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The Remarried Life


Jan 15, 2019

Brian Mayer talks about how comparing our family situation can cause us harm and not allow us to experience the love and happiness that might be right there all along.  In the era of social media, we often see other families highlight real and don’t see the struggles.  We will talk about this issue on today’s episode.  We hope you are inspired by what you hear today.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

Today's Goodies

  • Today’s episode is all about talking about the trap of comparison.  Of course we will talk mostly about comparison with other blended families, but as we know comparison can get us in trouble individually. 
  • Do you ever talk to someone you know like a friend, a colleague, or some other individual in your life and you see what you perceive is great happiness, confidence, and satisfaction in life?  There is no problem in seeing this, but it is typically what our brain then does with this information that causes us issues.  We can assimilate the information in many ways.  Here are some examples:
    • We can be thankful for them that they have things together and be happy that their life at least externally speaking appears to be working how they want it to be. 
    • We can be happy for them, but often wonder if maybe there are struggles.  After all we all have struggles.  Sometimes it might be good to ask if there are struggles.  This sometimes has a way of connecting us with other human beings. 
    • We can begin to compare what we are perceiving in this other person’s life with our own life.  Obviously when we are only seeing what I call the highlight reel and we compare it to the full scope of the difficulties we might be facing this can be tough and can quickly bring us down. 
  • Staying away from comparison to other blended families can be tough to especially if we don’t know the full story.  Of course you are not alone in the comparison game, because I guarantee others might be comparing what think is your perfect family set-up. 
  • Let’s talk about some statistics from Judith Wallerstein who authored “Second Chances” and “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce” which was a study over 25 years.  Here is some of what she found:
    • More than half, in 55% of children do not do well after divorce
    • The study showed that 50% of women and 30% of men were still angry with their ex-spouse
    • Most stated they never had a good working model for how a good marriage should go. 
    • Most divorced parents don’t provide the time, the right discipline, and are less sensitive because they are caught up in their own divorce. 
  • Now you are probably saying to yourself, this is all and well and good but it is not other blended families and divorce situations that I compare myself to, it is those who are in first marriages and those that they have the so called nuclear family. 
    • Well as we know the oft quoted statistic which we are all familiar with and have that is lived is that first marriages end 50% of the time. 
    • Of course this means that 50% of first marriages were not happy, however there is a percentage that have stayed married who are also unhappy. 
    • There are different studies, but often it is quoted that about 60% of people are currently happy in their marriage.  This means that probably about 40% of people you meet who are in their first marriage are not necessarily happy. 
    • Now these statistics are not given to make us feel better at other’s expense but more to shed light on the reality that relationships are difficult for lots of people not just me and not just you. 
    • In fact I think relationships with other people are one of the hardest things on the planet!  You are dealing with another human being who has millions of brain cells that may be somewhat different than yours which leads into different personalities, and there are different life experiences, and different worldviews that cause differences in our lives and our perceptions. 
  • Ways to Stop Comparing
    • Putting God first in your life is probably going to be the easiest way to stop comparing.  If you work to read his word and pray you can begin to ask him to open up your mind to what is good about what you have and how you can use that for good for others. 
    • Remember you are seeing others highlight reels on social media.  This is not a true picture of their life it is only a representation of what they want you to see.  Why don’t we create a social media platform called “Realbook” that forces us to show the scars and difficulties in our lives?
    • Get deep with others.  Have more than surface level connections with other blended families, but ask them what their struggles are and you might find something that you can help with. 
    • Putting your behaviors ahead and your feelings.  Again if you are feeling that you don’t have the kind of blended family life you desire, then begin to make a plan (and don’t forget to include input from all family members) to make your family situation what you want. 
    • Focus on What is Already Good.  This is often a cliched way of looking at life, but research shows over and over again that this kind of thinking does work. 
  • Remember your blended family and life are probably like many others out there that you just don’t really recognize.  Be grateful for what you do have and what you are not grateful for, make a plan to get it moving in a better direction. 

 Resources:

  • None Mentioned Today

Thanks For Listening!

  • With so many things that take time in our lives, I more grateful than you know that you took time to listen to this podcast episode. 
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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care