Sunday, November 4, 2012


Something that I struggle with is comparing myself to others. Not only myself, but my life, my husband, the things I've accomplished. Instead of looking at myself and my life through the lens of: Am I satisfied with what I have done, am doing and where I am going, I instead have looked at it, for most of my life, as a comparison to someone else.

So much so that I actually felt embarrassed about dating some people who I really liked just because I was worried about what other people would say when they found out I was dating them. I worried other people would think that I was dating someone who wasn't handsome enough, wasn't good enough, didn't have enough wealth, didn't have enough material accomplishments.

I realized that if I let all this self-censure go, drop these comparisons at the door, I am able to live a much happier, healthier focused life. When I focus on the fact that I love my husband and I think he's handsome- no matter whether anyone else does or doesn't think so- I become happier. When I focus on the life that I lead and the fact that I am satisfied with it, I feel a lot happier.

This seems like a rather obvious realization, but for me, it wasn't at all obvious. First of all, comparing myself to others had gotten ingrained like a bad habit. And second of all, it isn't so easy to just stop.

But I'm working on it, and seeing positive effects. I am trying to focus on what I like and what pleases me instead of what I think other people will like or what will please them. Because there's something really wrong about me worrying about whether or not the person that I was dating was "handsome enough" or "good enough" to please someone else. After all, I'm the one who would have to live with him, aren't I?

Luckily for me, in the end the man I married is a gem. Part of the reason that I was able to marry him is because 1) I kept it a secret from a lot of people that I was dating him, which meant I didn't have to worry about their censure and 2) Someone I really respected did like him and thought it was great that I was dating him, which kind of gave me the green light. I am very lucky that this happened this way, because at that point in time I don't think I would have had enough courage to go ahead and marry him on my own, by myself, even if others didn't approve of him or think he was "enough."

My husband is so immensely supportive of me. He adores me. He loves me. He does his utmost to make me feel loved, and to talk about all the positives in our intimate life rather than the downsides. He goes out of his way to focus me on what is good in our lives. I love him very much. Unlike me, my husband doesn't care about the judgement of others aside from him. As soon as he had decided he wanted to marry me, I was "enough" in his eyes and nobody could sway him.

I think part of the reason we are afraid to admit our weaknesses to others is the fear that we will be seen as less-than, as "not enough." But my husband, who knows everything about our situation, including all the things that I find shameful, embarrassing, humiliating or sad that have happened to us, always looks at me with love in his eyes. To him, I am always "enough."

And that is such a blessing.


Shul Dude said...

Rabbi Hershel Schachter shlit'a relates the following:

"Never date or marry someone just to make a point to your friends. When I was in yeshiva, a lot of my friends had to miss seder because they were dating, but I wasn't. Then came summer break and I started dating, and I went out with this girl and I thougi>ht to myself -- wow she's on break, I'm on break, we'll get engaged and I'll show everyone you can do this without all the bitul torah -- and then I said -- wait, no -- what am I thinking?!

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about this! I'm on some dating sites and there was this one guy who contacted me who had an AMAZING profile. But he wasn't conventionally attractive and I kept wondering what people would think. That I couldn't do any better? But yeah, if I marry someone who loves me and makes me happy, it doesn't matter what other people think of his outward appearance!

Glad to hear about your love for your husband. I know during some of your darker days it was harder for you to remember it. --YCF

Anonymous said...

I have found that the rare times I am surprised by the appearance of a guy that a friend of mine gets engaged to/marries, (in the sense that he is much less attractive than her) I think more often about what his incredible qualities could be that landed him my wonderful friend!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog a little and it seems like you were psyching yourself out of sex from the beginning. It sounds like you're letting fear control you and letting these doctors take your money by telling you that you have a disorder. Your libido has most likely been suppressed from fear of sex. If you enjoy sexual acts, but not sex just breath very deeply to keep your muscles relaxed and don't think about penetration. Breath in for 8 counts and exhale for 8 counts 8 times until breathing slowly becomes natural and your body is relaxed. There are also many ways to have sex without penetration and I don't mean orally or manually. While naked sit on your husbands lap while facing him and kiss him and rub your body against his without worrying about penetration. I hope that things get better for you and don't give up. You can get through this!