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Relationships

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How often do you hear your friends or the media talk about their relationships and think, “Well, that’s not what my relationship is like, so is there something WRONG with mine?”

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Relationship Problem: How Relationship Comparisons Snowball

This single thought may start off pretty insignificant. It can grow rapidly though. You may just think it’s a passing thought until you start noticing that other relationships also have the characteristics you first noted in that one that made you first think that your relationship wasn’t perfect.

What begins happening? A problem starts. That’s right, you just went from not having a problem….to having a relationship problem.

This snowballs as you keep noticing how all these other relationships have what you don’t have… remember, it didn’t bother you before, but it does now.

Your feelings are now wrapped up into it. You start resenting your partner because of it. It’s not fair. Why do all these other relationships have that one thing and you don’t?

How to Stop Comparing Your Relationship

So how do you get out of this situation?

  1. Stop it before it starts.

The next time you see someone’s relationship having something that yours doesn’t, ask yourself if it’s something you want or if it’s something that you feel like you should have because someone else thinks you should have it. Are you satisfied with the way things are? If not, then by all means, bring it up to your spouse to communicate and find a compromise. However, if you are just trying to change the relationship to fall in line with society, then it’s not what you need, it’s what OTHERS need and that won’t make you happy.

  1. Talk to your spouse.

Yes, bring it up as soon as it happens. Tell him or her that you saw something on TV or spoke to your friend and how it makes you feel. Talk about how you are or aren’t happy with the way things are and you don’t know why you feel the way you do. See if you should make a change to see if you guys like it better and if not, you can go back to way things are. You may feel like you are missing out on something. Once you change, you may see that there isn’t anything to miss and change things back. Or you’ll like it and decide to keep it.

  1. Keep your mind clear and understanding.

If you know that you are happy the way things are, then tell yourself, “That is what they want to do and this is what I want to do.” Everyone is different in this world. We all don’t have to do the same things. We all don’t think the same way. We all don’t make the same decisions. It’s a shame that we all feel pressure to do things the same or to live up to society’s standards. If we all just could live the way that makes us the most happy and respect each other for that, we would all be able to live much easier, satisfied and fulfilled.

If you’re still having a hard time coping with comparing your relationship to others – it may be time to speak to me. We can discuss some of the reasons why you are looking outside of your relationship for clues into what your relationship should be like. There may be reasons for why you are trying to define your relationship this way. The only way to figure this out is to explore what is going on with the inside of your relationship. Check out the Coaching Services section for more information.