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New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
Readers, this one is for you:
I have been struggling for the last five years with feelings of jealousy and inadequacy when comparing myself to my sister-in-law. She looks great, has a great sense of style, and always has lots of friends. Her life has been held up as an “example” by my husband’s family because both my husband and I are introverts and don’t really have any social life. I am decent looking (I’m trying hard to shed some pounds), but am not stylish at all. Secondly, we have been married for seven years and are childless. We only started trying a year ago (due to professional instability, a long-distance marriage for two years, etc., etc.) and we have realized I have serious medical issues. We are starting IVF this month but have kept this a secret from everyone. She has a kid (she got pregnant within one month of trying) who is the first grandchild of the family and so is the center of attention.
My jealousy has become obsessive recently. I deleted my Facebook account because I can’t deal with everyone else having beautiful families and successful lives, but now I have started stalking her online through my husband’s account. Publicly I have tried to always be stand-offish and prevent them from visiting us. This feeling is completely destroying me, it is sapping all my energy, and I am unable to sleep sometimes at night. Please help me. — Jealous of Sister-in-Law