My low self esteem caused most of my problems with my wife. Yes, it turns out that she has very severe mental health issues that make her an extremely difficult person to deal with. I did not know about any of her issues at the time. It is only years later where the truth comes out.
But just because a person is mentally ill does not give them the right to hurt someone else.
And she hurt me. It was beyond hurt. It was near total destruction.
My low self esteem caused me to get with her in the first place, to put up with her nonsense through most of our marriage and to stay with her so long even after I knew my only choice was to leave.
I did not think highly enough of myself to recognize that she was destroying me and that in order to save myself, I had to leave.
My low self esteem told me to stay, to take it, to tolerate her verbal abuse, that I did not matter.
It was only after leaving her, did I start to understand all this and how important a person’s self esteem is. And now, reflecting back on my life I see that the good things in my life have been caused by times, moments or episodes of having higher self esteem.
When dealing with my wife, why did I give in to her so much? Why did I let her push me around so much? Why, when I knew what to do, did I do what she wanted to anyway? Why could I not get my way hardly at all during our time together? Why wasn’t I strong enough?
My low self esteem.
I think maybe I was afraid of losing her and that if I just did what she wanted, she would be happy with me.
Maybe these sad examples will show you how by caving into her, it showed I had low self esteem.
My Low Self Esteem Failure Number One - Buying Our First House
We started looking for housed before we were married. Now, I don't even think about houses, knowing they are mostly a scam, designed to extract maximum money from you.
But, back then, I believed in them.
I was looking for houses in the $40,000 to $65,000 range back in 1993. This would give us a large, old home in a rough neighborhood or a smaller, slightly newer house in a better neighborhood.
Of course, houses like this were not that great, even nearly 25 years ago. The neighborhoods were seedy, dirty, feelings of crime in the air and the houses were all old, small, with poor layouts and needing lots of work.
But that was my price range. I knew I could easily afford this amount because I had the 20 % down ($13,000 at $65,000) and the PMI would be less than what I was paying for rent.
I knew the calculation inside and out.
But my fiance wanted to look at bigger, nicer, newer homes.
She saw how bad these homes were and wanted something better.
I tried resisting looking at higher priced homes because she was in beauty school at the time, having quit both her part-time jobs to attend a few months ago. She was living with me by then in my apartment and had no income.
I was doing my calculations assuming that I would be paying for everything. This was the fall of 1993 at the time and she would not be done with school until December 1994, over a year away. So I knew how much I wanted to spend. I did not want to go to the upper limits of what I could afford.
Plus, I was going to have to pay for the wedding and I wanted to keep some money in reserve.
I did not really understand the importance of having a working wife at that time. I figured that she would work, just as soon as she could.
She talked me into buying a much nicer house that cost $82,500.
I needed to ask my parents for the extra cash to make the down payment. Then I had no money and used up all the credit I had to pay for the wedding. I have been struggling with money ever since.
My Low Self Esteem Failure Number 2 - Home Remodeling
Part of the reason I got talked into the more expensive home was that my wife, or fiance at the time, said it would not need any work. That was a massive mistake.
Look at the list of remodeling and improvements I did all at her insistence:
Now, to be fair, some of these items I wanted too. Many of these things are needed no matter if you rent or buy or get pushed into them. I am just pointing out the massive amount of money I spent on all this.
Money I did not have. Money that was far in excess of what I made. Money that she did not make.
I financed the vast majority of this, even though I knew it was a bad idea.
My Low Self Esteem Failure Number 3 - Real Estate Investing
I wanted to buy a rental duplex. I looked at all kinds of rental property, attended real estate seminars, read real estate books and talked to other investors. I figured that real estate would be a great part-time business for me. I loved all this at the time.
I found a good place that I thought would be a good start. It was in a bad neighborhood, but not the worst. It needed work, but not as much as other places I had viewed. It was not the cheapest place I saw, but it was in my price range.
I worked out all the calculations just as the real estate experts described. I studied and re-studied the numbers. I had my maximum walk away offer firmly in mind.
When we went to the realtor to make the offer, my wife and the realtor talked me into offering a higher price for the property than my calculations showed it would be worth. If I would have got it at the price I wanted it would have been a good deal. If the sellers would have refused my offer, no big deal either. I would keep looking. Of course, the sellers sold it to me at very close to what they were asking. I was strapped for cash again and all the extra money I had set aside for repairs and Improvements I had to use for the down payment.
My Low Self Esteem Failure Number 4 - My Wife's Business
I wanted to just rent out the duplex to tenants. I had planned to fix it up as needed and make repairs as I went. The place was in a run-down area of the city but still the rents were high enough that could make some money, pay the bills and provide decent housing to people who needed it. I did not to spend a lot of time there, just enough to make it livable.
My wife got the idea to run a day care at the duplex. This I did not want at all.
She kept pushing me for fancier upgrades and better improvements for her day care center. I wanted to spend less on all that. She got her way on the upgrades. Plus, she always wanted to go there with our baby son to help me and watch me while I was working. I work better alone, not with someone criticizing my every move and having to watch out all the time for a crawling baby and have to do everything on baby time.
She wanted to go their every day with our baby son to run the day care center. I had no intention of letting her take our baby to this part of town every day. We already had a nice house in a nice part of town. In order to stop this I sold the duplex. I did sell at a higher price, but it did not gain enough to pay back the credit I used to pay for all the work. It did not work out very well financially for me.
Low Self Esteem Makes You a Follower
All these are examples of how I was not strong enough to stand up to my wife. My low self esteem did not allow me to do what I knew was the right thing for me. I knew what was right. But I did what she wanted anyway.
If you are being verbally abused, start reading. Here are a few sources to get you started -
My Low Self Esteem and Verbal Abuse
In the years before I left her she was verbally abusing me. I just took it. The verbal abuse I suffered through only made my self esteem worse. Being criticized does not help a person, it only destroys them.
She was like a wrecking ball slowly swinging back and forth destroying whoever gets in her way.
That was my story. That was my life. That was my awakening.
My gift to you is this story. Learn from it. You have to only do what is best for you.
I have been steadily working my way out of this low self esteem problem for years now. It is working. I feel better and better about myself every day. I am happier than I have ever been.
The good thing if you are suffering from low self esteem is that there is help, there is guidance.
You don’t have to suffer alone. I raised my low self esteem. You can raise yours.
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