I just want, for once in my life, to feel cherished. He used to be good at that. And he's trying to again, but im so broken I feel like I just can't receive it.
I am working on me, or trying to. I'm working on finishing my childbirth educator certification, and trying to work on my businesses, but daily life with a needy toddler gets in the way. I'm trying to find happiness in myself *without* him, so maybe, if he continues in the way he's going, I can find happiness *with* him.
Actually you are quite wise and know exactly what you need - self-love. That you are capable of seeing that, and acknowledging that it is nearly impossible to let in more love than we feel worthy of, is HUGE. It's a step a lot of people can't make. If there is any way for you to get individual counseling, it'd be great. The way you feel about yourself has nothing to do with reality. For instance, my daughter is objectively beautiful by societies standards. Like, model-level beauty. But she has body dysmorphia and can not see what anyone else sees. She only sees flaws... You are likely doing the same thing. But it wouldn't matter anyway, because we all know people who are not as aesthetically "perfect" but have self-confidence and self-love. And those people's eyes twinkle, they radiate sexiness and joy that is far more magnetic that just the "perfect" cheekbones or size waist. If you can't afford therapy, get books about rebuilding self-confidence and start making time for you. A book that helped me focus on my best qualities and rebuild my self-confidence after DD was Living and Loving after Intimate Betrayal by Steven Strosny. If that one doens't work for you, keep searching for one or more that do. Think back to hobbies you did when you were younger that you enjoyed or that you've always wanted to try. For me it was dancing... for you it might be running, or a book club, or learning a second language. I know with 7 kids it will be hard... but your husband should support ANYTHING that helps you expand yourself. Remembering and reconnecting to the WOMAN you are, rather than just your roles (mother and wife) will help start to bring back your sparkle and your joy. That is your job right now. When you feel good about yourself, everything else becomes easier. You will be able to trust in the love your receive - or sense what is not genuine. But it all starts with you.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child DD May 2016 “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl