Originally Posted by redpepper
Some people in my life lately are possibly envious or even jealous when it comes to my relationships. I say possibly because they might just be figuring it all out for themselves and taking the time to do so. I know I should just chalk it up to their problem and not mine, but I hurt from it. I don't want them to think I am gone from their lives for good and I don't want to feel I have to down play my happiness either. It is far easier to deal with my partners feelings around jealousy and envy than it is with the outside world...
I'd love to know how to deal with the outside world on this one...????
Well, one thing I would ask is what exactly about their envy is hurtful to you? What's the connection it makes for you?
Other than that, I think there is sometimes merit to listening to other people's reactions. I know that for myself, I'm not where I want to be in my love life and while there are some good points to it, my love life has had a very painful and lonely history that makes it sorely lacking in a way that creates a tangible ache (but the beauty of being human is learning to move past the pain and being open to more love). Now, I have friends who are overflowing with happiness in their love lives, and while I am happy for them, I can't deny the envy either. But that envy doesn't hurt our relationships because they respect where I am on my journey. They respect the loss and sadness I have and *make space for it*. Just as I work to make space for their happiness. (I know that in situations of great happiness, it's easy to be a bit more oblivious to the effect it may have on people around me) They don't treat my sadness as an attack on their happiness and that allows me to be genuinely happy for them despite my sadness. And it's very enriching because we all have things to learn from everyone else's experiences and we can do that when each experience is honored. I have had other friends where we haven't been able to maintain relationships because their overflowing happiness leaves little room for anything else and doesn't tolerate the fact that this is where I'm struggling. They don't leave the space for me to have my own feelings. They don't honor my struggle in their happiness, which makes it more difficult for me to honor their happiness in my struggle.
In contrast, I'm aware of other parts of my life where I have achieved great success and have been envied by others. One thing I do in areas where I feel successful is that I try to be keenly aware of how much space that success takes up in my relationships. I remember that while I have worked very hard for my success, there is also a great deal of luck and serendipity that helped me to be where I'm at. I find it important to remember that when other people express envy for my situation. So I won't hide my happiness in those areas, but I will approach it with a bit of humility and respect for people who may not have had the fortunate situations that I've had.