Your Family
The Comparison Trap Image Credit: Your Family
The Comparison Trap Image Credit: Your Family

The Comparison Trap

Constantly Weighing Up Your Relationship Against Others And Wondering Whether The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side Can Damage Your Partnership.

Nolwazi Dhlamini

While a little envy is human nature, focusing too much on what your sister’s husband does for her can slowly take away from the happiness in your own marriage. Joburg-based relationship expert and life coach Paula Quinsee says comparisons set unrealistic expectations for couples, often leaving them feeling disappointed and let down by their partners. ‘Every relationship is unique, so you’re doing yourself and your partner a great injustice. It keeps you focusing on the things your partner is not doing and you end up forgetting all the wonderful things they do for you. This could lead to a toxic space where you become critical and fault-finding, blaming and shaming them, which can ultimately destroy the happiness you once shared,’ warns Paula.

Keeping up with the Joneses

When you spend your days envying the lives of others, you stop focusing on your own relationship. Because you spend all your energy on something else, you eventually stop putting in effort where it matters. ‘Likening ourselves to others can happen in a number of ways, including emotionally, socially, intellectually, and financially. It’s dangerous because it can keep us unhappy about our own lives, and leads to feelings of low self-worth, low self-esteem and jealousy. It also shifts our focus away from the positive things we have going for us and we can end up becoming competitive while trying to “keep up with the Joneses”. This le


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