Low self-esteem may be the real underlying problem of your husband’s (wife’s) affair or could turn into one later.
Your husband’s (wife’s) dependence on you to take care of him (her) could come from his (her) low self-esteem. He has trouble to handle his own problems and has a poor self-image. Low self esteem is one of the 9 serial cheater profile traits from my main post.
If he continues to feel beat up (real or just a perception) then he could seek a much simpler solution- another woman to quickly raise his self-worth.
I know all about this. I was there.
When I cheated on first wife my low self-esteem was so low you could have stepped on it.
So I am going to guess that you are the strong one in the relationship, right?
I mean how can a relationship last without someone taking charge?
Let me guess.
Before you planted yourself on the chair to jump on the computer or tablet you shook your head in disbelief and had this conversation with yourself, “But I took care of him because he couldn’t take care of himself. So I helped him and then he cheated on me.
How could he do that after everything I did for him?”
Men Need to Feel Manly Or…
Are you codependent on your husband? If you are then you found out the hard way that you threw fuel on the fire of his low self-esteem. He couldn’t take care of himself so a woman took care of him and that wrecked his “manliness”.
If you don’t let your man solve his own problems he will not feel like a man and men need to feel like the lion king of the relationship, not the lioness. Sorry. I am the messenger. Don’t try to fight mother nature- it’s a losing battle.
Let’s not jump to conclusions yet. We don’t actually know if low self-esteem or dependency is part of the cheater profile trait that he suffers from or not. But check out the dependent traits below.
*Please share your feelings, opinion about low self-esteem and cheating at the bottom of this post.*
Dependent Traits: Signs of Low Self-Esteem and Separation Anxiety
- Indecisiveness. Does your husband (wife) have trouble making decisions both big and small? What to eat? What to wear? Where to find a job? And does he tend to ask for help to decide?
- Lack of Initiation. Does he (she) find it difficult to start a project? Do they get overwhelmed where to start when solving problems? Does he tend to start projects then never finish them?
- Fear of Abandonment. Does the idea of being on his own to fend for himself seem to preoccupy his mind?
- Excessive Need for Support. Does he have an excessive need for your nurture and support?
- Conflict Avoidance. Does he avoid arguing more often than not? Is he afraid to upset out of the fear you will leave him?
- Bad Problem Solver. Does he crumble under the pressure of solving problems when you give him a task to take care of? Do you end up solving these tasks you assign him?
- Quits Easy. Is it easier for him to quit then to stick with something to the end?
- Relationship Dependency History. Does he have a history of jumping from one relationship right into another?
- Low Tolerance for Criticism. How does he handle feedback or advice when not doing something the best way?
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If He Wants to Feel Stronger, Suggest Therapy- BUT DON’T PUSH IT!
Dependent traits may not indicate a low self-esteem, but they are the framework.
Without professional therapy and analysis there is no sure-fire way to diagnosis the emotional problem that lead to cheating, but if he is open to feeling strong and improving the relationship then go see a therapist.
It is possible that your husband’s low self-esteem is a sign of the personality disorder Dependent Personality Disorder.
I suffered from depression due to a low self-esteem in my first marriage and my codependent wife only made it worse. My weakness is not an excuse to choose another woman over her. I should have sought help to gain the confidence to at least give our relationship a chance.
I did find confidence, but too late. I was long gone.
He’s got to want to feel strong. He’s got to want to solve his own problems and not depend on someone else to take care of him.
Do Not Solve His Problems- No Matter How Helpless He Feels
I suffered from many of the traits above. I cannot tell you if I had DPD or not. I never got it diagnosed, nor did I know it existed. What I can tell you is meeting the OP (other person- woman) temporarily injected a confidence boost.
I felt appreciated for who I was again. She made me felt loved and attractive again. I felt important to someone again.
She didn’t criticize me and blast me with insults for not taking care of myself. I didn’t feel like a baby. I felt like an adult. It wasn’t until I left the relationship that I started to care for myself. (Yes, these were artificial boosts of confidence from the wrong source- fool’s gold.)
If you want to stay with him and suffers from solving his own problems and you suspect his low self-esteem could be a result of a personality disorder (perhaps DPD) then find a mental health therapist.
There are numerous disorders and the wrong treatment could have treacherous effects.
I can promise that if you do not take the right steps to handle your husband’s low self-esteem he could cheat again. He has a problem. I had a problem. He thought the other woman was the solution. His low self-esteem could be the problem, not the other woman that you think took him away from you.
Whatever You Do, Do NOT Do This
The worst thing you can do is criticize someone that has problems with low self-esteem.
How is criticizing someone that feels emotionally crushed from criticism going to help him? My ex berated me on a regular basis. She went as far to tell me I needed her to survive. She told me without her I would be lost. She told me I wasn’t a man.
Well, let’s just say I took slight (sarcasm) offense to her insults.
And how did I handle it? Poorly.
I thought the problem was her and not my low level of confidence to take care of myself. So I cheated. I found someone that boosted me self-worth not pitch in to help add to my poor self-image problem.
My problem was that I had a fire in my head that I needed to deal with on my own. She tossed gasoline on it.
So I admit it was my problem to solve my own problems, but you could make it spin out of control. Again if he wants professional counseling then help him get it, but leave the counselor and him alone. .
Does your husband or wife show traits of low self-esteem or emotional dependency? Do any of these personality characteristics look familiar?
- Acts needy, clingy, passive in the marriage.
- Does not take responsibility for his or her actions.
- Looks for their partner to act like their savior.
- Never satisfied. Things never good enough.
- Takes things personally.
- Expresses put down about self easily.
By no means do these traits guarantee that your partner who suffers from low self-esteem or emotional dependency will cheat (or cheat again).
At the same time if they already cheated these traits could indicate a deeper emotional issue that could lead to repeat cheating.
Did your low self-esteem husband or wife cheat on you, now what?
One of the survive infidelity eBooks I like most is “Break Free from the Affair” by Dr. Bob Huizenga. In it he identifies 7 common types of affairs marriages suffer from.
He labels affairs that stem from low self-esteem and emotional dependency as his #1 of 7 Affair Types: “My Marriage Made Me Do It”.
Starting on page 12 Dr. Bob Huizenga describes why a cheating spouse who displays these above traits might become strongly attached to the other person and the possible duration of the affair.
He even predicts on a scale of 1 – 10 (1 likely, 10 – unlikely) what the chances that this type of marriage survives.
He then shares through his experience about what the road ahead looks like for your marriage.
Finally starting on page 17 he advises the best ways to save your marriage that suffers from this type of affair.
The key to surviving this kind of affair would surprise you.
It has to do with 1) the reaction to his/her cheating you present to them, 2) how you make them feel about their choice to cheat and 3) your choice of words to accomplish that.
To read more information about “Break Free from the Affair” click here.
Avoid Suffering from a Low Self-Esteem from His Affair
This Professional Counselor Helped Me After My Wife’s Affair
I found this counselor online after catching my wife’s first affair offense. His infidelity recovery advice was just what the doctor ordered (bad joke).
It focused on how to take control of my own thoughts so I wouldn’t fall into the temptation of letting her choice to cheat produce a low self-esteem resulting from feeling unworthy that she chose someone else over me.
My life seemed to spin temporarily out of control at first, but I refused to let her bite a chunk out of my heart more than she already had.