HAVE you been looking at other couples, wondering if they get more love than you; are happier than you; also sleep in separate rooms like you do; get teased about the flab as much as you do; or are cajoled into doing away with the headache excuse as many times as you are? It's normal to want to compare, especially when you get that niggling feeling that your relationship isn't exactly textbook "normal".
Is wife swapping the norm for them too, do they also have permission to go outside the relationship, do they get a slap here and a slap there as much as you do, or are YOU the abnormal one, and everyone else is living the fairytale dream?
Counsellor David Anderson says though every relationship has faults — even the ones that seem picture perfect on the outside — abnormal is anything that goes outside the realm of what is accepted in traditional, moral society.
"So yes, going outside the relationship, getting abused, etc are not the usual, not the norm," he said.
Other acts of normalcy include the situations below. If you can't identify with any of them, then yes, your relationship would be categorised as abnormal.
1. You feel good about yourself. A good relationship gives self-confidence and makes individuals feel good about themselves. It also gives emotional strength and helps persons feel that everything is OK and will continue to be OK despite outside forces.
2. He does not pressure you to have an 'open' relationship. Some relationships suffer from one partner constantly pressuring the other into doing things that goes against their values and principles. If your partner is not forcing you to accept the other woman, to bring a third party or more into the bedroom, or for you to give him permission to sleep with whomever he wants, then this is an indicator of a normal relationship.
3. You get pleasure just thinking about the rest of your lives together. If you feel this way then it means you are comfortable with your partner and this is a part of a normal relationship. An abnormal relationship causes constant worry and stress and your first thought is to put it behind you.
4. You have trust in him/her and his/her words. For a relationship to be good, there needs to be trust and confidence in your partner.
5. You look forward to spending time together. Some couples live a routine life with nothing special between them. And even when the opportunity presents itself to spend some alone time, they feel more burdened than excited. In fact, many couples stay together out of habit and do not really look forward to being together while finding ways to avoid it. In a normal relationship couples look forward to spending quality time together.
6. You feel you are not alone. When it comes to taking care of the kids, the household, finances, family issues and emotional changes, your partner is right there to support you.
7. You can be yourself around him/her and feel good about it. If you find you do not have a need to pretend when you are around him/her then you are in a normal relationship.
8. Despite having problems, you still want to stay together. If every time you fight you feel ready to break-up, then something is wrong. Good, solid normal relationships see couples wanting to work things out as soon a possible, rather than go apart.