Do you ever feel jealous of another spouse? I’m telling you that you are good enough the way you are. Trust me.
Military spouses are remarkable people. It feels as though there is nothing we can’t accomplish, nothing we can’t achieve, no matter what obstacles we face. Here’s my advice, stop comparing yourself to others.
Social media perfection
I can remember the first time I felt the pang of jealousy as a military spouse. Another spouse ran a successful home business, was popular in our community, was involved with our local spouse’s club, and was active in her kids’ school activities. On the outside, it appeared she had it all together. She was a superstar — at least, according to her social media. I remember comparing myself to her, saying to myself, “Why can’t I be like her? Why am I so inadequate as a person and a mom?”
How do I measure up?
I sent myself reeling into a deep depression because I just could not measure up. Was I capable of even half of what could do?
As it turns out, the real picture wasn’t as rosy as I thought. This spouse ended up struggling more than she let on — she never posted anything negative on social media, so how would anyone know? I only found out after she announced that she was going through a “crisis” and asked for prayers from her followers. The rest of the story is not my place to tell — but suffice it to say, I learned that social media paints a prettier picture than the real story often does.
Do we need to compare ourselves to others? Do you feel jealous of another spouse? And why are we putting value into those comparisons?
Read: Army leads the way for coworking spaces for military spouses.
Journey of self-discovery
The problem wasn’t rooted in what other spouses were doing — it was within myself. I just didn’t feel worthy in general, and comparing myself to another spouse made me feel even worse.
Instead of placing value in who I was, I was worrying about what I did. For example, if I wasn’t productive enough in a day, if I didn’t do any chores, or if I left something undone, I would beat myself up over it (not literally, but you get the idea). I felt inadequate that I wasn’t running a home business, volunteer of the year, and didn’t attend a school function. I saw all of these women who (seemingly) had it all together online and at social functions. They appeared productive and constantly on the go. I found myself placing my own worth in that same endlessly busy bubble. Needless to say, that didn’t end well.
But who am I?
The hardest and perhaps the greatest lesson learned was this — I couldn’t compare myself to them. Why? Because I am a completely different person with my own talents and capabilities. I have yet to be discovered talents. Throughout this process, I wasn’t acknowledging what I was capable of, only what I couldn’t do. I wanted to be like everyone else. However, I didn’t even know who I was yet.
At the end of the day, the truth was, I didn’t love myself. Not yet. I was doing a disservice to myself and everyone around me by not acknowledging my own worth as an individual.
It took me a while, but I slowly started to realize some big lessons after I quit playing the spouse comparison game. Being busy all of the time doesn’t make me worthy. I don’t have to figure out my life and all of my goals today, right this second.
I have all the time in the world to figure it all out.
Taking a step back allowed me to find true value in loving myself — not what I was doing or the goal I was posting about on social media. When we place our value according to what others are doing, we completely miss out on how amazing we are, and what we have to offer the world.
Advice to others
If you find yourself comparing yourself feeling jealous of another spouse, remember this — every human being on earth has worth.
Your worth isn’t in what you do but in who you are as a human being. As Dr. Suess said, “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.”Read comments