It is difficult not to compare ourselves and our marriage to those of others. It is kind of natural. But we need to be careful. There are some constructive parts to this comparison, in that you may see something that others are doing that you want to implement in your relationship or your life. Something you did not think about or were not aware of.
However, most of the time comparisons can create bad feelings, hopelessness and resentment. Not to mention social isolation. These comparisons are also often inaccurate. They can create feelings of jealousy towards others and anger towards your partner.
One thing I know is true - You Never Know What Goes On In Someone Else's Marriage. This has proven to be true over and over again both in my professional and my personal life. Most couples show you what they want you to see. Most of the time it has no relation to reality and will cause you pain for no reason. Another point is someone else's happiness or misery has nothing to do with anyone else. If you want to learn from someone's positive qualities or attributes, that is great, but to put another relationship on a pedestal and devalue yours because of it makes no sense.
Often, when we are comparing our marriage to someone else's our partner feels criticized and made responsible for what is lacking. This leads to conflict. Even if the partner is not directly implicated in your marriage being less then someone else's, your partner still feels it is their fault.
If there are issues in your marriage, look at them and deal with them. Everyone comes into life and marriage with their own histories, advantages and disadvantages. We all have to struggle and we all have adversities. Just focus on that.
For further inquiries:
Check out Irina Firstein, LCSW, at https://www.nyccouplestherapists.com
Phone: (212) 953- 1388