When we have no self-belief we are inclined to have low self esteem, low confidence and low expectations. In order to feel significant and valued, we then put partners down and belittle them too by being highly critical, fault-finding and fearful in our approach.
Negativity does not build, it only destroys, but what is really destructive about it is the debilitating way it eats into any relationship and saps that partnership of its vibrancy, positivity and purpose. There are three main reasons for negativity within a relationship.
First is a lack of self love. When we do not love ourselves we expect a partner to compensate for that by loving us instead. But no one can love what we reject. Any kind of love has to begin from within us. No matter how someone treats us, it will never be enough because we will never accept that we deserve their love and attention. Instead, what is likely to happen is that the more someone loves us when we don’t love ourselves is the more we demand of them, the more we find fault with their actions and the more we believe they do not care about us, or that they are being insincere.
I adored my ex-husband from the day we met and fell into lust! We were married for 39 years and, until I left home six years before the divorce, I wanted no one else but him. I loved to show him affection, to encourage him, and to demonstrate how much I cared about him. But he always thought that I did not really love him, that I didn’t care about him, or I had ulterior motives for my actions towards him. In his eyes, I just couldn’t do anything right. As I was an achiever, everything I accomplished was also held against me. I gradually realised how much I was trying to compensate for his lack of self-love by showing him my love. Of course, as he didn’t think he deserved it, he always turned it back on me. One could never win in such a situation so the negativity just gradually overwhelmed the relationship.
Second is individual fear and insecurity. People bring a lot of fears and anxieties to their relationships, especially when they have been in unfulfilled partnerships or have been hurt badly. They tend to live the rest of their lives in a victim like state, expecting more of the same. They expect the hurt to repeat itself and even subconsciously engineer it through their own negative actions. It is difficult for them to trust others in such situations and so their own fears tend to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more they expect the worst to happen, the more their actions become negative, the more frustrating it is to live with such an individual and the worse the relationship becomes. This state is very obvious between parties who have different levels of confidence. The more confident party is likely to have high hopes of a better relationship and act it, while the more fearful party will tend to behave much more negatively, lacking the self belief that they have the power to make the situation the way they genuinely wish it to be – a disparity will become bigger as the relationship becomes more negative.