I have a weakness.
I sometimes compare myself to others. I find myself trying to measure up to some invisible standard that I believe those people have attained, rather than simply being content with my own life.
Recently my husband and I attended an event with a lot of “beautiful” people who looked to me like they have everything together. That’s when my comparison problem raised it’s ugly head.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we should all try to look our best and take care of our bodies, and I make an honest effort to do so (although I have been known to eat most of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio ice cream while watching a movie, or to go to the store in my workout clothes).
At this event there was one woman in particular who was absolutely gorgeous, wore expensive looking clothing and seemed to be having the time of her life with a very good looking man. For just a minute, I found myself comparing and I felt a twinge of jealousy that she seemed to have everything. Yes, I am just that shallow.
As the night progressed, however, this beautiful woman drank more and more, and started wobbling on her stiletto heels. She eventually became an embarrassment to everyone around her, including her good looking date.
At first, this woman looked like she had everything going for her, but as it turns out, she has some problems.
And so does everybody else.
Which brings me to the point of this post: why I don’t read romance novels. Most of them paint a picture of men that is not very realistic, and reading them causes me to compare my life and my relationship with my husband to what I am reading.
While there are many wonderful qualities that my husband possesses (and I happen to think he is really good looking!), he can never live up to an idealized image on the page or on the screen. Comparing him to those men makes me focus on the ways he falls short compared to what I see or imagine.
If I am committed for life (and I am!), I need to live in the reality of who my husband is and what our relationship is. I choose to love and acknowledge all of my husband, but minimize those less-than-perfect parts of him.
I believe that marriage is the central relationship of the family and that the health of the entire family is influenced by the strength of the relationship between the husband and wife. When we care for our spouses and respect them instead of holding them up to an impossible standard, we give our children security and invest in the long-term stability of our marriage. That’s one reason my husband and I have weekly date nights away from our children, even if it only consists of going on a drive or splitting a dessert at a local coffee shop.
So what about you? Do you ever compare your husband to an ideal that causes you to think less of him?
Leave a comment and let’s talk about it.
(Email readers will need to click through to leave a comment on the blog. Even if you’re not married, I’d love to hear what you think!)
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