I'm Brooklyn from A Little Too Jolley and a few weeks ago during a usual meltdown session brought on by my own actions, my husband asked me how he could help. I didn't know how he could, he was the reason I was crying. And it wasn't anything he had said or done. It was my own issues of self-worth I was battling, an ugly battle, with many casualties. Despite his pleas to tell me that he loved me, and that I'm a good wife to him, I still felt miserable. I felt inadequate.
Inadequate. Defined as "Not good or good enough: failing to reach an expected level or required level of standard."
I just didn't feel good enough for him. And those feelings of inadequacy were not new to my marriage, they come around pretty frequently. Like anytime I frivolously buy new shoes I don't need, or forget to do the dishes, or grumpily talk to my husband when he's trying to wake me up in the morning. It takes everything in me to not believe the voices telling me that I married up, and that I would never be good enough for him.
There are 3 things I try to remind myself when these feelings come around...
1. He Chose Me.
Nobody forced him to get down on one knee. He WILLINGLY and EXCITEDLY chose to ask me to be his wife. He didn't draw the smallest straw. He didn't have to eat the heel of the bread. He WANTED to marry me.
2. Feelings of Inadequacy Are Normal.
I was surprised to talk to my other married friends and learn that this is a common occurrence in their marriage too. I figured once my dating days were over I'd have nothing to worry about when it came to my relationship affecting my self-esteem, but boy was I wrong. The feelings I have about not being good enough actually stem from GOOD! They come from a place inside of you that was programmed to WANT to change. I believe we were designed as beings who are supposed to progress, marriage helps us become better people, therefore, we may feel inadequate as we are trying to reach new standards for ourselves.
3. Marriage is NOT 50-50.
It's not a scale balancing with what your spouse does on one side with what you do on the other. Marriage to me should be 100-100. And sometimes my 100% is less than his 100%. We seem to take turns having bad days. And sometimes it takes all I have just to brush my teeth and wash my face at night while my husband runs around doing dishes and changing the litter box and setting alarms for the next day. And sometimes it's the other way around. There will always be give and take in marriage and there's no scorekeeper making sure you both are even. Just do your best, give 100% and that's all you can do.
I find that when those feelings of inadequacy come, it seems easiest to just shut my husband out. But I always feel 100x better when I talk things out with him. He is my rock, a steady hand, and a listening friend. Marriage is the best decision I have ever made, but it also brought on so many new challenges that are shaping the person I am becoming.
What do you do when the feelings of inadequacy creep up on your marriage?