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Question about confidence

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BrokenButTrying posted 5/19/2014 08:43 AM

There are many of us here who have low self esteem, didn't really like ourselves very much pre-A and struggle to post-A.

BH has asked me a question and I don't really know how to answer it.

How can someone with such little confidence and low self esteem, have sex with someone they don't really know and have an A?

I have tried to explain it to him as best I can. For years (all through my teenage years) I equated sex with love and acceptance. I may have not been confident but having a boyfriend made me feel better about myself because someone else liked me.
The same applied with the A, the attention made me feel better about myself and sex is what I had to trade in order to keep getting the attention.

I do have a lot of body confidence issues and BH, knowing how I feel about myself physically can't understand where I got the confidence from to let another man come near me.

When I answer him I know exactly what I mean, it makes perfect sense to me but I'm obviously not communicating it well to him. Anyone had this question from their BS?

Owl6118 posted 5/19/2014 09:11 AM

BBT, I have a glimmer of a thought here. I am not sure it is on the right track, but for what its worth, here it is...

He may be thinking from a male perspective, and not correcting for the fact that you are a women.

In general, men have to chase women for sex, and we have to make ourselves attractive. To be at all attractive, we have to find in us and project some kind of confidence that will cause us to be chosen. It would therefore be easy to think that is is impossible to attract someone when you have low self esteem and lack confidence. For men, this is largely true.

Women by contrast, can attract someone--not necessarily someone of quality, but someone--on any given day simply by projecting availability. Lack of confidence can actually help this, because high self esteem reenforces good barriers, and low self esteem can do much to lower them.

There is much more going on obviously, and more subtle levels of bad choices and broken thinking that go into choosing and making an affair happen. But maybe if you remind him of the basically different roles men and women usually play it will get him over part, if only part, of the barrier to understanding.

The rest of the barrier is probably more unique to you, and that you will have to struggle with to understand and convey.

remorsefulww posted 5/19/2014 09:24 AM

Bh has never asked me this question, but I relate to what you are saying.

I knew bh thought I was beautiful, didnt see the flaws that I saw, and no matter how big or small I got he still thought I was the most beautiful woman. Even after knowing all that I still didn't believe him because I didn't believe it myself.

Before the A I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks and didnt even know I was pregnant because I was on birthcontrol and it messed up my cycle. I was then told because of previous losses and multiple d&c that I couldnt have anymore children. I felt even more inadequate and ugly.
********end trigger.*****

when my ap contacted me and said all the right words, said I was beautiful, and all that garbage it made me feel better about myself, but it was more of like a high. Did I believe it? At the time yes. Because if someone other than my bh thought that of me it must be true, right? I was so wrong in my thinking and through IC I am starting to "get it" I am taking the steps to love and accept myself for me. I do things for myself that make me feel better about me.

the validation and attention from men was like a self temporary bandaid to the core issue within myself.

I don't know if this is helpful, but this is how I looked at it and started to heal and work on me.

Think of it like an infection. You have to get all of that infected gunk out before you can start to heal. Some infections are worse than others. Some only need a little ointment, others need antibiotics, some of them need to be opened up and cleaned out.

Without being opened up and cleaned out the surface may heal and look better, but it's only a matter of time before it shows up somewhere else.

The process may be painful, it may leave a scar, and it might be scary. In the end it's worth it to be completely healed and healthy again.

For years patched things up, distracted myself, and hoped it would go away on it's on. It wasn't until things got so bad that I couldn't ignore them anymore. Once I started dealing with things I felt a lot better. I wish I could have dealt with things when they happened. I wasted a lot of time and energy patching things up temporarily.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/19/2014 10:00 AM

Thank you both for your replies.

Owl, I think you're right. BH struggles a lot with confidence and while he can talk to women, he never really gets much further. He still says he can't believe he managed to get me!

He must assume it's the same for women, when in fact the opposite is true. I will show him your reply and see if that helps.

RWW I'm really very sorry for your loss. That must have been devastating for you.

Matilda23 posted 5/19/2014 13:16 PM

I am 5'3" at 108 lbs, and he found me the most attractive and love me even at my thinnest. I have very low self esteem as I don't have a very curvy body like most woman. I fought with it and still struggle today. Personally for me it's feeling like someone finds me attractive. I needed that external validation from anything with a heart beat. It's very dad that I need other people to make me feel attractive when BBF was always doing it. I feel like BBF is extremely intelligent and I am not, I affair down with OM. It made me feel like I was intelligent and better. I tell myself that I am beautiful everyday so I can have a better self esteem. Sorry if this was a tj.

Alyssamd24 posted 5/19/2014 18:11 PM

My self confidence clearly wasn't that great before my Matilda said I needs the external validation from XAP and when he told me how beautiful and smart I was, and how I could do anything I set my mind to I ate it up. Yes BH said those things to but my twisted thinking was "he loves me so he would say that no matter what". When XAP later took it back and said he wasn't attracted to me it fucked with my self confidence even more. ..especially since at that point I was dealing with the consequences of DDay.

Now my self confidence still sucks and is even worse than it was before because now I am remorseful and aware of what i did so I am self conscious about myself physically and mentally if that makes any sense.

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