Mrs YFG: it’s not all sunshine and rainbows

Reading our blog back to myself now and again, I think sometimes it can come across like we’re some kind of Home & Country magazine yuppies with a perfect life. Oh, we don’t fight, oh we’re equal, isn’t Mr YFG a wonderful house husband (aren’t they bucking trends by having a female breadwinner). Sometimes I feel the urge to slap myself through the screen.

I just don’t want everyone to think our life is perfect and that we’re happy all the time. Life simply isn’t that way – it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

Controlling my jealousy is difficult for me

I am not going to lie, there are days where I get pissed off with Mr YFG. I wake early and leave while he is still blissfully asleep. Mr YFG gets to wake up half-way through my morning meetings and then go about his self-determined day. He gets to wear pyjamas or lounge clothes all day. He can eat what he wants when he wants and he can have a nap if he needs to. There are times where I get home after he’s in bed, and then have to do it all again the next morning.

I am often insanely jealous of him being able to do this, and this borders on resentful. I have to remind myself to rein the resent in otherwise it sits there festering.

The one thing that keeps me from tipping over into resentment is the fact that I couldn’t trade places with him – I wouldn’t last a week. I would get bored really quickly.

The last time I was left with a week of free time I rearranged our book collection in colour order and took apart the kitchen to deep clean it. I was cleaning out the spout of our taps with a toothbrush (annoyingly, everything else was already spotless as Mr YFG keeps the house very clean). After two days I got really grumpy as there was little else ‘to do’.

Wanting to arrive at the finish line is hard

Sometimes I find it really hard sometimes to know that I have to work (for now) and I haven’t saved enough. I feel angry at my past self for spending and not saving. I see Mr YFG and others who are FI looking back on their journeys and can’t help but get frustrated that I have four or five years to go – it feels like such a long time.

Gratitude has been very helpful in getting me back on a healthy mental path. I am grateful that I have the opportunity and good fortune to save as much as I have. One day I may not need to work. Many people will never be able to save or retire early. I have to put that in perspective.

Despite having a job with long hours and high expectations, I am well-paid and treated fairly. The Firm is very good at looking after its employees, even if it’s a bit of a trap. I have a certain degree of autonomy which is really important to me. I don’t have to work strict hours (if I come in early I can get back those hours in the evening and if I come in late I just stay a bit later). My salary is very good with great health and other benefits. I am very grateful that my hard work has paid off in my career.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows

There’s probably a reason there are so many ways to say this. There are ups and downs. Taking the rough with the smooth. And so on. I think we all tend to overstate the negatives and underappreciate the positives. In some ways, this isn’t a bad thing. Those down days help to reinforce my drive on the FI journey.

Likewise, jealousy isn’t always a bad thing. There’s a great quote from Susan Cain on jealousy:

Pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire.

I get envious of Mr YFG sauntering about. Perhaps that’s a good thing.

How about you?

I often wonder about what drives other people in their lives. Looking at some people I know, I’m bewildered by how little they think about money and my lifestyle is just completely confusing to them. In the same vein, I do not understand their motivations for not living as frugally as I do. It’s two different worlds.

I’d like to know: what things cause you to feel jealous of other people? Are there negative things in your life you want to remove?

(p.s. thankfully, even though he might seem like it over the internet, Mr YFG isn’t too much of a smug tw*t)

21 thoughts on “Mrs YFG: it’s not all sunshine and rainbows

  1. All credit to you – there is no way I could go out to work every day leaving someone at home that didn’t have to go. I think that would drive me mad!
    As to what makes me jealous – apart from all the people who are already at FI, I’m envious of those that have jobs they enjoy. I would love to be in that position. I am in a similar position to you in that the company I work for is good and there are many positives. I need to focus more on that instead of all the negative things.

    P.S. He doesn’t come across like that but still glad for you you’re not living with a smug t***!

    1. Thanks firethe9to5. I was initially just relieved for him when he first gave up work so he could stop being so miserable. After about 6 months it really grated on me and I’ve had to learn to resist the urge to throttle him. He does so much at home and makes my life so much easier than it used to be when we both worked that I can’t see us reverting to both working now. I am also jealous of those who love their job- I alternate between loving and hating it most days….and that’s the problem, if I really despised it I would have moved already. Just need to keep plodding along till FI…..

      1. As an aside, have you considered distinguishing yourselves as YoungFIGuy & YoungFIGirl (or something better). Comments would be easier to follow. Thanks for the great post.

  2. It’s quite nice to have some honesty and to know that everyone else’s life is a bed of roses.

    We have disagreements about a few things but my business travel is one of them that consistently comes up.  When I travel for work (about 20% of the time) I end up eating out non-stop and staying in “nice” hotels (it’s just a bedroom really).

    Anyway, Lady GFF thinks that I’m having the time of my life and I think that it’s all nothing because I woke up at 3am, spent all day preparing for meetings/working/chasing trains, planes, taxis and by the end of the day I am beat.

    So Lady GFF is stuck at home looking after the adorable monster who is our son after a full day at work.  And without an extra pair of hands, she has no time to cook dinner, tidy up, and the 101 other things you need to do.

    And by the time I get back home again, the last thing I want to do is go out for dinner somewhere. And I say that I’m too tired to help out around the house. 

    It’s a difficult balancing act.

    1. Thanks GFF – yes it’s always difficult to balance two different lives, each of us thinks we’ve got it tougher in one way or another. It has taken time for me to reassess my own priorities and what I want rather than looking at what Mr YFG is doing and think I need that too. Reality is we’re very different people!

      1. sharing chores, responsibilities, work, earning – we can all decide how to split it up. But it’s not easy to share suffering, and that’s what it comes down to in a relationship and pretending that there is no suffering is just burying your head in the sand.

  3. I don’t know that i’m ever jealous – but I am envious of those in good health. I mostly do OK in that respect, but have a chronic illness which sets me back from time to time. Each year, I get a little better at managing it, but there’s always the niggle in the back of my mind that this could be the best year and to make the best of it.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your health problems. It’s easy to take your health for granted ( I know I do) and is why gratitude is so important – seeing the positives in things is always helpful.

  4. It’s refreshing to hear a woman’s perspective on this Mrs YFG. As in, what does a woman really think of their partners FIRE situation. I respect how honest you are, opening up.

    I’m in the early stages of courting (maybe not for long), and I’m concerned about her thoughts i.e. I really don’t know why this guy isn’t working, is he on the dole/ is he unambitious? etc. In fairness, she doesn’t ask/probe too much. You maybe have some fodder/ temperament for a FIRE relationship advice column here…and you don’t come across as yuppies

    1. Thank you, appreciate the kind words! I think honesty is incredibly underrated in relationships – I mean brutal honesty about what you’re actually thinking regardless of what reaction you think you will get. I used to bottle things up and skirt around issues or try and hint and that just didn’t achieve what I needed. I thoroughly recommend a glass or three of wine and an honest heart to heart chat (including stuff that has pissed you off and things you would like to change). We listen to each other and agree what we will change going forward – sometimes it slips and sometimes it works but hey we have a lifetime to figure it out. Mr YFG also involves me in all his calculations and shows me the spreadsheets and takes the time to explain compounding, investments and how he got to his position. I think when you’re ready that will be really nice for your other half to understand. She doesn’t have to agree with you or jump on the FI bandwagon but at least she can see why your life is the way it is (and you ain’t a secret drug lord). A relationship advice column sounds interesting although only just under three years of marriage probably doesn’t qualify us!!

  5. Interesting perspective. I guess its a bit like when people only post on facebook that their partner is the best partner ever because they took me on a spa weekend blah blah blah…no one ever posts their red council tax demand and court summons on their insta feed.

    A little bit of the green eyed monster isn’t a bad thing. Use it to drive you to your jealousy to drive you to your goal, but keep it in manageable.

  6. I’ve been trying to rack my brains and think about what I might be envious of and to tell you the truth, I can’t really think of anything.

    Is that wrong, am I aiming too low, just being content with what I have and where I am?

    In the early days, I used to be envious of people’s high net worths and savings rates but I came to my senses – what people have or save is interesting but means little to me.

    Oh wait, there is something.

    I envy young people because I’m no longer part of that group – a shame that bar a time machine, I can’t do anything about that, haha!

    1. Mr YFG here, I’m more content these days. Though I worry and overthink a lot. I try my best to manage it.

      The big question Weenie: why are you jealous of young people?

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