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Amazonia posted 8/19/2013 08:41 AM

Where do you find your worth? How do you define your own value?

I see so many posts here and in S/D that break my heart, and I remember very, very well being in the same position, of people who are so discouraged by the fact that their ex is out there getting re-married, or dating, or sleeping with a dozen skanks, and meanwhile, here the BS sits, struggling to find someone, feeling lonely, either going on fruitless dates or no dates, comparing themselves.

For a long time, I really did value myself based on the guy I could be with. In college, I dated a jerk for 3 1/2 years, and I told my (male) bff many times that if he would date me, I'd leave the loser; but I never would have left him to be alone, because any male attention was better to me than none. When XH and I started dating, I had resigned myself to being single for life (long story, but career related) and I remember when he asked me to date him, an old friend who was willing to follow my crazy career, I though, "well, it's not like I'm going to find anyone better than him willing to do it." I really and truly defined my own value by the equivalent man I was able to hang onto.

I don't see myself that way anymore. I see my value and worth more in terms of the people I am able to make smile in the course of the day, the wisdom or comfort I am able to bring to friends, the positive impact I try to have on the world around me.

So what about you? Where do you find your worth?

Slight t/j of my own topic, it's also okay to recognize that you're not where you want to be, but if you're not, how are you growing in the direction you want to move?

Williesmom posted 8/19/2013 09:36 AM

Self worth was also my issue. I started dating my Wxh when I was 15, so I've had limited dating experience.

Physically, I'm a "bigger" girl, so I tend to sell my self short.

However, when looking at myself from an objective position, ...

I am gainfully employed in an upper management position at a very reputable local company.
I own my home, and it's a very nice one.
I have a ton of very supportive friends.
I'm not afraid to be alone.

eta:I think that we tend to be so harsh on ourselves. I always thought that I was unlikeable, but a friend told me that I'm likeable - just very intimidating.

[This message edited by Williesmom at 9:41 AM, August 19th (Monday)]

cmego posted 8/19/2013 09:38 AM

Oooo! Good question! I'm trying to distract myself from realizing that both of my sitters bailed...and classes start next week. Fun times.

My parents always told me my first sentence was "Do By Self", and I am still like that. To a fault. Fiercely independent. Ex actually used that against me as one of the reasons he cheated, "You don't need me!". As a young person, the men flocked, I never had to try. I had long relationships for a young person in college (1-2 years) and I ended all but one of them. It has never bothered me to be alone. Helps that I am an introvert. I LIKE relationships, but don't seek them for validation.

I define my worth now by being a good Mom, working my volunteer work, donating my art, and earning excellent grades in school while handling a shit storm blowing up behind me. I enjoy being a good friend and helping/supporting people.

For me, my ex literally "wore me down". He pursued me very hard, and I remember clearly thinking that he had great qualities. Funny, smart, driven, and "nice guy". I got most of that right...just missed that he happened to be gay.

The only time I felt my self-worth slip is when I tried to R with ex. Suddenly I was competing for what was "mine". I did not like myself during that time. I wanted to walk away, but I looked at my kids and I couldn't. I had to at least try, and try I did...and hated myself the entire time. He cheated again anyway. THEN I walked and never looked back.

Now, what resonates in my head is "never again". Never will I feel like my self worth is slipping because of a relationship. I refuse to feel like I am competing for a mans attention. If I do that, it devalues my self-worth. So, I simply don't.

Which, turns out, makes me great in relationships, but I suck at dating.

I am pretty happy with my self-worth. In the future I am going to have to learn to let go of being the kind of Mom I want to home, with them all the time. I will have to go back to work and turn them over to someone else, and learn to gain self worth in a career too.

Good question! Now...back to looking for a freakin sitter.

wonderingbull posted 8/19/2013 10:46 AM

My golf handicap...


asurvivor posted 8/19/2013 10:58 AM

At my class reunion, I had the most hair on my head and the least coming out of my ears.

Sad in AZ posted 8/19/2013 11:16 AM

I have a pretty good opinion of myself, but I have trouble imagining that people will notice and/or remember me. Because I'm introverted and shy, I don't shine. That's why it feels to good to be with old friends; they never forget you.

I have images of walking around another city with the X and DS, and people would recognize them and be happy to see them. I can walk through my old neighborhood, and this never happens to me (To be honest, I probably give off a 'don't talk to me' vibe

If an acquaintance recognizes me, walks over to me and starts a friendly conversation, I'm over the moon.

Brandon808 posted 8/19/2013 11:25 AM

So what about you? Where do you find your worth?
These days? My imagination. My ideas. My hope that I can translate those into some writing I can be proud of.

HURTAGAIN1981 posted 8/19/2013 12:33 PM

I struggle with this a lot. I can also relate to what you say.

I like to think I am a good person. I help people whenever I can and care a lot about friends and family.

I am the same in a relationship. I always tr to do my best, encourage them, be there for them and do whatever I can for them, sadly I must be doing something terribly wrong.

I have had 4 relationships in my life so far. Each one seems to be worst than the last. I think my picker maybe broken or my standards may have dropped considerably. I'm really not sure.

The last one (the reason I am here) was definitely the most damaging. I pretty much felt worthless from the start, not good enough. I really do not know why I accepted it.

Logically I know I am worth so much more, but for some reason could not/can't put it into practice. I am not ugly, at least I hope not. I am kinda and generous. I guess I just pick the duds. This is something I am definitely trying to work on. I think most of my problem is not walking away when I know I am being disrespected.

Harriet posted 8/19/2013 22:09 PM

I'm definitely not where I want to be. I know where I want to go, but I'm not sure how to get there.

I can't tell you how meaningful this thread is to me, to hear that someone went through the same struggles I'm going through, and made their way out. Seeing my ex with the OW, taking vacations together, etc, while I feel so lonely really bothers me. It's not just. I want the karma bus to arrive. But ultimately, I want to feel nothing about him, no matter where I am in life.

I know I am a good person, kind and warm and loyal. Right now, the negative self talk seems to take over.

I'm an introvert, too, but all it seems to have done is made it hard for me to make new friends. I have never felt so lonely.

h0peless posted 8/19/2013 22:18 PM

I treat people well. Usually better than they treat me, although I'm sure most of them would reciprocate if I asked. Sometimes that bites me in the ass. My marriage is a perfect example.

I guess I derive my worth from doing things for other people.

exhausted lady posted 8/20/2013 01:04 AM

I derive my self-worth from the fact that I can do things most men couldn't do. My daughter & I run the family ranch. We work with antiquated equipment that breaks down frequently, and an irrigation system that dates from 1919. It all still works, but it takes a lot of "fixing".
But, my dad showed me how to do it, and then he showed my daughter. "Us girls" now run the ranch.....and we do a damned good job of it.

I still wish my dad was here so we could ask him questions though.

Bluebird26 posted 8/20/2013 05:31 AM

I am still trying to work that out.

I am still trying to work out how to put my needs first, as a single parent that is really difficult. I have always put myself last, everyone else's needs are far more important then my own.

I need to keep working on me and realise I am good enough. Not sure how to get to this place though.

courageous posted 8/20/2013 06:43 AM

I didn't date much when I was younger. I allowed the guys I dated to give me my self worth. On my own I really didn't have any self worth. I'm working on that right now because it's hard for me to see that I have value... Not for how I look or what I can do for someone but for just being me.

cmego posted 8/20/2013 07:24 AM



How many of you use Pinterest? I have a board where I pin things when I need to remind myself of my journey and my focus. We all have times of self doubt. But, one of the things that is MOST important to me for my current and my future is not allowing someone else to treat me poorly. The term "flaming self respect" really resonates with me. No one else is going to have respect for me if I don't have it for myself.

Growth is hard. We have to be willing to look at ourself, admit our own shortcomings, and try harder.

My Pinterest board is one of my "tricks" when I'm I need to remind myself what my self worth is. What my goals are in life a person...anywhere I'm feeling "not so strong". I don't look for self worth in other people, and I will never allow someone to take it away from me again.

Being an introvert makes it harder to make new friends, but I forced myself. I know I need a good network around me. I joined a MeetUp for S/D people and met some really good single friends. I volunteer and made more connections, I just force myself out of my comfort zone.

*Holy huge image, Bat Man! Sorry...need to figure out to resize them. Hmmm...

[This message edited by cmego at 8:14 AM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

NaiveAgain posted 8/20/2013 07:50 AM

My idea of self worth has evolved, but it never centered on men, but maybe that is because I always felt I could get pretty much any guy I wanted if I worked hard at it (not trying to sound of my top 5 strengths on the Strength Quest quiz we take at school is WOO (winning others over) so if there is really a guy that I want, I know what to do and say to get him. I don't bother though, because I don't want one that I have to "manipulate" or play games to get.

When I was younger I based my self worth on my accomplishments (I was a perfectionist, so I worked very hard to accomplish everything I possibly could and be the best at it.) My dad taught me to never give up and to always strive to do better. I grew up with that being the main source of my value.

That is a dangerous way to achieve self-value though. It is based too much on the latest achievement (or failure) so it can tend to be erratic. Over time, I've learned that my self-worth comes from within. My self worth is derived from just being who I am. That encompasses how I deal with others, how I feel about and treat others, how I feel about and treat myself, and my general outlook on humanity.

I know deep inside that I am basically a good person who likes to see others happy (except for the psychoX...sorry...I am still human after all).

I've learned over time to accept and even make fun of my own weaknesses and failures (because another thing I've learned is that while people generally will congratulate me for my high achievements, they bond me with better about my failures. Our struggles and failures are what makes us human and somewhat vulnerable and people respond on a deeper level to those that are somewhat vulnerable and willing to put themselves out there.

So, this is a long post here but I guess I had a lot to say on the subject, and I don't think I've ever thought about it as in-depth before...

BrokenSpirit50 posted 8/20/2013 23:19 PM

Ama, Thank you this was a really good thread.

This is something I really struggle with as my WXH really spewed some venom that dragged me down.

I know as a person, I would do anything in my power to help family, friends or strangers. I'm honest and dedicated (proven my sticking with my marriage 32 years)

However, I think a lot of us who suffer this fate suffer a major injury to your self esteem and worth.

I've only just begun dating and I keep trying to remind myself that my happiness and self worth needs to come from within and not from another person.

It certainly is a difficult, lonely journey sometimes.

Harriet posted 8/21/2013 02:32 AM

This reminded me of something my ex told me: "You should feel special that of all my women, I chose you to marry." Not that he gave up any of those other women for me. I feel so worthy!

newnormal posted 8/21/2013 06:23 AM

For many years after dday I struggled with "I'm old/she's 10 years younger". Years later, "what was he thinking: 50 plus pounds bigger and can't even transcribe notes/I've got a doctorate and am well respected in the community". I look back on where my head was at post dday and feel sad about how hurt I was to allow those thoughts to even stay a moment.

Im working on repairing the relationships I damaged during my anger phase. That's going to take some time.

stronger08 posted 8/21/2013 06:47 AM

It took me many years. But one thing I have found is that you have to measure your self worth by the way you feel about yourself. Not how others view you. Even if that means not dating for a long time while you get yourself together. If your happy in your own skin others notice. And self confidence transmits an attraction all on its own. Normal people are always attracted to self confident folks. And it also dissuades predators and users as we all know they look for the weak.

katiesmom posted 8/21/2013 11:03 AM

Wow, that's a tough one. My ex made me feel so worthless for so long. Leaving me and marrying another woman was the ultimate blow to my already battered self-esteem.

I am definitely not where I want to be, but I am getting there. I am somewhat of an introvert, and have had to step way out of my comfort zone on many occasions after the divorce. I have surprised myself with what I am able to do and I starting to see that I am stronger than I realized I was. I am also a kind, empathetic person. I am a college-educated, intelligent woman with a decent job (although the pay could be better)! I am raising my daughter to think of others before she thinks of herself. I own my own home and have accomplished many tasks around the house that I would have had my husband do when we were married. I have rewired a thermostat, fixed a computer and do most of the yard work. Go me!!

I have some wonderful friends and a very supportive family who love me for who I am. Since my divorce, I have also re-connected with some dear friends who I have fallen out of touch with over the years.

I have also adopted a more healthy lifestyle by eating better and working out.

There are still days when the cruel words that my husband said to me before he left still haunt me and play over and over in my head.

But my daughter told me something the other day that I now focus on when those bad thoughts creep in. She told me, "Mommy, don't ever let anyone make you feel like you are nothing. Because you are everything to me." And these are the words I will start to play in my head when I start to think about the hurtful things my ex has said to me.

I guess my worth is determined by so many different things, and, like I said, I am not where I want to be yet, but I must say, knowing that I am raising such a beautiful, sensitive, intelligent daughter makes me feel one of the greatest senses of accomplishment of all!

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