The simple answer is "Yes". Low self-esteem can definitely impact your relationship and cause what appear to be 'relationship problems' when in fact, these problems may be attributed to the effects of low self-esteem. If this isn't addressed, then it can spell the end of the relationship.
Having low self-esteem may be one of those things you have learned to live with. You try to hide it from others, but inside you believe that you are not good enough, or not attractive enough and you are always trying to fake it to appear as though you are alright.
As a counesllor specialising in both relationships and self-esteem, I frequently see how low self-esteem can harm an otherwise good relationship. These are some of the typical problems I see with couples or individuals suffering with low self-esteem.
Being Overly Promiscuous
Often women with low self-esteem will be desperate to have a real relationship, a boyfriend who will stick around and not just want them for sex. Because the don't value themselves, they feel the best way to get this, is to give men what they think they want straight away, for fear of losing them.
So, they meet a man, sleep with him, and then wonder why he doesn't stick around. This just confirms the belief about themselves that they are not good enough and they move onto the next man to try and get some validation. And so the cycle continues.
Not Trusting a Partner
Women who have low self-esteem and are in a committed relationship, often wonder why their partner is with them, and how soon it will be before he finds someone else that is better than them. So, they start to get 'clingy' and ask a lot of questions to try and get constant reassurance. Over time, this becomes draining for the man and he may get fed up and in fact leave. Again, this confirms the woman's view that she is not good enough.
Judgemental of Others
Often people with low self-esteem can be really judgemental of others. They have such a critical view of themselves, that they reflect this onto other people too. They may constantly point out the negatives about others. To a man, this may come across as negative and cruel, not a trait he is looking for in a partner.
If you find yourself constantly judging others, their looks, their behaviour or choices, stop and think if you are really happy with yourself.
Anxious to Please
When you have low self-esteem, you may be so concerned that you will upset your partner and they will reject you, that you become anxious to please them, often at your own expense. You rarely speak about your true feelings and thoughts in case it will cause a confrontation. This means that the relationship can't be balanced. It will soon become hard work for your partner, or you will end up so resentful that you aren't getting your needs met in the relationship, that you start to become angry and sabotage the relationship without realising it.
Always Hear the Negative