Comfortable or Happy???

United States
June 12, 2008 12:46am CST
I haven't done a thinker discussion for awhile so I thought I should get back to it. Let me first say this is an ultra personal post and it really isn't about the opinions on my life. It's about your opinions on this subject and what you would do honestly. This happened in the last 6 months basically: My life before was comfortable financially. I had a 4 bedroom house with 3 bathrooms and a beautiful garden on a nice suburban tree lined street in a great neighborhood with great schools. I didn't have to work, I could stay at home and spend what I wanted when I wanted. I cooked, cleaned, played with my kids, went to school, and took care of my ex. After all, he had a nice stable job with a good paycheck and that should have made life perfect right?? There was something missing...I wasn't happy. This wasn't what I wanted I had no challenges and was insanely bored. My relationship because of my unhappiness fell apart to the point of my ex and I ignoring each other. It was killing me inside so I put down my credit cards, got a job, took the kids, and left. My life today... I live in a 2 bedroom apartment with an 1100 dollar a month rent payment plus the bills. My kids get support and it's a pretty good chuck of change but it isn't enough. I work and I will be back to school in the fall. I have someone else that I deeply love and who loves me for me, not wanting to change a thing about me. Good thing because I like me. I have a bit of a struggle on my hands keeping up but I'm happier. In fact, blissfully happy. I'm at peace with myself and have a much better attitude toward life. In fact, this has changed my attitude for the better. Having less has brought me so much happiness and gives me purpose. I know it sounds weird but in my opinion, I'm happier and better off being poorer and having to do for myself. Is there anyone else who has been through this? Were you better off before financially and left it to be happier even though you might have a struggle on your hands? What would you choose- being comfortable and taken care of or being happy and knowing that what you did was the right thing in your heart for your own sanity. Thanks for reading.
8 people like this
28 responses
@ANTIQUELADY (36471)
• United States
16 Jun 08
i think u did the right thing. where there is a will there is a way & i think you are going to be just fine. money does not buy happiness. good luck to you. greetings from tennseess.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 08
Your right! Thanks so much for the response.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
15 Jun 08
I haven't been in the same situation yet....but I know I would probably do the same as you if I wasn't happy. It's not the stay at home part that would make me unhappy, though. I would still want to do something I want to do even if I wasn't getting paid and I had a lot of time on my hands. I also would need a partner who would respect me for the person that I am. If I didn't, then it would make me unhappy and I would rather live a life of less luxury and more happiness.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jun 08
Well said and thanks so much for the very true response.
1 person likes this
@fifileigh (3619)
• United States
14 Jun 08
i am still single, 43 and no kids...so i guess i am happy i didnt force marriage with anyone just to be married and have kids, feel miserable, and get divorced with kids. i have never wanted to marry and reproduce for the hell of it...with anyone. if i had med someone rich and i wasnt in love with him, i wouldnt have married him...i just dont want to live miserable for the money...it sounds really pathetic.. i chose to do my own thing from day one, go to college, continue with college, struggle after college, write my first novel and self publish it, and be busy with my own thing, instead of depend on a man.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jun 08
Sounds amazing. It's nice that you knew yourself well enough to know exactly what you wanted. Thanks so much for the response. Congrats on the novel as well.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jun 08
This one is hard for me because I was in an exact opposite situation. I busted my butt working a full time and a part time job while my worthless, good for nothing ex, stayed at home and played video games, eating doritos, and drinking Mt. Dew only looking up to check that the kids weren't setting fire to something or flooding the bathroom. I was miserable. I never got to see my kids. Every penny I made went to support everyone else in the house. My house was a mess. My kids were unruly. And the only thing that kept me from jumping off of a bridge was the fact that my "family" was together which is supposed to be the best thing for kids, right? No, it's wrong. So after way too much time I finally got the guts to kick him out and ever since 2 months before that I have been with the most wonderful man in the world. He is financially stable enough for the both of us but loves the fact that I work and I want to work. Being with him has turned my life and my childrens lives around for the better and everyone is so happy now. I know that he would take care of me/us if something happened and I couldn't work but his money has nothing to do with why or how much I love him. But living through both scenarios I would choose happiness over anything else regardless of the financial stability that came or went with it.
• United States
12 Jun 08
Hi, babygirl, wonderful to see you! I love that you're happy. That's what's important. And having a bit of money to go along with it ain't half bad either. You deserve the best. It seems you've got it. Yay! Mama loves you.
• United States
12 Jun 08
So have you married Mr. Wonderful yet? Damn girl I miss you!! :) I hope you are doing well. Happiness is important and I'm thankful that you have it. Now when are you getting your knot tied?
• United States
12 Jun 08
29 days and counting! Check out my myspace and see what he got me for my birthday. lol God I love him!
@novataylor (6570)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Sweet Skinny, I'm so happy for you to have finally found real happiness - the true kind, the kind that comes not from having every "thing" you want, but from having everything you want. Like someone who genuinely loves you, happy kids, and most of all, happy you. You're a perfect example of how money doesn't buy happiness. I've never been rich or owned a home, but I've pretty much always been happy. And now, with Stuart, who works his ever-lovin tail off for me, I'm the happiest I've ever been. I don't work, I don't have to, thanks to Stu, but I don't live in luxury either. We rent a carriage house, small, cozy, and I absolutely love it here. We don't have a car - we could if we wanted, but we don't want one. Too many hassles that go with having one, you know, like insurance!, and payments, and maintenance, and GAS, and you know. But we get around just fine with our bicycles, and public transportation, and occasional cabs, and our friends, of course. We're both total homebodies, so we don't go on expensive vacations, hell, we don't go on vacations at all, but we don't really want to - we've got the 3 cats, and we don't want to leave them. Our priorities are set and we're happy with them. It's love that brings us happiness, giving it and getting it, love that makes us appreciate everything else in our lives that's good and real and important. Hey, it would be great to have scads of money, but I can do quite well without it. Always have. I'm like you - I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I'm so blessed, and I count those blessings every day. I'm happy for you that you're happy. I hope you stay that way forever. Comfortable or happy? Happy, hands down.
• United States
12 Jun 08
I hope the same for you. It sounds like you have a great peaceful life. Do you live somewhere out of the way?? I need to find somewhere out of the way, I think. Quiet small town maybe. But not for awhile, I have way too much to do here yet. Your right too- happy- hands down and not down someone's pants either! LOL I'm really bad today! Have a great one!
• United States
12 Jun 08
We DO have a great and peaceful life, Skinny, but we're right in the heart of St. Louis City. We live in a very old neighborhood, on a private tree-lined street, only a block long, and every house on it is a mansion. We live in a carriage house behind one of the mansions. What a carriage house is is this: In the horse and buggy days, when these homes were built, they used to store the carriages in it, with offices upstairs for the workers. Now, it's a garage for the cars, a three car garage, and our apartment is above it. We have a sun porch, one bedroom, kitchen, computer room, and I have a dressing room! My favorite room in the house, my dressing room, I just love it. It's also the largest room in the place, lol, lucky me! It's where I make up, dress, etc, and I have a biggggg chair, my cable tv, with all my premium channels, and me and the cats hang out in there together. Hubby doesn't spend much time in there, which is how I like it. It's MY room! So there! Next to the 'garage' is my little yard, separate from the "big yard", with my rosebushes and the rest of my garden, and I have pink flamingoes, a musketeer-type metal soldier, a kokopelli, an indian with a big, spread-out headdress, a turtle, a bunny, a cherub, another cherub, and my outdoor slate-rock speakers too, all at the back of the yard, within the ivy, and it's just so charming and sweet, I just love it. If I had a house, it would definitely be of the gingerbread type, with a picket fence, yes, a picket fence. I love them. As it is, I have a little wrought-iron-looking fence around my rosebushes. The street is very, very quiet, with a gate-house at the start of it, which has been turned into a police sub-station, so we have a lot of police presence here, and that's a pretty good thing. I feel completely safe here, which is the most amazing thing to feel. Hubby grills outside on the stair-landing all the time, and we're never bothered by anyone or anything. It's truly idyllic. It's my own brand of heaven and I'll have to be pried out of here with a crowbar, trust me, if we ever have to leave. I love talking about where I live, I guess it's because I'm so happy here. Thanks for the opportunity. Love ya, baby. XXXX
• United States
15 Jun 08
Cherubs, Kokopelli, and Pink flamingo's...all things I love. Your house sounds perfect and something that I would love. Seriously, we have so much in common that it's scary. Your home sounds like somewhere I would just love to vacation at. It just sounds really great. :)
• United States
19 Jun 08
I would definitely choose being happy. I understand your choice and probably do the same thing. It would be all well and good for a while to not have to work, to have everything taken care of, and to be able to get what I want; but in the end if I wasn't happy, I wouldn't stay. I totally understand your position, and I am happy for you that you found your happiness, no matter what it may be.
• United States
19 Jun 08
Hey girl! How's the new job going??? Nice to see you it has been awhile. :) I feel that same way you do, it's all about being happy even though being comfortable is easier financially. It just was making me miserable. I had to get out and I'm glad I did. Thanks so much for the response.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jun 08
Gurl that is a new discussion all of its own. Long story short, I no longer have that job. But I will start that discussion as soon as I get through the backlog of stuff I got from you guys.
• United States
14 Jun 08
Currently I am staying home with my kids and taking Graduate courses online, since I have several associates degrees and a Bachelor's Degree, also. I now have about a year left yet of my classes until I get my Master's degree in Education. Since I have been home with the kids and my husband has been the only one working, I always feel like I am supposed to be in charge of everything around the house. I am also made to feel guilty constantly because we don't have enough money to do most of the things we want to. My husband's job provides necessities and that's about it. I am not real happy with this situation myself, so the being poor part of a situation isn't something that I can handle really well, especially since there aren't decent jobs within 60 miles of the town we have bought a house in, and where my husband feels we need to stay. I guess I am saying is that the being comfortable is something that is still an important issue when a person could be comfortable and happy. What do you suppose would help keep a person's sanity in this situation?
• United States
16 Jun 08
Sounds very similar in some ways to my situation. I wish I could tell you what would help you keep your sanity in that situation. I couldn't in mine which is why I left. Maybe you could try to bury your mind in your school work until this hard part passes and you graduate?? Just a thought...Thanks so much for the response.
@idowrite72 (2214)
• United States
13 Jun 08
I have never been in your situation since I have always had to take care of myself and at one time myself and my 4 children BUT I will comment. I would rather be blissfully happy in life than just have everything that I want. Although you really don't have everything that you want if the happiness isn't there. I think that being happy with yourself and your life is the best place to be and the best way to be in life. Material things are nice to have but the emotional and inner things make things in life so much better.
• United States
16 Jun 08
I agree with you totally. Well said and thanks for the response.
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
13 Jun 08
I would not be happy if I left my husband and lived in poorer circumstances. It is a fallacy that people who are poor are happier than people who have money. Lacking money should not make you happy, leaving an abusive relationship and leaving a husband who is a cheater wold be the reason for your happiness not that you now live in an apartment, can do what you want, and challenge your mind. I gather that your husband was abusive and that is why you had to leave. Yet you make it sound as if you wanted to do your own thing and he would not let you. Boredom is no reason to leave a marriage, but protecting yourself and your children from abuse and from a husband who cheats and gambles all his money and does not provide for you is. It gives people the wrong impression of you and I am sure you would not want people to think that I am sorry that he did not leave you the house, but I guess it must have been the fifty fifty distribution. Maybe you should go to Family Court and try to get better payments so you can spend more time with your children. I would be happy no matter what my financial situation is, because it is what is in your heart that counts, not the outward circumstances.
• United States
16 Jun 08
We weren't married and he wasn't abusive at all. We fell out of love and basically were just going through the motions. I don't mind not having the house and the comfortable life. I like to work, I like to be with my kids, and I like the fact that I go to school to better myself. I was being held back in many aspects and that was something I wasn't happy about. I was also very bored. I wasn't getting out to take breaks and do adult things. We never spent any time together. I had to get out to make myself happy and that is what I did. I didn't necessarily mean being poorer means being happier. I was losing who I was in that situation and becoming something I wasn't. Now that I'm back to being me, I'm very happy. I had to use the money thing because people were telling me before I left, what the he11 is wrong with you, you have everything. But you see, I didn't have genuine self. That was much more important than my credit cards or the man. Thanks for the response.
@fiona08 (454)
• United States
13 Jun 08
I started my marriage with absolutely nothing. We worked together to make a good life. We raised beautiful children with good morals and great character. After 15 years of hard work, and a lot of happiness, we finally had enough financial stability to by the big house. We had comfort. I didn't have to work anymore, and we bought what we needed with no thought of cost. We started to vacation, which was fabulous! We made a lot of good memories. But we stopped being happy with each other. He wanted me to become a new and fancy wife. I wanted to keep being me. I also wanted to work at what I loved for a change, so I went to school. Just as I was ready to start my dream career, he left. My money is very tight. Without being subsidized by my ex, I would never make the bills. I am so much more happy! I am free to be me. I don't walk on eggshells trying to please my ex who changed so much over the last 8 years. I also don't want this house anymore. We need to sell it and let me start over in something I can afford on my own. He is a nice guy, and I wish him every happiness, but we are not the same people who started this venture 24 years ago. Money did not fix us. I love my new job. I am going to start grad school soon. Happiness is definitely better than comfort, if you can only have one. I will have both again, probably not the big house, but who needs it!
• United States
16 Jun 08
Grad school, eh? That's awesome! Good luck with everything. It's nice to know that others have been in my position. I was second guessing myself in some ways when I set out on this journey. Mylot and this discussion is my own positive re-enforcement. Thanks so much for being a part of it.
@LouRhi (1502)
• Australia
13 Jun 08
Happiness comes first and foremost in my book each and every time. Happiness is the icing on the cake of life and if I am having cake them I am definitely having the icing as well! Once when I was much younger than today, I had the offer of financial security and a jet setting life only I turned it down. I just felt there was something missing. I just knew I could be happier. So I left, and while it may have taken a while I find my happiness and I wouldn't have it any other way now.
• United States
16 Jun 08
I know that feeling and I wouldn't have it any other way either. Thanks for the response.
@Pose123 (21666)
• Canada
13 Jun 08
Hi skinnychick, I have never been in a situation like that, but I can see where you would be happier now. Everyone needs to be themselves, and living that way wasn't really you. I wish you continued happiness. Blessings.
• United States
16 Jun 08
Thanks so much for the wishes. :) I really appreciate that.
• United States
13 Jun 08
I am fairly happy right now If I could may my bills better everything would be fine. Take it from me don't take your health for granted and save some money for a rainy day. Just in case something happens.
• United States
16 Jun 08
That would be nice in my case too. Thanks for the response.
@Hatley (164259)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Jun 08
I walked away from a million dollar inheritance to marry the man I loved and my dad was furious as his money could not make me give him up. So we had a wonderful marriage with two kids and a small house and we had our ups and downs and no luxuries but a lot of love. my dad could never understand that but when we were down he did help us in spite of himself. I never wanted his million, all I wanted was to marry the man I loved and have my own family and that I got, am I sad I' did hnot inherit his money no money alone does not make you happy. Our marriage lasted for thirty four years. I am now a widow and still happy. lol.
• United States
16 Jun 08
I'm so sorry for your loss my dear. But at least you are still happy. That is what matters. I know that took a tremendous amount of strength to walk away from and I applaud you for going with your heart. You seem like a wonderful person. Thanks for the response.
@taface412 (3175)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Hey Skinnychick....it is always best to do the right thing and only you know what it is. And as you might have found out doing the RIGHT thing is not always easy. I am sure you have found a god share of challenges. But I am a firm believer in what is true. And if you stay honest to yourself and your path you will surely find comfort and happiness. But honestly, I would like to be able to try out the first scenario as I have never had the chance to not work...LOL maybe for a little while.
@mikeysmom (2091)
• United States
12 Jun 08
coming from someone who struggles financially because my husband is self employed and runs his own business i would love the chance to know what it is like to be married to someone with a nice stable job with a good paycheck so i can stay home and live comfortably while raising my son. sounds great to me. i am a stay at home mom because i am the bookkeeper/administrator for my husband's business which saves us money of having to pay someone else to do it all and i am thrilled to be the one to take and pick up our son from school and be the one to help with his homework and all so we just do without alot of things and i try to make ends meet in other ways. if i went back to work i would have to put my son in some kind of daycare situation and most of my pay would go towards that so it does not make sense for me to work outside the home at this juncture. i just wish we did not have to struggle so just so i can be here for my son and not have him being raised by a stranger or babysitter.
• United States
14 Jun 08
It does sound great from the outside looking in. Frankly, I thought it would be. I have been a worker bee my entire life and thought I could put it behind me. That is until it actually happened. Then it was nothing that I thought it would be. On the other hand, I'm very lucky as far as babysitters go. I have a lot of family who are there for me and the kids as well as their dad so I don't have to pay day care. I don't think I could make it if I did have to pay it. My whole change has also made my time with my kids much more fun. It's actual quality time instead of just floating through. If that makes any sense. I miss them when I'm gone at work but in the end, we are all happier. Thanks for the response.
@myklj999 (30312)
• Olney, Illinois
12 Jun 08
Some people are happy with merely being comfortable and not having to worry about anything. I am not one of them. I am happiest when faced with a challenge to keep me occupied; overcoming adversity makes me simply ecstatic! Happiness is also having good friends; meeting new people (like you!); and simply knowing that when all is said and done, you've given it your best shot. At least these are the things that do it for me.
• United States
14 Jun 08
These are also the things that do it for me!! Well said my dear! Thanks so much for stopping by!!
@neelygal (1022)
• Bahamas
12 Jun 08
Your happiness should always take first stage in your life.It is your life and you nly have one life to live.Live it to its full potential,do what makes you happy,be with who makes you happy and enjoy every minute like it could be your last.It very well could be.
• United States
12 Jun 08
Well said. It's only bad that it took me 35 years to realize it. LOL Thanks for the response.
@sylvia13 (1851)
• Nelson Bay, Australia
12 Jun 08
This really proofs that it is not things that make people happy, as there are other matters which are more important, like fulfillment, for example. At times like this it is important to speak out and to explain how you feel to your partner. It is not worthwhile to sacrifice one partner just to keep appearances! If the relationship must end, so be it.
• United States
12 Jun 08
I agree! Thanks for the response.
@II2aTee (2559)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I have kind of been there, but deffinatly not to the degree you have. About 8 years ago I was dating a guy who I thought I loved very much. I moved to Virginia Beech with him. He grew up there and the house he grew up in was vacant but his parents were willing to let us live there for free. He bought me a little red Miada convertable. He worked, but insisted that I dont. He wanted me to just stay home and take care of the house. Well, after a couple weeks I realized that this wasnt the dream life I thought it was. He was Phillapino, and I am not saying all Pino guys are bad, but there is deffinatly a big culture gap in how they treat their partners. He wanted me to stay at home becuase he was afraid if I got a job I would meet people, and eventually find a better boyfriend. He constantly accused me of cheating... the list just goes on and on. It was a control thing. To make a very long story short (and a very scarey story I may add) I ended up packing up all my belongings into my 94 Tempo (the car I moved down to VA in) and left in the middle of the night. 9 hours later I was back home in NY feeling like a freed slave. I gave up a house in VA beech, without the stress of bills, and (this hurt the most) my cute little Miada. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. There really is no question here. One persons paradise is another persons hell. I know people who would love to just be pampered and subdued all their life and die happy. Thats not for me. I'm a DOER. I know what makes me happy and I make the adjustments to make sure it happens. PS - The life you have now sounds to me, like the perfect life. The white picket fence people scare me. It's fake and synthetic, and I would rather lay on train tracks than live that kind of "American dream".
• United States
12 Jun 08
LOL...I'm with you Tee- the "American Dream" is very boring. At least for me. Your situation really sounds scary. I'm so glad you got out of it. I know for a fact you have the best life for you right now!! :) I like being a DOER too. It gives us character and personality. We aren't just waiting to die, we make the most of it while we can. That can and does bring tremendous happiness. We should both burn our shackles together! :) XOXOXOXOXXO Thanks so much for coming by!