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Happily Ever After

Dear Sugar
I have a friend who is on my last nerve. She recently got engaged to a man who struck it big... really big in the stock market. At the time they were dating and ever since their engagement, he had money, but nothing like what he has now. Post engagement, my friend quit her job and started living the life of a rich housewife, almost throwing her new found money in all of her friend's faces.

Recently, her husband got transferred to New York to work on Wall Street. They bought a penthouse apartment in an extremely fancy neighborhood, and she continuously carries on about who her decorator is, what kind of furniture she is buying, and how great her new life in the big city is.

I am from a middle to upper class family. I work very hard everyday, and I live with my fiance who also takes his job extremely seriously. I have never gone without, in fact I consider myself quite spoiled, but I am finding myself beyond irritated with my friend's new lifestyle. What is wrong with me? Vain Valerie

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Vain Valerie
It sounds to me like you are a little jealous of your friend, which is a completely normal reaction to have. Has she changed the core person she used to be before coming into this money and new way of life? Does she still take interest in her friends and the things you used to do?

Are you the only one that feels this way? Jealousy is a tough emotion, but hopefully your pal's attitude is temporary, and it won't be long before she puts a stop to her conceited ways. Many women suffer the curse of bridezilla the year leading up to their wedding, and often times they are unaware how their actions come across to others.

Sometimes you just have to give brides a little more leeway than usual during this time in their life as many women feel entitled to be the center of attention. If you feel like you are at a breaking point, try distancing yourself until things calm down a bit. If her attitude doesn't subside after the party's over, sit her down and have a heart to heart; sometimes people need their loved ones to keep them grounded.

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Marci Marci 9 years
I don't think you sound jealous, either. It's boring after awhile to listen to people talk about money and material things. I agree with the suggestion to keep your contact with her to email as much as possible. And yes, distance does help you in this situation, and often has a way of taking care of things as they should be.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i just read something in (the economist? of all places) about happiness. it said that for most people it didn't matter if they were doing "better" than they personally had been, they needed to be doing better than their friends to feel the happiness effect of it. so not only are your feeling not unusual, they are apparently quite common. since she has moved it's probably easier to just distance yourself from her. if you talk on the phone switch to emails where you can read it (or not) when it's convenient and return her messages (or not) as you wish. i doubt she will change. this has happened to 2 good friends of mine and they never looked back. more, more, more gets old. who needs it?
getstinko getstinko 9 years
I have a similar experience. I do fine, but my best friend makes close to a million annually and my other friend does also. Spending time with my one friend and his wife is almost unbearable she's always dripping in huge diamonds, their kids have more than the best, their range rover is tricked out and their mansion is in constant renovation. My best friend who makes the mil, he lives a great life but is truly humble and geniune with his wealth. There is a difference and I think Valerie is not being jealous or overly sensitive - i just think she may have different values. Life presents different paths - keep your eyes on your path. Your friend probably spends a lot of time without him.
Luna13 Luna13 9 years
i am in what u can say a better financial situation than my friends and have been for a while but i would NEVER brag to them about anything, if anything i play it down. Its horrible to keep going on about what u have and donthave knowing that your friends are worse off, its like a slap in the face. Doesnt she realise this??? i would totally back off until she gets the picture.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 9 years
I agree with cubadog. It's no fun to hear someone endlessly bragging about how great their life is and how eveything they have is better than everyone else's. It makes sense she could be talking up her belongings to fill a void left by lonely days and nights. I'm not sure what the solution for this is, it's kind of hard to bring the problem to her attention without being blunt and if she's sensitive she might be upset. Maybe you could suggest something you two could do together that would benefit the less fortunate and expose her to the good feelings you can get by making other people's lives a little better.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I don't think you are necessarily jealous I just think you are just plain sick of hearing about it and there is nothing wrong with that. I am speculating that your feelings would be different if she actually asked what is going on in your life. If she is not working chances are she is bored and has no friends that she can hang out with everyday so she maybe trying to make her life sound really fabulous instead of letting on that she really is lonely and has nothing else in her life at the moment. If her husband is a Wall Streeter chances are his time at home is extremely limited. The money might be nice but going to bed alone everynight isn't.
ChiTownEm ChiTownEm 9 years
I had a very similar situation last year...one of my friends from childhood married a much older man who pretty much provided her with a ready made life. For the last three years I have had to listen to all the stories of the trips and the house they bought and how they are decorating and blah blah blah. But you know what? I am happy for her because she seems happy. And if she is, then good for her, if not, no amount of money can change it. I just got engaged to my fantastic fiance and we don't have a 10th of the resources they do, but we are happy and healthy and working towards a life like that TOGETHER, which already puts our marriage on a much stronger foundation. My grandmother told me this phrase when I was younger and it has stuck with me ever since, "If you marry for money, you earn every penny." Pretty good advice. Just be happy for her, happy for yourself and try not to be jealous, it is a wasted emotion.
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