Of course, it's not just John who lost big getting everything he desired at the end. Elly also lost out big when Liz walked down the aisle because she got distracted and let her issues keep her from seeing what needed to happen. Let's review how her failings as a person led to her failing life hard:
- Her seemingly inexplicable belief that her mother thought of her as a disgrace to be despised because the woman thought that praise would make her complacent made her lose out big time by making her blame someone else for what seems to be an innate inability to take pleasure in who she is.
- Her rushing headlong into marriage and motherhood before she bothered figuring out who she was and what she wanted out of life because she thought that her mother wanted to mock her forever for being a spinster led to her being a frustrated mess taking out her self-pity on her children.
- Her need to flee said children because she saw their normal, healthy wanting to be reassured that they were loved and wanted as their cruel, selfish demands that she become a weak, mindless child babbling about pointless things merged with John's need to see them as extensions of his will to turn them into a pack of hyper-competitive whelps engaged in a brutal and pointless competition for love and approval that she cannot and will not supply them.
- Her lack of stamina and poor grasp on how the world works made it difficult to craft any identity for herself that wasn't "the dentist's crazy wife.'
- Her bailing on her business because it got boring gave John the gift of confirmation bias.
- Her desire for endless flattery led her to embrace actively destructive idiots like Kortney and passively destructive imbeciles like Deanna and Anthony who help make her kids dependent.
- Her refusal to take advantage of the one opportunity for a woman of her background to legitimately put her stamp on the world because she wanted not to be a pushy mother of the bride makes her look like she's too self-absorbed to be there for her children.
- Finally, she will never really have any identity that isn't somehow parasitic off of that of a male relation.