Do you do this? Because I know I do, and then I seriously have to check myself. You’re scrolling through Instagram and you see a friend post their recent kitchen renovation with all the latest appliances and marble counter tops. Another friend posts smiling photos of themselves and their partner traveling to exotic places in what seems like every other month.
And as you’re scrolling, jealousy and envy begins to set in. You start thinking about the recent argument you had with your spouse or the relationship rut you’ve been feeling lately. You start to compare your relationship to the so-called “happy ones” you see on social media, and notice how vastly different it is from your own.
The battle of comparisons can easily take over and put you in a relationship funk. Feelings of inadequacy seeps in and wreaks havoc on our home life. We can easily pick apart all that’s wrong instead of things we should be grateful for.
Because when you really stop to think about it, you know full well that Instagram, Facebook and Twitter only illuminates a small part of the pie and rarely paints the full picture. You might not know that the couple that just upgraded their kitchen to make any chef drool may have maxed out their credit card in order to do so. And what isn’t posted on their social media accounts are the subsequent fights about money and how they’re going to pay it all back. The couple that posts happily about their lavish lifestyle and fun vacations certainly wouldn’t let the world know that they too fight and the jet setting may be fueled by an intense fear that things within their own relationship could crumble beneath them at any given moment.
Instead of playing the comparison game, put things into perspective and take a moment to self reflect. Finding gratitude in your marriage helps illuminate the many aspects to be thankful for, as well as the reality that every couple has conflict and goes through periods of discontent. Here’s 3 ways to stop comparing your relationship to others and start focusing on improving yours.
- Keep a gratitude journal and add two things that you’re thankful for each day. Are you and your spouse actively saving to buy a house because you don’t want to purchase something that’s out of your price range where you’ll end up “house poor?” That’s something to be extremely proud of so jot it down. Amongst the fighting, have you found moments where things are peaceful and you can laugh and be affectionate with one another? Focus on those moments of happiness instead. On any old mundane weekday, can you get excited about watching your favorite TV show together? Not many couples can say they have something small, yet meaningful in common. When social media overshadows the real world, take a look at your gratitude journal and remember that your life is yours, and is meant to be praised.
- Express appreciation. Not only should you jot down your list of grateful moments in life but you should also outwardly express them to the one you love. We often have wonderful thoughts about our partner but don’t tell them how much we appreciate all that they do. Make sure you take time to let them know, for they yearn to hear it.
- Give back in some way. Did you know that giving to others- whether donating your time or investing in an organization that you’re passionate about- helps you feel more grateful about your own life? Giving to others makes us feel better about our personal relationships and ourselves. What’s even better? Donate your time to a charity that you and your spouse can do together. It boosts the feeling of thankfulness that you both have together.
It’s easy to scroll through social media and desire what others have and you don’t. But the reality is that those friends may be struggling too. You never know what goes on behind closed doors and instead of looking out the windows wishing for something else, take a peek inside your own home and find those moments to be thankful for.