By: Nicole Capo
Here’s a depressing fact for you, ladies: Your seemingly supportive husband or boyfriend is actually probably rooting for you to fail.
But, don’t worry — It’s not you; it’s him.
A study published by the American Psychological Association found that men’s self-esteem is seriously bruised when their female partners excel in social or intellectual fields, especially in those where the men have previously failed. Women, on the other hand, actually reported feeling more satisfied with their relationships when their partners succeed.
According to the study’s lead author, Kate Ratliff, men view every instance of success as a form of competition, even if the competition doesn’t actually exist.
"It makes sense that a man might feel threatened if his girlfriend outperforms him in something they're doing together,” Ratliff recently explained to The Telegraph, “such as trying to lose weight. But this research found evidence that men automatically interpret a partner's success as their own failure, even when they're not in direct competition.”
In the experiment related to the study, couples were given a problem-solving test and told that their partners had either scored in the top or bottom 12% of all university students. The men whose female partners had done well later used words such as “bad” or “dreadful” to describe themselves when undergoing a psychological evaluation.
In case this all seems awfully unfair, don’t worry, guys. The ladies aren’t exactly off the hook, either. While women may want their male partners to succeed, one of their other demands for a healthy relationship isn’t the nicest one we’ve ever heard. A survey performed last year by the Harvard Medical School, found that women are generally pleased when their boyfriends or husbands are upset. Why? Because the dissatisfaction their male partners feel shows a heightened sense of engagement and involvement in the relationship.
Essentially, it appears that none of us wants anyone else to be happy. Just one more reason why being single is basically the best thing ever, right?
[Pic via Flickr - skedonk]