“If only I was different.” This is something that I used to tell myself over and over again. I really believed that if I was just different than my husband would love me. If I was different my life wouldn’t have turned out the way it did.
Trying to become different
When I was 25 years old I was determined to change. I had been married for 6 years and I was tired of feeling cast aside and unimportant. I went on a starvation diet, trying to eat 1000 calories or less a day. I did change, in fact, I lost about 20 lbs and weighed less than I ever had. I looked good, but I was miserable, all I could think about was when I could eat next. My husband seemed happy. He seemed more interested in me than he had been in a long time. This wasn’t the only time I went on extreme diets. They never lasted long, my energy levels would drop and I could only do it for so long.
I tried to become sexier, I even considered liposuction and breast enhancement several times. One roadblock was money, I didn’t have enough if it. Another was a deeper part of me that didn’t want large breasts. The ones I had…..seemed to get in my way when I was working out. Why would I add more?
The changes weren’t just physical, I tried changing the way I acted and behaved. I tried being more passive and quiet. I tried to serve him more. Each and every time the real me would come back out and I would feel like a failure. I knew that if I was different he would love me, but I couldn’t maintain different.
Trading my own happiness for his
I can see now that when I tried to change so that he would love me and cherish me, I was trading my happiness for his. He may have been happy when I was skinnier, but I was starving and had low energy. He may have been happy when I was passive and quiet, but I was a woman with an opinion. I thought changing would make him care for me and love me, it didn’t change his feelings towards me. No matter what I did the shame of never being enough was staring me in the face.
Owning my part
I wish I could blame it on all him, but I can’t. The truth is that when I married him I didn’t know who I was. I already felt pretty worthless, and I know that I did not have a good self-image. I know that before I married him I struggled with making choices. I felt that boys would never like me, so when he did….. I felt so lucky. All of this played into what happened. If I would have felt good about myself I would have dumped him. He treated me great most of the time we were dating, but I can remember some red flags that would have been deal breakers if I would have loved myself and known I was worth it.
I didn’t know who I was, and over time I just became what I thought he wanted me to be. I became serious, and the bubbly personality that once was a part of me popped. I tried to bring it back, but I felt like he was hovering over me keeping me down. I don’t recall him calling me fat or ugly early on, but I felt that I was fat and ugly. I know part of it was me, but more of it was his Ohh and ahh when he would look at magazines and verbalize how much he enjoyed the images. What I knew was that I was not those images. Pain…Pain….Pain!
Finding Me and I’m not going back
I worked hard from 2013-2015 to find myself, and I am determined to never lose myself again. I can see that I was always WORTH IT! I was never perfect, but my worth doesn’t change based upon my size or the fact that I have bad days. It’s not based on my cluttery office or pant size. My worth is based on God. He gave me my worth before I was born. It is a gift that never goes away. It is infinite!
Your worth has always existed too, it is infinite and never changing.
One of my favorite quotes:
I tried being normal, but it got boring so I went back to being me.
I learned that I love being me! I am okay!
The change starts and ends with me
The change started with me. I thought that if he loved me I might love myself. I thought that I needed him to love me in order to be loveable. That was a lie.
“Just because someone is incapable of providing the love that you need, doesn’t mean you are not loveable.”
I know that my ex-husband likes me less than he ever has, and I am sure that he doesn’t find me beautiful, I’m sure he still thinks I am worthless, and not worth his time. His actions prove this to be true, but something changed. I changed!
I weigh more than I ever have, my office is still cluttery, I don’t exercise like I should and I can still be a grumpy mother, AND…. I love myself more than I ever have. I started fighting for me.
The change starts with you, your worth is already there
I talk to a lot of women who are where I was at.
They feel like their families would be better off without them.
They feel like they have nothing to offer.
They feel worthless.
All that is a lie! My heart aches for you!
If your spouse isn’t fighting for you, please don’t stop fighting for yourself. You are worth it! YOU ARE WORTH THE FIGHT! You deserve to be loved, cared about, and cherished exactly as you are. No changes necessary.
You can get to the other side! You can learn to embrace yourself! You can learn to love yourself! I didn’t think that I could get here, but I did! You can too!
Learning to love yourself:
It really begins with self-care. How are you doing? Follow the links below to my self-care assessment:
Self Care Assessment Worksheet– Use this worksheet to see where your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to self-care. (Do this part before you look at how to read your score.)