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Whose Marriage Is It, Anyway? The Dangers of Comparing Yours to Others

4There is no shortage of ways in which we tend to compare ourselves to others: You look at your neighbors’ house and wish yours were just a little bigger. You hear that a friend’s son was accepted to an exclusive university and feel a tad envious because yours didn’t make it into his first-choice school. You discover that an acquaintance in a similar profession to yours makes more money than you and suddenly feel vastly underappreciated.

It goes on and on, and it will drive you crazy if you let it. And it is rarely, if ever, the slightest bit productive.

What does this have to do with relationships? The compulsion to compare one’s life to other people’s also extends into marriage and partnerships. I’ve even heard of studies of people who come away from romantic comedies with a nagging sense of disappointment that their own, real-life relationships simply don’t measure up.

Of course, we all know the folly in comparing your life to the world of onscreen romance, one that’s built on a film set and populated with exceptionally gorgeous, well-groomed actors reading from a finely tuned script.

But it happens in the real world, too. Particularly in moments of doubt about your own relationship-and who doesn’t have those from time to time?-it’s easy to look around and find other people whose partnerships seem to eclipse yours.

Let’s say you check your Facebook page and find one of those postings from an old schoolmate that’s bound to give you at least a twinge of envy: It’s a picture of his wife on their wedding day, with a caption that reads, “To my beautiful, brilliant, wonderful wife-happy 15th anniversary!” Do you stop to wonder, “Would my husband ever post such a public show of affection… ” before remembering that he doesn’t even have a Facebook account?

Or maybe when you are out with friends or at get-togethers, other couples just seem to be more affectionate with each other. Or when you go to lunch with your girlfriends, they always seem to be bragging about the wonderful things their husbands have done. But here’s what all of those examples have in common: they only show you what those other couples want you to see.

It’s a mistake to assume other people’s relationships are perfect, or somehow better than yours, based on what they say or how they act in public. How many times have you heard of a couple splitting up and thought, “But they’ve always looked so happy together!”

I’m not suggesting that you dig further to find what hidden problems are lurking in other people’s relationships-quite the opposite. I’m recommending that you forget about other people’s romantic lives altogether and focus, instead, on your own. Are you satisfied in your relationship? Are you meeting each other’s needs? Are there areas you need to work on together?

Try to answer these questions in the context of your own relationship, not by measuring the answers against what you believe to be true of others. Concentrate on the uniquely positive qualities of your partner and the bond you share… the ones that made you fall in love in the first place. After all, no two relationships are alike, and that’s a good thing, because otherwise the world would be a boring place indeed.

If you do find that there are areas in your relationship that could use a little TLC, a relationship counselor can work with you to help you understand each other better and move toward keeping your relationship healthy. If you are considering couples counseling, let the counselors at Orange County Relationship Center help you. Call us today at 949-220-3211 or book your appointment via our online calendar.

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Successful Marriages – Three Secrets Behind Them

3Have you come across couples who have been successfully married for more than 25 years? You should have come across such people. But have you tried to find out what the secrets that made their marriages last so long were? While doing this analysis, you should differentiate between marriages that have been successful and marriages that have just stood the ravages of time.

Many couples remain married for a long time but they are not necessarily successfully married. Their marriage has endured because for some reason the couples were unable to choose divorce as an option. Various considerations like the need to bring up children, financial constraints and the inability to overcome the inhibition of opting for a divorce have forced people to bear with their partners.

Successful marriages have certain common characteristics. I am listing out the three most important traits so that you can use these as a check to evaluate your own marriage.

1) The personality of one or both the partners:
There is an Oriental saying that you need two palms to produce a clap. If one hand moves and the other does not, there will be no clap. If one partner has a strong personality he or she can make a difference to the marriage. The strong partner will find ways to handle the shortcomings of the other rather than force a separation. If both partners have strong personalities, then the marriage is blessed and is guaranteed to last long.

2) The bond of love is strong:
Love is a solvent that can dissolve numerous problems. The Tamil poet Bharathiar says, ‘Feelings of grief and depression will be destroyed by love. Love is unperishable.’ So, whatever be the personalities of the partners, whatever be their weaknesses or shortcomings and whatever be their acts of indiscretion and impropriety, if the two partners love each other, that love will remain the predominant force in the marriage, a force that will guide the marriage towards a successful path.

3) Open communication between the partners:
If the partners have a habit of communicating with each other openly, nothing can come In the way of the success of the marriage. There are couples who will not be vociferous even in expressing their love. ‘I love my spouse and they should know it’ will be their attitude. Thy fail to realize that unexpressed love is as good as unrequited love. The other partner is likely to assume that their spouse did not love them because if they did, they would have said so. In the same way, when differences are not brought out into the open, they assume serious proportions and end up destroying the relationship ultimately. Couples who openly express their differences and fight out the issues have better chances of getting their differences reconciled. So whether it is love or resentment, couples who are more communicative have better chances of saving their marriage.

Successful marriages are built on strong foundations. You need to check the foundations of your marriage if you want to save your relationship.

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Rekindling the Passion in Your Marriage – What You Need to Know

8Couples should be passionate to each other to be able to make the marriage last. A marriage without passion is more likely to fail. Passion keeps the relationship alive. If the passion in your marriage starts to fade, you have to do something to bring back the fire in your marriage. Rekindling the passion in your marriage needs some effort and dedication. Without a conscious effort to keep the passion in the relationship, the marriage will suffer a slow death.

At the beginning of the relationship, couples are naturally romantic but when they start to feel comfortable with each other they tend to forget what passion and romance means. In a long-term relationship like marriage, romance tend to take a back seat especially when couples start to have kids and getting more serious with their careers to achieve financial stability. Life became busier that romance eventually die down and that makes the marriage boring and lifeless. Although the feelings are still there, the flame is gone and so marriage becomes more of a routine. In rekindling the passion in your marriage, you have to bring back the romance. Go back to your honeymoon stage and realize how passionate your marriage in the beginning. If you really want to save your marriage, you have to make time to be romantic with your spouse. The following tips can be very helpful in rekindling the passion in your marriage.

Be spontaneous. It can be boring if things always go with how it was planned. Although it is good to plan things, marriage will be more exciting if there is spontaneity. Go with your impulse when you want to surprise your spouse and break that routine life. If you want to grab your spouse out and dance in the rain, then follow your impulse. Stop waiting for the perfect time or stop waiting until all things are perfectly planned. Coming up with something on a spur-of-the-moment to make your spouse feel special can be very romantic. A lifeless and boring marriage need spontaneity.

Take time to do the things you love. In rekindling the passion in your marriage you have to be more interesting. Taking the time to do what you love or enjoy makes you more interesting. There are things that you can do together with your spouse but there are things that you can do on your own to make yourself more interesting. Your spouse will find you amazing when you have something new to share with him or her. Strive to be the best version of yourself to be more exciting and interesting.

Laugh together. Life can become too serious if you will take all things seriously. Although you both have to be serious when it comes to raising your children and accomplishing your marital responsibilities, there is no rule saying that you cannot share a joke or laugh every now and then with your spouse. Watch funny movies, share jokes and find the humor in everyday situations. Laughter makes a heavy situation bearable and brings a positive aura to everybody around you. Rekindling the passion in your marriage may need some laughter so stretch those facial muscles and share a laugh with your spouse.

Make time for each other. Marriage life can be so demanding and overwhelming especially if you have kids to raise but despite of all these things, you have to make time to be alone with each other. It takes a lot of efforts and dedication to bring back the fire and passion in your marriage. Do not make excuses but make time for your spouse. Schedule a date night once a week to spend intimate time alone with your spouse. Even at home, you can spend late night talks after tucking your children to bed or early morning coffee with each other before the children wake up to spend time alone with each other. You can do household chores together and make it a bonding time for you and your spouse. Constant communication and spending more time alone with each other is not that hard if you will make an effort to incorporate it to your daily schedule.

Improve your sex life. A boring sex life with your spouse may be one of the reasons why the flame in your marriage is dying slowly. It may also cause spouses to fantasize about other people and you have to do something before this could happen. As years go by, sexual intimacy and excitement tend to wane and sex becomes more of a chore than lovemaking which should not be the case. Bring back the intimacy in your bedroom by improving your sex life. Be open-minded about sex and cater to what really turns your spouse on. Talk about your sexual fantasies with your spouse and in return you also have to listen to your spouse’s sexual desires. It is important for couples to talk about their sex lives to understand what needs to be improved.

Rekindling the passion in your marriage is not that hard if you keep on being mindful of your relationship with your spouse. A lasting marriage needs nurturing to prevent it from dying. Marriage cannot nurture itself and it cannot last on its own. Spouses should make an effort to intentionally bring romance in their marriage to make it last. To save your marriage visit Saving a Troubled Relationship

To know more about love and relationships visit The Best Love Guide

Gerry Restrivera writes informative articles on various subjects including Rekindling the Passion in Your Marriage – What You Need to Know. You are allowed to publish this article in its entirety provided that author’s name, bio and website links must remain intact and included with every reproduction.

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