| SELF-ESTEEM CAN'T BE FOUND IN
BOOK BYLINE: DR. JOY BROWNE EDITION: Final SECTION: Lifestyle
DEAR DR. JOY: I have a friend who is having marital problems and
she asks for my advice. I have tried to tell her that she needs to
develop her self-esteem and self-worth, whether she is
married to her current husband or if she is on her own.
In my mind, she does not bring anything new into the relationship
because she waits around to react to whatever her husband does or
Can you suggest a book that would give her advice on how to
develop self-esteem and independence?
DEAR READER: Self-esteem is one of those wonderful terms
that says exactly what it is -- not friend-esteem, not child-esteem,
not parent-esteem, but self-esteem. You get it for yourself,
or you ain' t gonna have it.
Your efforts to help your friend, while well-intentioned, are
misguided. Providing self-esteem isn't something a friend can
do with you or for you.
Learning to value yourself is an active process, not something
you can get from a book. You develop self-esteem by doing
something that you value and doing it well and saying, "Oooh, what a
good girl am I!"
It sounds to me like you are getting irritated with your friend,
which is certainly understandable. It may be a good time to suggest
that she begin sorting through things on her own.
DEAR DR. JOY: My boyfriend and I knew each other 11 years ago
when I was going out with one of his best friends. He says he fell
in love with me back then, but deferred to his friend.
Now I'm 35 and he's 31 and, since we got back in touch last fall,
not one day has gone by that we haven't spoken or been together in
some way. We even bought a house and moved in together.
I want to get married. He says we're not ready. I'm so sure that
he's my life's partner, and he says he feels the same about me, but
says we haven't known each other very long.
Why do I feel the need to keep broaching the subject? I'm sure
I'm on the verge of nagging.
DEAR READER: My dear, cool your jets a bit.
Moving in with someone who is dragging his heels on getting
engaged is unwise. You are making it very easy for him put off
making clear what his commitment is to you.
First, you haven't known each other long enough to be living with
each other. Second, especially with the fact that you want a
commitment and he is not offering it, if I were you, I'd move out.
Continue to date each other and see where the relationship goes.
You are right -- nagging him about the relationship won't do any
good. It will just make you both unhappy.
The two of you went too fast on this. Move out. Start all over
DR. JOY BROWNE, SELF-ESTEEM CAN'T BE FOUND IN
BOOK. , The Toronto Sun, 07-17-1999, pp 53.