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November 21, 2017 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Love

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Low self-esteem after divorce

Question:

I was married for a brief amount of time, when my husband left me and our child. He left stating that he no longer wanted to be married because it got in the way of his goals. I was a good wife and mother and tried hard to make him change his mind and stay, but to no avail. He left and served me divorce papers shortly after.

In the past 3 years after being divorced, we have been intimate every 3 or 4 months. He would fondle me, try to get me to have sex, and flatter me with compliments of how he missed me and my body, etc. I'm ashamed to say I participated in his games and let him get away with way too much. After all, HE left ME and should have NO RIGHT to have any sexual contact with me. The whole time that he had been this way with me, he had a girlfriend. To this day I cannot figure out why he wanted to continue having intimate relations with me if he had a girlfriend. I recently found out he was getting married to this girl and now I feel very pissed and deceived by him. (He kept telling me he didn't have a girlfriend while we were getting intimate.).

As a result of all this, I feel that my self-esteem has taken a turn for the worse. I feel I have betrayed myself by getting intimate with my ex-husband and letting him get away with all this. And I feel low because he left me to marry another girl. As if I wasn't good enough for him, but she is. My question is how can I not let this whole thing hurt my self-image and self-esteem? And how can I keep from feeling so angry and hurt by him?

Annie, 26-year-old woman

Answer:

I know a man, in fact he was involved with a personal friend of mine, who had six or seven relationships (including my friend). He had eight or nine children (luckily none by my friend). In each case, he soon left the woman, on whom he started cheating as soon as she had their child. Give the jerk another year or two until she's pregnant, and he'll be back at your door as well as any other one he can scratch on.

For yourself, get into counseling to look at why you'd be in such a self-defeating relationship. There probably are real reasons you picked somebody who would use you that way. My guess is that it has to do with your own childhood and probably your relationship with your father. Of course, I can't read minds over the computer; but I wonder how desperate you were to get your father's approval, which was probably totally unavailable for whatever reason having nothing to do with you. But, again, that is a guess based on my clinical experience not on you.

Don't go to a therapist who'll help you with your "self-esteem". Such a therapist will only become another daddy for you to please. Go to someone who'll focus on the selfishness of the men in your life and your anger about having to please them.

Good luck!

Ken Weene

This question was answered by Kenneth A. Weene. Ken Weene is a graduate of The Institute For Advance Psychological Studies at Adelphi University is a licensed psychologist practicing on Long Island, New York. His orientation is holistic and eclectic. In addition to a variety of contributions to the professional literature, Dr. Weene has published a number of poems. Before entering private practice, he directed Children, Adolescent, and Family Services for The Counseling Service of The Long Island Council of Churches. Ken's central belief is that life is a gift to be experienced, enjoyed, and celebrated. He knows that this is sometimes difficult in the face of physical, emotional, and other forms of distress and sees his goal as helping people to find their inner peace and joy in the face of stress and anguish.

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