August 8, 2013 at 10:35 am #39977KatherineParticipant
Hi all. Jealousy is something that I’ve dealt with all my life. Particularly when it comes to tangible things. My family never had money. We moved from apartment to apartment, barely scratching by. I myself had to work 3 jobs while in high school just to help. I never had anything fancy, and I never had the stability that comes from having a safety net, or parents that you could rely on, in terms of finances.
Regardless of these things, I’ve recently graduated with a bachelors in Public Health, and am applying for my doctorates in Physical Therapy. Career-wise, jealousy doesn’t hold me back. It makes me stronger, and makes me want to work harder to overcome all the adversity that was thrown into my face; and also I really need to help my parents. Unfortunately, their situation is getting worse and worse.
What jealousy does affect are my relationships. Anything my boyfriend had growing up, or any kind of help he gets from his wealthy parents, I envy, and that throws me into this self deprecating cycle where I curse my situation, I curse my past, and I start wishing, why couldn’t my parents be successful. Why can’t i relax like you? Why do I have to work 5 times harder to achieve the same results? These feelings set in a depression that takes days to get off. I have a habit of victimizing,and feeling sorry for myself.
My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years. We moved in with each other after the first year. During the first year, I tried my hardest to push these feelings aside, knowing that nothing good could come of it. the last year of the relationship, well that has been a struggle. He went to private school his whole life. His undergraduate education alone cost a quarter of a million dollars. He got a brand new car once graduating. His phone is paid for. Insurance is paid for. EVERYTHING IS TAKEN CARE OF. Me? I’ve been completely independent since I was 18. I could never ask my parents for help. Hell, they ask ME for help.
Being around my boyfriend, working a full time job, while taking classes, while preparing for graduate school applications… I am jealous of him. I’m jealous of the support he gets, I’m jealous of how calm and stressed free he gets to be. And I know this isn’t his fault. This isn’t anybody’s fault, its just how the cards were dealt. Issues come up with money all the time. I’m constantly comparing his expenses to mine, the degree of hours spent working, how much free time and extra cash he has to go play golf 4 times a week. We go over to his parents house, and I see his mother hanging around the pool, sipping wine. His father, playing golf everyday and having such a wonderful life. It is a constant reminder that my family is suffering right now, barely hanging onto a place to live. Its not fair. And you can imagine the kind of arguments that would arise from these issues.
How can I get rid of these feelings? Why can’t I just be happy to be with a man who is sweet, and caring, and would do anything for me. I’d probably be worse off without him. Why can’t I appreciate what I do have, and know that I’m doing my best to better myself and my situation. The grass is always greener where you water it, but this damn lawn is taking forever to grow.August 8, 2013 at 11:50 am #39985ZenhenParticipant
I feel you %100. Our backgrounds are very similar. My family ask me for money and my sister and her baby will be moving in with me this month (rent free). I grew up poor but had rich friends and partners from well to do families. I realized that the grass wasn’t always greener. A rich friend I always envied, her mother was suicidal and in and out of mental institutions. Rich people have the same issues and sometimes even worst issues than we do.
Once, I got mad at a roommate when she said we should be grateful that our middle class families could put us through college. I was flabbergasted because she had known me for six years and didn’t even realize that I had to put myself through college. She just assumed everyone lived like her. When I got to the root of my envy, it really had to do with feelings of inferiority and lacking. What I really wanted wasn’t financial support from my family but just flat out support. It’s one thing to be poor and have the love and support of family but another thing to be poor and have zero emotional support.
I started to focus more on what I had rather than what I didn’t have. Growing up in poverty and adversity gave me resilience and determination. I learned that my greatest form of freedom came from financial independence. Try to learn to be grateful for your struggles. Also be thankful that your boyfriend didn’t have to go through the same struggles. I am sure he had and has other struggles that he had to endure. Also know that money isn’t really ever free. The money his parents give him comes with strings attached. I am sure they love him but more than likely the money may be a source of control and a way of keeping him dependent. If you feel that working while obtaining your Phd is overwhelming, ask him for help. Since you live together maybe he can pay %75 and you pay for %25.
I am very proud of your accomplishments and admire your strong will. Please don’t waste energy on envy, it only poisons you. You have more inside and out than you will ever know! The fact that you want to heal people and help them recover rather than fill your pockets with avarice stained bills, shows that you are rich in spirit. Money doesn’t matter much because we all die empty handed.
Here is a Ted Talk by Mark Boyle (The Moneyless Man)…He lived without money for two years due to ethical reasons and the severe adverse effects that consumerism has on people and the environment:
ZenhenAugust 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm #40011MattParticipant
In addition to Zenhen’s skillful and heartfelt words, consider that perhaps we become stronger when we exercise with resistance. Golf and sipping wine are perhaps not the types of activities that promote a strong spirit, which means that their happiness is much more conditional. Plus, you’re assuming that while the mother was sipping wine, from her side she was happy. Who knows what it looks like in there.