There is a human tendency to look around and see what's better. I purchased this jacket, but now that I'm walking around the mall, maybe there is one that is even nicer or a better buy. Two minutes after being a satisfied customer, I am a dissatisfied customer, wondering if I could have done better.

We compare for other reasons as well. It's just part of being human. Our brain tends to categorize, discern differences and similarities, pros and cons. We are discriminating by nature. It is therefore only "natural" that we're always measuring and quantifying: is this car better than this one? In which ways? In which ways is it inferior? Our brains are always working—which is a good thing!

So it's perfectly understandable that we look at other's marriages or spouses and compare them to our own. "Sara and David go out together twice a week. We don't even get out once." "I always see Michael taking out the garbage. Why does my husband make me do it?" "Neely and Josh speak so nicely to each other. We never sound like that."

In our naiveté we believe that the things we can see about other couples translate into information about their relationship. They look like they're spending so much time together, so they must be happy. They never argue in public, so they must be enjoying a harmonious relationship. She always looks gorgeous; he's a lucky man. He helps her so much; he seems to be a great guy.

In fact, I wish I had a spouse like that...

However, there is a wise saying that no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. Mr. Nice Guy may be cold, mean, inattentive, critical or even unfaithful. There's no way for an outside observer to know. Ms. Smiles may be demanding, degrading, unavailable, uninterested, impatient, unreasonable or anything but nice; there's no way for you to know unless you live with her day and night for years on end. Marriage counselors and rabbis know all too well that surface appearances can be deceiving. There is no way to judge a marriage without living it in all its aspects.

And even if our friend's marriage is in fact what it seems to be and is truly better than our own in some important way, the Torah asks us not to think about this. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house…your neighbor's wife…nor anything of your neighbor's" (Exodus 20:14). Having faith in G‑d means trusting that He has given us what is truly good for us. Each person needs a unique financial situation, a unique health situation, a unique challenge in parenting and a unique marital situation—uniquely tailored for his or her own mission in life. We have no business looking at other couples and longing for what isn't good for us. We have exactly what is good for us right now.

If it doesn't feel good at the moment, prayer and action can bring about positive change. We have work to do and G‑d is there to help us do it. We can ask for whatever we want ("Please, G‑d, make my spouse less critical, more attentive, more patient…." "Please, G‑d, give me more patience, more understanding, more ability to love….") and He will help us attain it—precisely because we turned to Him and asked for help.

When we stood under the chupah, we recognized that our marriage was being overseen by G‑d. Now that we're living it, we need to remember that G‑d's protective canopy is still with us. We don't need to look outside. Rather, we need to look up—up to G‑d who can help us build ourselves and our homes.