Dear Patricia Marie,

My friend has the life I want. We met at university where we were both studying the same subject. Since then she has always been one step ahead of me. She secured a job first at a place where I also applied for a position, has a lovely husband, 2 children and a beautiful house. I hardly get to see her now and miss the times we used to share. Meanwhile, I am struggling to pay my bills and don't seem to have the time for a relationship. I have been trying to just get on with everything, but I am now feeling completely stuck and resent my friend for having the 'perfect life'.

Patricia Marie says....

I believe that it's not so much that you're jealous of your friend for what she has, but now that her family prioritise her attention, it's more the friendship you're missing and fearful of losing. Speak with her and suggest whilst you fully understand she has commitments to her family, it would be good to spend some time together as her friendship is very important to you.

By writing to me you have taken an important step in acknowledging you are not happy with your life. Make this a turning point. Yes, your friend will always be special as you have shared your growing years together, but you need to start meeting others with whom you can now share more common interests. Start looking for a new job that pays more and will offer you a change of environment. This will enable you to meet new people and also improve your cash flow.

We can often be easily seduced by the fairytale of other people's lives and become blinded by the reality of how things really are. Remember that very true saying; 'the grass isn't always greener on the other side'. Have you considered your friend may be just as envious of you for different reasons? She has huge responsibilities, whereas you have lots of freedom to do as you please. You are so concerned with what you don't have, that you are failing to see what you do have. Be happy for her and see what she has achieved is something you can too, and more. Your life is full of great potential, but you will only find the happiness you are seeking when you stop comparing your life to your friend's and start embracing your own.