Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash
Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

Self-Esteem in Marriage

Question

I really like being noticed and receiving attention from other men. It makes me feel great about myself, as if I'm still attractive. My husband always tells me I'm beautiful—and after nine years of marriage, we still love each other a lot. But that doesn’t seem to be enough. Is there something wrong with me?

Answer

The fact that you are even asking the question may say you have concerns about your behavior. Frequently we learn ways to fill gaps in our heart in unhealthy ways. Gaps of pain and hurt, low self-esteem and loneliness. Ask yourself these questions: What do I feel when men give me attention? What are my thoughts when I am interacting with them? Do I walk away feeling better about myself after interacting with them? When I seek attention what do I get out of it that I don’t feel with my husband?

We would encourage you to seriously look at growing in the area of who God has created you to be. Do you understand that this goes beyond how you look and how you feel in the presence of men? You have gifts, talents, abilities, and ways that you can give to others that will in turn serve to fill those heart gaps.

Are you willing to go deeper in your relationship with the Lord? Spend a few minutes in prayer each day giving your heart to the Lord and ask him to do a work to heal any past hurts. Talk to him about your relationship with him. Look at the Psalms and pray some of them back to the Lord. Becoming more intimate with Him will probably lessen your need for approval from anyone including the opposite sex.

Gary J. Oliver, ThM, PhD
Executive Director at Center for Healthy Relationships | + posts

Dr. Oliver is the Executive Director of The Center for Healthy Relationships, and professor of Psychology and Practical Theology at John Brown University.  He has authored over 20 books and more than 350 professional and popular articles.  Dr. Oliver has over 40 years’ experience as a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage  & Family Therapist and Spiritual Director.  He leads seminars & workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of counseling-related issues, healthy relationships as well as Emotional & Relational Intelligence (ERI).

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