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(23 Posts)
wotanuisanceABC123 Mon 07-Dec-15 12:09:21

This sounds awful but I do feel envious and sad when I read about people with long, happy marriages. Not nice, I know but it's the only thing I am jealous about. How can I stop this reaction?

Riverwalk Mon 07-Dec-15 12:39:37

It not awful to be envious of such people - it's the ideal state to be in, particularly as we get older.

As someone who divorced after 25 years I'm envious of those in long happy marriages but don't confuse that with those in long marriages ...... I know any number of people who are in long unhappy marriages!

A long happy marriage is something to be envied. smile

Alea Mon 07-Dec-15 12:50:19

Can we find a distinction between "envy" and " jealousy"?
I could argue that envy of another's good fortune is entirely understandable , but that jealousy is more destructive, including perhaps begrudging others their happiness.
As long as your emotions are neither negative towards other people or destructive to yourself, honestly admitting to envy need cause you no worries.
Let's face it, it is an entirely natural sentiment along with regret perhaps that your life has not been otherwise. So accept it, but look for the positives in your life as it is including wotanicedog and make sure you move on tchsmile

ninathenana Mon 07-Dec-15 12:56:44

Good post Alea

wotanuisanceABC123 Mon 07-Dec-15 13:23:53

Thanks, Alea! Comforting. I don,t feel jealous and would be upset to hear of divorces and loss. I had to cope with not being able to have children but got over all that. But really, I feel a lot stronger for my troubles and try to feel grateful every own little cottage, big garden, Sophie dog, no debts anymore, not bad health, full freezers etc etc.

felice Mon 07-Dec-15 15:29:25

I have very good friends who have been married for many years, too many, they actively dislike each other so much that I only invite them round singly.
They even refuse to visit each other in Hospital and cook seperate meals for just themselves.
They say they are both 'good' Catholics so would never divorce, but what a miserable life they lead.
Glad to say I am now happily divorced.

grannylyn65 Mon 07-Dec-15 15:36:59

Envious isn't the right word, I feel sad.

wotanuisanceABC123 Mon 07-Dec-15 15:41:18

What brought these feelings to the ex, to whom I have been corresponding for about 30 years, [I left him] is always braying on about his daughters and grandchildren. Even though, in a round about way, it was his fault i couldn't have children. His wife, though, has become an alcoholic as he's so blo-dy selfish and I don't regret leaving him. It's just annoying.

wotanuisanceABC123 Mon 07-Dec-15 15:46:33

One might, quite reseanably, ask "Why stay in touch with him then?" and I have to admit that it's partly nosiness, partly schadenfruede and the fact that it reminds me of when I was veryu young!! Nuts or wot?

wotanuisanceABC123 Mon 07-Dec-15 15:47:12

Scuse my spelling...2 glasses of wine...very cheap from Lidls

Eloethan Mon 07-Dec-15 16:33:12

Well I expect a lot of us, if we were honest, would say we are sometimes envious of people and not always in a nice way. I have arguments with myself sometimes when I have to tell myself not to be so horrible!

I do not think that a long marriage is automatically a happy one - and you would not necessarily know because some people show a different face to the world.

OlderNoWiser Mon 07-Dec-15 16:39:49

I used to feel quite envious of my parents 43-year happy marriage. They had their differences in the early years but were blissfully happy and content for 20-odd years after my sister and I both left home at a very young age.

What changed my mind is the utter devastation, helplessness and inconsolable grief my mother suffered after my father dropped dead from an unexpected heart attack at age 69. She lived for another seven years and every day she wished herself dead, as she told me many times.

Never having been very good with men myself I take comfort from the fact that I will never feel like that - always look on the bright side I say wink

wotanuisanceABC123 Mon 07-Dec-15 17:31:51

You're absolutely right Older! There's always 2 sides to every coin.

KatyK Mon 07-Dec-15 19:11:50

It's not awful to be envious. We have been married for 46 years but believe me it hasn't always been a bed of roses. A lot of long lasting marriages are down to luck I think and I also agree that long marriage is not necessarily a happy one. I am not speaking for us there, we muddle along OK and get on well most of the time these days. I am always highly suspicious of people who say they have been blissfully happy and never had a cross word in over 46 years or how ever long. I have a friend who has been married over 40 years and she said they have never had a row. That makes me think that someone in that marriage is not being true to themselves. Or am I just being cynical? Maybe they are that happy that they don't ever row. Seems odd to me though.

loopylou Mon 07-Dec-15 19:19:11

After nearly 39 years KatyK I feel the same as you. We too muddle along, clash occasionally and sometimes need a breather from each other!
Luckily we both have joint and independent interests, and are both still working.....I'm viewing retirement with a degree of trepidation tchgrin, perhaps DH won't want to!

KatyK Tue 08-Dec-15 10:59:54

loopy retirement was difficult at first. I retired first and was enjoying myself tchgrin then DH retired (reluctantly but was made redundant). He wasn't happy at first and consequently neither was I but that was about 5 years ago now and we have settled into it OK.

witchygran Wed 09-Dec-15 11:38:45

Don't be envious - things aren't always as they seem. Nobody knows what goes on inside peoples' own four walls except the people themselves. When my late exhusband and I divorced, everyone was very surprised, thinking we got on well. They didn't see the way he drank and verbally abused me indoors, but because I had an affair as a result, I was blamed. I then had two bad relationships but, at the age of 54, I met a wonderful man, with whom I have been so happy for the last 18 years. It is never too late in life to meet someone and have a great relationship of your own!

Nannanoo Wed 09-Dec-15 12:54:22

Marriage didn't work for me, tho I have three wonderful children whom I adore. I have to confess, with a blush, that having a nice gentleman friend is far better than being married. I get all the treats and none of the chores, although I do care about my man, and try to make his life as pleasant as he makes mine!

PPP Wed 09-Dec-15 12:56:56

I think envy is quite a normal emotion.

I used to be envious of friends' marriage and family life. They seemed a golden family. Harmonious couple, talented friendly children, happy in their work etc. Then the husband was struck down with a degenerative neurological disease and their life became hellish for the years before he died. So, I am now glad that they were happy for that earlier period and I am very appreciative of my life, marriage and family as a result.

Things are not always what they seem.

winifred01 Wed 09-Dec-15 13:25:36

Happily married for 50 + years count ourselves as being very fortunate. Have been described as 'Smug married' what can I do?

Bennan Thu 10-Dec-15 07:45:17

I agree that all is not as it seems in a marriage. DH and I have been married for 43 years and we do well most of the time. We are both jealous and strong-willed by nature and have had our ups and downs. He is, however, my best friend and I dread losing him. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago but is doing well. I have cried in secret because I will not let him see my fear. I do want to go first, just selfish, as I know it will be awful without him. So you see, happiness is bought at a price - but I wouldn't change a day of our time together.

Teetime Thu 10-Dec-15 08:49:05

Jealousy is a very destructive emotion and one I am no stranger to I admit although not about relationships - more about physical attributes - yes I am shallow and I have to struggle with myself.

In this theme though I am lucky and I'm told quite nauseating (by my DS) in that DH and I have been married for 37 years but its not all been plain sailing we have had some very rough patches although not recently. Apparently because we hold hands etc giggle and whisper together and have jokes only we know about this is upsetting to my DS who is not so comfy with her DH. We are also considered very odd as we don't take or want to take separate holidays so at the Bowls Club and the Golf Club we are considered 'wet'. So not everyone thinks our state is ideal and prefer more freedom than we appear to have.

Elrel Thu 10-Dec-15 18:44:25

As Witchygran says, we really don't know what someone's long and happy relationship is like for the couple in it.