Do not allow anyone, including your partner, to make you feel like you are not good enough.
I started the sentence with anyone because that is true, no one should have that kind of power over you, but this post is about the latter part of that sentence. Today I want to focus on this truth. Never, ever, ever allow your significant other to make you feel like you are not good enough.
They don’t do it on purpose. I’m sure your husband or wife loves you to the moon and back, but one wrong comment said at the wrong time, can bring about the heart-shattering feeling of not being good enough.
I am not a good enough homemaker. I am not a good enough mother. I am not a good enough wife. These are lies I tell myself over and over again. I think it so often that the moment my husband makes one tiny comment in a minimally accusatory way, I immediately think, “I’m not good enough for him”.
What does being good enough even mean? How do you measure good-enough-ness? And if we are capable of feeling less than enough, why can’t we feel like we are good enough?
This is a difficult topic to write about and one I wasn’t planning on covering, but my husband and I experienced a tough moment today and it got me thinking. I’ll begin by telling you what happened and I’ll end by telling you how I took my worth back.
Today is Saturday. My husband, Jay Jay, worked a twelve-hour shift last night. He came home around eight this morning and walked our dog, had breakfast casserole, and spent some time with us before going to sleep. While he slept, Liam and I hung out.
Depending on the day, Jay Jay will wake up between four and six pm. Today I woke him up at three thirty because I thought he had to be at work early. When he walked out of the room, he took one look around and said, “babe, what happened here?”.
“What happened here?!” Are you kidding me? My mind started analyzing his tone, coming up with sarcastic responses, and most importantly, it started to hear the lie. I wanted to reply with, “we had an earthquake, a tornado, what do you think f*cing happened?” Instead, I tried to keep my composure and replied in the most monotone way I possibly could, “what do you think happened?”
Maybe I could have told him the truth. I could have told him that Liam had been congested all day and extra needy. I could have told him that I spent Liam’s naps writing instead of tidying up the kitchen because I was planning on cleaning when our sweet boy went to bed.
According to Jay Jay, what I thought was monotone, was actually “an attitude”. So he snapped. He got upset and took Liam with him to the bedroom and slammed the door. If there is one thing that will always get a reaction out of me is a door slam. Ugh. I cannot ignore it. So I followed him into the room and asked, “are you serious?”
“F*ck you!”, he exclaimed.
Those two words right there were it. How could he disrespect me like that? How could he disrespect me like that in front of our son who although too young to understand, will one day be old enough to mimic his behavior? How could he treat me like that after all I do for him?
Marriage after a baby has been quite the roller coaster for us, but we are continuously working on it because marriage ain’t easy. It requires hard work, but this was unacceptable. This was not worth working on. He had disrespected me in a way that I never had him.
I am a writer. Words are not meaningless to me. So when Jay Jay said those two words, I was done. I immediately went numb from the neck down. My brain, though, went on overdrive. I analyzed and I thought and I decided. That was it.
At first, before he cursed at me, I was thinking that there was no way he thought I was good enough. He woke up to a messy apartment, a hot mess wife (think extremely messy bun, gym shorts, and a tank), and an overly fussy toddler and all he could do was question why our home was a mess. He must have not thought that the chaos I went through that day was reason enough for me to not be good enough.
But once he said those two words and I felt disrespected, I did not care. All of those thoughts melted into the heavy feeling of needing to gain my worth back.
Yes, I could have been less sarcastic from the start, but I did not disrespect him. I did not doubt his worth. I did not deserve his behavior. So I told him I was done. I was done working on us because if he does not respect me, then there’s no marriage to work on. I refuse to let the man I love more than most (by most I mean everyone except Liam) treat me like I am not worth respecting.
In that instant, I walked out of that situation feeling at peace with any outcome. I’m not going to sugar coat it, my mind went to where I think most motherly minds would go.
“If we get a divorce, I will be fine because I am good enough to be a single mother. No, I am great enough.” I thought.
And with that thought, I got my worth back.
A few minutes after, Jay Jay and I talked. We did work it out and as soon as the hurt went away, I knew I wanted to continue working on our marriage. He is a kind, humble, and giving man. He is the person that has seen me through my worst and has held my hand through my even worst.
That moment of anger and hurt was caused by miscommunication that was brought on by a fussy toddler and sleep deprivation (every parent’s life) and that is why I thought it was so important to share. I am not ashamed of this moment because it does not define our relationship. We are very much in love and our marriage is healthy, but like our neighbors, we are flawed.
We are flawed, but we are worth it!