I recently spoke with a friend who disclosed that she feels like she’s going crazy.
“Going crazy” is a pretty broad term, so I asked her what she meant.
She said she felt like she was being overly strict with her kids, impatient with her husband, and that nothing she did was ever right.
As we talked more, she shared that she was experiencing a lot of marital tension. Her husband was extremely critical of her parenting, and she was finding this hard. She was struggling to find the “right” way to address her two year old’s unruly tantrums and meltdowns, all while still processing her own grief around a recent miscarriage.
I would feel like I was losing my mind in that environment. Anyone would feel that way.
As a therapist, I have clients come to me over and over wondering what is wrong with them, when what is actually wrong is their environment.
I had a therapy client in her 40’s come to me for help with her low libido. She said her sex drive was utterly gone and that her husband told her he couldn’t take it much longer. She didn’t want to lose her marriage, so she decided to come to therapy.
As we talked more, she shared more about her relationship and how nothing she did was ever good enough for her husband. She felt like she was constantly walking on eggshells.
For women, our sex drive is tied to our environment and emotions. Most women need to feel loved, safe, and emotionally connected to their partner in order to experience a continuing desire for sex within a monogamous relationship (if you’re curious to learn more, I highly recommend the book “Come as You Are.”).
This woman’s sex drive was not broken. It was her relationship that needed to be addressed.
As women, we are often too quick to take the blame on ourselves. We take to heart the adage, “You can’t fix others, you can only fix yourself” and work our damndest to do that.
It may be true we cannot change or “fix” others, but that doesn’t mean “fixing” ourselves will resolve the problem - or that we even need fixing at all.
What we may need is better skills and strategies to navigate extremely challenging circumstances and environments.
We can shift from a place of shame and self-blame to one of power. We can see things for what they are (the environment is messed up), stop wasting energy trying to fix ourselves, and start using our energy in ways that put us in our power.
Thank you for reading. If you'd like help navigating your challenging environment, I'd love to work with you. You can schedule a therapy consultation here.