I’ve been e-mailing with a fellow trying to keep his marriage together. His wife has had an affair and keeps talking about leaving. Nothing he does seems to matter. Recently he sent me something she wrote about her struggle. She had the affair in hopes it would cause him to leave her. She thinks he’s a great husband and deserves a better wife. Nothing he says gets through to her, she is locked into her own self-doubts and self-condemnation.
This is a clear and extreme example of It’s Not You, It’s Me. Beyond that, it’s about refusing to live with something “undeserved”. This women thinks she doesn’t deserve her husband, and as a result, she’s actively and intentionally trying to destroy her marriage. The fact her husband and children want her to stay doesn’t matter; she can only see her own distorted reality. She feels compelled to make the life she’s living fit the life she thinks she deserves, and she’s willing to hurt everyone around her to do it. Of course, she would say they’re better off without her. She may well have convinced herself what she is doing is really the right and loving thing to do.
It’s easy to see how wrong this is and wonder if the woman needs some psychiatric help. However, most of us do the same thing, just to a lesser degree. We are generally uncomfortable with a better life than we think we “deserve”. It’s like we’re cheating, getting away with something, violating some cosmic balance, and we fear inevitable retribution. If we take what isn’t ours, we’ll be made to pay for it. To avoid just punishment we reject what we think we don’t deserve. Basically, this is the idea of karma.
I think this is why some women argue with their husband when he says nice things about them. I think it’s why some do things which make it impossible for them to receive from their husbands. I think it explains many of the sexually self-destructive things women do.
So, are you doing this in any way? Are you pushing your husband away, or making it difficult for him to love you, give to you, or compliment you because what he says doesn’t fit with what you think you deserve? Doing this is harmful for you, your marriage, your husband, and your children.
A Few Words on What We Deserve:
If you’re a follower of Jesus, you are a daughter of the God of the universe. Every wrong you have committed is forgiven and God wants you to be richly blessed. You deserve what God says you deserve, and that includes a great husband, a wonderful marriage, and an awesome sex life.
It’s not God telling you that you don’t deserve good things!
~ Paul – I’m XY and I want to bless my wife’s socks off (and maybe other clothing).