I know from experience that jealousy is a green-eyed monster and the number one monster is my mother.


Throughout my life she has urged me to do my best and make her proud.  She wanted me to look smart, marry well and be generous towards my three children.  Then WHAM! A short while later she tries to demean me, ridicule how I spend my hard earned salary,  criticise what I have bought my children and how I’ve lavished care on my husband and home.

It’s taken me years to work it out but the pattern is she wants me to have things, then gets jealous and resentful and wants me somehow to put them all back.

I have been plagued by stories that when she was a young girl she didn’t have the toys I had as a child.  That her opportunities for a career were limited because ‘in my day women stayed at home to look after the children.’  She says she could have made more of her life if only she had married a man who, like my husband, helped out at home.  ‘Your father never washed up or changed a nappy and wanted his meal on the table the minute he arrived from work so I was tied to the kitchen for life.’

I feel for her at one level because she has a good brain and it must have been frustrating and hard but it’s certainly not my fault.  In fact it’s got nothing to do with me at all.

Sadly the jealousy is all pervading.   She’s become so bitter and mean and I now believe she doesn’t want me to be happy.  It’s very upsetting and her spiteful comments have also upset my children. 

Jealousy is a corrosive emotion that eats away at an individual’s sense of self.  In theory your mother should be delighted that you have done so well, but in practice her own lack of confidence and opportunities brings out the worst in her.

Perhaps she also feels threatened that her relationship with you comes very low in your priorities. But if she goes on and on about the lack of toys in her childhood decades ago and is spiteful about what you have achieved, change the subject or, if it is getting you down, reduce the number of times you see or speak to her.   No one sails through Life and you have obviously worked hard both personally and professionally and deserve your happiness.   Don’t let her take it away.