Defining 'Enough' in Marriage


“Scarcity is the ‘never enough’ problem…Scarcity thrives in a culture where everyone is hyper-aware of lack. Everything from safety and love to money and resources feels restricted or lacking. We spend inordinate amounts of time calculating how much we have, want, and don’t have, and how much everyone else has, needs, and wants.” (2012, pg. 26)

This quote from Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly depicts the scarcity mindset which is so prevalent in our current age and culture. This is the “not enough” concept invading our daily lives. How relatable is that? Recently, I have recognized this not enough concept showing up much too close to my own home and heart. My husband and I have always been good with money, but have also consistently had plenty of it to manage. Recently, we both willingly made major career shifts, saying goodbye to high-paying jobs. This was an exhilarating change.

But now, more often than not, my mind slips and I’m suddenly focusing on what we don’t have, that which is not enough. I recognize the scarcity plaguing me. I am guilty of the constant calculating.

Not having enough shows up in every area of life. We’re not getting enough sleep. They’re not doing enough around the house. There’s not enough food in the pantry. We’re not working hard enough. We aren’t having enough sex. There isn’t enough time in the day. We aren’t spending enough time together as a family. Take your pick, I’m sure you’ve got your own list of not enough.

Even when there’s just one little thing that isn’t enough in your life or marriage, it seeps into everything else.

“We aren’t making enough money” suddenly translates into “You don’t work hard enough for us” or “You aren’t doing enough to relieve my stress”. We start feeling there is not enough time in the day to work hard and pursue more income. Then all of a sudden you’re caught thinking, “I’m not enough because I’m not making enough money” or “My spouse isn’t enough”. Your time together fills with stress. You become too busy worrying to enjoy each other. It’s heartbreaking the way not enough shifts your perspective and corrupts your day. The “not enough” thought is toxic and seeps everywhere.

I’m tired of the suffocating weight these not enough thoughts have on me, my husband, and our marriage.

One of the best ways I know to fight this conflict is through positive affirmations or statements I say aloud. I try to remember that everything is temporary. This is only a season, a single page of the story.

What if we chose to see our current circumstances through a new lens? One that says “You are enough and you have enough”? One that states “My spouse is enough”?

I have started to say, “We have enough”. And no, the stress hasn’t completely dissipated. But something beautiful is happening. My husband and I are choosing to believe the other is enough and to trust that the work we are doing is enough. We are speaking life into one another. We are encouraging instead of analyzing, stressing, and criticizing each other’s every move.

Take up some new mantras for yourself:

I am enough. I have enough. What I contribute is enough. My time is enough. My relationships are enough.

And here are some new mantras to speak into your marriage: My spouse is enough. My spouse contributes enough. Our love and marriage is enough. Our time together is enough. Our intimacy is enough. We have enough.

Choose to believe in ENOUGH on a daily basis. Throw away the scarcity mindset of society and choose instead to live in ENOUGH.

Written by Heather Christy
Heather Christy lives in Arizona with her husband Daniel. She is passionate about writing, reading, emotional growth and self-awareness. She enjoys coffee and honest conversation. She aspires to encourage marriages and love others through her writing.