Thursday, July 28, 2011


I think that comparing ourselves to others is human nature, don't you?  Comparing houses, cars, salaries, education level, boob size...everybody does it.  Envy is certainly part of that - looking at someone's house and wishing, "I wish mine were that big/nice/clean."  I don't think anyone in the world can honestly say they've never wished for something that someone else has at one point or another.  But hand in hand with that, is also pride.  Pride in looking at someone else's house and thinking, "I'm so glad mine is cozier/cuter/neater." 

But I'm not really talking about things right now.  I'm talking about relationships.  I think that it is also part of our nature to look at other people's relationships and compare ours to theirs.  Better or worse, happier or more strained, everyone has at one time or another watched another couple and thought to themselves, "We/They are so much more/less blank than them/us."  Am I right?  Or are you sitting there wondering what the eff is this girl talking about?

Here's where this is coming from.  I have one friend who is smack in the middle of a rapidly-deteriorating divorce.  It is getting uglier by the minute.  Accusations of abuse are flying around, questions about ain't pretty.  This is a couple who started dating in high school and who, for all intents and purposes, seemed like the picture-perfect couple.  They had their problems, of course, but they always seemed to work it out.  Apparently, what seemed to be the situation was not at all the situation, and a Battle Royale has begun.  It's very sad.

I have another friend who is absolutely terrified about the state of her marriage.  Things seem to be unraveling around her, neither she nor her husband seem happy anymore, and it's completely tearing her apart.  And it's actually kind of freaking me out.

You know how you have those couples in your life?  The ones who seem like they're really going to make it.  Who seem completely happy and in love and committed to each other?  That's what this couple is.  Or used to be.  Over the past couple of years, I've noticed things that have made me...uneasy.  I won't go into details, but it's gotten to the point sometimes where Matt and I have talked about it and wondered how things still work for them.  Now I know.  They aren't. 

I feel like I can't help but compare my relationship to theirs.  To make myself feel better?  Maybe.  To better understand what they're going through?  Perhaps.  But as I sat there and listened to my friend tell me all the problems she is having, I couldn't help but think to myself, "Oh thank God, Matt and I don't do that/handle that differently/already have communication about that..."  I found myself later thinking about it and thinking about the ways in which Matt and I do do things better and can do things better.  Is that wrong?  Am I a horrible person to be benefitting from the possible dissolution of my friends' marriage?  Am I terrible that I'm comparing my relationship to theirs and going, "We are better/stronger/happier..."? 

While I always had a feeling that their marriage wasn't perfect, I also always thought they'd make it work.  It always seemed like they were committed to their marriage and would do whatever it took to keep it going.  Now, I'm not so sure.  And as much as I know it's freaking my friend out, it's kind of freaking me out, too.  Is that totally weird?  Is any of this making any sense or am I just randomly ranting?


  1. I totally get it! And you aren't a bad person for feeling that way. Think of it as learning from someone else's mistakes.

  2. I think we all compare ourselves/our relationships to the ones around us. We all work in different ways. We argue and make up in different ways.

  3. I absolutely do the same thing! Marriage and sharing your life with someone is tricky manuevering. When someone around you goes off course, I think examining your own relationship is natural. I also think that doing so is a good idea. Better to find the spots that need tweaks (and every couple has those spots) than to ignore them and let a problem build. Think of the process as the same as getting a medical check-up after someone you know gettings a scary diagnosis. Maybe your friend (eventually) might take comfort in knowing that she's inspired you to be healthier?