My Admission of Inadequacy In Our Relationship

I’ve got a pretty deep post coming at you today, are you ready?

 

Sometimes I like to get really honest. I like to almost make myself feel better by venting on my blog. This is one of those days where I won’t probably be as positive and happy as I may seem most days, but I felt the need to write this post.

I don’t want to come across as down or negative, because in all honesty I normally try to keep a very positive outlook.  I find that sometimes when I finally write out how I feel it tends to allow me to let go of it.

 

There is something that has been eating away at me lately. I try to keep it under control but many times it gets the best of me. The best word to describe the feeling is inadequacy.

 

My world right now is all over the place. I blog, I work part time, and I help support my husband during these last few months of his medical school career. I don’t feel like I have much a purpose because instead of having a full time job and being the bread winner I am just doing the best I can to get us through.

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As the wife of a future (very soon!) Dr. it is hard to see your worth when your husband is working so hard towards a very well respected career.  I often look at him and even though I know I would NEVER want to go to medical school and I see how hard it has been on him I am envious that he has a pretty determined future and a well respected one at that.  Please don’t get me wrong here, I am so proud of him. 

I often feel very down when I realize that I don’t really have anything right now to hang my hat on. Of course, supporting someone and doing what you can to bring in money is important but I still hold onto a lot of guilt with losing my job. I know it wouldn’t change things that much but I know having our income basically stripped away mid-year last year was another added stressor.

 

I feel inadequate. I feel like I don’t fit in this world that I once did and I am constantly looking and finding problems that don’t really exist. I always want to be able to do more, even when there is no other choice.

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I want to be as important to my husband as he is to me (and even though in his eyes I probably am) I feel like I’ve let him down. I want to show him just how determined I am to make this life for us the best it can be, but in a lot of ways I often feel like I have failed.

 

Again, I am not trying to bring you a super down post this morning, I simply want to get things out. I am not trying to complain as I know I am blessed in so many ways. 

 

Blessings


A few of my many blessings:

-My husband

-My family

-My health

-The fact that I am running again

-My fur children

-A roof over my head

-Food on the table each night

 

I really could go on. I am blessed in so many ways, so much so that I often over look things. Things could be so much worse than they are, but I still seem to struggle with that nagging feeling of inadequacy many times a week.

 

Am I less of a person unemployed? No.

Am I less of a person because I am not in medical school? No.

Am I less of a person because I lost my job? No.

 

I keep putting one foot in front of the other day in and day out and that sometimes is all that we can do. I keep my head up, I keep supporting my husband, and I trust that one day things will work out.

We are in that limbo phase of medical school which is hard.  The moment we know where we will be moving to later this year I can be looking for a job. I can’t wait for this moment because I feel like at that point I am finally looking for a career NOT just a job that will get us by.

 

My job over the next few months is to be the best wife I can possibly be. To support my husband as he goes through one of the most high stress times for medical students and hoping that I can be as amazing of a support and encouragement system as he was for me during some of my darkest moments over the past year. 

That’s what marriage is about isn’t it?

 

Thanks for listening :) I really do feel like sometimes if I sit down and write it out that it allows me to let it go. 

 

Do you ever deal with thoughts of inadequacy?

What do you use to combat them?

About Sara

Welcome to my blog! My name is Sara and this blog documents my journey as a wife and a runner. I train hard and put my heart and soul into my running. My life is a crazy journey full of ups and downs, and I am here to share it all with you!

31 comments

  1. such a beautiful honest post and, in my opinion, so true for all of us.
    We all struggle and it’s how we rebound which defines us not the struggle.

    xo

  2. First off, thanks for the honesty – it is something I have sensed in many of your posts, and you have also alluded to lacking a sense of identity several times. It is a hard struggle, because while there is no shame in being ‘Dr. Wes’s Wife’ … you are Sara, and that MUST be your identity. And I think in your 2014 goals you more or less said that you need to figure out ‘Who the F%$& is Sara?!?’ :)

    I have been playing around with how to respond since the post went up. I just deleted a long reply, because it just didn’t say anything. What I am thinking is that I have seen my wife struggle with this – we left one state while our kids were about to enter 5th & 6th grade, meaning that many relationships between parents were already in place, and we felt on the outside, which really hit her because she was always a main volunteer with schools, Scouts, and so on.

    And in spite of extensive education, her certifications (teaching and medical technologist) have dried up and each would require another year of education and testing, and she just wasn’t prepared. So after budget cuts killed her job at a grant-based center that provided supplementary science education in rural schools … she has ended up as a manager at Macy’s. She often feels inadequate, but the pay isn’t much different than teaching or being in the lab – and she can look at the trip to Quebec for the long weekend our younger son is taking and say ‘I did that’.

    So take the time to celebrate Sara and figure out who she is, because it is worth it – personally, if you were not a person worth knowing, I wouldn’t read your blog.

    There was an article that looks at resolutions and goals and says we should approach them as ‘how’, not ‘what’. In other words, not ‘eat more healthy’ … but instead ‘I am a person who has fruit with breakfast and lunch and vegetables with dinner’.

    I do it without thinking – “I am a morning person”, “I interface with electronic-based machines as easily as talking to people”, and so on.

    So that is the challenge … say to yourself “I am Sara, and I am a person who …” And make sure to fill it in with only things about YOU.

    • Wow love this Michael! Thank you! I can understand how your wife feels in a lot of ways! It is tough sometimes because you want to be their for your spouse and be amazingly proud of them and you are but at the same time you can’t help but feel like a part of you isn’t good enough.

      If I still was the sole support financially I would say that “I did that” and in some ways I did do that for 3 years, but now at the end of this time when we are supposed to be relaxing and loving the time together before the craziness of residency begins we can’t because we are under a lot of financial and stressful constraints. I work every day and part time work is a step in the right direction that is for sure!

      I hope that when we know where we are going I can start looking for something that makes me happy. That gives me some purpose and not just working to get the bills paid.

      I love the way you say to look at it and I am going to work on that! :) (Maybe a great post idea coming soon!?)

    • Such a thoughtful reply! Loved what you had to say…

  3. Thank you for being so honest in your post! I know it’s easy to get down on ourselves and compare. But you are YOU and you are exactly how you are supposed to be. Just perfect already.

    I will be married 15 years in May and I can tell you there are MANY things that contribute to a great marriage. I would say income/money is not even in the top 5. We have gone through times where my husband has made more money, then I did, then it was equal and now I think he is back to making more :) I never know until we do taxes (he owns his own business). We always talk about it but we both know that no matter the result, we both give 100% to our relationship and the money thing is just the money thing. I hope that makes sense.

    Also, I am sorry you lost your job. As I mentioned I am new to reading your blog so I wasn’t aware of this or the circumstances surrounding that. Sorry :( You will find yourself and land on your feet!

    Stay strong & focused.

    • Thank you so much Susan!

      I do realize that money is not the most important, not even close, and I put too much focus on my purpose as the person bringing in the money instead of who I am as a wife. I am thankful for the supportive husband that I do have who has stood by me through all of this. I am sure 10 years from now we will look back and this will just be a TINY bump in the road.

      Thank you! I lost it last year, and have been struggling to find a full time job in a very depressed city and I am moving in or around June. I have found some part time work so I am thankful for that!

      • You got this, girl! I understand that if it were just one thing, it’s easy to “go with the flow” but you have job loss, injury rehab, living in a city with kind of bad (and overcast) weather. I know I would be down in the dumps big time. Important thing: you know you need to make some changes (those things you can control) and you WILL. I am cheering you on all the way!

  4. Kudos for being so honest! All hard times make the good times that much better. And soon you will move into a new phase and be stronger for having made it through this.

    Don’t be down on yourself – from where I sit, you’re doing just great :)

  5. I feel the same way a lot of the time because I left my full time job to attend grad school 1.5 years ago. I now only work part time and barely scrape by with the bills. But I’m holding on and that’s all I can ask for. Many friends have awesome jobs and I can’t help but compare myself to them. It sucks, but great careers are around the corner for us :)

  6. This year will bring on a new start and big changes for you and Wes. Hang in there and life will come to you. One of my favorite sayings is “everything in life is only for now.” meaning that the “down feelings” and the inadequacy is only for now. It will get better and you will find your place and passion. It just takes time and patience. :)

  7. I’ve just begun reading your blog, so I wasn’t sure how to comment except for the fact that this IS so relatable. And in so many ways. The thing I’ve learned is that society glamorizes certain goals and talents (or careers) and others, not so much. When in fact, your job as a supportive wife is SO important in God’s eyes and I’m sure your husband’s :) I feel like this a LOT of the time too. Especially when I’m in a season that I don’t want to be in! It seems as though you ARE a rather positive person, and it’s only natural to sometimes feel satisfied about where we are. Thanks for a real post! :)

    • It is true! I am so proud of my husband and his career he’s worked his butt off to get there! Thank you for reminding me that it is true in God’s eyes and in his a supportive wife is vital!

  8. Here is something else I wanted to share that someone had pointed out a while back, something to remember when inadequacy rears its ugly head:

    I AM ENOUGH.

    I am full of sparkle and compassion.  I genuinely want to make the world a better place.  I love hard.   I practice kindness.   I’m not afraid of the truth.  I am loyal, adventurous, supportive, and surprising.  I am a woman.  I am enough. I make mistakes, but I own them and learn from them.  Sometimes I make a bunch of mistakes.

    I am enough.  I am open, juicy, artistic, full blast.  I am also vain, emotional, demanding, and looking for answers.  I am a woman who is open to mysteries, accepting of miracles.  I am diving in, devouring, loving, protecting, peeling back the surface of petty desires to the hunger for connection, for belief, for truth.

    I am less concerned with doing things correctly than I once was and more concerned with dancing, drumming, swimming naked.

    I accept that a sense of wonder is something to cultivate. I accept that I sometimes self medicate with alcohol, with filling my life full of busyness, with going into self imposed isolation.  I accept that I crave financial abundance, a freedom to do what I want, when I want it.  I am still enough.

    I am a lover of ripe mangoes, stars in the midnight sky, stories around the campfire, the smell of rich coffee, laughing until I can’t breathe, having someone reach for my hand.   I am a lover, a sister, a storyteller, a daughter, a mentor, and a student.

    I am enough.

    And I know in my deepest heart– You are enough too.

    – See more at: http://www.stratejoy.com/2010/07/self-love-i-am-enough-and-also-you-are-enough/#sthash.YGc2FwZx.dpuf

  9. I think that this is something that everyone struggles with. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others, but that really just makes it difficult to enjoy your life and where you currently are. I know that since graduating from college I have been doing a lot of comparing between myself and my friends… they all seem to have better jobs, go on more vacations, be making more money… and its hard to see that. When I find myself starting to compare I like to pull back and make a list of things that I am thankful for and all of the wonderful things in my life! :)

  10. With struggle comes strength.

  11. This is such a good post and thank you for sharing. I think that both my husband and I can relate to this post. Job stuff is so tough. Your feelings are so understandable, but it’s also amazing that you see that they are there because you kind of are in limbo right now as you wait for the next move. My advice would be just to enjoy this time of limbo. You’ll look back and be proud of all your efforts and all you gave during this time.

    • Yes that is what my husband keeps telling me but I always want to be doing something to help us. I guess I just need to take a step back and RELAX :) Thanks Em!

  12. You are doing everything you can, and that is amazing! Don’t underestimate yourself … you’re wonderful, and I know Wes knows that, too!

  13. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who feels this way (and you aren’t either). It is just a feeling and it’s not accurate but it’s a difficult situation. My husband is not a doctor but we’re in a similar situation. and always in transition (it won’t be forever but its been this way for a few years). we can’t plant roots, i can’t get a long term job. But value isn’t measured by those things and doctors are very important, but not the only important life path. I feel for you. thanks for sharing

    • I am so glad that I am not crazy in feeling this way! I Know how it feels its a real struggle and sometimes are better than others. If you ever need to talk or want to talk feel free to shoot me an email :) Somedays we just need someone who can relate!

      • Thank you are so sweet! and likewise. I always tell my friends that I’m a much better wife when I have spent time talking with my girlfriends. I expressed once to my husband how menial and unimportant I was (in my mind) and he looked stunned. In his world (and I’m SURE in your husbands world) I am the rock, the reason for working so hard and the safe harbour from his tough days. He was shattered to find I felt so insignificant in the grand scheme of life. Was an important discovery for us

        • Thank you for sharing this with me :) I know my husband feels the same way and a lot of those feelings are completely my own doing. I am learning slowly to build myself up more and to focus on all the amazing things we do have in life. We are very blessed even if our situations aren’t always that great.

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