3.06.2012

On Marriage and Comparisons

I'm once again linking up with Courtney, Gina. and Morgan for their marriage series.

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Comparisons are a very real, daily struggle for me. Growing up, I compared my pale, freckled skin to the glowing tan of the other girls in school. I compared my grades to my those of my classmates and my musical talents to the other sopranos and pianists in the music department.

With that background, it's so easy to compare my marriage to other marriages. It's so easy to look over at a couple in church, the couple with the baby blonde hair, his shirt matching the color of her dress. His arm is wrapped around her shoulders, and her head is resting on his shoulder. You wonder if they've ever argued with each other the way you and your spouse have. If they ever have those late nights where they want to rip their hair out in exasperation.

You wonder about the couple who can afford to drive away in a BMW a month after the wedding. Or the couple who bought a house and has painted every interior wall a varying shade of grey. The couple who double dates every Saturday night and flies to the Caribbean every winter.

We don't have a mortgage. Our couches are old and ripped and worn. Our walls are stark white. Our furniture is a mélange of our dorm rooms and college apartments. We don't have a newborn cooing in a crib.

We don't go to fancy restaurants every weekend. We order a pizza and watch Netflix. I wake up to love notes on the coffee pot. We steal a kiss in the middle of Target. The other couples may be a bundle of giggles and smiles, but I know that I have a foot rub waiting for me after a run on the treadmill. I know the guitar perched by the kitchen counter has songs in its strings for me. I know that when I least expect it, the white vase in the kitchen will be full of pink and yellow daisies.

When comparing, you're essentially making a pro/con list. And when you're comparing your marriage, you're using someone else's marriage as the standard by which you evaluate your own. It's such a dangerous game to play. You don't know the stories and struggles that marriage has. The true meat of a marriage is often hidden behind smiles and kisses that can leave you thinking they must be so much happier than you are. That their marriage is so much more satisfying. That's when doubts and insecurities creep in. Don't let them.You see, if we should compare our marriage to anything, it should be to God's love for the church. For that is the real standard of marriage. That is the ideal love we are to replicate.

So don't worry about the mortgage, the baby, the grey walls, or the couple with the baby blonde hair. Each marriage is unique, just like each person is an individual and not like anyone else. Each couple shows their love differently. Each couple has their own story, their own inside jokes, their own special memories. No marriage is like the next. No one else has the same love story. No one else has the stash of notes you wrote to him the week you were in Mexico. No one else experienced the ocean breeze and moonlight quite the way you did the night he proposed. And that's what is so beautiful, in a world of sames and similarities, you have something completely different.



10 comments:

  1. I can't even tell you how much I needed to read this. Maybe it's our age, but everyone around me is entering that next stage of life (marrying, having babies, buying houses, driving new cars) and I'm terrible at making comparisons. It really can take the joy right out of moments that should be so special. Thanks for this reminder!

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  2. Yes yes yes! Comparison is something I've struggled my whole life, so, like you, it was natural for me to do it when I got married. I'm so glad you're seeing this truth now. We're definitely on the same page- we don't know what's going on with those couples that seem like they have it all together. More than once I've looked at a couple and thought that they had such a great, strong relationship and not too much later found out they were divorcing. I totally agree, we the only thing we can compare our marriage to, and even then really only ourselves, is God's love for the church.

    Thank you so much for joining in and linking up! I have so enjoyed reading your marriages posts and also I'm so glad to have found your whole blog!

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  3. You nailed it hon! I love this because it's honest and authentic and a peek at what comparisons can do to our hearts. I mean you showed a piece of how we can fall into the trap of comparisons and what some of the comparisons look like and then you identified the reality, which is key. Boy I adore this post, and you are so right, we can't let our insecurities taint us and then start comparing. We all have our unique relationships and that is what makes them special!
    Thanks for writing along today hon!!!

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  4. this just gave me chills! i love how you write:) the special moments between you two are just for you two, which makes them so beautiful and brilliant. i love how you pointed to that. and no two couples have the same inside jokes, little moments or big fights. they are separate and unique and make up the threads of our love. how beautiful. thank you for this reminder:)

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  5. beautiful! i'm loving going back to read different women's posts on this series. adore it!!

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  6. I know this, and yet, I needed to read it today. Thank you!

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  7. I feel so lucky that I've never felt this way about my marriage; however, I have a miles-long history of comparing myself to others. It doesn't matter how different our stages of life are, I've compared myself to everyone. But I firmly believe that we create our own happiness, and it sounds like you remind yourself how happy your marriage makes you! Expensive things are nice, but they don't make a marriage last. Special moments, memories, inside jokes, secrets, and plain ol' fun do!

    I love this post!

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  8. i constantly compare myself (and my marriage)...i need to make a conscious effort to stop! the best quote i ever saw on this was, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt. so so true.

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  9. This is so wonderful. Thank you so much for this :)

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  10. Right on (am I stalking you now because this is like the 9th comment I've left for you today after laughing my head off about your stories on your blog and wishing you were my best friend)

    oh well.

    Anyway, I love this post. I compare all the time instead of just enjoying my husband and our togetherness! We are our own entity, not part of someone else.

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