My Husband Makes Me Feel Invisible
Does your husband or significant other make you feel invisible? Feeling unimportant or insignificant within a marriage, is more common than you might think.
I have definitely felt as if I was invisible. I am instantly saddened and my heart aches whenever I hear this or similar comments from the women I coach. When someone as significant as our spouse ignores us or makes disparaging remarks to us, it can lead to feeling as if we are insignificant, unworthy or invisible. If you are struggling with this issue, you might find this article helpful.
My value was based on others’ opinions.
Between my late teens and early thirties my value as a person was mostly based on external factors. If a guy told me I was pretty, that meant that I was pretty. If he laughed with me and we had fun together, that meant I was fun to be around. If he asked me to go out on a date, that meant I was worthy of his time.
In my first marriage, my husband kept Playboy magazines around. In my mind, that meant my body wasn’t beautiful and I wasn’t enough. If he didn’t call me during the day, then I wasn’t important to him. If he was in a bad mood, it must have been something I did or failed to do. I believed it was my job to make him feel better.
Do you see the pattern? I only felt good about myself if someone else told me I was valuable. How I felt about myself was a direct result of my partner’s mood. When I finally made a decision to stop living my life in such a painful and confusing way… I learned something very interesting:
Others treat us the way we treat ourselves
If your husband’s behavior is causing you to feel insignificant, invisible or feel rejected, take a close look at how you treat yourself and what you believe about yourself. Do you treat yourself as if you are insignificant? How often do you put yourself first?
If you have read this far, some of you are rolling your eyes and saying to yourselves… “Oh, it would be selfish for me to put myself first! I couldn’t possibly do that!” Or some of you might think that your spouse is simply an insensitive jerk. He may be a jerk (which is a topic for another article). Meanwhile, you are the one who is in pain. What do you have to lose by giving yourself the love and attention you so desperately desire? My guess is the other tactics you have tried have not been successful, so why not give this a try?
Want relief from the pain of feeling slighted?
Want relief from the pain of feeling slighted? Stop allowing his behaviors to dictate how you feel about yourself. Focus your attention on helping yourself to feel better. For the next 30 days, challenge yourself to do at least two things every day to show yourself that you are loved. There are many ways to do this. Examples: think kind thoughts about yourself, write in a journal, take a bubble bath, take a yoga class, walk in nature, eat healthier foods, etc…).
Why is it so important to treat yourself with love and acceptance? Because, when YOU truly believe that you are significant, worthy and valuable, you will not NEED anyone else to validate your existence or confirm your significance. This does not mean that you will stop wanting to be acknowledged and appreciated. You may still feel sad or even angry when your husband ignores you, but the more you practice self-love and acceptance, the faster you will be able to detach and deal effectively with the situation.
Start appreciating yourself and watch what happens
When you act as if you appreciate and value yourself it will cause a shift in all your relationships, especially your marriage. Your spouse may notice a difference in you and become attentive and interested again. Or, he might act out in an effort to make you change back to the way you were before. Your marriage might grow stronger or you might finally admit to yourself that you knew it was over a long time ago. You have to decide how you want to live the rest of your life. Are willing to settle for the status quo or do something to facilitate a change in your relationship?
Be aware, that changing the way you relate to yourself and your husband can be a daunting undertaking. I encourage you to put a support person or team in place to help you get through the first few weeks. Someone you can talk to as often as needed, but someone who won’t tell you what to do. A close friend, support group, counselor or coach can help you to strategize and keep you focused on your desired outcome.
Take control over your experience of life
I would like to leave you with this final thought… If you are feeling invisible or insignificant to someone, you have given that person the ability to control your feelings and how you experience life. You can continue to give your power away to that person or you can find ways to regain your power and take care of yourself.
Note to the reader: This article was written in response to a survey. Participants were asked to describe their biggest challenge or problem. Many women described this as the primary issue in their lives. If you can relate to this article and would like some support, please contact me.
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