Learning how to deal with feelings of low self-worth and insecurity in your marriage will change everything! Here’s what to do when you feel like you’re not good enough for your husband – I was inspired to write this article for a wife who was brave enough to share how her husband makes her feel. This is part of her story…
“I feel like I’m not good enough for my husband,” says Mare on How Does He Feel? 8 Signs He’s Not in Love With You. “I just don’t trust him, and I don’t believe he really loves me…He says he is crazy about me but I don’t believe him. I’m currently hung up on the fact that my husband told me if we couldn’t be physically intimate, he wouldn’t stay with me. I’m always afraid I’m going to gain weight. I asked him if he would leave me again if I got fat. He says all the right things, but he left me before so I don’t believe him. I really believe he wants to be with me but I’m not sure why. My husband tries to make me feel good enough by sending me texts calling me beautiful, but our first Christmas back together, he didn’t even try with my gift. He puts little to no effort in trying to make me feel loved or accepted. I told my husband I feel like I can never measure up to what he wants, and he is shocked to hear that I don’t feel good enough for him. Please help me with this….is it me? I feel like I should just be alone and that I just cannot be married. What do I do with these feelings of not being good enough for my husband?”
I felt the exact same way – even down to the “is it me or him?” question! In fact, I still struggle with feeling not good enough for my husband. We’ve been married for 11 years and while I haven’t felt those feelings of low self-worth in a long time, sometimes they do crop up.
So I understand what it’s like to struggle with the “I feel like I’m not good enough for my husband” blues. I also know how long it takes to deal with those feelings of low self-worth and insecurity in a marriage.
Two things to remember:
- Rebuilding your self-worth and discovering how to feel good about yourself is a process. It takes time and effort on your part.
- Learning what helped women like me feel good enough for my husband may not necessarily work for you. Everyone’s journey is different, and there are no right or wrong ways to improve your feelings of low self-worth.
Here’s what worked for me…
When You Don’t Feel Good Enough for Your Husband
Be aware of the difference between your husband being critical and making you feel not good enough, versus you being self-critical and you making yourself feel not good enough for your husband.
This is an important distinction! Why? Because coping with a critical husband is different than dealing with feelings of low self-worth that come from yourself.
So, your first job is to figure out where those feelings of not being good enough are actually coming from. For me, my feelings of insecurity in my marriage were because of me. My husband did not deliberately try to make me feel bad about myself. In fact, he had little to do with my struggles of low self-worth. Knowing that he was not responsible for my feelings helped me learn how to feel good about myself in my marriage and in my life.
Stop depending on your husband to increase your self-worth
You can’t rely on any person, activity, possession, or thing to make you feel good enough for your husband. You can’t expect your marriage to be a perpetual source of self-worth, security, or even love. Husbands are fallible, they make mistakes, and they change. Sometimes they say the wrong thing. Sometimes they’re careless or thoughtless. Husbands just imperfect guys, and their sole focus in life isn’t their marriage or their wives’ feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.
If you view the things your husband does as a measure of your self-worth, you will be in a constant battle. Take, for example, the things your husband messes up – such as buying the wrong birthday gifts, forgetting to call when he said he would, not listening to you or asking how your day went. If you attempt to get your self-worth from your husband’s behavior or words, you will constantly be struggling with with feeling not good enough. You will see everything your husband does as a reflection of you, instead of seeing him as a human being with his own foibles and flaws, weaknesses and warts.
You can’t depend on any human being to help you feel good enough. It’s not your husband’s job to make you feel good enough for your marriage. That’s your job. You need to learn how to love yourself so you feel good enough for everything life has to offer – or take away. You are responsible for you, and your husband is responsible for himself.
Get your self-worth from sources other than your marriage
If not your husband or marriage, where do you get a strong sense of security, peace, joy, and love in your life? How will you learn to prevent those thoughts of “I feel not good enough for my husband” to stop running through your head?
It depends what you love to do, what feeds your soul, what brings your passions and personality to life!
Here’s what worked for me: I started developing a strong relationship with God by taking risky little leaps of faith. I also spend time in His presence every morning.
At first, I found myself often picturing myself as a little girl safe in the arms of Jesus. I literally imagined myself being held like a child in His arms. I never had a dad, was never picked up and loved by a father, so I needed to be healed. Simply imagining myself as a little girl in Jesus’ arms helped me heal from the lies that I wasn’t good enough for my husband. Now, I spend time every day listening to His heartbeat and feeling the flow of the Holy Spirit run through my spirit, mind, heart, and soul… and I rarely think about not feeling good enough for my husband. I feel alive and exhilarated and full of life, light, love and joy.
Basically, I stopped trying so hard to feel good about myself so I would be worthy of my husband. Instead, I dipped into God’s river of grace, love, and joy….and I let Him love me up every day. I accept myself, and I see myself the way He does. How does God see you?
Go away by yourself regularly
Can you take time by yourself – a retreat, perhaps – for two or three days without your husband? Traveling alone is an extremely healthy, valuable way to fight those “I’m not good enough” feelings of all women. Navigating solo travel as a woman alone is also a wonderful way to take a faith-based leap of faith, and rely on God to help you get away and back home safely.
My first experience traveling without my husband was on a medical missions trip to Haiti. But I was with a friend, so I wasn’t really by myself. My second trip without my husband was going to a Rob Bell two-day event for Christian creatives. It was in Los Angeles; I spend five days there by my self. Actually, no – my first real trip alone (after I got married) was to Texas, to volunteer at a Joyce Meyer conference! That was crazy; it took me four hours to get from the Dallas airport to my hotel in Plano, Texas. I traveled by train, bus, and taxi cab…talk about relying on God and the kindness of strangers to get me to my hotel safely. And now, every time I think about that long stint on public transportation, I look up to the Heavens and thank God for helping me every step of the way. And I feel great about myself 🙂
Figure out what you’re scared of (abandonment? rejection?)
Fear of abandonment is a big reason women choose to stay in marriages that make them feel bad about themselves. Many times women who are in painful marriages – or whose husbands deliberately try to make them feel bad about themselves – are more afraid of being alone than of doing the work it takes to make life better.
“Every time she thinks of standing up to her husband, or getting out of the relationship, she is overwhelmed by feelings of loss and loneliness,” writes Henry Cloud and John Townsend in Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You. “So she either avoids taking the difficult step to begin with, or she quickly came in. Because she didn’t have primary dates and supportive relationships, she would rather have the unsafe marriage than nothing at all.”
Read Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend if you don’t know how to assert yourself in your marriage or life. Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle and marriage. Boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances; mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions; emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others.
Whether or not your marriage is feeding your “I feel like I’m not good enough for my husband” thoughts, reading Boundaries will help you heal and improve your feelings of self-worth.
Choose one way to feel good enough about yourself today
If you don’t make a choice and work towards it, nothing will happen. If you click away from this article without having a specific plan – especially if you know what you need to do to feel good enough for your husband – then you will continue to struggle in darkness and insecurity.
Feelings of low self-worth and thoughts of “I’m not good enough” do not disappear when you read articles like this. You need to actually think about how to deal with feeling not good enough, and plan how you will change your thought and behavior patterns.
Questions to get you started:
- Do you have a general feeling of low self-worth, or do you feel not good enough when your husband says or does specific things?
- When you talk to your husbands about the specific things he does, how does he respond?
- How does this make you feel?
- Where can you get support and help asserting yourself in your marriage?
- How does it feel to be told that you are responsible for your own feelings of worth and identity?
- Of all your friends and family members, who is a woman you admire and respect? How do you know she feels good about herself?
Take time to write your answers to these questions in your private journal, or even in the comment section below. Don’t just click away from this article and pretend you never read it! Instead, take another step in your journey towards becoming the whole, healthy woman God created you to be.
I don’t give advice, but I read every comment. Feel free to share your thoughts on feeling bad about yourself below. You may find that writing will help you work through why you feel like you are not good enough for your husband and where those thoughts are coming from.
Here’s one of my favorite articles: 10 Ways to Stop Being a Needy Girlfriend and Feel Confident Again.
Help when you don’t feel good enough for your husband
In Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don’t Control You Joyce Meyer explores the whole gamut of feelings that human beings experience. She discusses how the brain processes and stores memories and thoughts, and then – emotion by emotion – she explains how we can manage our reactions to those emotions.
Joyce blends the wisdom of the Bible with the latest psychological research and discusses:
- The 4 personality types and their influence on one’s outlook
- The impact of stress on physical and emotional health
- The power of past memories on our present lives
- The influence of emotions such as anger, resentment, sadness, loss, grief, fear, guilt and regret
- The power of replacing reactions with pro-actions, and the benefits of happiness.
Living Beyond Your Feelings is a toolbox for managing how we react to all those feelings that can wreak havoc on our lives – including how we feel about ourselves.
In How to Love Yourself: A Guide to Building Your Self-Esteem When You Don’t Know Where to Start, Lakeysha-Marie Green shares help for building your self-worth, forgiving your past mistakes, and looking beyond your flaws.
- Imperfections can make you feel inferior and undeserving.
- Rejection can fill you with shame and anxiety.
- Fear can make you hide behind a false façade of safety.
If you don’t love yourself, you can’t contribute to a healthy, happy, loving marriage. Learn how to overcome harmful thought patterns and replace negative self-talk with positive emotions.
May you find strength and wisdom, hope and healing. May you develop healthy ways to fight those I don’t feel good enough for my husband thoughts – and may you recognize that they are not. Turn your face upwards, to the healing joy and compassionate grace that only God can give.
And may your marriage and life be blessed with love, joy, faith and peace.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.