The Irony of Envy……

Serious content alert. I had a soulful conversation recently with a friend whose sister’s marriage is possibly unraveling. Like most people, she in turn, needed someone as a sounding board and I don’t mind. She doesn’t do blogs or Facebook, so there is little chance of her reading this post, not to mention that she lives quite distant from here. I don’t actually know her sister, but have heard the story for years of their financial successes – the impressive salaries, the executive home, the highend cars. No children because they wouldn’t fit in with their demanding jobs and lifestyle. (That’s a decision that a lot of people make.) Now, I don’t know if this is a correct perception or not, but my friend has always felt that the sister considered her to be lacking in ambition because she chose a different path. A professional, yet not in a job where you would ever get rich, a quite nice, although more modest home  based on the photos that I’ve seen, two children, a husband, also a professional, but no chance of making a big salary. They do okay, but no, definitely not in the same category as her sister. To the best of my knowledge there has not been overt envy, merely the understandable wistful comments at times.

As happens though, both of the couple’s companies downsized, the high-paying job no longer needed at all for the sister, a lower-paying position offered to the husband. I don’t know the details and wouldn’t want to, but apparently their income had gone mostly to fund the comfortable lifestyle and not into a savings plan to cover a sustained downturn. And for those who have never been through it, money troubles can wreak havoc on a marriage. The house, I gather, is pending or heading to foreclosure and there is a lot of anger spilling over into every conversation. Depression is apparently an issue as well and the worry in my friend’s voice can be clearly heard. I provided a shoulder and “uh,huh’d” a good bit. I will do that as often as my friend needs me to and I can only hope that everything eventually works out for everyone.

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