In a nutshell… sometimes!
Though I primarily work with men, I’m also a human and there are times I’ve been able to help a woman on her journey as a fellow human.
As a man that has been married for more than half of my life, the majority of own journey as has happened within marriage. As a result, much of my own pain, discomfort and personal development has also happened in and through marriage providing me tremendous insights into the heart and mind of married females.
Further, as a friend of plenty of females, I have gathered some useful experience and insights from which I can share.
I do believe we’re most equipped to help others most similar to ourselves hence why I work with primarily with married men. Nevertheless, there are may ways I can provide love, support, and encouragement to any human – similar to me or not.
Men and women experience shame in remarkably similar ways but completely different in flavor.
At the root of each is an insidious and unrelenting sense of inadequacy (in women) or insecurity (in men). Women pursue resolution to their sense of inadequacy primarily through the agency of seeking to be more valuable by being better in many ways.
Meet Ginny… a charicature of a typical woman I can help.
Ginny has been married for 18 years to Brian. They have three children, ages three, seven and ten. They’re good people, and live in a nice part of town. They go to church and have a few close friends.Ginny really hates her life but has been putting on a happy face for as long as she can remember.
She can’t shake this sensation of being “not enough” which seems to rear it’s ugly head in what feels like every encounter with Brian.
Their relationship didn’t start that way but it’s grown into an all-consuming feeling that dominates her waking thoughts and she hates that Brian is making her feel this way. Even worse, everyone else including her closest friends all think Brian is great. It pisses her off. It also makes her feel worse for feeling how she does.
She can’t tell if she’s the problem or going crazy. Other times she privately thinks “If only they knew how Brian really is and how he treats me!”
Ginny has been mourning the state of their dead relationship for a long time, maybe even years. She’s hoped Brian would notice or understand, but now she sees no hope of that anymore. He doesn’t even notice!
She feels duped. Fooled. Like Brian played a game well-enough to get her into a relationship, then did a bait and switch and became someone different than the Brian she fell in love with. He fooled her like he fools everyone else.
It seems like Brian always attacks her and nothing she ever does is good enough for him. She tries harder and harder and thinks “Surely he will see!” but Brian just finds new ways to make her feel like she’s dropping the ball. He definitely doesn’t love her. She’s not even sure he likes her!
Ginny find herself repeating mantras like “I just can’t give him what he wants” and “I can’t be who he needs me to be”. Other times she finds herself thinking “He’s so ungrateful, doesn’t he see all I do for him?!” and her inner life feels like tennis match between resentment and mourning.
She’s miserable and feels as though something must change or she will either literally lose her mind or even possibly die.
Ginny wants out of the relationship but is scared. “Who would want me?!” she thinks to herself. Sigh… She often believes that her chances of finding the love she’s wanted since she was a little girl are completely gone. That brings tears to her eyes. This is most certainly not the life she wanted for herself.
Some days Ginny feels maybe she could loved by someone else. She feels deeply guilty and ashamed for even thinking that! “Where would I even go?” and “I’m not sure I could even find love!” are her constant inner refrain.
She feels that time is running out and that if she is going to find this love before she dies, she must do it soon or she won’t have time to appreciate and enjoy it.
Ginny can’t seem to rectify these feeling with her values though. She’s a Christian and divorce, affairs–anything like that–is completely outside of her beliefs and values.
She also doesn’t want to tear apart her family and knows the kids would suffer if she left. She doesn’t want to be thought of as “the one who wrecked her marriage” or the “bad guy”.
Ginny kinda wishes Brian would just die in his sleep if she’s honest. Other times she wishes he would leave. But he doesn’t.
She wishes she could find the same kind of love she felt earlier in life, but that feels fleeting. It doesn’t look like it’s ever going to happen, and many days, Ginny cries alone in her unhappiness.