My girlfriend and I are together for little over a year now. She has big problems with self-esteem and little to no sense of self-worth, which I think is at least in part due to parental abuse and -abandonment.

No matter how often I assure her that I love her and everything about her (her personality, her looks, her intellect, our shared interests, etc.), she quickly deflects it as "I am only saiyng that to cheer her up".

I don't want to keep any secrets from her, so if she asks me about my ex-girlfriend, I always tell the truth to the best of my ability. (My first relationship ended almost a decade ago, so some details are hard to recall, especially since those memories mostly weren't really pleasant). My problem is just, she gets extremely sad and insecure over the most minute details.

An example: She asks me questions like "What hair colour did your ex have?" and when I tell her she had brown hair, she gets depressed and tells me she finds her black hair ugly. I tell her that I find her black hair absolutely beautiful and that it's my favourite hair colour - which is true - but she just dismisses it as something I say just to cheer her up.

I don't want to lie to her and pretend my past doesn't exist.

Worst of all, after she had calmed herself, she usually falls into an episode of self-loathing, where she apologizes profusely, telling me that she is sorry for being such a burden to me. When I tell her that it is fine, that I am not upset, and that I love her more and more every day, she just seems to ignore that.

Is there anything I can do to help her feel more confident about herself and our relationship? Any help would be appreciated!

  • The reason why I had difficulties with that question was because it seemed to focus a lot on bullying, as well as it being branded "off-topic" (which I disagree with, but what do I know?) Further, the suggested answer is something I have been doing for over a year, and I am not sure if it just takes much more time than I assume, or if I should try something in addition.
    – user6497
    Sep 26 '17 at 20:21
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    Well, in general questions about relationships are fine, but that one the community decided should be answered by a professional - you can read the meta discussion here. Not without some controversy though so it remains to be seen what they'll do with this one :)
    – Em C
    Sep 26 '17 at 20:27
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    @EmC Understandable, it is indeed not an easy problem. I will ask her if she would like to consult professional help. Still, thank you very much for your help.
    – user6497
    Sep 26 '17 at 20:29