Whether you’re married or dating someone, a good relationship is reliant on many influential factors. Let’s talks about two significant factors here: the confidence and self-esteem of both partners. Relationships that have these two elements are more than likely to be healthy and satisfying to both partners involved. Yet, if one of you suffers from poor self-esteem, the potential for difficulties in your relationship is vast.

For the sake of healthy relationships, you need to be able to spot the potential signs of self-doubt in yourself. If you or your partner aren’t that confident or continually struggle with issues of self-esteem, you’ll need to address this head-on.

How Poor Self Esteem Can Lead to Difficulties in a Relationship

There are several problems which can arise in a relationship as a direct result of low self-esteem:

1.You Affect Your Partner with Negativity

There’s no denying that spending time with a person who has continued low self-esteem will begin to affect even the most confident of people. If you find yourself in a relationship whereby your partner suffers from crippling low self-esteem, each day can feel heavy, leaving you weighed down with their feelings of self-doubt. This is particularly so if you’re the type of person who feeds off the others energy, and this energy is consistently negative.

Naturally, a couple in a relationship will, over time, begin to reflect one another. Therefore, if one person is low and depressed, then ultimately this will be portrayed by the other person. It may not happen instantly, instead of building over time, and it may not be immediately noticeable. However, if both partners begin to have increased doubts about themselves and the other, the relationship can become consumed by prolonged negativity and doubt.

2.You Unknowingly Sabotage Your Relationship

If one of the partners lack self-esteem they may often feel as though they aren’t worthy. For example, if they’ve been traumatized in the past by a particularly lousy break-up, especially if they were cheated on, their self-esteem may be suffering directly because of this.

This can lead to one partner almost convincing themselves that they aren’t worthy of the others love and that, at some point, he or she will inevitably cheat on them because it’s happened before. This type of low self-esteem is toxic to any relationship but, when it’s left to build over time, can make it difficult for the sufferer to see anything past it. Therefore, when left unchecked, it can be the ultimate destroyer of a great relationship, thereby only continuing that cycle of low self-esteem. You see the pattern.

3.You Develop the Mentality of a Victim

The victim mentality is a mindset created by those who have encountered an unfortunate incident in the past but refuse to let themselves mentally move on from it. Though it’s understandably hard to build up confidence after traumatic events, it can have a knock-on effect, which one may not entirely be aware of. This means that the victim blames everyone or everything else other than themselves for anything that happens after that.

Worst of all, once one enters this mindset, they rarely take the initiative to work on empowering themselves, thus remaining stranded as the victim.

When this mindset prevails in a relationship, it’s potent and is one of the easiest ways to push a partner away. Though some partners may be tolerant and initially sympathetic about your experience, over time if they continue to see you doing nothing to help your cause, they may well begin to pull away from you.

4.You Increase the Risk of Panic and Anxiety Attacks

A partner suffering from low self-esteem may begin to question every word their other half says, examining all conversations and looking for some hidden meaning. Over time, this can lead to panic attacks as, at its worst, the one with low self-esteem will begin to pull away from their network of friends and family and, finally, their partner. By closing themselves off this way, when they do have to face something head-on, the potential for crippling panic attacks will present itself.

Re-Building Your Self-Esteem and Confidence

Even if you recognize that you might experience some low self-esteem in your life, I want you to know that all is not lost. If you recognize such symptoms in your relationship, there are ways to work on overcoming them. The first thing to do though is to be open and honest with yourself and your partner about how you’re feeling. Then, when you have somebody you love and trust backing your corner, you’ll feel more empowered and more likely to want to take control of the situation, working on improving the underlying causes of your low self-esteem. This way you can work towards a stronger and stable relationship – the type which you both thoroughly deserve.


  • Marisa Peer

    celebrity therapist, best-selling author and pioneering hypnotherapy trainer.

    World renowned speaker, Rapid Transformational Therapy trainer and best-selling author. Marisa has nearly three decades of experience as a therapist and has been named Best British Therapist by Men's Health magazine and featured in Tatler's Guide to Britain's 250 Best Doctors. Marisa uses her experience of treating clients including rock stars, CEOs, elite Olympic athletes, royalty and Oscar-winning actors to inform her life-changing speeches and lectures. She has been voted best speaker at numerous conferences including The Mastermind Group London and the Women in Business Superconference, Awesomeness Fest 2015 and The Royal Society of Medicine. Marisa is the founder of Marisa Peer Method School, teaching her unique hypnotherapy method to audiences in London, Canada, the US and Australia.