The Comparison Factor

So, let me give you a few good reasons why you should not compare your relationship to others:

You have no idea what it took for them to get where they are

  • You don’t know their experiences, you don’t know what they went through, you don’t know how difficult it may have been for them to have reached the point where they are
  • “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”- and your journey would still be different because YOU ARE DIFFERENT- you’re not going to handle situations the exact same way- therefore you marriage could never be the same

People present their best selves- you don’t know if it’s genuine or not

  • You may may not be looking at the “real deal”
  • You don’t know what happens behind closed doors
  • Like when someone takes off their makeup- you may be surprised!

Your standards may be unrealistic

  • Don’t hold yourself up to unrealistic standards
  • Happily married for “them” may not be the same as happily married for “you”
  • When your standards outweigh reality- you will always be disappointment- meaning when you want your partner to be someone that they are not- you’re setting yourself up for disappointment- you must find balance by accepting who they are and always striving to be better
  • It is irrational to think your partner could be someone else because guess what? THEY ARE NOT!

Your marriage is unique

  • Your marriage is based on your own personal experiences
  • It takes two people working together to create a happy relationship
  • Your dynamic may be different than others- just because of who you are- how you see things- how you respond to things will not mirror anyone else

You see the positive in their marriage and the negative in your own

  • When you envy someone else’s marriage or partner- you can devalue your own
  • When you minimize the problems in someone else’s marriage- this will magnify the problems in your own
  • “They have it all together. I bet their relationship is perfect. They always look so happy.” – but we know looks can be deceiving!
  • Rather than focusing your attention on the positive attributes of your partner, you notice desirable characteristics in someone else- which ultimately makes your partner unattractive and undesireable
  • You don’t appreciate what you already have because you’re too busy lusting after someone else

You don’t consider the process of building a healthy marriage

  • You may be expecting overnight success but a good marriage takes time to build- learn to build on your strengths and not focus on your weaknesses
  • Understand there is a process to building a successful marriage- take the good with the bad and stay committed
  • Process sometimes includes struggle- it’s not always easy and not always fun to build a happy marriage- there may be days when you just want to give up- but you have to understand- that’s part of the process- you have to work together to create the marriage you desire

You could make your partner feel inadequate

  • Comparing your relationship to someone else’s may make your spouse feel like they are incapable of making you happy- “No matter what I do for her- she is always unhappy”- eventually they will give up trying
  • You may not realize that you are inadvertently negatively impacting the growth of your spouse as a supportive, loving partner- remember the process- it takes time for him/her to identify your needs and what makes you happy- sometimes they try and fail and try again- it’s your job to reinforce when they do something right- not tear them down when they do something wrong
  • You also don’t want to compare your relationship to a past relationship
  • If your ex was so great- why aren’t you still together?
  • “Love the one you’re with”- it’s your responsiblity to support your spouse in becoming the best that they can be in your relationship- show love, give love- and let the past stay in the past- all you have is NOW

There is nothing wrong with having a leading example- that gives you something to work toward. But it’s more important that you focus on the the positive aspects of your own relationship and build on them. Don’t let focusing on being like someone else keep you from being the powerful couple that you are. If there are things that you want to change in your relationship- work at it but don’t criticize. Build your spouse up- don’t tear them down. And finally, for relationship improvement- focus on the qualities you want to see in your relationship rather than focusing on what you “think” about someone else’s- because what you “think” probably isn’t true…