Situation is that I've been a single parent living in a tiny rented flat for years. I've mixed with other parents at the school. We are friendly but not close friends. Also during that time I've seen old friends get married to nice men and have children in more conventional circumstances. I was happy for them. Now after a well-timed job and my child's father now paying a bit more maintenance things have suddenly got a lot better for us. I am realising though that there are a number of people who feel they need to reassess me or something. I can't understand the sly digs. It's not just one person either so I feel a shift in the ground beneath me. I was comfortable being broke around wealthier people for years. Real friends are happy that life is easier now, it's more peripheral people who are making jellyfish comments. I am happy right now btw, it's just interesting that people I thought were so secure need a ....... pity figure. Anybody else experienced strange reactions from acquaintances when they stepped out of the gutter!?? lol. I'm joking when I say gutter. My child was always warm, fed, clothed, loved. How long does it take people to 'forgive' you for recovering from a rough patch.
Yes. It's an odd one. There are people out there who, as you say, need to identify someone as being worse off than they are. If that person's fortune's change, I guess it's somehow a slur on how their own life is going and there is a need to judge it negatively to keep you in your place. I have had similar - I have gone from comfortably well off when married, to the pits of financial despair when my ex walked out (repossession of family home despair) to owning my own home now and having a new career and slowly but surely climbing back up to mangaing. People make open comments about 'how is it possible' and you can see them ticking it over in their minds.
I think single parents are easy targets - we are blamed for most of society's ills one way or another - and we are therefore not allowed to have any kind of 'success' because it rocks the finely balanced social order. As you say, true friends will be happy for you. The rest of it you have to ignore. I hope you go from strength to strength!
I've been in the same situation when I went from being a LP on benefits, to a married woman with a high-earning DH. My closest friends were genuinely happy for me and got really excited about my wedding. My acquaintances (school gate mums, neighbours) would come out with the snippier comments, and seemed desperate to know the ins and outs of our finances and details of my relationship. I'm not ostentatious at all, and in a lot of ways my lifestyle hasn't changed drastically, but we do have better holidays and live in a nicer area now.
My view is that when I was a LP, I was provided with quite a lot of support not available to my peers (support with housing, extra finance during my degree, not having to work long hours) and also had DS when I was young. They could accept that while knowing that they had to work longer hours/put off ttc/pay high rents because they were doing better financially and I would always be stuck in my council flat and not be able to afford nice things. Now that has been turned on its head and they almost feel it's unfair that I haven't been kept in my place .
I just try to keep a low profile tbh, I try not to mention things that are obviously expensive, but they often seem to want to drag it out of me (e.g. asking about our house/car).
Buttercupwild, I wonder too if people (the odd ones) feel I duped them somehow. I was low profile too. I never tried to keep up. I saved. My plans weren't secret. But I didn't really get a lot of help as I didn't ask for it. A few lifts here and there. But those weren't from people who've made the incredibly mean-spirited comments.
Did people (the nosey nose out of joint ones) adjust? I am facing a lot of financial questions and it's hard to know how to answer them. The answer is that I cut my cloth to make sure I had a savings plan I could stick to. But as mumandboys says, it could sound like a criticism of people who had holidays and cars while I was .... "pretending" to be poor. I never really cared about other people's finances though.
I think so many people are finding it tough right now with rising prices/cuts etc, so perhaps they are just trying to work out how others are managing in this climate? And if others are finding things tough financially it will be harder for them to be pleased for others - I know I often felt bitter when I was at our lowest financially. But personally I try to avoid answering financial questions directly, I will just say we got a good deal or that we had to save for something, but not give an exact figure.
I have to admit I don't have much contact now with the acquaintances who were most hostile, just because it's been a while now and their dc have moved class, and we moved house so don't see old neighbours any more. I see them around sometimes and they're friendly enough, but I'm careful not to share much information with them. I think that if they're not close friends you shouldn't worry too much about them, just enjoy your new lifestyle and focus on your closest friends, who'll be the ones who are genuinely happy for you.