Last night I was googling about infidelity and hypnosis. I wanted to know if I could be hypnotized to deal with the triggers and lessen the pain. Not that I really planned to do it–I just wondered if such a thing existed. What I stumbled upon was not what I expected.
Low self-worth and poor self-image are at the root of most relationship problems, because the inability to place appropriate value on oneself determines how others treat us, how we treat ourselves and how we treat others. If we don’t feel a sense of value about ourselves, don’t feel safe or secure being who we are, we act and react in a way that reflects our perceptions of ourselves and our lives. Coping with negative emotional feelings is de-energizing and draining over the long haul and good emotional and physical wellbeing is not sustainable under such a burden.
Contrary to popular opinion, people with low self-esteem are always very sure of themselves. They are sure they are worthless or worth less than others in at least one area of their lives and usually in most areas of their lives – they are absolutely sure they are flawed or inadequate. Anything positive that happens to them is just good luck, chance or someone else’s generosity. Any negative that happens they feel they probably deserved.
Later that night after the kids were tucked in bed and asleep, our discussion began. I recited what the script says above about self-esteem and self-worth and my husband looked at me like a light bulb when on in his head.
See, I always thought that because my husband seemed so sure of himself and I equated that with great self-esteem. I did see when he didn’t value his accomplishments but thought he was being humble. And his affair with Bat-Shit Crazy puzzled me because he relinquished not only control to her but his self-respect. I have asked him over and over again:
How could you [someone who is so self-aware] be involved with someone who didn’t care about YOU as a person–the things you value, love and define your character?
My husband was searching for an answer but he kept thinking that it must be the typical infidelity answers: self-absorbtion, selfishness, or ego. These answers bothered me because it didn’t make sense by the way he felt while in the relationship.
He continuously broke off the affair over the course of the year telling her it wasn’t what he wanted. Although his attempts to end it were futile because she would pull him back in trying to pretend all she wanted was friendship. Then she would offer sex. He didn’t have to say yes (and he didn’t accept it every time it was offered). He did it because he thought he was helping her get over the end of her marriage–but he didn’t care if she decided to get back together with her husband either. He hoped she would mve on so their affair would end. He was waiting for her to end it. He never promised or gave her anything–in fact, he did the opposite. He says he felt worse about himself while he was involved with her and I noticed he gained weight last year too. He relinquished his choices to her–she was needy. He believed (and still does) that she had no other friends to lean on (big surprise that a homewrecking whore doesn’t have friends, right?). He wanted her to go away but he didn’t walk away either. Why?
So I read these words and I start to think of my husband. Confident but yet always feeling he doesn’t deserve anything. I’ve always struggled to figure out how my husband is so successful and loved at his job but he’s not successful in a manner that promotes himself. In fact, if I look at him professionally, his position has been stagnant over the past 13 years. Different companies–same job, no salary increases. How is that possible? Maybe it’s his trade. Or maybe it’s him. Maybe he’s comfortable in this place of worthlessness.
I am not making or accepting excuses for his decisions. But it was an AHA! moment. I realize that if you have low self-esteem you attract leaches. People who will take advantage of you. I’ve seen it before in his past with a boss taking advantage of my husband’s skills for personal gains. But I hadn’t seen it like this before…. obviously. In fact, in our relationship I thought he was strong, confident and masculine. But he has always said to me since day one:
I love you more.
Sometimes I would try to argue (“No, I love you more”) but I never won. Sometimes I would smile and kiss him. Sometimes I would wonder why he felt this way. I threw it in his face in the wake of my discovery of his affair. I realize now he never thought he deserved me… he sits there and says: “you are gorgeous–look at you; you are intelligent; you are magnetic….” . Maybe what he’s really thinking is:
Why would someone like you be with me? I guess I got lucky.
So I must love you more because I am not worthy of you.
You could never feel about me the way I feel about you.
Well, he’s wrong. I love him. I love him so much I am willing to work through my pain and suffering to salvage what was once beautiful about us. I am trusting my love to guide me through this battle. I am trusting myself and my heart even through the pain and sorrow. I love him in spite of what he did. I don’t believe I deserve what he did but I believe in us.
So this low self-esteem thing needs to be worked on. The hypnosis website says their treatment is proven to work. I don’t know if I am ready to go that route but I think we do need to delve into his subconcious more.