Go away, green-eyed monster!
June 11, 2012 4:46 PM Subscribe
Getting jealous of my roommate's relationship in the aftermath of my own breakup. How do I cope with this more constructively?
My roommate, “Jess”, is one of my closest friends. She’s a wonderful person who has been incredibly easy to live with. In the last couple months, she started seriously dating a lovely guy, “Tom”. Jess and Tom are super cute together, and I’m really happy for her.
Now, me: I’m a mid-20s female, and my first long term (3 year) boyfriend and I broke up a few weeks ago. I know it was likely for the best, as there were mental health issues as well as some incompatibilities that wouldn’t have worked out well in the long run. The relationship was slowly getting more depressing and less functional over the last few months. But it’s been really, really hard losing my best friend. I’m trudging along, keeping very busy, getting more comfortable with myself again and reaching out to friends, and I know it will get better, but I still feel like I'm in a grieving stage.
And herein lies my problem – I’m starting to get annoyed with my roommate’s relationship. Tom is over almost every night (probably 4-6 nights per week). Apparently his apartment is a bit dirty, bachelor-esque and our place is more conveniently located. I can relate to this; my ex initially spent a lot of time at my place until he moved, then I tried to split my time between places.
I think it’s mostly me being jealous, since it’s not as if anything they’re doing is actually a problem for me. They spend a lot of time in the living room watching movies, but I don’t often use the common spaces except for the morning or dinner time anyway. They clean up after they cook (and offer me food they’ve prepared), invite me to participate when they play cards, etc. I’m not annoyed about utilities or rent or anything. He’s not messy. The, er, evening noise isn’t great because we have thin walls, but I wear earplugs or sleep with music on (and we’ve actually talked about this; Jess admitted very after-the-fact that she could also hear the ex and I at night, but didn’t bring it up because we weren’t being loud. Just crappy sound isolation!). It just makes me feel more sad and lonely to see them happy together, and sometimes I just want to be at home without having to chat or engage with a couple. I also get a bit on edge when I know he’s there. It’s irrational, but I feel like I can’t relax and get very tense. That, and I feel emotionally immature for feeling like this. I don’t want to grit my teeth every time I hear them giggle, and when I do, I get annoyed at myself.
Jess has told me before that I could let her know if Tom was spending too much time over. Still, I feel hesitant to bring it up, since really my reasoning is, “I want Tom to spend less time here because I’m sad because my relationship failed and your relationship is happy. And I want the apartment to myself even though you’re not really doing anything to annoy me.” Or something like that. It seems unreasonable, especially because she never complained about my ex’s presence in our house when she was single. And, like I said, I think they’re lovely together and am truly happy that they’re happy. But I'm also jealous, sad, and being a bit silly.
So, I need some advice. How can I shift my attitude about this? I legitimately think this will be a non-issue when I get over the breakup, but what can I do to not feel so shitty and anxious in the interim? How can I soothe myself, feel less envious and more happy? Should I bring this up with the roomie at all, or work at it on my own?