The Comparison Trap

We have all been there… that time old comparison trap… and aren’t we women the WORST at it? Or maybe it just has the ability to eat us up more than men?
I’m sure you’ve all read the books on friendship that have chapters dedicated to “comparing” yourself to other women and how dreadfully dangerous that can be.
I know I have personally struggled with this one since I was a young girl in elementary school. I would sit in my desk hearing the “whanwhanwhan” Charlie Brown noise the teacher would make… and my mind would be off in the distance… doing that “inner talking” even in pre-k and kindergarten… that inner talking would begin and my confidence would diminish. As a young growing lady… in Jr.high… that inner talking sounded like this… “is what I am wearing cute?”…”I want to be friends with her, but I don’t think she would ever talk to me.” You see it starts very young and surfacy; and then it grows into a beast, unless you tame it.

Being married and “older,” I can tell you that inner talking can get you into trouble with your marriage as well. The first few years of our marriage, Isaac had to work really hard to build his territory of work. It has paid off for sure. I am so proud of how He has done over the years in leading the company to new standards. However, it has not always been easy. Relationships are very important to me and so after we got married we found friends in the same or similar season of life, naturally right?! Well, to this day, I’m not sure if my friends now this but, about 8 years ago I really struggled with comparing my husband to their husbands. There I said it… what no one would admit … right??? The type of comparisons I would make regularly were things like, “Her husband is home at 3 every afternoon… my husband works early and late every day.” I would get so upset when Isaac had to work during an “event” all our friends were able to go to. I would compare my husbands work schedule to my friend’s husband’s work schedules. If your husband is an entrepreneur, you will understand what I am talking about.
But Ladies, I am here to tell you, it is not healthy. Comparing is NEVER productive. God gave you a different man, with different talents than your friend’s husbands, with a different ministry/purpose to fulfill on this earth. I know look back and think wow… often times the main “arguments” Isaac and I got into were due to me comparing …his work schedule and commitments limited “my” involvement with friends… I wouldn’t be able to go out to dinner with girlfriends very often or go on women’s retreats bc my husband had to work… and I would sit at home thinking about how they were all having a great time while I was “stuck” at home changing poopy diapers. My perspective had to change! Instead of comparing, I had to realize that, God paired Isaac and I together for a greater purpose than me getting to go out every once in a while. Once I really got behind my man and started supporting him, all the time, not just when it was convenient, there was a break through in our marriage. My nagging diminshed greatly! You see nagging happens because wives have unfulfilled expectations. When you compare your husband, his work schedule, or job, or even the amount of money he makes to any other woman’s man… you are created expectations that are unrealistic and unfair to your husband. Unrealistic expectations can lead only to disappointment and a weakened marriage. A weakened marriage is the perfect target for satan to attack and win. (If you aren’t a believer and don’t believe in satan, realize that the result is still indefinite, a failing marriage rather than a thriving one, you are in a battle).
If you want a Thriving Marriage and not just a Mediocre Marriage, if you want a marriage that is Growing and not just Stagnate and “ordinary”, you have to work at it. It takes more than jut having “date nights,” although we love those too. It takes being introspective and honest with yourself on areas in your marriage YOU can improve. Where are you at fault, what unrealistic expectations do you put on your spouse that fuels nagging or negative inner talking?
Once you start extinguishing these little fires in your thoughts, your marriage can grow and produce so much fruit.
My prayer is that as wives, we would look at our men as special individuals which God created unique. Our men have different gifts, abilities, and callings in life. It is our job as their wives to be their biggest cheerleaders and support- not the antagonistic nagging women they never want to come home to. Let them be uniquely who they are… don’t force them to mold to be they way you want them… don’t try to change your man… don’t live trapped thinking…”this is the way I am… he just needs to accept me for who I am.” No fight those inner talking battles and win the fight.
If you can Avoid the Comparison Trap you will have so much more joy!
God Bless!