Bitter Envy

I’ve identified a feeling that’s more deeply seated than I realized and I’m not sure how to work through this one. This is when I wish I could afford the therapist.

I realize I am very, very envious of Tony’s life. One of the reasons I can’t seem to let go is I identified with his life as the life I always wanted.

I don’t know exactly how this came to be, but it hit me hard last night. Add that to the list of horrid traits I have.

Tony has everything I want. It’s making me crazy that I don’t, or can’t, have it and it’s right there embodied in one human. How is that even possible? He works for a company I am proud of and thrilled to be a part of as a consumer. He’s respected and intelligent in the workplace. His children love and adore them and he is willing to lay his life on the line for his family. He liked all the same things I liked, including travel. He was a fantastic lover and communicator and oh so kind and gentle. He cared for me and looked after me.

I hate that I still feel bitterness over my divorce and my poor choice of a husband. My x never gave me what I needed, nor could he – but I didn’t or wouldn’t realize this until so many years later. I don’t exactly feel like I’ve wasted time because I have my family, but because we can’t even parent together, I feel the lack of cohesive family painfully. When I look at Tony’s, or other families that function lovingly, I really feel serious and deep envy.

Compared to the Summer of ’16 when I really thought I had it all – the kids seemed to be adapting to our lives well, I was at the start of a love affair, and being offered what I considered to be my penultimate job. I have actually now accepted my job will change and I have become ok with that. I am so confident in my abilities that it will work out. But when it comes to love and my kids, maybe I lack confidence and it’s why I feel envy and regret?

I did feel like a complete failure last summer, which led to the series of events bringing me to Mexico. But, in hindsight, it was coupled with envy and regret. My lover was leaving to live a life he loved and chose over me, and (all of) my kids were not the loving children I thought I raised them to be. These two things I haven’t fully dig deep enough to eradicate. I still feel pain from these things. And I think it stems from being envious that he is the embodiment of the life I wish I had. I believe it must raise my biggest internal that I am inadequate.

What are the chances (and why) that one person can have everything you want so exactly? I don’t truly covet many material things – but a good life with a loving family and partner who cares for me first – that’s all I’ve ever wanted. I’ve always said his life was perfect and I mean perfect for me.

It’s less so about comparing my life to his. I don’t think I have a bad life and I do feel pride (on some level, I should probably learn to feel more honestly) of all I have accomplished. I just look at his life and wish it was how mine played out (minus the cheating husband). Why am I counting his blessings while ignoring my own? How do I remember to be grateful for my accomplishments and my family without feeling envy for what I don’t have? Is it because I saw it and tasted it for myself – I know it’s out there in human form and I can’t have it? It’s not a vanity thing, not something outward – it was his ability to love so wholly and envelope the people he loved the way he did. I’ve never been part of something like that.

And since I’m spilling my guts I also have to admit to texting him from a burner yesterday and asking him to speak. He didn’t reply. As bad as that is, it could have been worse since I was at Peloton for a studio ride and could have gone to his floor (I’m sure I could find him if I went looking). Trixie peeked out, but was seriously chastised by my better self being afraid of utter rejection if I saw him face to face.

I know talking about Tony is like vomit. But this is my safe space while I am without therapy and I can’t speak it out loud anymore. Even I want to knock myself over the head. It’s been 2 years since he stayed in his marriage and a year since I’ve seen him. But, I always say, better out than in – and these ugly thoughts have to come out.

I am learning meditation and yoga. And, as I mentioned yesterday, I do wonder how people who are great coaches always have the best positive self-talk. It just ALWAYS feels false to me. I can do it for a bit then I’m exhausted because it doesn’t feel genuine. Maybe that’s why I’m not the best parent? Maybe I don’t encourage and instill enough confidence because I’m so negative? I always try and out my kids first but feel like they take complete advantage of me rather than love and adore me for it. Do some people just win the patent lottery? (I actually don’t believe that – I do believe Tony and Kelly are excellent parents and they reap what they sowed so that’s why it bothers me more….I clearly did not sow the right seeds).

My kids say I blame everyone and everything else for my problems? Do I? Do I look outward instead of inward? I thought (and so did the therapist) that I was pretty good at identifying my pitfalls and the error of my ways. Their Dad is a master of telling them that I never accept blame. I will admit I am very good at getting away from it and directing blame elsewhere for many things, but I don’t think I shy away from the important things. I would love to be able to say that my kids and my unhappy home life is all because of my x and his poor parenting skills. But he can’t take all the credit, nor have I ever assigned it all to him. I would love to be able to identify why my home/family life isn’t what I hoped/dreamed it would be. I even shied away from blaming my parents in therapy for the way I was raised and what, most likely, created the girl who never felt good enough. I can see the reasons I feel inadequate and I can sort of understand how those would lead to being envious of Tony’s life – but how do I stop wishing it was mine? (just to be clear – I don’t wish I was his wife or replacing his wife – this is much more figurative than that)

One of these days I will figure out why I can’t let go and learn to love what I have along with loving myself. I just don’t know when.

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

3 thoughts on “Bitter Envy”

  1. We all think that someone else has a better life than ours, however, we never know exactly what goes on behind close doors. When my Ex and I split, our friends and family were stunned. They saw the perfect image we presented to everyone, but rarely saw the shit show behind the closed door.

    Tony didn’t have such a perfect, great life because why was he cheating on his life? He obviously felt there was a huge void in his life and he filled it with you until he didn’t. But this isn’t about that cheating, weak man. This is about you.

    Self-talk isn’t easy. It does feel fake if you aren’t loving yourself. Sometimes it is hard to love yourself. I have days where I’m happy, happy, happy and days like today when I’m quiet and a tad moody. Nobody did anything to trigger it, I simply am. What I have learned is that’s OK. I’m complicated and damn proud of it. I live inside my head quite a bit and I’m OK with that too. But I don’t rah, rah myself on days like today. It wouldn’t feel sincere. Instead I write comments on friend’s blogs and ignore the shitty work I need to do 🙂

    You cannot be responsible for your kids — you have done the best job you could and it’s up to them to process and grow. Your Ex is in your past where he belongs. I’ll keep saying it. Be kind to yourself because there is enough crazy shit going on in the world that the one thing you can control is yourself, so be nice to yourself. There! Now excuse me, I have to call the IRS. Ugh….

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  2. How do you stop? It seems to me that if you want the kind of life Tony and his wife has, make one for yourself. It also seems that when the grass isn’t growing in your yard, everyone else’s yard looks magnificent to you, doesn’t it? A lot of people say, “I want what they have!” and that’s fine… but then what? You could do what you’re doing in this post or you can get your head out of your backside (and you were doing so well before this post) and make it happen for yourself.

    You can’t let go because you don’t want to let go. Whatever you two had – and for the time you had it – was amazing, satisfying, maybe even everything you always wanted and more so after your divorce. You had it… and you lost it – shit happens when you don’t want it to. You do try to shake it off and move forward but the biggest issue, I think, is that you can’t forget how magnificent it once was so now there’s a large part of you that’s stuck in the past and it doesn’t want to leave.

    Oddly, that’s fairly normal for a lot of folks. I’ve walked away from past relationships that were the shit until they fell apart for whatever reason and, yep, sometimes, they haunt the hell out of me remembering what was and feeling some kind of way about things not being that grand or otherwise outstanding today. But I can’t go back; there are no do-overs and there’s always the choice: Stay stuck where you are… or be motivated to not only move forward but, if possible, “recreate” those glory days as much as possible.

    That blame thing got my attention and one of the things I always say – and because it’s true – is that it’s easier to blame someone else for things that go wrong than it is to accept one’s share of the blame. It’s pretty fugly to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Yeah, shit got fucked up… and I helped to fuck it up.” You own up to however you screwed the pooch, kick yourself in the ass for a short period of time, then move forward with the intent to not screw the pooch again if you can avoid it (not always possible, of course) and own the fact that you can be guilty – or very guilty – of some pooch screwing.

    Of import is that if you realize and accept that you do a lot of this, some changes are called for; the bad news is such changes are never easy since you essentially tear down the person you currently are and rebuild yourself to remove as many of those character flaws as humanly possible and those that can’t be removed get locked away and shelved, never to see the light of day again.

    But in all of this, you have to want to do it; you have to need to do it and I mean do it as if your life depends on it… because it seems that it does. So, some questions.

    What does Madeline really want in the here and now? Then, what is Madeline willing to do in order to get what she wants? It’s way too easy to keep reliving the past and not make any great effort to get unstuck but being there also makes you beat yourself up over something that is unchangeable. Reaching out to him on a burner… wow, girl. It’s not the first time you’ve done this but thanks to some stuff you did, that bridge is forever burned and you damned well know it but since you can’t let go of what was, it really is time to make a more concerted effort to let it go.

    And make that kind of life with someone else and by any means necessary. Self-talk only works when you are being truthful with yourself, when you can look at why you’re not the best person or in the best situation you could be in and, again, with great importance, accept that if shit got fucked up, you are not blameless. So any self-talk you do with yourself should be all about “How can I be better? What do I need to do to get out of this bad place? What am I willing to do? And, I cannot emphasize it enough, how can I stop being my own worst enemy in any of this?”

    If you’re gonna move forward and make the kind of life you obviously want and need, you gotta change some shit and the sooner, the better. It’s gonna hurt; you’re gonna see some stuff about yourself that, if you’re being truthful, you’re not going to like and, as I said, you have to own up to it, find a way to forgive yourself, and seriously vow to stop being “that woman” and, with even more seriousness and purpose, vow to be a better Madeline.

    Because, the hard truth is if you don’t, you will always be stuck right where you are and being all kinds of miserable. Another hard truth is those who refuse to change always gets left behind and if you don’t like any of what I’ve said, what are you gonna do about it? And you shouldn’t like what I’ve said one bit; it should piss you off something fierce because the woman you are right now isn’t the woman you want and need to be.

    What. Are. You. Gonna. Do. About. It? Once again, I asked myself if I’d date you and I think I would because I’d love to get inside your head and clean out all of that junk that’s in there even though I’m pretty sure that the moment I start some house cleaning, you’d get rid of me quick, fast, and in a hurry.

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  3. After I was blocked so cool for no reason as I haven’t reached out to him in forever and genuinely liked following her I decided I was done and it felt great. I knew I was envious of some of their life and knew how it was accomplished and then reflected more. I found out what was great about mine and their were some obvious not so great things about their life and them. I realized I didn’t want that at all, and to focus on me and the many great things in my life. I am anxious over money but I am loving life right now

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