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i think i've turned into a of a shallow greedy bastard, keep comparing myself materially to others

(27 Posts)
carriedababi Sat 04-Jun-11 20:14:57

we live in a wealthy area, in a nice 3 bed house.
compared to the people we have always know we are pretty well off

since my dd started preschool we have made alot of friends, which is nice, in our local area, all of whom are very wealthy.
i mean massive houses, dream houses, plenty of spending money, lots of holidays lots of days outs etc.

and since i've started spending time with these new friends, i feel quite poor, which i kniw is ridiculous.

im a sahm with no pressure to return to work, have no money worries, we all appear to be healthy as far as we know, we all love each other and get on well most of the time, it is our house, we do own it/buying with morgage we can afford,it has nice features such as nice large south facing garden, two bathrooms etc,we have good friends and family,never stuck for company, we are having two holidays abroad this year, and 4 weekends away in the uk, we have a nice car, don't have loads of clothes but do have a few nice things

and yet i find myself comparing houses ALOT
in my mind and wondering if we should move to a larger house
and im pretty sure ive only started thinking this since we have become part of this extra group.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 04-Jun-11 20:18:20

Carrie - you need to stop [stern voice]

There will always be people richer than you and to be honest it really isn't that important - especially when you are happy and comfortable.

I know lots of people who are richer than me and yes sometimes I do think 'gosh that would be nice' but then I normally look at their husbands and think 'hmm perhaps not - thats one big price to pay for a nice car' wink And yes I am referring to women with rich husbands of whom I know a fair few.

Carrotsandcelery Sat 04-Jun-11 20:20:09

I am in virtually the same postition. You have to stop yourself in your tracks and refocus on what is really important to you. The bigger house, fancier clothes etc will not make you any different except you will be anxious about cash.

If your friends are bothered then they are not worth bothering about, but I doubt they are bothered or have even thought about it.

You know all this, it is obvious from your post. You just need a bit of perspective.

We are not all the same. You have a high standard of living. Remember to be satisfied with your lot.

Crevix Sat 04-Jun-11 20:21:04

s'all right. you get over it eventually and just enjoy the friendship. my friends are a really diverse selection. we met at antenatal classes 16 years ago, I was the SAHM then, still earn a fraction of some of them but we are still friends and I know if I need someone for anything, at any time, I can phone one them. That means something, not how many bathrooms they have.

vigglewiggle Sat 04-Jun-11 20:21:43

Perhaps you need to occupy your time and gain some perspective. Volunteer to work in a hoeless shelter - that should do the trick.

TheFlyingOnion Sat 04-Jun-11 20:21:49

Unhealthy, OP

You don't know what goes on behind closed doors - the people you are feeling jealous of might have crap marriages, mental health problems... you have no idea.

I have one friend who seems like she "has it all" but she lost both her parents by her mid-20s. I remind myself that I wouldn't want to swap places with her for the world when I sometimes feel a bit envy

Count your blessings - they are substantial. All that material stuff doesn't mean shit anyway.

goodmum123 Sat 04-Jun-11 20:22:21

I sometimes feel the same as you but im not a sahm. All our friends seem wealthier/ dont work and after having baby and a bit of pnd i got things a bit out of control. I sometimes hate how i feel and feel so guilty but then i get horrid thoughts, eg. i hope ....loses job so they cant live where they do etc.

A new friend recently moved into a larger house than me, omg i was so so jealous and very unreasonable about it and didnt go and see her as i was green. I came home and have been researching bigger and better houses ever since even though we will not move.

God i have been such a bitch. My husband keeps me on an even keel though and i realise that i am very lucky.

Try to be glad for what you have. Health/- that is the biggest thing, wealth and status come a very poor second.

Sorry for waffling

opalinski Sat 04-Jun-11 20:22:54

A hoeless shelter

is that like a convent?

chibi Sat 04-Jun-11 20:22:54

I think this is normal- your immediate circle of friends and acquaintances skews your perception of what 'most people' are like and how they live.

I think it is healthy and normal to want nice things for oneself, but acquisitiveness in and of itself, especially if you are comparing yourself to others is no good

I don't know what the e solution is, i think this is one of those things that you can recognise intellectually, but it makes no difference to how you feel

Any chance of broadening your social circle to include people more like yourself in terms of lifestyle?

shirleyshortcut Sat 04-Jun-11 20:22:59

yes you should definitely move to a bigger house, must have a swimming pool and stables of course

you should also change your car cos that one you have is a bit naff really isnt it

i dont think you are really going to the trendy places on holiday, couldnt you go a bit more upmarket, that private yacht looked fairly nice didnt it

vigglewiggle Sat 04-Jun-11 20:24:10

opalinski grin

ThatllDoPig Sat 04-Jun-11 20:28:25

I know how you feel. You sound like me. (Except I've only got one bathroomenvy!)
Reading replies with interest.
It's hard being the poor relation!
We know we must count our blessings really, but . . . . .
Maybe lottery win tonight eh!?

ThatllDoPig Sat 04-Jun-11 20:29:14

Must say, I NEVER used to feel like this at all, it has crept up on me as I've grown older.

deste Sat 04-Jun-11 20:31:46

Shirley go and watch the telly.

To the OP if your friends are good friends they probably haven't noticed. My DS went to school with the son of one of the richest families in Britain and my son never felt inferior. They were genuinely lovely people and accepted us for what we were. Our friends thought we were well off. My son used to come home and tell me he was in the jewellery room.

rulenumber1 Sat 04-Jun-11 20:33:10

I sympathise with you and understand a bit about how you feel. I was part of a group of about 10 mothers who were friends when we had our babies and toddlers and didn't find any problems in our different situations until the children started at nursery and school when all my friends sent their children to the same prep school. After this I was left out because they were seeing each other at the school gate and the friendships between them and their children also became more established. I'm not impoverished by any means but certainly don't have a spare £35 000 pa (after higher rate tax) knocking around for school fees.

Having said that you do need to step back a bit and make the most of what you have because, like Mrscampbellblack says, there will always be other people who have more materially. I also appreciate that it's difficult to talk about something like this in rl and an online forum gives you the chance to air it. I don't think that suggesting that you work as a volunteer in a homeless shelter is very helpful really because you know yabu but want to vent a bit.

Honeybee79 Sat 04-Jun-11 20:34:54

Count your blessings and focus on what you've got. There will always be someone with more.

I was very content with my lot until I went on maternity leave and felt surrounded by very rich women living in a v posh bit of London (I also live in a posh bit of London but in an ex local authority flat not a lovely 5 bed house)/ In the last couple of months I've become a bit obsessed with it all. Then the other week DH told me to get a fucking grip. And he was right!

rulenumber1 Sat 04-Jun-11 20:35:19

Oh, and can I add that I'm the poor relation within my family too. No nannies, cleaners, ironing ladies, gardners, overseas holidays, private education etc for me unlike my siblings. And how they like to remind me.

ohhappyday Sat 04-Jun-11 20:36:44

I get you, I really do but trust me when I say this - underneath these people are just the same as everyone else. They have problems, worries, insecurities and more often than not more pressure as they have to keep up the facade.

Gliding on the water like graceful swans - underneath paddling like mad

Mumswang Sat 04-Jun-11 20:37:46

Come and hang out with me, it'll make you feel a-fucking-mazing

ohhappyday Sat 04-Jun-11 20:43:44

MUMSWANG - loved it you go girl

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Sat 04-Jun-11 20:49:30

I know a family who always seemed as though they had it all; they built a massive house, furnished it beautifully, had two or three foreign holidays a year, kids decked out from head to toe in Monsoon, etc etc.

Anyway, about a year ago their business went under due to the credit crunch, the house was repossessed, and they lost everything and went bankrupt. The mum has since said to me that lots of their lifestyle was funded by credit, the mortgage on the mansion was sky high so everything else was funded with credit. They now live in a little rented house with their inlaws, who they were in business with.

I was doing a stall at a boot fair today and they were at the stall next to us, flogging some of their furniture from their house as they don't have space for it in the rental place.

What I'm trying to illustrate is whilst some people may appear to have it all and be well off, it sometimes isn't the case and is all for show. My jeans may have cost a fiver on Ebay but I'm glad they're mine and not paid for on credit.

carriedababi Sat 04-Jun-11 20:52:55

thanks for the talking to, i know i need to stop thinking like this.

we could move to a larger house i guess, but then it would feel like we have nomoney for anything much else, and i' probably get sick of te house then, not to mention the time it would take to clean a giant house

i do have a wide circle of friends from all backgrounds,i am very lucky to have alot of friends, 2 of my friends i'm still friends with since childhood,who want children, but don't feel able to financially go for it,and they are aware of their age, another good friend of mine lives on benefits with her father and her child, she is divorced from her husband
another good friend on mine,would love to simply buy a place of their own rather than rent

plus a good handful of other friends in similar situations as us.

so its not as if these well off friends are all i see.

i think its mainly due to the area we live in

microserf Sat 04-Jun-11 20:56:25

OP, i sympathise as we also live in a wealthy area and my friends are in a similar situation to yours. we are not as well off.

but as you have correctly identified, this is the road to unhappiness. do you want to overstretch yourselves financially just to "keep up" with the others? or remain secure? in this uncertain financial environment, you would be silly to add additional debt.

sometimes we are a little envy when we see our friends' homes. but we remind ourselves that we are actually really bloody lucky to live where we live, even if we could only afford a flat and not a house! also, as callmebubbles points out, some of those people are living out an existence on credit.

Dh and i are risk averse and only buy when we have the £££. otherwise we worry. not everyone does though. I sometimes think that may well be the difference between us and our neighbours. but as long as we are all each happy in ourselves, well, that's all that matters.

carriedababi Sat 04-Jun-11 20:58:27

its only house envy i suffer with, i never think oh wish i looked liek her or wish i was as clever as so and so
which considering i'm not the brightest sprk on here, you'd think if i was going to envy anything, that i'd envy the more intelligent, but i don't, not at all

i've never ever wished anything bad to happen to anyone else who is well off

and these new friends never say anything to make me feel bad or poor or anything, in fact when they've been to our house we;ve had a lot of compliments about it.
so its only coming from my head

and i need to stop doing it

ZXEightyMum Sat 04-Jun-11 20:58:41

Sod the group. Seriously. When you go to sleep at night are you and your family;

Too hot or cold with no option to change that, windows to open or blankets or heating to put on?

Hungry or thirsty with nothing available to fill your stomachs or wet your throat?

Ill or sick or in pain with no medication at hand or a welfare system which comprises hospitals, doctors or prescriptions?

Vulnerable in terms of unsafe accommodation, a shared building with people who suffer from uncontrollable addictions or MH problems who may start a fire or leave the home dangerously insecure?

Penniless and without avenues to obtain any money at all? Without clothes?

Then think about the love you have within the family you have created.

I don't have any more than you do OP btw and was brought up to expect so much more, materially, as was DH, but it is always better to count blessings. It makes for so much happiness smile

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