Comparison is at the root of our pain. When we begin comparing our lives to our ex's lives, we begin to forge unhealthy thoughts and opinions about ourselves. We begin to feel less-than, especially women in divorce. There are all sorts of reasons to justify this behavior. But, none of them will help you move on with your life. Stop comparing and start growing... here are a few secrets to moving on when he has... because your life is worth creating!
No one likes to feel less-than. But we do it all the time. I find it a self-deprecating habit, one designed to keep others from competing with us. When we compare our lives to our ex's, we continue the habit of feeling less-than. And that isn't a good feeling.
In separation and divorce you don't need to add more fuel to the fire of feeling less-than. Stop yourself when you find you want to judge, measure, or weigh the differences. The differences are blatant enough and not helpful for your peace of mind.
The financial comparison is real. Especially, if you're the one who stayed home to raise children without pursuing your career. Salaries for women vs men in the marketplace are unequal. Ageism along with old marketable skills are valid obstacles that need to be overcome in a competitive arena. No one gets through these changes unscathed! However, the key isn't making yourself feel worse about your predicament, it's moving through it as gracefully as possible despite the obstacles.
Your ex is now dating, engaged or remarried. It happens to the best of us! However, just because you're not where he seemingly is, doesn't mean that you're doing anything wrong. Or that you're stuck or that no one will date or fall in love with you! It simply means you've got more work to do. Or better yet, that you're aware that as good as sex and relationships feel, they don't replace the growth you've got to do.
Relax and let yourself be where you are emotionally, physically, sexually. When it comes to intimacy, the last thing you need is to try to keep up with someone you're not sleeping with! Sometimes, staying still is safer than moving in the wrong direction.
Each parent has different things to offer a child. Children learn how to "play off" their parents (just the way they would have if you had stayed married). So comparing how much he spends on the kids or what they do versus what you're able to do with them will only bring you down.
In fact, you might be offering your children emotional support and a steady helm in the midst of family changes. You could be the one they lean on when they're emotionally upset. Or you may be the one who can entertain them with your wit and humor.
But you could also be the parent who creates too much tension in the home. Or who overworries and overshares. Perhaps you forget who's supposed to be the parent. Unfortunately, your kids are allowed to love both parents no matter how you feel.
Comparing yourself to an ex who has a good relationship with your kids is futile. Comparing yourself to one who isn't a great parent puts you in an emotionally fragile role. Instead, consider being grateful your kids get along with their other parent and negotiate terms that keep your children safe when they're not with you. It'll make their lives easier, less complicated, and give you less to worry about.
It's time to stop comparing and to step into your own personal growth
Divorce forces you to change. A lot of people find that tension difficult - you're used to things being a certain way and you want (on a certain level) to keep things the same. But nothing about a divorce is normal. So stop comparing and start growing. The person you're going to be in the future depends on how and when the healing work is done.