Have you ever felt like you were sidelined on the bench, watching the other players excel, have fun, and enjoy the fruits of victory? Oftentimes, we can get caught in the trap of comparing our marriage to others’. Everyone else appears to be perfect, happy–making every catch, hitting all the home runs, and celebrating with a big trophy.
Meanwhile, you are left out, wallowing in problems that seem impossible to fix. You’re stuck on the marriage bench. What’s worse, you’re not even warmed up and ready to get in the game because you know the coach will never put you in. You feel inadequate, unprepared compared to the success of those around you.
But you have to remember something. No one is perfect. And certainly no one’s marriage is perfect. For many, it’s in their nature to pretend that everything is “fine” when it’s not. It’s perhaps the biggest lie we tell ourselves–just like the player sitting on the bench tells himself or herself that he/she must not be as good as the other players and is, therefore, unworthy. It simply isn’t true. Marriages go through seasons.
Sometimes, your marriage may be the epitome of what you envisioned: hitting home run after home run, being hoisted up by your teammates. Other times, your marriage seems so far from what it should be that you feel completely detached.
What you have to realize is that you and your marriage are unique; both have different strengths, weaknesses, and needs. To rectify the weaknesses, you and your spouse have to develop a game plan, a strategy to attack the frailties. Then, you practice. You work at it. Will you always avoid the bench? No, and that’s ok. There are lessons to be learned on the bench, just like there are lessons to be learned while on the field. The bench teaches you how to be a team player–when and how you can support your spouse. Use the bench as an opportunity for growth in your marriage, not as a reason to compare.