Doggie Bag, Please
By Lisa Lakey
During a particularly low point in our marriage, the husband and I went to dinner with another couple. Newlyweds, in fact. (I know. What were we thinking?)
They were so sickeningly sweet to each other my teeth started aching before the appetizers came. I kid you not, they even touched their foreheads together and had this weird eye-contact moment. I had to look away.
By the time we got our entrees, I was nauseated from the sugar show. I asked the waiter for a doggie bag and packed my fettuccine to go. I was done.
In that moment, all I could think was how much better their relationship was than ours. How they were so in love when we were, at best, tolerating each other.
When married life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, I tend to forget comparison is a life-sucking trap.
It’s easy for us to look at another couple and think, Wow, they’ve got it all together. But in reality, they’ll face struggles similar to what we all face—job losses, busyness, financial hardships, sickness, even comparison.
And you’ll likely never know it. In relationships, what you see on the surface doesn’t always reflect what’s going on inside.
We’ve had dinner with the same couple since that night. My husband and I were in a better place this time around, and (surprise) they didn’t seem so obnoxiously in love (not that it’s a bad thing).
Maybe that had less to do with them and more to do with my own attitude.
I didn’t compare our marriages during the meal, I just enjoyed the company. And I was able to savor my meal. No doggie bags required.
The good stuff: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife … or anything that is your neighbor’s. (Exodus 20:17)
Action points: Stuck in comparison mode? Sit down (if not now, soon) and write out five things you are thankful for in your spouse or marriage. Share this list with your spouse.
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