We women tend to get way over our heads in comparison far too easily, often without even realizing it. Whether it’s about getting the most professional and artsy wedding photos, the most current home decor, being able to post the best “#wifeskills” meal photos on Instagram, or planning the best all-out birthday parties for our children, the Pinterest-inspired comparisons run rampant in a woman’s culture today.
Insert that mentality into girl talk about wifehood and we’ve got a real mess on our hands. Before we know it, we’ve moved from the latest, greatest, from-scratch recipe, to comparing husbands. Husband comparison isn’t nearly as evident as these other areas, but it’s at least 10x more dangerous. Husband comparison often rears its ugly head in one of two ways:
- Husband bashing, or
- Husband bragging
1. Husband Bashing
You know the conversation. When you’re out to coffee with some girlfriends? It of course starts as just one bestie needing to vent a little to her friend. Then, said bestie, decides the best way to make her friend feel better is to show her some ways her husband also didn’t measure up that week. Then the conversation out of no where as moved on to, “Oh yeah! Mine does that too!” “I so hate when he does that.” “He ALWAYS forgets about that!” Before we know it, our whole mindset towards our husband has changed, and the entire perception we’ve portrayed about our own marriage is a rather undesirable one. No wonder our generation is starting to think marriage means the end of freedom and happiness. Not to mention the way media today portrays wives’ views of their husbands. When was the last time you watched a show where the wife actually respected her husband or the husband treated his wife well?
2. Husband Bragging
Then there’s husband bragging. This woman can’t say enough about how perfect her husband is. And she doesn’t seem to notice all the ginormous eye rolls taking place all around the circle. Next thing you know, the women who haven’t already written her off as ignorant and doe-eyed are beginning to wish their own husbands were just a little more like hers. They go home and begin to notice more the things he isn’t doing, and resentment starts to grow over every perceived shortcoming. Husband bragging isn’t always bad. Kyle and I are super passionate about being a great example of a healthy and godly marriage. We work hard to become healthy so our marriage can be transparent to others in a way that inspires them. But even when it comes from good intentions, we still have to be aware when talking up our husbands. I seriously think about who I’m talking to, what I’m talking about, and what the context is when I’m talking to friends about my husband. If I’m complimenting my husband in public or excitedly sharing something wonderful he did for me recently, is it around my friend who I know is currently frustrated with her husband? …With my friend who struggles with comparison already? Or am I talking him up around someone who will take it as positive inspiration? If I need to vent about a frustration or get wise advice about handling a fight with Kyle, am I going to my immature friend who jumps on whatever emotion I feel at the time? Or do I go to the friend Kyle and I both know has the wisdom and maturity to handle it well?
When it comes down to it, I don’t think any of us wives would just come out and say, “My husband is better than yours and here’s why” or “my husband is so much worse than yours.” But we would say things like: Why doesn’t my husband do that, too? If my husband did that he’d be in so much trouble! Oh, my husband would never do something like that to me. My husband knows better than to… I wish my husband was more like yours. We wouldn’t say out loud that we don’t think our husbands measure up to each others’, but we often still talk, feel, and think like it’s true. That’s why it’s so important to guard our conversations, and to guard our minds from going toward comparisons during the conversations we can’t control. I have a couple friends who notice me checking out of conversations when they turn into husband bashing. I literally just stop participating. Other times I start taking the husband’s side, because sometimes, we women are way too proud to step back and actually consider that we may have some responsibility in this marriage, too.
My Main Point is This:
My husband is better than yours because he is my husband. Your husband isn’t supposed to be better for me. He’s supposed to be better for you.
My husband is better for me because I vowed my life and devotion and love to him before God – because God has made us one. Because no one and nothing anyone says should we allow to tear us apart. He’s better because real love is loving someone enough to take them as they are, but loving them too much to stay as we are. You can’t have one without the other in order to truly love. Because real love is hard work and being willing to work it. Because marriage isn’t about making us happy – it’s about making us better.
And every single easy and hard thing that happens – every fairytale day and every seriously scary day – everything is something that can make us better.
That’s why my husband is better than yours. That’s why, for you, your husband is better than mine.