Boy friends lack of self confidence

Me and my boyfriend say we love each other, and I believe that to be true on both sides. Our problem is since his childhood he has had self esteem issues and low self confidence because of the way he was treated by other girls and by just other people. This causes problems for our relationship because we have both had colorful pasts, one no worse than the others.

Unfortunately, because of his lack of self esteem he finds himself constantly comparing himself to guys from my past and begins thinking hes always going to be lesser than them some how. And on top of that he has OCD and so then he begins to become obsessive with the thoughts.

I have tried talking to him explaining to him how this is not the case. That I am with him and none of those other guys because he is better than them. He honestly just wants the obsessive thoughts to go away and it is something we have been working hard on. We think it all roots from his lack of confidence, but I don't know what advice to give him or how I myself can help the issue ( besides being over praising). Any help would be much appreciated.

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Boy friends lack of confidence
by: Anonymous

People of both sexes suffer from low self esteem. It is a common problem.
Both of you should sit down and make a list of all the things you have in common and also what you are both good at.
There are very few people who do not look back and regret the past but there is always making a fresh start. What matters is present time. You do not need to remain chained to the past.

Hope this helps
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am a 29 yr old guy and I feel I share a lot in common with you're boyfriend. I have always suffered from low self esteem and suffered quite badly from OCD. I ended up becoming quite obsessive about being inadequate for the girls I have been with.

My last relationship ended about 2 months ago and had been the first one I was in for years. My ex said while we were breaking up that she felt I hated myself and that got to me more than anything else she said that morning.

I do not think I hated myself but I know that it came across that way. She was also a troubled individual like myself and it became unhealthy because we were unable to support each other in the way that we needed to be able to. I had because of the OCD allowed very negative thoughts to run amok with my head over years of negative reinforcement that I had become a shell of the person that deep down I knew I was. I used to think that it was the OCD and depression that was the root of that behaviour. It wasn't till breaking up that I hit my rock bottom and realised that I didn't need to be that way.

In a way the negative reinforcements are a defence mechanism & like a snake eating its own tail. Negative thoughts fuel negative behaviour that only prove the thought right and fuel even more negative thoughts; "I hate myself" so I would get drunk and do foolish things giving myself even more reason to think "I hate myself"

The trick for me was to break the cycle of thinking. I knew I had other problems as well, but I knew that the thinking was the central issue for me. I decided to break the pattern every time I would get a thought in my head like that I would stop myself and say "No wait, you're not a bad guy, you just have some issues that you're not dealing with the best way you could be". Every time the thoughts came I would repeat that phrase and after maybe a month I really noticed the changes beginning to be evident to everyone close to me (mostly my brother). He noticed I had stopped cursing myself under my breath every few minutes when were trying to watch tv etc.

Basically the patterns of negative reinforcement need to be broken to solve this IMO, but unfortunately that can only be done by your boyfriend. You said that you try to inflate his ego a lot but that can come across as false praise especially for those with depressed/cynical personalities and could be taken as patronising, which would actually make things worse if you ask me. You need to be honest with him and get him to understand that it's his thoughts not his person that are the problem.

i hope this helps, I know that if I had realised all this a little earlier I might still be with that girl but I needed to make the changes either way just a shame about the order of events really. Support, understanding & patience are key here though, you seem that you have an abundance of that though. Positive reinforcement need to replace negative ones though from himself (from you as well but not over-board.

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