different things. Learn to know and recognize the difference. The heart heals. That’s the best thing about humans, we are resilient. Remember that you will find someone else, perhaps someone who fits you better. Remember that being single is in the end so much better, easier, more peaceful and fulfilling than being with the wrong person. Your well-being is more important than anything else. Focus on yourself, heal, and find yourself again. For more advice, read He Broke Up With You For A Reason: How to Learn from Your Mistakes, Grow Stronger and Move On to a Hotter, Smarter Guy by Amy Banks.