Wondering…do some people just deserve more?

I’m at a cross-roads in my current relationship and it has me thinking about all of my prior relationships in general. I have written previously about my (bad) habit of comparing myself to other people and I do this a lot when it comes to couples. I have two really good girlfriends who are very happily married- both for the second time. Both of them have husbands who treat them wonderfully. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t have a guy that looks at me and treats me the way their husbands do. I do know that no relationship is what it necessarily appears to be from an outsider’s perspective and that every couple has their issues and problems.

I was talking to an older, male, happily married coworker who I have become close with. He is father-figurely…and he knows my two girlfriends mentioned above well, too. I said something to him today that kind of took me by surprise. I said something along the lines of “maybe I don’t deserve what they have.” I didn’t say it with intent or in a “poor me” kind of way…I literally said it without thinking, which is why it is bothering me.

I intrinsically know that I am a good person who deserves to be treated well (and I am not saying that my current boyfriend is not good to me- we are just having a lot of problems at the moment and he can be mean at times). But there is a little, damaged part of me that does believe that I am not 100% worthy. I do not like to blame my behaviors or issues on other people, but I know that these feelings about myself stem from my alcoholic father and mentally abusive ex-husband.

But, I also know that a lot of how I feel comes from my own choices and I could have made better ones throughout my life so far. This blog is more of a stream of consciousness, so excuse my musings, but sometimes I just wonder why I feel that way about myself, yet I think that my sister and my friends deserve to be treated like queens???

Ps- I wasn’t going to post this bc I usually edit what I write a lot more, but the whole reason I started this blog was to be honest- with others and myself.

The grass is always greener…

I have always had this problem where I compare myself to others. I think to some degree many people do this, but I do it excessively and have for many, many years. At first it was my family. For some reason, I had it in my head that everyone else had a perfect, TV family (I was obsessed with being adopted by the Cosby family when I was little, nevermind that they are fictional and I am white- lol). While my family was completely dysfunctional, I imagined my friends having normal dinners and holidays. Even now when my friend tells me about going to a museum with just her father, my first thought is “why??”- that sounds like a nightmare to me! The obvious problem with comparisons like these is that I always came up short. I’m not saying I have an inferiority complex…I am pretty happy with who I am, but I just can’t help myself from doing these comparisons constantly.

After years of comparing my family to others, I moved on to comparing how I looked to others. I have a healthy attraction to men, but I often find myself “checking out” other women when I am in public. Not in a sexual way, but to compare myself to them. This one is skinnier, this one has gorgeous hair, this one can wear heels without looking ridiculous…again I think most people do this on occasion, but I also felt like, “if I just looked like her, I wouldn’t have (insert whatever problem I was having at the time). Again, I am very pretty…I’m no Giselle, but I do just fine with the guys. It just seemed like I always was wishing I was someone else, which I realize now is a bit of the “grass is always greener on the other side” complex.

The worst of it came when I was unhappiest in my marriage. I watched other couples like a hawk. This husband placed his hand on his wife’s back protectively- why didn’t my husband do that? This husband complimented his wife in front of a whole crowd- why didn’t mine do that? It became very unhealthy because not only did I constantly highlight what was wrong with my marriage, but I had a very unrealistic view of my friend’s marriages. I am so happy that my friends have good marriages, but I realize now that no marriage or relationship is perfect.

I think examining other people’s lives and envisioning how “easy” they have it is a form of escapism. It detracts me from having to look deeply at my own problems and simplifies life in an unrealistic way. If I was skinnier, my problems would obviously not just disappear, I do know that. I also think a little part of me feels like I don’t deserve to be happy the way other people *appear* to be (1. I know that is a classic COA belief and 2. I say *appear* because I have learned that not everyone’s life is what it seems to be.) Surprisingly, when I started telling co-workers about MY divorce and MY family, people were shocked. They had always looked at me as being independent, happy, in love…I did a good job of *appearing* to be what I wanted the world to see.

I try to compare myself to other people less now, but honestly it is something that I just automatically do. I want to believe that my friends have perfect marriages because then that means they are possible. I want to believe that a size 6 woman has no problems because if I am ever that thin, I want to be that carefree. I want to believe that there are families that are like the Brady Bunch, rather than The Simpsons, because then I can hope to one day be a part of one. I know I need to be happy with who I am and I do have SO much to be thankful for, so I am going to try to focus on that more. It is the message I teach my students and I guess I need to practice what I preach!!