In a world that will tell you at every available opportunity that you are not enough, (not sexy enough; not intelligent enough; not skinny enough; not sexually liberated enough} discovering that the man you thought you WERE enough for, MORE than enough maybe, can be devastating. Discovering that he is looking at or engaging with women (or men) outside of your marriage can understandably cause us women to ask questions about ourselves and our worth. We can translate the messages of the world into hurtful and harmful 'truths' about ourselves.
He looks at women with bigger breasts than mine = my breasts are not big enough = I am not good enough.
He sleeps with women of a different race = I am the wrong race for him = I am not good enough.
He has sexual encounters with other men = I can never satisfy that part of him = I am not good enough.
I have listened to the voice of 'not good enough' for a good many years in my own life....too many years in fact! Over those years I have learned to ask some questions of the 'not good enough' voice. I'd like to invite you to ask some of these questions for yourself...
By who's measure of 'good enough' are you coming up short? This is such an important question for us to ask ourselves as humans, as women and as wives of men with sexual addictions! SO IMPORTANT. Exactly how are we measuring our worth? By the standards of pornographers? By the opinion of our sexually addicted spouse? By the sexualised world in which we have been raised? By the impossible standards laid before us on a daily basis? I would encourage you to spend some time thinking deeply about what 'good enough' even means before deciding whether you meet the standard. When you can define this standard by and for yourself, you can make an objective decision about how worthy you are against that measure. Search your soul, your deepest values and ideals for what is truly GOOD, according to you.
Why are you telling me this? Ask the 'not good enough' voice what it's motives for speaking are. Is it to build you up or to tear you down? This is an important distinction to make. Sometimes, we hear the not good enough voice speaking from a place of love and encouragement. "Come on, we can do better than this, what do we need to do differently to get a better result?". More often though, at least for me, this voice is the voice of condemnation, judgement and SHAME. Not that something I did is not good, but that I am not a good person. It is an insidious motivation that can permeate my whole being with a heavy weight of just being who I am. If I can develop the skill of understanding the motive of this voice, I can start to turn against the messages of shame in my life and regain some power. So, I ask the voice "why are you telling me this? To build me up or to tear me down?" and when I get the response of the latter, I take back my power by measuring myself against my own definition of what is truly good. There I seek to find the 'build me up' motivation to change, if indeed change is even required.
Where can I find alternative opinions on what the voice is telling me? One thing I have learned in life is that there is NEVER only one point of view on ANYTHING! It pays to stay curious about what others may think about the truth of the message you're receiving from the voice of 'not good enough'. Where can you find alternative points of view on that message? Given that most people are carrying their own 'not good enough' messages, I have found that my own perceptions on this are often far removed from the perceptions of those around me. Ask someone who loves you how you measure against their 'good enough' meter, ask your kids, your parents, ask God, your sister, your friends, ask anyone who is not misled by lust and I promise you will come off better than you feel you are doing!
I am not asking you to ignore the voice of 'not good enough' in your life and pretend it doesn't exist. What I am suggesting you do, WE do, is to pick up the stones as they are thrown and examine them to see how they serve you. To counter that voice with some REAL truth, thought through and measured by your own sense of what is valuable. To take back the right you have to make your own judgements about what makes you 'enough' and to stand firm in what you know about yourself in the face of the onslaught of negative thoughts and associations that come with the discovery that he is a sexual addict. I have a hunch that you really are good enough in way more ways than you are not. I have a hunch that if you start to measure your worth for yourself, you will come off better every time!
For support in exploring where you can find YOUR worth, please visit my website for coaching options.