My Jealousy


#1

I am 25. I have been going out with my girlfriend for a year now. I am finishing my master’s degree, and she her undergrad. We have a beautiful relationship. She is the light of my life. I love her and she loves me. We are even beginning to discuss marriage. There is only one problem with the relationship and it is me.

I am constantly jealous of her. I am not jealous in the normal sense where I don’t like her talking of past relationships or when she goes out without me; I trust her more than anyone I have ever known. I am jealous of her life.

She has everything that I want in a life. Her parents were able to help her travel the world in high school and college which has opened up so many work and internship opportunities for her, while my parents were lucky to be above the poverty line. While I have no particular talents, she has more talents than I can list. This month she landed a great internship that I covet. Finally, the only particular talent that I feel I have is broadcasting: while the best I ever did was a talk show in a rural community she has won broadcasting awards in two countries.

I can’t help it but I am so jealous of the very things that attracted me to her in the first place. I always considered myself to be a high achiever until I met her. I have hosted a talk show where I interviewed senators and governors, I landed a great graduate assistantship, and I have taught at the college level. I have achieved all of this without turning 26.

Now I feel as if I can only be overshadowed. I will never be as good as her. Her talents, intellect, and beauty astound me every day. It is as if I dictated my perfect life to someone and they gave it to her. To top off the problem I feel as if she can do much better without me. If we spend our lives together I will only hold her back from the great life that she could have had. Although I’d never show it my jealously is turning to internal anger, I don’t know if it’s aimed at her or me.

I know this is a horrible sin. Does anyone have some advice? I’m far too embarrassed to ask my friends for help.

Bless You.


#2

first, let me congratulate you for your dedication, self discipline and ambition to have come so far in life with so little financial resources.

i am awestruck over guys like you and i didnt even know you guys really existed until my 21 yo son became one of those guys like you. he’s working his way through a university 5 year music composition program, carrying a 3.97, with no monetary help from us because we simply cant give it. we’re raising 10 kids and we’re sort of poor.

i had just written to another guy on this forum, just this week, relating to his expereince that he has troubles with his peers-- because they dont know how he struggles to succeed and study on his own ***thin thin dime. *** my own son has similar complaints. his peers dont understand what it really means to count bus fare from their coat pockets and tip jar, because they have credit cards from their parents.

now helping kids is fine-- it’s just that our kid, the other guy who wrote the other night, and you dont know anything about that. ***your experience is different. and your experience is valuable. ***
and that’s where i’m going with this. do you realize there are bunches of your peers-- your girl perhaps, who simply marvel at what you’ve accomplished with so little help? people who would say, “man i could ***never ***have climbed such a steep hill. my studies alone nearly killed me.”

now to the jealousy. this was a killer subject for me. i didnt ever think i waqs a jealous person until i read the catechism on jealousy. it’s described as a “sadness.” now i was never angry over anyones achievements and belongings and ease of living, but i sure was sad at my owwn lack of those things.

how did i combat jealousy? self-discipline and GRACE. i confessed it and confessed it again. and i got grateful for God in my life. and i got more grateful. i’ve written gratitude lists, prayed thankfulness over each item and written more lists. mostly i realize the best thing to combat sadness is joy. so i give my work to God, offer my day, give Him glory and ask Him to let me do His will. that brings joy and i’m so much less sad. and i spend so much less time measuring and comparing myself to others.

heck, even for a while, i was mad at my husband because he didnt expereince family collapse and fallout as a kid. it was like i blamed him for having it relatively easy. like it was his fault. and sometimes i even lauded my “school of hard knocks” war stories at him.

it was ridiculous and unkind of me and painful for him. finally, i did the things described above and God relieved me of so much of my jealousy.

now here’s the thing. if you work at this and there’s no relief, or not enough, then you OWE it to the girl you love to DELAY marriage until this matter is settled-- really settled. there’s no fairness in marrying her to a ticking time bomb of jealousy and increasing resentment. no fairness and no charity in that at all.

if after you’ve done all this and you get no relief, then please consider counseling. because even if you and she go your separate ways, it will be important to see if there are significant places of insecurities and worry in you. solving stuff like that helps in ALL relationships.


#3

[quote="alwayslooking, post:1, topic:224956"]
I am 25. I have been going out with my girlfriend for a year now. I am finishing my master’s degree, and she her undergrad. We have a beautiful relationship. She is the light of my life. I love her and she loves me. We are even beginning to discuss marriage. There is only one problem with the relationship and it is me.

I am constantly jealous of her. I am not jealous in the normal sense where I don’t like her talking of past relationships or when she goes out without me; I trust her more than anyone I have ever known. I am jealous of her life.

She has everything that I want in a life. Her parents were able to help her travel the world in high school and college which has opened up so many work and internship opportunities for her, while my parents were lucky to be above the poverty line. While I have no particular talents, she has more talents than I can list. This month she landed a great internship that I covet. Finally, the only particular talent that I feel I have is broadcasting: while the best I ever did was a talk show in a rural community she has won broadcasting awards in two countries.

I can’t help it but I am so jealous of the very things that attracted me to her in the first place. I always considered myself to be a high achiever until I met her. I have hosted a talk show where I interviewed senators and governors, I landed a great graduate assistantship, and I have taught at the college level. I have achieved all of this without turning 26.

Now I feel as if I can only be overshadowed. I will never be as good as her. Her talents, intellect, and beauty astound me every day. It is as if I dictated my perfect life to someone and they gave it to her. To top off the problem I feel as if she can do much better without me. If we spend our lives together I will only hold her back from the great life that she could have had. Although I’d never show it my jealously is turning to internal anger, I don’t know if it’s aimed at her or me.

I know this is a horrible sin. Does anyone have some advice? I’m far too embarrassed to ask my friends for help.

Bless You.

[/quote]

I would not advise you to continue the talk of marriage at this point. You feel less-than compared with her and this is not a good way to start out a marriage. It is an equal partnership at least, and I believe (and the Bible says) that men are to be the spiritual leader of the home, which does not sound very possible for you at this point. You are looking at her life and envying her the breaks she has had, the talent you think she has, her ability to travel. Will you always put yourself underneath her?

Why can't you achieve those things going forward? No, you didn't travel world wide, but you can make your own opportunities and if you want to travel, then get a job that includes travel. Whatever you think she has that you cannot have, take a very close look at that because there is a lesson inside for you.

For example, I did not go to college after high school. I had blown any scholarships I would have been eligible for by tanking my grades in my sophomore year, and no way could Daddy afford college. So I got a job and went to work. Had a few jobs, was doing OK as a secretary to a head of a medical department in a hospital. I met my now-husband, who has a Master's in his field. HE never made me feel less-than, but one day we went to a party where several of his friends were comparing degrees and majors. "What was your major?" "I double-majored in bio-med and business," etc. I think someone may have asked me, and then I felt really bad. Very consumed with jealousy and envy, that I never had the chance to go to college. I was already 25 and felt very depressed and that I would never get that break, my chances were over. (I know, it sounds silly now!)

My boss talked to me about this and encouraged me to start going to community college, and take courses that would improve my job qualifications, and the hospital would reimburse 75% of the tuition. So I began. And I never stopped. I loved college, and although it took me 10 years, what with working, getting married, having our first son and then getting pregnant with the 2nd, I now have my BA. My lesson was not to let the negative emotion of envy defeat me, but to look at it as a way to learn that I have lost a dream that I need to reclaim. In your case, maybe it's the travel. Or maybe you are called to do something else with your broadcasting ability. Is there something you are saying, "Oh I could never do that, but SHE can?"

I don't like to read that you think she will have a better life without out. And what are you going to do, crawl into a hole and dream about the life you could**** have had?? That sounds like martyrdom to me, like "I will just sacrifice our love so she can be a better person without ME holding her back." If you told her this, I suspect she would be very hurt and angry that you would think in those terms, that you are "holding her back."

You say she has YOUR perfect life? No, YOU have your perfect life! Make a gratitude list and think of all the wonderful things you've experienced, the people who love you, the person you are, your family. You are living YOUR perfect life because it's the one God chose for you!!! :)

I think you should go and talk to a counselor about this. You can probably clear it up in a few sessions, and you'll know what to do next.

And do you know for sure she even WANTS to be a career woman?? Maybe she'd be just as happy to start having children and be at home with them. Have you talked about this with her yet?


#4

I think it’s really insightful of you to say that you’re jealous of the very things that attracted you to her in the first place. Focus on that. It’s hard not to compare yourself to a significant other, but would you want someone less amazing than she is just so you could feel better about yourself? It doesn’t sound like you would. And, she is with you for a reason. Or, probably many reasons. Has she made it known to you what draws her to you?

Also, oftentimes we have talents that we aren’t even acutely aware of. You say your only particular talent is broadcasting, but I bet you have many other talents that you just haven’t considered yet. Listen carefully to the compliments other people give you. For instance, I can tell just from your post that you are articulate. You got an assistantship and have done very well for yourself. What got you there? You’ve taught at the college level; the department you were in entrusted this to you for a reason. You’re getting your Masters. You’ve each done things that the other has not. The hard work you have had to put in to get where you are is an asset to your relationship.

Overall, I think if you continue your relationship you’ll need to come to terms with her success and stop coveting it. Continue admiring her, but do it humbly. And don’t keep her on a pedestal. She has shortcomings, just like the rest of us. You’ve only been together a year- there is a lot still to learn about each other.


#5

We all meet people who we feel have everything we want. There are always people we are envious of but we forget that others are often envious of us. This sounds like more of a self-esteem issue than anything else. It’s common for those who grow up considering themselves high achievers (myself included) to base their self-esteem on comparisons with others but this is very unhealthy. Like others have already suggested, look into counselling if you feel this is not something you can address yourself.

And remember that no-one’s life is perfect. Some people have experiences that make others jealous but they are undoubtably just as jealous of some of your experiences. Each person’s life is unique and it’s what we take from our experiences that matters. Someone can have nothing in life and still be more fulfilled than someone who seems to have everything.

I realised this when I was talking to some friends the other day. I’ve always travelled, due to my mother’s work, and my friends are always jealous of the places I’ve lived in. But when they talk about friends they’ve had their whole lives, I’m always jealous that I’ve never had that. It’s easy to idealise the lives of others but you will have things they don’t.

God bless you


#6

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