Your relationship seemed so right, but now you’re having doubts. You feel like your partner isn’t 100% behind you. They are preying upon your insecurity, making you feel vulnerable. Could your partner be killing your self-esteem?
If you’re feeling like this is happening to you, it may be time to step back and evaluate your relationship with this person.
Check out these 12 signs that point to your partner killing your self-esteem.
If your partner makes you feel wrong about everything, you probably also feel a drop in self-esteem. Here are the indicators that you should re-evaluate your relationship.
Controls everything in the relationship
If your partner makes every decision without consulting you, that’s a sign your relationship may be breaking down. When your partner feels the need to control the budget, the bills, the household decisions, it means they don’t trust your opinions or care what you think. They are, in essence, saying you have no voice in the relationship like you’re don’t existent. They aren’t interested in you but need to feel powerful and in control.
According to one NIH study, this behavior is a classic red flag in a relationship. In some partnerships, this need for control can morph into physical abuse down the road.
Please take note of what’s going on, because it looks like your relationship is headed for failure.
No effort to encourage you
In a strong and healthy relationship, two people work together to make their relationship secure. When one partner isn’t contributing to the relationship, it’s noticeable. A partner who doesn’t show interest and doesn’t encourage you is withholding love. Encouragement means the person loves you and wants you to thrive. Lack of support is a sign your partner doesn’t genuinely care for you.
Doesn’t try to understand
Does it ever feel as if you’re speaking to the air when you’re trying to communicate with your partner? Do they seem to care less about what you’re saying? Perhaps they don’t try to understand your feelings but brush them aside. You may feel like you should keep your opinions to yourself because they won’t know what you’re telling them, anyway. You may feel less confident in yourself.
According to NIH, this lack of confidence is a symptom that you are losing your self-esteem. Over time, it can worsen if you don’t regain control of your life.
Ask your partner a few questions, such as the following:
- You don’t seem interested in me, is something wrong?
- Does our connection mean anything to you anymore?
- Why aren’t you not listening to me?
If they respond humbly to your questions, that’s a good sign. But if they are defensive and try to push back at your concerns saying you’re imagining things, they aren’t being honest about how they feel. You may not get a straight answer out of them.
Talks down to you like you’re a kid.
There’s nothing worse than seeing one partner talk down to the other like they’re a little kid. No reasonable adult likes to be treated like a child. When one partner mocks or belittles their partner in public, it’s embarrassing. You feel demeaned and worthless. If your partner speaks to you in this way, they aren’t showing you the proper respect you deserve.
Demeans you, even in front of other people
When a partner treats you like you’re below them, it’s humiliating. They act like you’re in their way, almost a burden to the relationship. This treatment makes you feel insecure and unsure of how to respond. You lose your confidence in yourself. Studies found that when one partner is emotionally abusive, it causes an immediate relational breakdown. Demeaning your partner is not a sign of love, it’s a sign of a dying relationship.
Shows conditional love
If you feel as if you need to earn your partner’s love and approval, it can cause you to feel as if you are not good enough for them. You begin to work hard to keep the peace, trying to do the right things. This behavior does not indicate a healthy relationship. Your partner is acting unloving towards you. Don’t settle for a relationship where you need to perform to be loved. You deserve to be loved for who you are, not what you can do.
Criticizes your every move
A critical partner corrects everything you do. They don’t like the way you cook, how you dress, or wear your hair. You’re never good enough for them. They treat you with disrespect, making you feel like you’re inadequate as a person and a partner. They make you feel unappreciated and unloved. A relationship with a critical person steals your confidence. You begin to feel like you can’t do anything right. This red flag is a sign your self-esteem is dying. You must start to stand up for yourself and stop allowing your partner to kill your confidence.
Blames everything on you
Blameshifting is blaming someone or something for your failures. When your partner refuses to take responsibility for their actions, blaming you instead, it ruins your feelings of being loved. Blameshifting is abusive. If your partner blameshifts you, don’t stand for it. This habit isn’t normal behavior in a loving relationship. You must refuse to be blamed for things you didn’t do.
You feel trapped by your relationship.
If you’re beginning to feel trapped in your relationship instead of feeling loved and appreciated, it might be the ideal time to step back and evaluate. Feeling trapped causes you to lose confidence in yourself. You feel vulnerable and unable to control what’s happening. Find a trusted friend to talk to about what’s going on in your life. If you need expert advice, seek the aid of a professional therapist.
Won’t listen to your thoughts
If your partner refuses to hear your concerns about your relationship, it’s a bad sign. Being shut down and denied the chance to talk out your thoughts is frustrating. Are you making excuses to stay away from your partner? Do you avoid them because it’s so stressful? You must decide next if you want to continue exposing yourself to the abuse of this unhealthy relationship.
Looking at others or flirting
When your partner stares or flirts with others in front of you, it’s a sign of their lack of love. It shows you that you aren’t enough and they don’t care if you know it. It’s outright disrespectful. You should not have to deal with this kind of insult, don’t allow yourself to live with someone who acts like this. Tell your partner you’re disappointed in their behavior. If they admit it and apologize, that’s good. But if they deny or minimize your concerns by saying you’re just overreacting, then it’s probably time to work your way out of this relationship. No one deserves this kind of disrespect.
Preventing you from following your dreams
If your partner crushes your dreams, they aren’t a loving person. They don’t care for your thoughts or ideas. They may feel competitive and want to push you back because they’re jealous of your successes. This kind of attitude eats away at your self-esteem and self-confidence. You feel like giving up your dreams. Don’t allow your partner to steal your joy and happiness. You deserve to pursue your dreams and enjoy your successes. A healthy, loving relationship involves the encouragement of the other person’s accomplishments. It means having someone in your corner to encourage and help you.
Final Thoughts on Looking After Your Self-esteem
If you sense your relationship is crushing your self-esteem, it may be time to re-evaluate your commitment. Living with a partner’s criticalness, demanding language, and blame-shifting isn’t right for you. Don’t allow yourself to feel trapped. You have a choice, even if your partner makes you feel like you don’t. You are strong and able to make your own choices.
Remove yourself from this toxic relationship and begin the healing process. Talk to a trusted friend or counselor to help your self-esteem recover. Begin discovering who you are as in an individual. Renew your dreams and find joy again in your life. You deserve to be happy and have a healthy, loving relationship.