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Jealousy over daughter's financial situation

(107 Posts)
schnackie Mon 25-Jan-21 15:25:59

I am fairly ashamed to feel this way, but my lovely DD is 40, wonderful husband, 2 lovely GC and all are happy and healthy. Her husband has a very good job and with promotions, bonuses etc, they live a very comfortable life. However my life was very different - great career as a nurse but extremely difficult job, stupid shift work, divorce, bad relationship with family etc. Now I am living a nice, retired life on a minimal but sufficient pension, have most of what I need, but no savings to speak of, and no money for 'treats' (i.e. new curtains). We speak almost every day and I find myself really starting to resent her when she talks about things she spends (what I consider to be) huge amounts of money on! I dare not say this to her, as it would hurt her feelings and what could she do? I don't want her giving me money. I just need to find a way to deal with my feelings. Does this make any sense? Any advice?

Urmstongran Mon 25-Jan-21 15:38:47

I suppose if we have ‘less than enough’ (ie some new curtains that you’d like to buy) it’s an understandable emotion. We all compare ourselves to others on some level occasionally. If we are happy and our ‘needs’ are met we are less bothered about ‘wants’.

I think it’s possibly less common to be envious of your own daughter? Sorry that possibly comes over a bit wrong. What I mean is, I know you’ll be delighted for her, you just feel ‘sorry for me’.

I think over the years most of us (apart from a very fortunate few) will have had those feelings. Then again, those fortunate few possibly have other feelings of envy - for example if they are dealing with estrangement issues or severe illness etc.

Life isn’t fair. It never was.
We have to learn to love the life we have in my opinion.

Hopefully you’re just having a bit of a blue day. Lockdown and Covid anxieties don’t help. We have too much time to ruminate. I hope you feel less upset about the inequality of wealth soon.

If you can’t change a situation you have to change your outlook.

Shandy57 Mon 25-Jan-21 16:13:35

My MIL was envious of our financial situation as well, but unlike you, she made dreadful, appalling comments that were inappropriate on every level. 'Spending again' was her catch phrase and I avoided seeing her at every opportunity.

Envy is a natural emotion which all humans feel. So long as your daughter loves you what else matters?

Franbern Mon 25-Jan-21 16:19:14

Back in the 1980'a we were really struggling financially. Hubbie MS got worse, no disability employment act, and he lost his job and was unable to get another due MS. We really had problems trying to cope with six small children on the benefits system then, I could not get a job as hubbie was not really capable of dealing with the younger children.

One wedding anniversary, his younger brother, who was doing extremely well - living in large house with swimming pool, three or four exotic holidays each year, took the four of us out for a special meal. Their anniversary was just the day after ours. Restaurant in central London, he spent more on that meal for the four of us than I had to cover two weeks supermarket shop. I could nót enjoy a single mouthful - just felt so resentful and jealous, Think his wife, my SiL had some understanding and they never did it again and every christmas we would receive a large food hamper plus a good size cheque from them.

What goes round...though. I am living a very happy life in a flat I love, my five adult children all doing fine and keeping in close touch, enough money to see to all my current needs. My lovely SiL is so unhappy, = hubbie insisted they moved right away from London - lovely house, but she hates it there. She hardly see their two remaining children and g.children.

Toadinthehole Mon 25-Jan-21 16:24:25

It does make’re pleased because you brought her up to be in this position, but at the same time, you see she’ll possibly, ( because nothing is necessarily forever )never have to struggle, as you did. Just see it as...she has gained from what you see as your losses. She’s watched her mum work hard, and has fallen into her life because of it perhaps. That’s a good thing isn’t it? What you would have wanted for her when you first held her in your arms. Sounds like you all have a great relationship. I would embrace that, and see that, because of what you did, she’s got a better life🤗

PollyDolly Mon 25-Jan-21 16:27:49

I used to feel sorry for my MIL, she was so downtrodden and had to ask for every penny from FIL. If she needed a new coat, as he was paying for it he demanded to choose it! She never had anything to spend on herself, their furniture was sparse and nice holidays were only a dream. I was determined not to be the same......but like father, like son! Walking away with nothing I had to work hard to survive but I would never resent my AC for what they have! It can all come crashing down in the blink of an eye! And we none of us know just what goes on behind closed doors do we???? Not everything in the garden is rosie!

Nannarose Mon 25-Jan-21 16:31:41

I wonder if your daughter thinks you might be pleased for her? Glad that she isn't struggling?
Probably you are, but sometimes can't see it.
I also wonder if she is talking more about spending money at the moment as there aren't very many other things to talk of!
I think you are wise to come on here to vent, rather than let her know your feelings. Many on these forums are aware of how we are so much more sensitive in these times.

You didn't ask this, so I am hesitant to add it, and please ignore if it really doesn't suit. You don't say how old or how fit you are. Because nursing is such good experience, and ex-nurses usually reliable; a lot of my retired nurse colleagues find that in normal times, they can supplement their income in all sorts of ways: I know film extras, market researchers, camp site helpers, and lots who sign on with agencies for all kinds of odd work. Irrelevant now (unless there's some that can be done by phone / on-line) but 'when this is over' I think there will be a demand.

Sara1954 Mon 25-Jan-21 16:55:38

I think you should try and be happy for her. It’s something you don’t have to worry about, I’m sure you would feel a lot worse if she was living in a dreadful relationship, struggling for cash.
Try not to let it show, my mum was always very resentful, I don’t think she wanted what I had, she just didn’t want me to have it. In later life she inherited a very substantial amount of money, but she doesn’t treat herself, of anyone else for that matter.
She probably tells you about all the things she’s bought, because she thinks you will be proud of her achievements.

grannypiper Mon 25-Jan-21 17:18:32

schnackie I learnt many years ago that nobody has it all and shiny nicely wrapped presents aren't always the best. I had 3 children under 5, was recovering from being ill, i had a useless Husband, money was tight and i never had a second to myself, i envied my neighbours across the road, they had a fantastic life in my eyes, great holidays, meals out and came back from shopping trips every Saturday with more bags than they could carry.
Turns out she envied me, i had everything she wanted, she thought my life was wonderful. We all think others have better lives.
Maybe your Daughter's life is not that perfect ( i hope it is perfect) Tell yourself that you are so glad your Daughter wont have the stresses and worries you had.

schnackie Mon 25-Jan-21 18:01:13

I knew this was the perfect place to air my feelings - thank you to all who replied! For clarification, I am SO very happy and thankful that my daughter is in this wonderful situation, and most of all that her husband is a kind, loving husband who treasures her, and is also an amazing father. They are a real team and even though she doesn't work 'outside the home', he does housework, laundry, cooking, whatever needs to be done for their home and children.
I did not mean to imply that I am envious of her (or maybe that's what I did say confused), and I believe Urmstongran was right in saying I am just a bit lonely and missing everyone in my life. My own mother was the same as several of you mentioned - no filter on her mouth and would openly criticise things I did, what I spent money on, my bad relationships etc, so I have made a huge effort to never make judegmental comments to either of my children, and I believe that is a reason we have good relationships today. She tells me these things because, also as Nannarose and Sara1954 pointed out, there isn't much else to talk about and she wants me to be proud of her and her choices. Which is another point I will make - she has never been a careless spender - even when they started out but were financially ok, she bought used children's clothes and furniture, gladly accepted hand-me-downs etc, which is probably why they are not in debt! Anyway, I feel so much better from hearing the sound advice you've all given me, and yes, Nannarose, I have found a very small part-time job online and the little extra for treats is a joy. Thank you all again. Sorry for the long post. flowers

grannypiper Mon 25-Jan-21 18:20:03

schnackie enjoy the treats flowers

kircubbin2000 Mon 25-Jan-21 19:28:24

I wouldn't say I'm envious but having been brought up in the days of rationing I have to bite my tongue when she spends only £120 getting her hair done and orders a gourmet take away in lockdown for a treat. She has also wasted a fortune on presents that will never be used, coffee machine for dad ,designer bags for me although I never carry a bag. She would be very hurt if I said anything but I would rather she kept the money for the kids.

Urmstongran Mon 25-Jan-21 20:12:40

schnackie I’m so glad you’re feeling happier tonight. x
Well done you.

welbeck Mon 25-Jan-21 20:35:14

OP, say to your DD that you have a request for your b'day this year. you've got your eye on some curtains, and if she would like to make a contribution towards them, that would be just right. and you will think of her every time you draw them.

Urmstongran Mon 25-Jan-21 21:34:09

Very clever idea welbeck and actually quite sweet in its way. I like it.

Sara1954 Mon 25-Jan-21 21:35:57

She sounds like a lovely girl schnackie

welbeck Mon 25-Jan-21 21:35:59

great minds think alike, Urmst.

Nannarose Mon 25-Jan-21 21:59:17

Thank you for coming back and responding so graciously

schnackie Mon 25-Jan-21 22:28:51

Great idea welbeck, thanks I'll do just that!

schnackie Mon 25-Jan-21 22:34:52

Sara1954 thanks for saying that. After I thought about my reply I was afraid she sounded a bit too perfect, which she of course is not. However I moved to Europe from the US when she was 15 when I was thinking only of myself,(leaving her with her much loved dad, and returning at least 4 times a year) as usual, and we have dealt with those issues over the years, and I'm so lucky to be close to her now.

V3ra Mon 25-Jan-21 22:36:45

There's a huge difference in family income between me and another family member.
To be honest I think it bothers them more than me!

Urmstongran Mon 25-Jan-21 22:46:13

Is that because your loaded V3ra?
Joking of course.

V3ra Tue 26-Jan-21 01:12:07

Ha! Far from it Urmstongran 🤣
I'm happy with what I have though, and I don't envy anyone.

schnackie however much or little you have now, you've achieved it by your own efforts and no-one can take that away from you, be proud of who you are.
You say you have a nice life so focus on that.

Why I wonder does your daughter feel a need to tell you about things she's spending huge amounts of money on all the time?
Does she think it will impress you?
Does she move in social circles where this is how people define themselves and each other?
Is she not actually that comfortable with this?
Having plenty of money doesn't always bring peace of mind.

Kim19 Tue 26-Jan-21 07:01:17

Urm, just wanted to say how impressed and moved I was by your initial contribution. Such compassion, wisdom and grasp of a situation was lovely for me to read. You also expressed it so well. Very moving for me - I'm a softie! - so....... thank you.

Missfoodlove Tue 26-Jan-21 09:33:27

Our daughter is in a very strong financial position and I’m so delighted.
However when a huge HMRC bill came out of the blue 3 years ago it caused them a big problem.
She had £50 a week for food,petrol,etc.
She refused help from us.
They did meal plans, organised their car journeys and cancelled all their social plans.
They got through it without using credit cards.
It was such a valuable lesson for them.