And Now A Word From Our Sponsor: Envy

June 10, 2006

Recently I have been having increasing feelings of jealous or envy, particularly when I am around couples. That they have a partner, companion, lover, friend, et cetera with them all the time and I don't is almost more than I can bear. Being the odd man out, once again, at parties or other gatherings is a painful reminder of how my life used to be before Michele.

Over the years I have learned that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. I really don't mind being alone; as an introvert I have a rather complicated internal dialog that requires a fair amount of tending on a daily basis. The amount of time necessary to keep an even keel varies from day to day, but an hour or two of alone time isn't an imposition. Being lonely, on the other hand, is far tougher to deal with and causes me a great deal of pain at times.

I realize that I am the only person who can determine my future and whether it is a lonely one or one filled with people. For instance, yesterday I choose to attend a party for a friend's twenty-fifth work anniversary with the same company, and had a wonderful time. I was able to overcome my natural inclination to be introverted (i.e., stay home and watch television) and participate. Of course, being in a group of people who are all made up of couples, really accentuated my feelings of loneliness, and woke up the green monster.

Perhaps the hardest part of all of this was the realization afterwards that while I was envious of each and everyone of them, I strongly suspect none of them were envious of me. I am not ready yet to talk about seeking out a new relationship but I am aware that I am headed in that direction. Michele was always aware when I had some difficult emotional issue to discuss and she was lovingly relentless about getting me to uncover it through talking. Truth be told, I was always aware of the signs too. They are present again, cloaked in envy, and I need to expose them in order to move forward. I just need to find a way to reconcile the feeling that I am betraying Michele to even think about having another relationship.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.