May 30th: Validation and Self-Esteem

May 30th-

In the past it was easy for me to let my self-esteem rest on someone else’s validation.

A quality I learned growing up in a gregarious and charismatic family, where each and everyone of us, fought to be the “most sought after child” by our parents who loved to pit us against each other believing sibling rivalry would only improve our chances of being successful.

We learned to excel at school, sports, music, wit, in hopes that we would be perceived as the best of the group and each time we waited for validation from our mother or father, and failed to receive it, somewhere inside, we began to feel “less than” no matter how bright and beautiful we appeared on the outside.

Today I still struggle with validation: wanting someone to like me and believing if they don’t there is something ultimately wrong with me.

When my husband left me for another woman my first thought was: I’m not thin enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not talented enough. If I had done things differently, if I had tried harder, if I had been more perfect… he wouldn’t have left and I would have continued to receive validation from him.

The truth though… is it had nothing to do with his validation at all: The validation I so long for needs to come from me.

I have to believe I have worth.

And if I don’t… no matter how many people tell me I’m bright and beautiful… I will never accept it… never receive enough praise… because inside I will still be rejecting myself.

“Dear God, help me to believe that I am worthy of love. Help me to be the best person I can be today and accept that I am loveable just as I am.”

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9 thoughts on “May 30th: Validation and Self-Esteem

  1. Your words resonate within my own sense of how I see myself. This is what I need to learn…learn how to validate and love myself deep within, so that I no longer rely on someone else to let me know that I am everything I need to be, that I am good enough. I am on that path…but it is not an easy one to navigate when the old patterns are so ingrained within my perception of self. I recognize it is tied to the work I must do to grieve my divorce…. but at times it just seems to be an overwhelming flood of “messiness”. I look forward to a day when things become clearer and gentler.

      • Validation and self-esteem I believe are a lifelong struggle. I want to be able to appreciate a compliment but not have it define me and I want to be able to handle a criticism, and see if it may provide a chance for spiritual growth, while not allowing it to chip away at my self-esteem. Over the years it has become easier to do so… but at times… I can still be triggered 🙂

  2. Its been almost a year since my husband said he wanted out of our marriage. I am still bombarded with feelings of low self worth, even now I’ve come to the conclusion in my mind that the OW is prettier, thinner, funnier and that I just handed my husband over on a silver platter. I didn’t confront the OW even though other people say I should have and that confrontation would have ended things. I don’t think it would have made a difference. I am having a harder time understanding how just one year ago I was the love of his life, his soulmate the one he couldn’t live without to now being treated as if we haven’t spent the last 12 years together. Out of all the people in his life, he treats me the worse. I gave up everything to be a supportive and loving wife. And none of that matters. I am so hurt and my emotions are all over the place. His baby with OW will be here any day now. I don’t know how I will handle that. I am begging God to strengthen me but I sometimes feel like my cries are being ignored.My self esteem is so deep in the ground that I am afraid I won’t be able to get it back.

    • First Kae let me say… I am so sorry. I know what you are feeling and I have experienced it first hand. As far as confronting the OW… I believe you were right not to do so… it would not have changed the situation. It would have worked you up, upset you, you would have acted from your lower spiritual self and that always brings pain… I know that after twenty years of being loyal to my husband, he tended to be “worse” to me after leaving me for his OW because he had a lot of guilt about the choices he made and so…. he “kicked the cat” … me. BUT that did not stop him from leaving. It is not about you… it is not about her…. it is about him, his brokeness… his own self-esteem that is in need of validation.

      My own ex-husband has replayed all of the same hurts with his new wife and believe me… no matter what the past brought, even though she was once the OW… I have enough spiritual growth these days to feel empathy for her pain and I hope that she now has some spiritual growth related to her own past actions.

      You will get your self-esteem back.. I promise you… and there will come a day when you will say to yourself “Why did I hold on so tightly?” But not today…. it takes time… you are grieving the loss of your relationship, your husband, and your identity that was tied to both.

      My life today is so much better with my ex-husband as my friend and not as my husband, Kae.

      And most important: I want you to have someone that sees your value and worth… who understands how precious and wonderful you are and how beautiful it is to build something long term with someone who loves and cares so much.

      I’m here for you. D.

  3. It took me some time to realize my value and self-esteem are not tied to my ex – I deferred to him much of the time and soaked in all those charming complements — which of course turned to the exact opposite once the divorce decision started.
    I do care very much about what others think too, have been overly conscientious about what others will think ( and am I good enough) and tended to rely on their validation for my “worth”.
    Always trying to be so careful that everyone would like me.
    I’m finally balancing these things with the realization that I have to believe in “me” and make the best, thoughtful decisions that I can. And it’s okay to take care if myself …

  4. Thank you so much , D. You have no idea how much I value your help, wisdom and kindness.
    This is such hard work every day but I’m determined to see “the other side.” I sometimes fall back in feelings of despair but it’s not taking quite as long to dust myself off and keep trying.

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