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What should I do about feeling inadequate?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Health, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (18 October 2017) 6 Answers - (Newest, 20 October 2017)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

First off, this is quite the premature question, but tonight, its all I can think about. A year ago, I had to escape a mentally, physically, sexually, and verbally abusive relationship. It was difficult to say the least. A few months after we seperated, I met an amazing man.

It started off as friends, and despite that neither of us were looking for anything, it has grown into much more.

He has been supportive of me through EVERYTHING. Me working two jobs, making a 400 mile move, helping me attain a new job, supportive of me going back to school and helping me fill out papers for financial aide, build my resume, write cover letters, endlessly supportive of me and the custody battles between myself and my ex husband, and genuinely happy for me, and supportive of what I have done for my children and myself. Cautious and genuinely concerned about the kids and me wanting to take things slowly as far as him spending time with my children goes. (He's only met them twice as they are young, there have been a lot of changes in their lives, and I certainly don't want people in and out of their lives, which he is understanding of, but also excited when we have done things together.) He builds me up, which is something entirely new for me.

Sometimes I really question that I don't deserve him. I've told him plenty of times. He's pretty logical, and has told me that every body has something to deal with in life, and he could never be upset with me having a life before I met him. He tells me that there are plenty of things in life that are big issues, and me being divorced before 30, isn't one of them. In fact, he goes on to say that while we have both been through a lot in life for being in our late 20's we are both quite blessed. And I know he's right.

But how do I shake this feeling of inadequacy that I've placed upon myself? He's extremely intelligent and has amazing opportunities available to him. I could argue that he could be with anyone he ever wanted. But he insists he wants to be with me... And I guess I worry. I'm already divorced, I have children, I have my tubes tied, and I'm starting from scratch as far as school and obtaining a good career goes, while he's in his last few years of graduating a highly renowned university, has performed amazingly in his externships, ECT. He goes on to tell me that there is plenty of knowledge in the world, all different types. Intelligence and going through university is only one type of knowledge, and that I can do anything I put my mind to because I have the "brain,determination,and strong work ethic to do it."

Even through all his reassurance, I still worry I'm inadaquete. And I don't want him to grow tired of having to reassure me. What should I do in regards to this? Would therapy be a good option? I can really see us having a future together and he's made plenty of comments and plans for the future that include me in them. I don't want to lose him because I don't feel like I'm "good enough."

View related questions: divorce, his ex, my ex, university

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (20 October 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntYeah I do feel that therapy would do you good, because you are right no matter how much he likes you, you will wear him down if you keep needing to be reassured. So yes get in touch with a therapist to allow them to help you deal with your past and realize your self worth. You may have children and unable to have any more, but he knows that about you and he doesn't mind, these are your issues not his. He wants to be with you, you need to let him in and show him that you care about him as well.

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A male reader, Allumeuse United Kingdom +, writes (18 October 2017):

This man is just a man. He is a good,honest man and he works hard. Are there any of those qualities you don't think you can equal? In spite of the opinions of some previous posters, most men and women are pretty adept at pairing unconsciously with their equals. But that also means as a couple you should never let each other down and do your best to try to become greater than the some of your parts. Treasure the person who has more than you but holds you in respect as they literally cannot take anything from you, but always try to minimise the burden they carry for you as that will maintain the respect that hey hold for your character. There WILL be highs and lows-if you tackle them together as you have you will go a long way. You are just a woman and a man working as a team. Forget how you feel and rise to the challenge. Good luck.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (18 October 2017):

I commend you on getting you and the children out of an abusive and hostile environment. My dear, that takes courage and a strong sense of survival. You've ventured on to seek higher-education, a new job, and found your independence!

How on earth would you feel inadequate! You're the personification of moving-on to success!!! Yes indeed, everyone has a past. We are not responsible for the deeds of others, nor are we to take blame for being victims of abuse!

I agree, a lot has happened to you in your short number of years on this planet; but you are a survivor! You came out of a bad-situation and charged ahead. Most would just give-up, or surrender to just being a victim. You fought for your kids; and made sure you can provide for them!

You have to realize that after the suffering and the heartbreak; God will bring peace and blessings. You persevered through the storm, and have come out of it the victor. The suffering was bad, but you're all the stronger for it. I am quite impressed with your story; and I'm not quite sure what you're worried about? Just be grateful, and give thanks. There are more blessings to come. Don't give your ex the power to poison your happiness, or crush your self-esteem. That's what an abuser aims to do. Make you feel you're not good enough for anyone better. Don't give him the satisfaction!!! Your destiny has proven this not to be the case!

Don't worry about losing him. He has invested his time, he has been helpful and considerate; and a man planning to jet doesn't put that much time and effort into helping someone he cares little about. Even if that could be the case; you have your kids, your job, and your future to look forward to. If he's smart, he'll stick around!

Don't put all your faith and joy in the hands of any man, my dear. He is but a man! Human, not a deity! He's not perfect, he can make mistakes, and he has a past as well. No one is better or worse than you. Circumstances and origins may differ; but humans are made of flesh and blood. A Higher Authority sent him your way. He's just a tool!

Stay in the present. Fear of the future will cause you to be insecure; and diminish all his efforts to gain your trust and to prove to you he's in it for the duration. Fear will set you back from your progress forward.

Pray, be thankful, and prosper!

Fear will also make you sabotage things in order to see a predictable future. It's normal to be scared or apprehensive; but don't be "fearful" of losing anyone. If you found him, you can find someone as good or better. Remember that! You have powerful instincts; and your intuition is just keeping you vigilant. You are also hypersensitive towards the intentions of men; due to the past you had being a victim of abuse. Understand where these feelings come from; so you will properly interpret what they mean.

Life in-general is uncertain. There is no way to be sure of anything. There are no guarantees. I'm certain you're strong enough to survive and succeed regardless. With or without him. I pray he will be as good as he seems!

Re-read your post!

He might be helping, but you're doing all the heavy-lifting!

Honey, you're more than good enough! He couldn't find anyone better, or even close! He sees your potential, admires your strength, and realizes this woman is something else!

May God continue to bless all of you!

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A male reader, CMMP United States + , writes (18 October 2017):

Women and men are very different. So while you are looking at yourself from a woman's perspective (and probably one with low self esteem stemming from your bad relationship) and concluding that you're not good enough, he's looking at you from a completely different perspective and likes what he sees.

I'll be blunt. Most guys want someone they think will be a good mom, someone to have sex with, be a companion with, and a partner to. It's pretty simple.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (18 October 2017):

CindyCares agony aunt Oh you are good enough for him. And a bit starry eyed :).

Not to demolish your hero, I am sure he is a great guy but, let's be realistic. He is in late 20s and still in his " last few years " of college - I mean, people graduates at 21 in USA . Let's send him to post grad school or law school or whatnot- that makes 25/26 tops. Your guy is going to finish his education in his early 30s, after which he will have to establish himself in his chosen career, ot may not be as simple as snapping his fingers, regardlers of his externships-... if he is going to be a professional like a doctor or a laywer or an architect ,that can take quite some doing and quite a number of lean years, - not to mention that anyway he wil probably be saddled with massive debt for student loans. Being optimistic the earliest he can start making some

" real " money ,- I am not saying enough to justify your sense of inadequacy because a difference of incomes does not EVER justify feeling inferior- anyway , let's say it may engender this sense of " uneven field " or " not enough to offer " in people like you who feels insecure due to past traumas and abuse or other reasons, - well , the earliest that he can make anything adequate, forget anything impressive , will probably be in his mid to late 30s, sooo...

I hope you understand I don't say this to look down on your bf's accomplishments or life choices- just to show you that there are several ways to skin a cat. Lots of people I know would say that he is not enough for you !

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A male reader, Phil052 United Kingdom +, writes (18 October 2017):

Phil052 agony auntYou are good enough for this man! Your feelings of inadequacy come because you have been dragged down by your abusive ex husband. It will take time to regain your confidence from such an awful experience. Just take things slowly, and enjoy being with a man who values you for who you are! I found your post so uplifting, though I can understand your confused feelings given what you have been through. It must all feel 'too good to be true'. I wish you all the best for the future, you deserve a shot at happiness!

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