How to boost his confidence...

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How to boost his confidence...

Peggi Peggi
So I've been with my boyfriend/husband-figu re for quite a while now, and we have had our ups and downs. Typically, men in relationships constantly argue that they wish their female partners would have more confidence, but, for the most part we have this as a reverse role.

When we first met (online) he had no confidence whatsoever. After meeting, it boosted slightly. Now, he seems to be stuck in this rut, feeling he is inadequate.

I would really love a way to boost his confidence about his physical appearance, but I've never had to deal with this issue before with the guys. The women I've dated have had this issue but for me it was easier to handle because, as a woman, I could figure out ways to help them. In this case, I'm clueless.

ANYONE out there have ANY suggestions?!

I've suggested we diet together, but that just upsets him more because he doesn't have the ability to stick with a diet routine, and he doesn't want me "going anorexic", as he feels I'm already too thin (really, I'm not, but he thinks so) and I've already purchased him new clothes which helped a lot. I constantly tell him how sexy he is and how lucky I am...

But I just don't know what to do.

I even gave up modeling for the most part, so that I wouldn't be around the guys I used to do shoots with. He CLAIMS they are better looking than he is, but I have never found male models attractive.

Help?
10/10/2011
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Ansley Ansley
You can't give him self-confidence, he has to create it on his own. A small success in anything he finds worthy or that makes him feel better about himself will do more good than a million compliments from you. I know it hurts that your efforts seem to fall on deaf ears and that if he should believe anyone, it should be you. But, that's the problem. It is coming from you---you're biased. Of course, you love him. Of course, you think he is sexy and attractive. But, I think what he's looking for is an outsider to tell him how awesome he is for something that he has done well.
10/10/2011
indiglo indiglo
I was going to say the exact same thing. You can't give someone else confidence, they have to build it from the inside out. I can appreciate what you are trying to do, and it's very loving... but sadly, I really don't think it will work the way you want it to.
10/10/2011
- Kira - - Kira -
What everyone else has said. I used to have low confidence as well and I just had to build it up on my own. I found things I was good at and told myself how proud I was of me everyday. It finally sunk in and now I have high self esteem. If anything, maybe you can nudge him (gently) to see a therapist who can help guide him with some self talk. That seems to be one of the best ways to boost confidence levels.
10/10/2011
Ciao. Ciao.
Have you considered suggesting a therapist? That might be what he needs to start seeing himself in a more positive light. Otherwise just keep working at him, maybe ask him what things you can do to boost his self-confidence. Maybe there is something unexpected that would help him feel better. Worth a try at least.
10/10/2011
Nashville Nashville
Well. You offered to diet together instead of making him comfortable with how he is now. If you want to feel good about yourself would you rather have someone say, "wow, do I love your body" instead, "you know, you'd be perfect if you changed this by altering that" ??? Men and women aren't that much different when it comes to our egos, they both get bruised. We will never be confident with ourselves if the people we're with aren't comfortable with how we are.
10/10/2011
domsub1993 domsub1993
I think it's so sweet that you would post this for him. I wish I had some advice for you.
10/10/2011
Peggi Peggi
Quote:
Originally posted by Nashville
Well. You offered to diet together instead of making him comfortable with how he is now. If you want to feel good about yourself would you rather have someone say, "wow, do I love your body" instead, "you know, you'd be perfect if ...
I love him the way he is, he's the one who says that he needed to lose weight. Actually, he kept talking about wanting to go to the gym and lose all the extra weight and everything, and I said I'd go with him (I'm the one who drives) but I hoped he wasn't trying to become one of those really skinny guys or look like a body builder - I am so turned off by that look on men. I like a little extra.

He kept saying no, he just wanted to look healthy, which I was supportive of. He just isn't motivated to accomplish what he wants to.
10/10/2011
Peggi Peggi
Quote:
Originally posted by Ciao.
Have you considered suggesting a therapist? That might be what he needs to start seeing himself in a more positive light. Otherwise just keep working at him, maybe ask him what things you can do to boost his self-confidence. Maybe there is ...
I have. He says he isn't worth the money. That's his reason for my literally having to force him to get his eyes checked for new glasses. And get his impacted wisdom teeth out. Or his jaw fixed.
10/10/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by Peggi
I have. He says he isn't worth the money. That's his reason for my literally having to force him to get his eyes checked for new glasses. And get his impacted wisdom teeth out. Or his jaw fixed.
I had to do the same thing with the glasses, and I'm still working on getting him back to the dentist. My husband seems to feel similarly to your guy, and even after years it's still hard to get him to have much of any confidence. He's incredibly supportive of me, but years of emotional abuse from exes has made it hard for him to accept somebody genuinely caring about him. It's hard, and all I've been able to do is just love and support him and that seems to be helping. That and encouraging him to try things out and doing my best to help him believe that if he fails somewhat at something that he's not a total failure. The weight thing is an issue for us too. He's not overweight by any means, but he thinks that he has a big belly and that he is generally unattractive. Coming from me, anything else seems biased it seems like, but my advice on that is to encourage him to do what he wants to get healthier or in better shape for him because he wants to and not because he thinks you want him to.

I reread that a few times, and I hope it makes sense, but if it doesn't I'll do my best to clarify
10/11/2011
Peggi Peggi
Quote:
Originally posted by Jul!a
I had to do the same thing with the glasses, and I'm still working on getting him back to the dentist. My husband seems to feel similarly to your guy, and even after years it's still hard to get him to have much of any confidence. He's ...
Sorry to hear that you have the same situation! Are you sure your husband isn't traveling to Maryland between the hours of 6pm and 6am EST? LOL. Yeah, it can be tough, and his parents didn't help any either! They pretty much ignored him growing up, he didn't have any friends until high school and he is very shy. So many of my friends have told him that he is so much better looking than any of the guys I've dated before, and a few still refer to him as my "hot boyfriend" rather than by his name. It always makes him feel good, but not enough to accept himself.

It is VERY frustrating.

I will certainly take your advice, I am desperate...because I feel so helpless! I don't understand. Maybe his eyes are so messed up that when he looks in the mirror he isn't seeing himself right!

I think that he wants to get healthy for me, to be honest, because he will say he is going on a diet and then eat snack cakes while gaming lol. Which, for me, is fine!

He just brings me to tears when he says things to me like "one day you'll wake up and realize you could do so much better and find someone who actually looks good" or "how can someone this fat end up with a beautiful girl?"
10/12/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
You can't give him self-confidence, he has to create it on his own. A small success in anything he finds worthy or that makes him feel better about himself will do more good than a million compliments from you. I know it hurts that your efforts ...
Yeah! THIS. You can't do this for him.

I think professional help would be in order. This is complicated and you aren't really responsible for his feelings of self worth, (unless you were abusive and I can't see that happening in a million year. You're a sweet girl.) There isn't anything you can do or say.

I would not give up a job you enjoy so he doesn't get "jealous" either. Part of being an adult is handling that your partner is out in the world with other people. You are dedicated to him, and jealous partners don't seen to realize they actually push the people who love them away with their constant jealously and complaining about their lack of confidence. I mean, he should be able to confide in you, but if it becomes a situation where he thinks you are only there to boost him (even if he says it doesn't work) it appears almost like fishing for compliments via self depreciation.

A gentle nudge towards professional help might really be a good thing for him. You can't "make him feel better" about anything, least of all himself.

We know a couple where the woman was like this. She was miserable, and claimed she "didn't deserve" therapy. Finally, her husband simply couldn't take the constant self depreciating comments, the non-stop whining, the lack of self worth and he made it clear that therapy was for their relationship and if she didn't get better, THEY couldn't get better. They went together, to couples therapy and things got much better. But he had to be very firm with her. She still puts herself down all the time, (I guess she was raised that that was the way people were supposed to act) and it's irritating as hell. But, at least things got better between them.
10/12/2011
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
I was going to say the exact same thing. You can't give someone else confidence, they have to build it from the inside out. I can appreciate what you are trying to do, and it's very loving... but sadly, I really don't think it will work ...
I totally agree. He has to develop his own internal confidence. Maybe if you work out together, HE can develop a body HE thinks looks good?
10/12/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by Peggi
Sorry to hear that you have the same situation! Are you sure your husband isn't traveling to Maryland between the hours of 6pm and 6am EST? LOL. Yeah, it can be tough, and his parents didn't help any either! They pretty much ignored him ...
Haha, I'm 98% positive that he's here in Illinois during those hours. My husband's parents weren't bad at all, but they did raise their kids to be humble, which I don't see as a bad thing. The problem is that my husband doesn't feel the need to get credit or acknowledge being awesome at anything really. He says that he's trying to stay humble, I keep telling him that it's ok to be happy about being good at something.

It makes me so sad to hear the same comments of "I'm not worthy of being with you" and "One day you'll wake up and wonder what happened and where you went wrong staying with me." I wouldn't have married him if I didn't think I could spend the rest of my life with him.

If nothing else works, P'Gell's advice isn't too bad either, and asking him to get help to help us is something that I would consider with my husband if he stops making progress or starts regressing. Either way, I wish you the best of luck, lots of , and I'm always here if you want to talk or vent
10/12/2011
Total posts: 14
Unique posters: 10