Relationship Envy Can Hurt Your Marriage

Love & Sex 5

Relationship Envy Can Hurt Your MarriageWhen it comes to marriage and relationships, it's easy to compare your own to someone else's. And it's not just seeing a couple you know holding hands or making out in public.

It's the sweet birthday Facebook updates. The anniversary tweets. The now myriad ways people can publicly express their love to their partners and spouses so that everyone else can see and hear how much in love they still are.

Or, at least, want us to think they are.

When we compare our relationship with another person's, it's really like comparing apples and oranges.

Because as much as we'd like to think that we're getting the full picture of their relationship, we're really only seeing small snippets of behaviors and interactions that could have all sorts of meanings.

I still remember a couple I saw a few years ago at a family gathering. He was supportive of his wife's endeavors, gushing over her at dinner and making all of the women at the table jealous.

Next thing you know, they're getting divorced.

And don't even get me started on all the public proclamations of love and happiness on blogs everywhere and then, boom! Divorced.

The truth is that you have absolutely no idea what's really going on behind closed doors. Maybe that's why Ben Affleck's Oscar speech was so refreshing; it was a little insight into what's beyond all the photos and images we see, especially when it comes to celebrity relationships, which tend to get idolized the most. 

After many years of watching couples and sharing my own marriage stories on my blog Motherhood Uncensored, I've learned that what we're seeing -- at parties, dinners, on Facebook, and on TV -- are just snapshots of what people want to share. 

Hey, I get it. No one wants to be caught fighting in public or sitting in complete silence over dinner. It can be completely embarrassing and socially unacceptable.

And to be clear, this doesn't mean that couples who are publicly affectionate aren't being authentic. And that their interactions aren't the same in the privacy of their home.

But we shouldn't put them up on a pedestal, either. And we certainly shouldn't compare our own relationship with theirs because we're setting ourselves up for failure.

All the envy that we might have when it comes to someone else's amazing marriage? Let's channel it as energy into our own relationships.

Do you have relationship envy?


Image via TheBusyBrain/Flickr

divorce, marriage


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Angie Martin Roye

My boyfriend and I will hold hands or sneak a kiss in public some, but if he makes me mad, I don't care if someone out there sees that I'm mad. As long as you are not drawing attention to yourself or causing a scene, no biggie. But I do agree that people see what they want you to see, know what they want you to know. People also need to learn to mind their own business and take care of their own thinking there.

nonmember avatar Sheryl

Aaron is not neurotypical, so there's really no comparing our marriage with others. That doesn't stop me pining after "normal" marriages (even their problems!) but I try not to dwell on it.

Angie... AngieHayes

I know other people have to have problems in their relationship, just like me... right?  

butte... butterflyfreak

Articles like this make me think of the quote I read, "Don't compare your behind-the-scenes to somebody else's highlight reel." And really, people "idolize" celebrity marriages?? Considering how so many celebrites jump in and out of marriage on a whim, I don't think I would want to be comparing my marriage/relationship to those in Tinseltown.

Sonia Moore

A co-worker of mine’s told me to go to because I went to some other spell caster’s and nothing worked to get my boyfriend back. I felt all was lost till I emailed him on, and Prophet of GODDESS stepped in after I got a phone consultation from him. He saw the problem and told me when things fell apart. I had him to cast the Love and Return Spell since things were blocking my boyfriend to come to me and after the spells was casted, my boyfriend came back to me. I'm a woman of my word, so I had to spread the news to let others know who helped me.

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