Comparison: It’s not only the silent killer of individuals who begin to think lowly of themselves, it’s also the silent killer of many marriages. Anytime comparison enters our marriage there is the potential that it will have devastating consequences. Oftentimes, comparison starts out with emotional thoughts such as, “Why can’t my husband/wife be more like that? If they were more like that, then our marriage would be so much better.”
Or perhaps, “Wow, they have such a great marriage. If we could be more like them, then we would never have problems.”
No matter how this mindset begins it is important to understand that comparison is unhealthy in marriage. Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman. Bringing anyone else into that covenant is not what marriage was intended to be. (This is not to say that Godly counsel and mentors are unnecessary, often they are great. We all need help in our marriages and it is important to have people in our lives who exemplify what we want in our marriage. People who encourage us, challenge us and give us lots of practical advice.) However, it is not a good idea to put anyone or another marriage on a pedestal. Comparing your spouse and/or your marriage will always have a negative impact within your marriage. It will stunt the growth that can occur when you accept each other and work together to make your marriage great.
Here are a few questions to help you determine if comparison is present in your marriage:
1. Have you ever wished your spouse would talk/think/act more like someone else’s spouse?
2. Have you ever wished your spouse would speak, act, dress differently for the sake of “fitting in”?
3. Have you ever believed if they did these things you would truly be “happier” or more content?
4. Have you ever held a grudge towards your spouse for not helping your marriage achieve it’s full potential?
5. Have you had fleeting thoughts thinking someone else is more attractive than your spouse?
6. Do you regularly look at another couple who has a “great” marriage and silently wish you had the same?
Answering yes to any or all of these questions does not make you a bad mate. In fact it makes you rather normal. When these thoughts are isolated and rather infrequent they are not likely to cause your marriage serious harm. However, if these thought are normal and frequent, take the opportunity to evaluate just why they keep occurring. Tomorrow, we’ll take some time discussing how you can learn to be more accepting of your spouse, and how this acceptance is one step you can take toward having a stronger, healthier marriage.
Mentoring in the form or real people is always great but we have found books to be very helpful for building our marriage as well. We are giving away 2 of our favorite books this month. Check out this post for more details. Thanks for reading!