Focus on What Works for your Marriage
Marriage is hard enough without comparing your marriage to others… so STOP! Focus on what is working for you! When you choose to marry someone, you overlook all their shortcomings and you are focused on all their positive characteristics. The Divas believe that marriage is all about becoming ONE with our spouse. Helping each other’s weaknesses become strengths and building each other up is what marriage is all about. But there is no such thing as the perfect marriage. Every marriage deals with it’s own unique struggles. As couples, we need to make sure that we’re not hurting our marriage by judging ourselves against other couples who seem to have it all together.
The very FIRST thing you need to accept in order to stop comparing your marriage to others is that your marriage is special, unique, one-of-a-kind and so different from all the marriages around you!
I remember when I got married I had such a bright hope and vision for our future. I knew that as individuals we were different, but that we complemented each other perfectly! Fast forward 7 years and I feel like we still mesh pretty well, in fact, in many ways even better than we did way back then. As you recognize that you and your spouse are different, remember that your marriage is different from others.
Are you struggling in your marriage? Check out Diva Central for some GREAT ideas for working on your marriage!
We live in a world of comparison—especially with social media. We look at others’ lives through an Instagram filter and think that someone else’s life is picture perfect… their house, their family, even their marriage. It can then be difficult to look at our own lives and marriages and think that we have a “bad” marriage, or that our lives don’t compare.
The thing is, we don’t always see other’s struggles. If you were to take the strengths of others and compare them to your weaknesses you are bound to feel pretty lousy! So why put yourself through that misery!?
When you and your spouse get together with friends, it might be easy or even natural, to have some of these thoughts:
“Wow! That couple is so affectionate! I wish my husband would smother me in kisses just like….”
“Boy, I really wish my wife could make a killer casserole like….”
“He is totally bragging about how amazing his wife is! I would feel so much more loved if my husband would talk me up like…”
“Her husband always surprises her with special flowers and gifts, I wish my husband was more romantic.”
These thoughts do not build your marriage up! So I have 3 simple words of advice for you: Don’t do it! Don’t even go there!! Once you open the door and start comparing your relationship to others you are only asking for trouble…
Instead here are a few things you SHOULD do!
Focus on the Good
It is important that rather than analyzing others’ relationships, we are able to focus on our own marriage and see all the good! I believe that this is the secret to life! Sometimes when the negativity starts to seep in, I sit down and start writing a list of all the good things my husband does for me and for our family. Often it’s hard to get started, but once I get going I usually end up in a puddle of tears and overwhelmed with gratitude. You have to literally make the choice to see all the amazing things that your sweetheart does. I guarantee there are at least a few things you can add to your list. Go make your list right now and see how lucky you are!!
The Divas have quite a few different ways to develop a more positive outlook on your marriage. Try out this I Love You Today Because… tradition to help you ease into positive thinking! Or if you want to make this a priority right now, check out our Positivity Challenge. Another fun way to really notice all the good is to Click for a Happier Marriage!
Truth: Life is full of ups and downs. It’s not a fairy tale where you find your Prince Charming and live happily every after—UNLESS you work at it! Have you heard the expression work smarter, not harder? Well, you’ll find you are much more efficient if you put effort into your marriage where you know it will make the biggest impact.
What works for one couple doesn’t always work for another couple! Just like each individual is unique, each couple has routines and habits that work for them. Not only that, but you might just be in a different stage of life. It might not be realistic for your spouse to do all the cooking and cleaning, so maybe you both need to pitch in! Or maybe you are at a time in your life where you just can’t afford all the extra flowers and romantic gifts, find another way to express love to each other. Figure out what strengthens your marriage and make your own fairy tale wherein you work toward overcoming the down times with your spouse!
And… since we know that romance is usually one of those areas where our expectations and reality don’t often match up, we wrote some tips on what to do if you have an Unromantic Spouse.
Communicate & Compromise
This is an obvious part of marriage. However, it can often be the hardest part. Since each individual thinks so differently, you need to remember to be open and honest with each other in a positive and respectful way. When you talk to your spouse, try to build them up with your words. Tell them what you want and need from your relationship and then truly listen when they relate their needs! Then try to fulfill them, of course. The more you talk, the easier it becomes to understand each other and how you can meet your spouse’s needs.
Pillow Talk is such a fun way to open the doors to amazing communication! For some reason my husband and I connect the best when we’re laying in bed, cuddling and talking about life!
As you are communicating, remember to never keep score and even when you are upset or having a disagreement be kind and respectful. Here are a few tips for Handling Disagreements in Marriage.
Celebrate your strengths and recognize your weaknesses! Instead of getting bogged down by all the things your spouse is not, be proactive and productive by working on something you can change—YOU. If you work on making yourself more lovable then your spouse will have an easier time showing you the love that you desire. Hopefully, it will have a domino effect. As your spouse sees you reaching your goals, they’ll likely be motivated to do the same!
If you are looking for a good way to set goals and hold yourself accountable, you will love our printable: A Year of Goals. If setting goals is new to you, or you just need a little help knowing where to get started here is some excellent advice on Setting Goals in a Relationship.
Connect More Often
When you connect, you strengthen your marriage. You know this is true! In the dating phase of life, you probably felt connected all the time. It was new, exciting and you were so focused on your future spouse.
Well, hello… keep the focus on your spouse and connect on a regular basis to strengthen your marriage so that you don’t even feel the need to compare your relationship to anyone else’s ever again! As Dating Divas you know we have a lot of advice on having a regular date night, so here is a good place to start: Why Your Marriage Needs Date Night! Ready, set, go!
If you are looking to do a bit more reading on strengthening your relationship, don’t miss our Top 12 Favorite Marriage Books.