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If there’s anything I know to be true, it’s this: comparing your marriage to someone else’s is foolish.

I remember one day 10 years ago when I saw a couple I knew looking and acting sweet as usual, in their matching t-shirts and sneakers, and whispered a prayer to God about wanting my future marriage to be like theirs. A prayer that God, in His infinite mercy and wisdom, did not answer. I was shocked to realise later just how much pain and suffering lay underneath the façade, and even as I prayed for their healing and restoration, I retracted my previous prayer. Never again!

Today, after being married for a few years and having been thrust into “married circles” almost from day one, I know for a fact that no matter how close you think you are to a couple, it’s never a good idea compare your marriage to theirs; not just because of the dangers of comparison, but also because you simply do not know what their marriage is actually like.

From where you stand their marriage may appear sexier, more interesting, more modern, even more spirituality intimate than your own. Surely the husband doesn’t have any truly annoying habits, and the wife is always looking “on point” even when she’s not going anywhere. He never waits for her to ask for money before doling out, and she’s always down for sex whenever. Why can’t your spouse be like that?

Perish the thought.

What you don’t know is that their marriage is probably none of those things you imagine! Things aren’t always what they seem, and for all you know their conversations are often boring, the sex is less than satisfying, and the husband never flushes the toilet after he uses it. You may not know about the secret affair that keeps her happy and able to carry on or the abuse he endures and cannot tell anyone about.

Even the houses and cars you envy them for on Instagram? You never can tell what they truly cost. You know little or nothing of their struggle, their pain, or the sacrifices one or both have had to make and are still making!

Only one thing matters and I’ll never tire of saying it: make your marriage your own. As long as your marriage suits you, as long as you’re both running your home in a way that both of you are comfortable with, you have no need to measure your marriage by anyone else’s.

Are there happily married couples? Certainly. If you want a better marriage, comparison and resentment won’t help you; talk about it and work towards it. You mostly get out of a marriage what you put into it.

If you ever have to envy what someone else has, certainly not their marriage. Trust me, you don’t know the half.

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This article was first published on 6th May 2017 and updated on December 7th, 2018 at 1:48 pm


Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at]

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