It’s Never Enough

The statement “it’s never enough” was something my x used constantly towards me.   I always felt that I was asking for too much, with anything and everything.

I know for certain that turned into me almost believing I was asking for too much, that somehow I wouldn’t’ deserve what I was asking for.  My parents did the same to me.  Madeline was always the one pushing the envelope.

I learned to settle.  Until I didn’t.  But, I settled for a long, long time and those feelings and perhaps those behaviors are awfully hard to overcome in a short time after years of brainwashing.

The feeling of “it’s never enough” has been churning in my brain this past week and every day it’s getting seemingly worse.


Of course I question why I “wasn’t enough” for Bennett to leave his marriage…although common sense would say it’s not about me, it’s about him.  I do hear those words and think them often, but haven’t gotten around to convincing myself that he is staying to hold onto something bigger than what we had over 11 months.    Logic dictates that I understand his thought process.  Emotion is cloudy, dark, angry and hurt by his thought process.

So, yes, I think it sucks to think that there is something in his life that’s bigger than the love we shared.

Bennett promised me too many things.  Promised me that it was never about his wife and marriage and only about his family, promised me that it would always be me and our day would come.  I really and truly think he believed those things when he said them and felt them.  But I really wonder how that changed in such a split second.  Was it the overwhelming, crashing sense that he was collapsing his entire world?  I think he panicked.

He truly feels failure.  When I met him we talked about this quite often.  He takes most of the blame for the failure of his marriage so I am not surprised he will also truly try to repair it even when he said he couldn’t ever see that happening.   His two greatest fears are fear of the unknown and fear of failure: divorce brings these forth in spades, doesn’t it?

I can actually rationalize many reasons why he will choose to stay, and knowing him as I do, they all make sense to expect for his ability to finally let go of me.

I’m simply throwing a pity party this morning and doing my best not to reach out to him.  Writing here works for me – I can write out all the things I think I need to say to him and say them to you instead.  Most of it’s rhetorical, I don’t actually need his answers (as if there was anything that would fulfill me anyway) to move forward.

But the never enough part is really bothering me.  I wish it wasn’t something I think every time I have a romantic failure in my life, but it is, I have been trained and raised to think that I am never enough for anyone, even when they tell me I am, because at the end of the day, they leave me.

The whole idea of breaking up sucks for anyone, but I don’t think everyone questions themselves the way I do.  I have a girlfriend going through it right now and we spend a lot of time texting each other so we don’t text the boys and she really never doubts herself in her breakups.  Her attitude is “they show me once in any way they don’t want me or I am no longer the priority and I’m like peace out!”  And she means it!  How does she do that?  I just spoke to her and she said “don’t let anyone hold power over you.”

It’s true.  I allowed Bennett to hold power over me and I still am.  The more I mourn and cry, I am allowing him to take a space he doesn’t deserve anymore.

I want to know how my friend does that.  I don’t think I could have done anything differently with Bennett to change where we are today, so I don’t have regret over making a mistake within the relationship as much as regret over feeling like I did lose the only person I could have ever considered a soul mate in my life.  I want to stop questioning myself about why I am not good enough to (or better than?) the choices he made.

Unfortunately for me, Bennett was pretty much a perfect partner in every way I dreamed of.  For years, I was told no one could ever be that lover, partner, friend or parent…but he is.    Maybe I just have to hold onto the fact I was lucky enough to meet a soulmate (if such a thing exists) and know that I will still live to love another day.

But right now, missing him just stinks.


Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

26 thoughts on “It’s Never Enough”

  1. Well, he wasn’t everything you needed or wanted else he wouldn’t have been married.

    I find it interesting that you married someone who continued the “it’s never enough” ideology that your parents taught you. Maybe you unintentionally and subconsciously chose that with Bennett. Or maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Who knows!

    I know there are no guarantees in life and Bennett had every intention of leaving his wife until it came time to do it… but I am angry with him for leading you on the way he did.

    I know losing your soul mate must hurt like hell. I’m still reeling from losing mine over 20 years ago. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do reflect on the fact that I married someone too much like my parents instead of someone who was really good for me. However I think I was a late bloomer in understanding myself. I guess that’s wisdom.

      Bennett is unlike anyone I’ve met. In fact he is closest to the man my parents wished I would marry – now that’s interesting. My mother understood what I needed and I didn’t listen or understand when I was 22. Now I hear her loud and clear about the mistake in that choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you done your fair share of being the one to break it up in the past? I was under that impression, but now not so sure. Last year was the first time being broken up with and fucking shit, you go down deep right? But at this place, I’ actually look incredulously back at it and realize, it saved me from being a dick the rest of my life.
    I know you can know that; it’s a process and accepting it as that, is a big thing too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question: prior to marriage I always did the breaking up. I broke my 22 year marriage. Since then, nope, not me. Bobby and Bennett both broke it off after speaking to their wives about potential divorce. Bobby never made me promises but Bennett sure did.

      Accepting Bennett’s decision is tough for me. I don’t truly understand even though he has tried to explain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve outlined it really well in the recent posts; your idea of his thoughts and his direction. I still think that’s really awesome you are able to do that, even if it is merely you writing down something you haven’t entirely got yourself to believe or accept yet. Seems like a good natured step either way.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. If I may, let me ask you something? Have you considered that what’s going on with Bennett isn’t because you’re not good enough? I’ve been following you long enough to understand that you are, in fact, good enough for a lot of men – even a married one – but the situation at play here brings a huge amount of uncertainty? It would make you deliriously happy if Bennett left his wife for you… but what would it cost him and, importantly, is it a price he’s willing to pay? You might think that you’re well worth the price – and I wouldn’t say you aren’t – but this is about how he’s looking at his situation and, like most guys who get faced with such a decision, he’s not really thinking about what he stands to gain if he “changes side” as much as he’s thinking about what he stands to lose if he does and the trauma, if any, of starting over.

    Yep, sounds messed up, doesn’t it? I’m not as much defending Bennett as I am pointing something out to you and as a man who has faced this same situation. When I made such a decision, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and I know (even if no one else does or can understand) exactly what went through my mind and just how scary and uncertain a lot of those thoughts were, like, if I do this, what’s gonna happen? Will I find that I made the right choice for myself… or am I about to make what could prove to be a grave and unrecoverable mistake? You wind up facing a choice: Do it… or don’t and maybe you won’t believe me but making that decision isn’t totally about the woman you’re thinking about making this very major change in your life is worth it or not. Nope – it’s kinda selfish thinking. Your worth isn’t in question: It’s how he might be looking at the risks to himself that is.

    Now, my dear Madeline, I’m not gonna ever say that it’s wrong for a woman to snatch a guy away from another woman; it’s a fact of life and it always happens and is, indeed, one of the thing we fear the most when we are in a relationship with someone. But I’m here to tell you that if you can’t snatch him away, chances are good that it’s not because you’re not good enough – it could very well be because HE is having a problem assessing the risks to himself. Sure, you’re not wrong to believe that you are well worth the potential and possible risks but this isn’t about what you believe – it’s what he believes. He could be thinking that, yes, you are damned worth it… but – and now it’s all about what that “but” consists of, isn’t it?

    And if you don’t know what is scaring the shit out of him about this, then maybe you need to ask him and see if he can explain them to you. Might not make you feel any better about this situation but you’ll never know why he’s not coming over to your side if you don’t ask him – and then be able to ease his mind over what, if anything, is bothering him about this. Fact: If he cannot be made to believe that joining Team Madeline is what’s best for him, it ain’t gonna happen.

    Just saying because I kinda don’t like that you’re beating yourself up over something you have no control over and “putting yourself down” when there’s no factual reason for you do so and, well, being me, I’m not gonna pat you on the butt or otherwise sugar coat things but I will give you a different view to consider.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m sure M does not like to talk about this fact, but I don’t believe that Bennett ever planned on leaving his wife. Not for a single snuggle up and sex all night moment…. I have said that since this whole affair began and M became serious about him. And, we never want to leave it to another individual to tell us that we are “good enough.” At some point, we need to know that we are good enough.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oceans you have always maintained that stance, but I believe until you are the person in the actual situation, you are simply using statistics – and I am very clear they were never in my favor. You also intentionally speak about leaving his wife rather than his family and again, I stress, that I don’t think he saw it that way (maybe he does now) and if I don’t or won’t believe someone I love and trust, I am not being true to the human I am.

        So – not disagreeing with your opinion or the stats – simply stating that one never knows where life finally takes them. My closest friend lived this scenario and is married to her then-married man – with a beautiful blended family they built together. My next door neighbor only 3 years ago experienced the same thing. So, it does happen. It didn’t happen to me, but anything is possible. I would have regretted not living these months knowing Bennett and all that he has brought to my life. Even with the pain.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Daddy, thank you so much for sharing all this with me. I don’t think at my core I am questioning my value, does that make sense? More questioning “why not?” And mostly out of sadness. I also think it’s ok to defend Bennett and his choice, I have always said I was unsure if I could make the choice. I also never said I was certain he would leave his situation for me, it was never clear to me. I did believe he wanted to, heart and soul, I believed he wanted to.

      Bennett did say he was scared to death of the risks associated with leaving and the devastation it leaves behind. It’s hard to appreciate that point of view when I have already made the decision myself. He’s too good so he’s stays married – what am I? Flawed for getting divorced? I don’t really understand how he views risks even though he has explained them repeatedly. It’s all fear ultimately.

      I believe when he realized his wife still loved him he felt something he hadn’t in 5-7 years: hope. Hope that something could work out to maintain his family even if it doesn’t include a marital relationship. I don’t think it was ever about sex for him, that was simply a bonus. It was about how we connected, about the emotional stability and hope, about being able to trust one another and support one another.

      I think you are right no one can get in your mind – every one of us feels different – and even if you explained your situation to me would I really ever understand you?

      In the end, he told me he couldn’t choose himself over his family. That it wasn’t about me, but he felt it was a selfish choice to have upheaval in his family and the humans who depended on him the most. He apologized for letting me be hurt in the process but felt letting go was the right decision for me. He said he would honor my request this time even though he felt he couldn’t live without me.

      I am trying so hard to understand because I believed, just believed, we could make it happen some time in the future. I listened to him when he was lying to himself, unfortunately. And, there’s relaly no explanation for that is there – he realized he was lying about having the courage to leave.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We wind up at this crossroad because we tend to have an “all or nothing” mindset about this and some realize that while they’re experiencing this moment, yeah, they’re doing some lying to themselves. It truly sucks… but let me ask you something else, if I may? Where is it written or even implied that a soulmate has to always be at your side? It’s preferable, sure, but does anyone ever consider that, sometimes, its better to have a part of something than all of nothing? Maybe it’s because I’m a guy but, say, if you were married but we were having a thing, sure, I’d love to have you all to myself but if I couldn’t, I’d be happy having what parts of you I could have. Most people can’t get their heads around this kind of thinking and I understand why but it’s a bit of a simple question: Why be totally miserable if you don’t have to be? Yes – you handle your business and in the way that makes the most sense to you but does it really and truly make sense to let some happiness pass you by just because you can’t be the sole owner of said happiness?

        A sticky mess, to be sure and to kinda answer the question of, “Why not me?” well, sometimes, it just doesn’t work out like that for any of us. But consider this: When he’s with you, it is all about you and despite the situation, isn’t it? And if being with him thrills you as much as you say it does, does it make sense to upset what is clearly (to me) a delicate balance? Oh, yeah – I understand this thing all too well – been there, done that… but if it ain’t really broken, why mess with it? And, honestly, until you can find a guy who is free and clear to be yours and yours alone, isn’t this better than having nothing and feeling “sorry” for yourself or otherwise kicking your own ass? Yeah, I know: Most women wouldn’t agree with any of this. I’m not saying that Bennett is a jerk or a total asshole because I don’t know that he really is. But I am saying that if he didn’t see something in you, I seriously feel that you two would have been “one and done” and this wouldn’t have lasted past your first time together; I’m a guy whose had a few affairs and I know how I’ve behaved with a woman who, in my opinion, wasn’t worth any further exposure to and despite the implied risks.

        Again, just saying; whatever you do or don’t do about this is entirely up to you but while most people believe they have no options here, I’m the one who will tell you that there is one even if it’s not universally popular.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. Kdaddy23.. You put it into words that I wanted to say to Madeline but I lack the eloquent and deeply insightful way you said them. XO!


  4. It’s easy to talk about leaving someone. Especially when you are giddy with the kind of high emotion that you’ve forgotten you were capable of. But when the person you are talking about leaving is someone you still love and care for and respect (this vs someone with whom everything is irrevocably ugly-broken), there is a reality there that is going to smack you in the face when you pull the trigger.

    Saying the words out loud to someone with whom you have a powerful history, a shared and not-terrible life, a genuine and deep affection, and watching their heart break is a reality that most do not imagine. And if this person you still love takes even one step towards you, you will grab at it because it is awful-terrible to break someone’s heart and then turn away when they beg to try and mend what is broken. People who have lost their way are never closer, more honest, more real than when they are about to lose something they have taken for granted and forgotten about. It brings the value of it into high relief.

    So unless it’s screaming fights and dead emotions, people will always try to rekindle those embers because memory is deep and strong and saying ‘no, not interested in trying to fix this’ to a long term partner whose heart you’ve just broken is not something most people will do or *want* to do.

    The people who leave their relationships are the ones who have tried and tried and tried, who have had endless conversations and fights about it, who have genuinely concluded that there is nothing left, who have reached the end of their tether. Bennett is at step one in this process. Whether their reboot works out or not has nothing to do with you, and as you’ve said previously, nor should it.

    All that to say: You are enough. You are just choosing the wrong men. You should stop doing that (sorry, made myself laugh, but man, you had the chance to get out as soon as you realised he was married, you didn’t even like him that much back then, were ambivalent, so yeah, learn a lesson, woman!).


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, yes and so many yesses Ferns.

      Everything you say resonates. He believed he could until that history and that deep hidden love hit him in the face. I agree. If I was her I might feel lucky that he wanted to try again. It may not have been what we have but it was good enough for them both. They are friends. Maybe hey won’t be passionate lovers but they are parents together who built something. This means so much to him that I have a very hard time begrudging him of it after all. I want to understand and in theory I do.

      You are right about it finally being time for them to realize what’s been taken for granted and if that can ever be repaired. You are so dead on about the fights and he has always maintained they never even argued about their relationship but once in 22 years. I think he couldn’t break her. But I have a hard time with his ability to break me. That just sucks. But I’m the stronger of the two and I know that’s a factor for him.

      I really appreciate your analysis and feedback because it resonates exactly with me.

      I just need to accept it.


  5. I never feel enough. I felt horribly flawed until I met David…. I hope you meet someone who tries to make you feel perfect…. And puts actions behind those words. I believed in him too, and I’m pissed he broke your heart.. It’s not healthy for his children, no matter their age to be in a Luke warm marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks my love. I did believe in him. And he did do what he said which was speak to her. But then I guess got caught by surprise that he might still want a marriage or a family. I don’t really know.

      I did feel more flawed before Bennett so I guess I can be happy that I feel much more full and content and ready now for what I need and want. And I know it’s possible

      Of course I wish it was him but it’s not.


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