As we drive to work we spot
the car we’d love to own; we look at the driver to see whether they are our
age. Our co-worker shares how many miles they ran over the weekend; we silently
consider the extra 8 pounds we’ve put on the past year. We listen to a presentation; we think, “I would
be so much better organized than this guy.”
Whether they are upward or
downward comparisons, we constantly compare. When we compare and think we are
better, we get a momentary boost in ego. When we compare and think we are
worse, we may either feel bad about ourselves or be motivated to improve. In
either case, comparing comes quickly to our thoughts.
Comparison is what the human
mind does to reassure itself that our status within our group is secure. During
a divorce, our insecurity can be at an all time high. We become more vulnerable
to the culprit of comparison, and others are more than willing to give us
fodder for the practice.
how much in child support? Whoa. You got screwed, buddy.”
“I can’t believe you’re not getting alimony!”
“Too bad you didn’t get any attorney fees awarded. My
ex had to pay $5,000.”
“My divorce was wrapped up in just a couple of
months. Yours seems to be taking forever.”
Here’s the thing about
comparison. Whether it’s your body type, your career path, or your
divorce—-yours is unique to you. No two are alike.
There are dozens of factors
which make each divorce like no other. Some couples had premarital debt or a
prenuptial agreement. A marriage could be two years or thirty-two years long.
One person may have gambled away the family savings and another may have made
brilliant financial investments.
When we compare, we tend to
forget that we don’t have all of the information. The facts in each divorce are
unique, and most of them are known only to the parties and their lawyers. Each
state has different divorce laws. Each party to a divorce has their own level of
desire to reach a negotiated settlement and their own tolerance for the risks
Comparison of your divorce
to others is no more helpful that the other types of comparison we make which
only serve to make us feel bad or to feed our ego.
There is a place to turn to,
however, if the desire to compare still burns bright for us. We can compare how
we are being and what we are doing in our divorce to our very own values and
Instead of comparing your
divorce or your life to the divorces or lives of others, compare to what
matters most to you. When you do, you will be on the path to knowing your
status is secure. You will be held in the highest esteem by the one person who
counts, and that is you.
Have you been tempted to compare your divorce to
Are you going through your divorce in a way that is
in integrity for you?