Monday, March 31, 2008

Moral Indignation vs Jealousy

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.
-- H. G. Wells

My brother and I have led very different lives. He is a few years shy of being old enough to be my father. And though he came of age during the turbulent sixties, the sexual revolution pretty much passed him by. As a teenager and young adult, he was passive and reserved among strangers and I don't think he dated until he left high school.

I remember him having only one girlfriend before meeting the woman who is now his wife. From the very beginning, she was the dominant force of the couple -- she was even the one to propose marriage.

They've been married for around thirty-five years and he's just as passive as ever. Whenever I've spoken to him over the phone, I can always hear the wife bickering in the background, and his attitude toward his marriage and his life seems more resigned than content to me.

As those who have read my blog for any time, my life is entirely different from his. I'm not the slightest bit passive when it comes to pursuing the opposite sex, nor have I ever allowed a woman to lead me around by the nose, nor would I abide a woman who constantly bickered just to hear her own voice. And I can't imagine myself staying in a situation that I was merely resigned to stick out, and not there because it made me happy.

Several years ago, when I was still in my brief marriage, not long after my son was born, my brother abandoned his passive nature for once and took it upon himself to lecture me about my tomcatting, telling me that I ought to settle down for the sake of my wife and son, that what I was doing was "disgusting", blah, blah, blah.

I didn't take kindly to this, as I never discussed my personal life with him and felt like it wasn't any of his business and I told him so, noting that he didn't seem particularly happy in the life he led.

He never mentioned it again, but ever since, there has been an invisible wall between us, and we've never been entirely comfortable with one another since.

From the perspective of years, I've realized that part of the motivation to his meddling was jealousy and, of course, "sour grapes".

I've not seen him in over a decade, nor spoken with him in about five years or so. I'm perfectly willing to do so, but I'm not going to go out of my way to do it, either.

It's too bad because we always got along fine when I was a kid and before he got married.


transfattyacid said...

you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family.

The Blogger Exposed said...

I like that quote. And your point here makes a lot of sense to me and fills in a slew of gaps in my own life that I have been unable to diagnosis the cause of. If you read my "I Can't Like Mean Girls" post or my "Fatal Obsession" post, you may remember that I have had some major problems with a couple of the 'ladies' I've known since transferring to NC. I worked my butt off to be good friends to them, and often times we felt close. But two of these particular women (but on separate occasions), would out of the blue start treating me horribly. They're so dumb that when one was mad at me, the other one would tell me things they had said. It would be ridiculous stuff like, "did you see what she was wearing??" That one really got me because they ALWAYS had their boobs hanging so far out of there clothes is was pathetic (and they aren't very attractive to boot). But if I wore a top that showed the tiniest of cleavage, they would have hissy fits. They would also make unfounded remarks to the effect of, "They (meaning my family) get all dressed up every Saturday to go run around like they're the perfect little family. Who does she think she is?" I don't even know where that one had come from! I complain about my family more than anyone I've ever met! :)

Anyway, as others have suggested that they are jealous, although I've never understood why, or what I've done...possibly there is truth in it. It's just really unfortunate how jealousy can make people behave the way they do and ruin relationships.