Why do we compare our marriage to others?
On social media these days, we are constantly seeing messages that tell us not to compare ourselves. Whether it’s motherhood: every pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum journey is extremely different so why compare yourself to another mama? Or body types: we all have SUCH different bodies and it’s silly to compare yourself to someone who is built completely different than you! From topics like building a business to rhetoric of self-worth, we are constantly seeing this and I think it’s a REALLY good thing!! These are the messages we need to hear in this world we live in.
Because … where is comparing yourself to others getting you?
It is SO easy to fall into the temptation to compare — even without realizing we are doing it! — but comparison is the thief of joy and I think most people would agree on this.
So … don’t compare! Love yourself! Encourage each other!
Why is marriage any different?
Where is comparing our marriage to another marriage going to get us? ⠀
We need to start this conversation, too.
I definitely think it’s beautiful and beneficial to learn from those who inspire you — we have lots of friends who we see making great decisions in their marriage and they inspire us do the same; to try new things, to be more open and honest with one another, etc. But we have to be REALLY careful not to compare. This is a tough distinction and I would just say that for myself, if looking at how another couple is doing things inspires me to want to be a better wife or to reevaluate something in my marriage, then that is a really good thing! We should learn from others and it’s good to learn from a place that is positive and full of inspiration. But if I am looking at another couple and it is making me feel like my myself or my marriage aren’t good enough, then those would be waters to tread carefully.
What I’m trying to say is that everyone is SO different and every marriage is SO different!
Ultimately, it can be really easy/tempting to look at someone else’s marriage and think it appears perfect or like they have it “all together.” But COME ON. Just think about it — you know, deep down, that is NOT true so don’t even go there in your mind! Don’t let yourself believe those thoughts and lies that are trying to tear you down and get you into a negative head and heart space.
*I want to make a special note here for women because I do think that, especially as women, this is extra easy to do and I know that I am very guilty of this.
I will see someone post something sweet that their husband did for them … or watch as the husband of one of our friends goes out of the way to do something intentional for his wife and all of a sudden I am thinking things like, “Why doesn’t Caleb do that for me? I wish Caleb was more like that or like so-and-so.
Caleb isn’t _________.”
This is dangerous and unhealthy and here is how I try to combat this:
- Be careful to think that someone else’s husband is “perfect.” You know they are not! They have flaws and imperfections and “drive their spouse crazy” just like yours does to you sometimes.
- How would you feel if you knew your spouse was comparing you to other women? And wishing YOU were more like someone else’s wife? This is huge for me because that hurts to think about. So I shouldn’t do this to my husband!
- A constant, daily prayer for me involves asking God to help me to see Caleb as He does — how he is uniquely and creatively made. I ask for God to help me to see Caleb’s gifts to the world and for help encouraging Him in those areas. I also pray that CALEB would be MY standard for attraction.*⠀⠀
Every marriage is made of two broken, messy people. And from what I know, when you put two broken, messy people together there is conflict … hurt … disagreements … pain …
It’s inevitable. It’s life. It’s MARRIAGE.
I’ll say it again: comparison is the thief of joy. This is one of my life mottos because it rings true time and time again in my life. I struggle with this on the daily but I believe the fight against it is SO important for my joy and for the health of my marriage! So be kind to yourselves. Ask for help. Encourage others when they need it and learn from those who inspire you! But never tear down and my goodness, let’s stop this comparing-marriages-thing! : ) xo!
For daily marriage content, be sure to check out our new marriage-focused Instagram account!
To sign up for our monthly marriage newsletter, click here!
For past Marriage Monday blog posts, click here!