Has your marriage destroyed your self-confidence and self-image? Here are a few tips on rebuilding your confidence while keeping your relationship or marriage intact.

Regain Self-Confidence Without Leaving Your RelationshipHere’s what one reader – a doctor – says about her marriage, on How to Gain Confidence and Create Healthy Relationships:

“I don’t feel he respects what I do and I have lost my confidence and sense of self. I had always wanted a family, but I no longer want one. We live in a beautiful home in a beautiful place but I resent having to work in a job I don’t like in order to basically support his dream, because I would have never chosen such an expensive place to live I would have never placed myself in this indentured servitude financial state. I am the type of person who would rather work 3/4 time and enjoy my free time, and he thinks I am lazy for it. He works all the time and often comes home late. We have tried counseling, but it is so expensive, and we felt like we were getting nowhere, and quit. He keeps saying things like “well, we tried our best” but I feel I have done 95% of the trying and he has done 5% – I don’t want a divorce but I also don’t want to be the only one trying anymore and don’t want to continue feeling like this. Any advice would be helpful.”

Is it possible to rebuild your self-confidence and self-image, and stay married to a man who isn’t prioritizing you or his relationship with you? Maybe.

How to Regain Your Self-Confidence

These tips won’t resonate with all women in all situations, but I think they’re what the reader above needs to hear. This is what I need to tell her, anyway!

Prioritize like a man

Many women naturally gravitate towards creating and nurturing relationships; men don’t prioritize their relationships the same way. I think women need to take a page from the men’s books, and put their relationships second or even third on their list of life goals and achievements.

This is an effective way to find yourself after getting lost in love.

If your marriage is your number one priority, then go for it! Do everything you can to build a happy, healthy relationship. But if your marriage is your first priority, then you can’t complain about how much work and sacrifice goes into it. No matter what your priorities are in life, they take time, energy, and sacrifice.

What should your number one priority be?

Despite the ads I have to put on my blog so I can earn money money so I can respond to readers’ questions, I do not believe your number one priority should be to captivate a man! Unless, of course, you want your whole life to revolve around being married.

Your number one priority is something only you can decide. I believe our first priority should be taking care of ourselves (self-care). If we aren’t happy and healthy, then we will never be able to build healthy, happy relationships and lives.

If your number one priority is, for example, living a full life and working ¾ of the time, then DO IT. Your husband has his priorities; you have yours. You do not need to have matching priorities – you need to learn how to set your own priorities. His opinion matters, but it should not affect your self-confidence or self-image. I know this is easier said than done, especially if you feel insecure in your relationship.

We all need to build our self-confidence and self-image on things that are internal, that are ours, and that can’t be changed by the comments or behaviours of the men in our lives. Christians believe the source of all confidence and esteem is God, because He is unshakeable and constant in His love for us.

What are you prioritizing in your life, and is it building your self-confidence and self-esteem? If you want to stay married, you need to learn how to balance your relationship with your independence.

Figure out what you want out of your life

Where do you want to be in a year, five years, 10 years?

How to Regain Self-Confidence in Relationship

How to Regain Self-Confidence Without Leaving Your Relationship

In a year I want to be graduating with my MSW and starting a practicum placement overseas somewhere. I want to still be married, and I want my husband to support my decision to leave for three or four months. And I want our dog to be taken care of while I’m gone! That’s a tall order for my husband, which is why I’m starting to talk about it, visualize what it might look like, and plan now. It takes time to create the life you want.

What do you want out of your life? Start thinking about ways to rebuild your self-confidence and self-image.

Stop relying on your partner to increase your self-confidence

I love when my husband tells me I’m smart, beautiful, organized, or amazing. It makes me feel SO good! But I can’t let my self-confidence and self-image come from him. I have to do things that make me feel good about myself – strong, courageous, smart, healthy, happy.

When was the last time you felt GREAT about yourself, outside of your relationship or marriage? Do that thing again, and again, and again.

What do you think – can you regain your confidence and esteem and stay in your current relationship? I welcome your thoughts below, but I can’t offer advice. You may find it helpful to share your experience, though. Writing often brings clarity and insight!

For more tips on rebuilding your self-confidence, read How to Be Happy Even in an Unhealthy Relationship.


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5 thoughts on “How to Regain Your Self-Confidence”

  1. Dear Mrs Criss,

    I’m happy to hear that you’re growing as a Christian, and a strong woman! It sounds like you’re beginning to realize that you deserve love and joy and peace in your life — not abuse or pain or mistreatment.

    I believe God would want you to surround yourself with people who treat you with love, gentleness, and respect. God is love and kindness, isn’t He?

    Don’t let yourself be treated like trash, my friend. Treat yourself the way God would, like a treasure to be cherished. Be good and kind to yourself — but be strong and clever, so you can protect yourself!

    Come back anytime and let me know how you are.


  2. Laurie,
    I’m in a bad relationship and it has it good times and bad times, just as the pastor with say doing it marriage. i feel i over looked so real unhealthy things in my relationship, and married for love. I have been with my husband for 15 yrs, and married for 6 months. my husband isn’t perfect and no one is. and i o.k with that but we have private violence that he says he won’t do again. i’m ashamed and embarrassed to say this or go through this on and off, but i have no one to talk to and no one to trust with this confused time in my life.My husband is in jail again, and he always do something to get in there, because of his probation and street life of the past. I feel stupid, now because i’m growing each day as a strong wife and a christain and i was raised by 2 great parents and i feel like im seeing for the first time that, i dont care about myself the way i need to, because i allowed myself to stay with a man that doesn’t deserve me. Plus now he’s a heart patient and i believe that came from karma because he has been so evil to me. And Laurie, the saying everything happen for a reason, i’m starting to wonder if it’s true because, my 1st baby father ( i have 2).My 1st baby father has popped back in my world and he has always treated like the smart strong kind and gentle lady i am, and i’m also funny. I crave the respect and love, protectionand everything gentle i had with him, to come from my husband. Now i’m not gonna jump from man to man, i have sense and respect for myself to allow myself time to get peace. But i believe he’s back for me and he said he’ll wait for me. but i told him i want my marriage to work.But i’m starting to realize i want it to work only because i love who my husband is sometimes when he’s nice funny and kind. But he’s a monster when he flip. i don’t deserve it and i rather be out of this relationship and love myself more and find personal happiness without getting abuse phsically and verbally. thank you for hearing me. i needed to let someone know about my life. And i hope, if my 1st baby father was sent by God for a reason, i hope i have the courage to allow myself good love, because i’ve been treated like trash for so long on and off. The best parts i love about me is my strength in life, my caring heart and i’m very smart. i just feel where he’s concern, i am weak for those good time. but i know i have to leave, and i know my in-laws are gonna say i’m wrong because he’s now a heart patient. BUT I’M THINKING WHAT ABOUT ME, WHEN DO I PUT WHAT I WANT AND NEED FIRST. DO I COUNT IN THIS RELATIONSHIP. YES I DO!!! SO I’M GONNA LEAVE HIM, I’M STRESSED WITH THIS LOVE WITH A BAD HUSBAND!!

  3. Dear Laurie
    Thanks so much for writing the article (on what if my new relationship does not work). It is so helpful. Learning to live with uncertainty is indeed something I need to do. I feel so protected and taken care of in my marriage, so much so that I feel I can’t handle things on my own. But I don’t want to love lukewarmly anymore. I don’t want to live my love life/marriage half way. I do everything 100 percent. My job, my hobbies, but I have been living my marriage half way. I don’t want to do that anymore. I will confront my fears and I hope I will make the right decision. Thanks so much again. I really appreciate you writing this article.

  4. Dear Mary Rose,

    Thank you for sharing about your life here — and your Very Important Decision! I’m glad you found love, but sorry your husband may be hurt because of it.

    I wrote this article for you:

    What if My New Relationship Doesn’t Work Out?

    Let me know what you think.


  5. Dear Laurie. I am having a really difficult time trying to figure out what to do with regards to my marriage. I have been married for 16 years and together with my husband for another 4, so a total of 20 years. We had a “perfect marriage”. We have been very good companions to one another, very supportive of each other. We don’t ever fight. He is very committed to his profession and so am I. I never thought that I was unhappy in my marriage, but I did not really pay much attention to it, especially since the last 10 years or so, as I was working really hard in my firm to get a lot of promotions. I was always busy with work. About 6 years ago, we stopped sleeping in the same room because of my insomnia. Since about 10 years ago we more or less stopped having sex because I made it clear I did not like it (sex was never really fulfilling with him from the beginning) But still, until about 6 months ago I did not think I was unhappy in the marriage. I thought I did not want sex, that I was a sexless person (I had no desire) and was okay with a marriage that was more like being roommates. But about 6 months ago, I felt something was changing in me. I was feeling a lot more intensity in my life and desiring to enjoy life and unexpectedly and without planning I became attracted to a man, much younger than me (I am 45, he is 33) and we started seeing each other. I have been so happy with him and feel like I am living life with all the intensity I could wish for. I also realized that I do like to have sex, but with this person. Now, I don’t know what to do. I feel like I do not really love my husband, not like a wife loves a husband, but he is such a wonderful person and I don’t want to leave and hurt him. He does not know about the affair. I also feel like I don’t want to work on my marriage, go to marriage counseling, or even worse, sex therapy with my husband. This makes me feel guilty, too. I am scared of leaving. But I am not happy at home either. I also am scared about where my relationship with this new person goes. What if it does not work out?