The game of comparison has brought many marriages to their knees.
From a newly wed wife who’s terrified because her relationship isn’t so together as that of a more seasoned couple.
To the husband who takes out a car loan to keep up with the family across the street.
The thing about comparison is that it can come under the guise of intentional growth and improvement.
When we moved to the States from Africa two years ago, I quickly discovered that many Americans are not necessarily shy people.
Coming from a conservative African culture, I marveled at the public displays of emotion and words.
And for a while I was content to live my own life.
But it wasn’t long before I started to wonder why my own marriage wasn’t as fuzzy and showy.
And being the one who likes to be romanced, I quietly assigned that responsibility to my beloved.
Maybe you are like me.
You wade through tonnes of marriage advice, listen to mentors, read great books and watch other couples.
And slowly begin to feel as though your own marriage is falling short in some way.
Not because it is.
But because you see all these great “opportunities” for improvement.
All the good tips and thoughts begging to be implemented in your marriage.
And because you keep staring at the green grass over at the Jonese’s, you completely forget to appreciate what you already have.
But one thing we must remember, even as we pursue growth in our relationship is that all couples and marriages are unique.
What works wonderfully for another couple might not work for you.
Trying to import into your marriage what works for another couple, without appreciating your unique background, upbringing, life experiences, goals and dreams can leave you very frustrated (not to mention with a very irritated spouse)
Not that you can’t learn and grow and become better. But you must sift advice and apply it within context.
When it comes to finding out what works for my marriage, the following tips have been helpful
1. Find out what works
Just because you can’t implement every thought doesn’t mean that you should throw out the baby with the bath waters.
Continue to be intentional about the growth of your marriage.
That means discovering new things through reading, observing, listening, communication e.t.c.
You won’t find what works for you if you don’t go looking for it.
2. Apply what works.
It’s one thing to read something helpful, quite another to know how to apply it in your own marriage, if at all.
I believe that’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
As you discover new information, try and consider the principle behind the thought. You might like the advice but you might not be able to apply it exactly the same way.
Other times it might be great advice but you can’t implement it right away.
And other times you like it but you know it’s not for your marriage.
Question – How do you deal with comparison in your marriage? Please share in Comments