When You Don’t Feel Good Enough for Your Husband

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…

Husband Makes Me Feel Bad Not Good Enough

I Feel Like I’m Not Good Enough for My Husband

“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:

  1. Rebuilding your self-worth and discovering how to feel good about yourself is a process. It takes time and effort on your part.
  2. 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.

When You Don't Feel Good Enough for Your Husband

When You Don’t Feel 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.

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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.

When You Don’t Feel Good Enough for Your HusbandAt 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.”

When You Don’t Feel Good Enough for Your Husband

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

husband makes me feel bad about myself

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.

When You Don’t Feel Good Enough for Your Husband

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.

Beloved reader,

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.


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9 thoughts on “When You Don’t Feel Good Enough for Your Husband

  • Marcela

    I have been feeling so tired emotionally I have had it. Every time I see women with beautiful fit shaped bodies, tall, beautiful skin, I feel like my husband would be better off with someone like that. I see him starring, even though he says he thinks I am perfect, I have always battled with low self-esteem, but it gotten to a terrible point to where I am in the beach with my husband surrounded by beautiful women I feel so worthless, I didn’t think much of myself before, but I never compared to others, until I realized my husband had a tendency of starting at women in an inapropiate way. He says he is past that. But I think that is still in my heart and some other things that happened in our marriage.
    I really want to conquer this for me. I can’t keep living hating myself and thinking I could never be loved by someone.

  • Val

    I have been married to my husband for almost ten years. This is my third marriage and I’m his seventh wife. I am 59 and he is 62.
    When we first met, I used to be bubbly, full of life and I had goals and a plan on how to get there. I had a sense of humor and loved life! I look back on my profile page in Facebook when I joined back in 2008, and my comments on how happy and alive I felt. I haven’t felt that way in years.We met online, a month later in person, and married two months after that. Our blended family consists of 7 children, 22 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
    I learned to be independent and take care of myself and my kids for many years prior to meeting my current husband. I had to learn how to “let go” of some of that independence so my new husband could be the “provider” of the home. I had to really focus on getting into that mindset – I had just earned my Masters Degree and was teaching at a university. He didn’t try to stop me from doing that. I taught for a few years before we moved farther away and purchased a ranch, of which we both always dreamed of living on but never had anyone to share it with before we met. I took a few years off of teaching to help him build a company.
    This is where the problems began, about a year after we were married. My role in the company was to “shut up and let me make all the decisions”. I never professed to know a whole lot about the kind of business he was in, but I had a few ideas but he did not want to hear them. He told me to just do the accounting and let him take care of the rest of it. I ended up getting another full time teaching job at a small community college which kept me busy and not at the office very much. He hired other people to work in the office, but I still continued to update the books. My name is on the corporate papers, but I had absolutely no say in what went on. I tried to share my thoughts and ideas, only to be met with anger and the phrase: “You don’t know anything about business”. My four children began noticing a difference in me about year two of being married to this person. They kept asking me if I was alright, but I never told them about the problems I was having. They noticed that I was missing that “sassy spark” I used to have.
    So I used up my free time to get the ranch up and making a profit. I was selected to participate in an all woman’s agricultural group that provided a year’s worth of free ag education paid for by the Department of Agriculture. I was so excited about this new found knowledge and couldn’t wait to share it with my husband. He cut me off when I started to share the information, and told me he didn’t have time to hear it. I made several attempts but he told me that those women didn’t know what they were doing, and that I needed to stop listening to them and the ideas I got. I was so frustrated and hurt because how did he know what I learned? He never let me explain or share it with him (I completed these classes four years ago and he’s probably listened to me a total of 20 minutes).
    I saw the demise of the corporation a long time ago, beginning with my concerns about how he was spending way too much on helping people. I’m not at all against donating to a worthy cause, but not when it’s thousands of dollars that was given away when there were customers to take care of. I think that he himself was seeking for praise, and wanted to be known to be a generous successful businessman. And now, our company is broke (not bankrupt) and we still have to finish customer projects that are over one year old.
    This week he’s hired a mid 50’s gal, cute, slender, aggressive, smart in business, of whom he spends all of his time with now, as he’s trying to build the company back up. Through the years of being shut down from speaking my opinion (unless I agreed with his), I have become even more overweight and the most unattractive I’ve been in my entire life. This morning I let loose my emotions and cried, screamed and told him I did not think that him spending all day long with another woman alone, would be a good idea right now. He proceeded to tell me that I’ve been controlling him for years, putting all of this back on me! We have a horrible sex life – he demands a certain type of sex that I have grown to hate and resent, and he wonders why I have no libido? I am devastated.
    I admit that I’m probably jealous, but I’ve been emotionally abused for years and have no confidence in myself anymore. He wants me to act like the “tiger in the bedroom”, but I reminded him that I need to gain back my confidence that has been chipped away at for years. He claims to love me and that he doesn’t want our marriage to end, but if a partnership cannot learn to communicate and work as one, it might as well be over. I’m happy to have found this blog, as the first scenario really hit home for me. I have to admit I’m jealous, but it stems from my basic insecurities that I’ve let consume me these past ten years. I don’t want our marriage to end, and I’m trying to find a way to muster up my “old self” and be that bubbly happy person I once was. Blessings to all of you! I feel your pain.

  • Lee Moreno

    I’ve been married for 11 years and I am emotionally drained,physically exhausted and I’ve lost myself and my self worth.
    I do feel unworthy when my husband disrespects me and goes to strip joints, comes home drunk, and when I find out he’s been texting co workers.
    When I talk to my husband about these things he feels like he is not doing any wrong and deserves to do these things because he works hard. This makes me feel disrespected and low. Like I’m my body is not attractive to him and needs to go to strip joint to satisfy his need for a woman.I am currently In my first session of indiviadual therapy for marriage counseling. I don’t like to feel accountable for my own feelings.

    • Val

      Lee, my heart goes out to you. My first husband was a porn addict, unknown to me for years. He used to go to massage parlors, then X-rated movies, then eventually started spending money on prostitutes. It was a living hell for me when I found out about it. It sounds like your husband is a sex addict as well. My first husband divorced me and got married to a young gal just a few years older than our oldest daughter. Since then, he divorced and married again and his kids have no respect for him.
      Feeling accountable for our own feelings is a tough thing to do. However, the process of it also makes you realize that – it goes both ways too! You can make your life anything you want it to be – so, the sky’s the limit!! Lee, I’m not one to advocate for divorce, as there is usually a sliver of hope in there, but realize that his addiction is not your fault! Even if you were to do your best to be more attractive, it is only the superficial that he sees, not the heart. Pornography destroys families – it is a tool of Satan and it is everywhere in our society.
      Keep going to your therapy. It takes times for your story to unfold and the answers to come. In the long run, you will be glad you did it.

  • Steph

    Ive been married for now 2 years and our marriage is so bad we have been in therapy for a few months now and my husband has anger issues he hasn’t changed he is emotionally and mentally abuses me it’s his way or no way. We have 2 babies together and I have an older of my own and he has an older of his own. He is hard on my oldest and I know for a fact he doesn’t like her but pretends too.. when his daughter is not here we are not allowed to have any fun which I believe is not fair… he yells instead of discipline and I rather correct my little ones than yell… he is lazy he thinks watching the girls means he can lay down and let them wonder some .. my girls are scared of him.. I want to fight for this marriage because I want to give my kids everything I didn’t have but I’m starting to doubt my marriage… my husband calls me fat and says he has had better than me… he doesn’t compliment me nor is lovable he always just telling me everything I’m doing wrong… If I stand up for myself it’s asking for war than hours later when he says sorry he say it’s my fault for saying things and I say well I’m just defending myself and he says well than you should not disrespect me and I won’t disrespect you like how is that fair? He thinks he is perfect and he doesn’t do anything wrong he needs a reality check. We are a Christian family but to be honest I don’t see any point in going to service if he gets out cursing … opinions please no judging

  • Amber Gardner

    Low self esteem…Never married. I’m 36 now and still suffer the same phobia I had as a teen which is…I’m afraid to go into a “store” with a man. I’m afraid of what people think of me.

  • Anon

    I generally have low self esteem. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. My husband recently started working out to be a body builder and it has made me have an even lower self esteem and it’s affecting our marriage. I do yoga, which helps me feel okay, but I still have the same thoughts. What should I do?

  • Viviana

    I struggle to feel good enough only when my husband takes out his frustrations on me. We are a blended family and thinks I treat my oldest son unfairly in comparison to the rest of the kids. I don’t understand why things have to be his way and if I don’t jump to agree with him, he goes on a rant and starts saying things such as “the golden boy gets a reprieve again.” It makes it very difficult to want to speak to a person like that. He expects consequences for everything no matter the infraction. I on the other hand believe in talking to the kids and reminding them of their duties. We have kids that range in age from 10-15 years old and they are pretty well grounded. When things don’t go as my husband things they should go then I usually am the one to blame. He tells me what I’m doing isn’t working. I question myself and wonder why I’m so wrong all the time. I’m now considering leaving the relationship because I’m looking to live a happy life and not feel like I’m not capable of meeting someone’s demands.

  • Sad And Scared

    I have been with my husband for many years now. Things have changed and while I know he is committed to me and our marriage I feel incredibly insecure and scared and sad because he no longer responds to me or our relationship in the he way that he did in the past. We have spoken about this and he is trying hard but I still feel insecure and scared because I do not know or trust if he is really is experiencing the depth and intimacy and love that I know would have accompanied his behavior before. I feel I like I am not enough for him anymore ( not beautiful enough, not enough in personality , not intelligent enough, not interesting enough, not anything remotely enough) when before I had and felt certain in my relationship that I was enough for him and everything he needed. The change in his behavior has brought on massive and constant feelings of inadequacy … I so desperately want to be enough and not just enough but I want to be his everything like I was before and I want our marriage to be like it used to be