You Mad Tho’: 11 Signs That Your Man Resents Your Success

February 1, 2014  |  
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I’m a pretty ambitious person.  I have a Pinterest “Inspiration” board that’s filled with quotes about chasing your dreams and persevering in the face of despair.  I practice what I post: “I write. I travel. I try to change the world.”  So I’m used to having my share of jealous people who’d rather waste their energy discrediting my success than creating some of their own.  I’ve witnessed my fair share of frenemies and fairweather friends, but one thing I can never seem to get used to is dating men that seemed to resent my success.

Whenever I landed a dream job or got a promotion, the first person I always wanted to share my happiness with is the person I laid my head next to every night.  But I can’t get over the number of guys I’ve dated who as soon as I had some good news to share, met me with dismissal as they casually reminded me of their annual salary or made a comment downplaying how my success was pure luck, because it couldn’t possibly be through any skill of my own.

I understand men thrive off of competition and ego.  In fact in the study, Gender Differences in Implicit Self-Esteem Following a Romantic Partner’s Success or Failure, showed that when the women examined experienced a certain level of social, financial or academic success, the self-esteem of their male partners almost always plummeted.  Ironically, when their male partner experienced any kind of success, women’s self-esteem was usually unaffected.

With so many strangers waiting to sabotage you in this rat race of life, the last person I want to compete against is my own teammate.  Don’t get me wrong I’m sure there are days when Barack looks at Michelle like, “I just revolutionized the state of healthcare as we know it and you’re on the front page news because of your ‘State of the Union Style’?”.  But if a man is emasculated because his right hand compliments his “fly”, that sounds like a personal problem to me.  Here are 11 signs your biggest hater might be your boo:


 He belittles your accomplishments.

I hate when men assume that if you’re not doing manual labor, you don’t deserve to be tired after working all day.  I once dated a guy who couldn’t seem to wrap his head around the fact that teaching and office work are mentally intense tasks and can sometimes take even more out of you than driving forklifts and lifting heavy objects.  Life isn’t automatically harder because you can pee standing up.  If your man has this mentality, he’s got a lot of growing up to do.



He focuses on everything you still need to do.

When it comes to my writing, every new contract I signed or publication I was featured in, there was some guy who suddenly became my personal assistant, “That’s great and all but you should really work on putting yourself on a schedule, pitching to other publications and creating your own brand.”  I could never understand why we couldn’t take 5 minutes just to enjoy my journey and say, “Good job, kid.”  When a man is extremely insecure, instead of congratulating you he has to take you down a notch by reminding you he knows more and you need him in order to get to that next step.


He makes everything about him.

I have a friend I’ve been close with since high school, but as our lives have taken different paths, I’ve found that I’m only able to take him in small doses.  That’s because every time I call him and share any small success, he will talk for a half hour non-stop about all the big plans he has, business meetings he has scheduled and potential clients he may score.  Someone who truly supports you will allow you to have your moment and be able to honestly share in your happiness.  Life and love aren’t a checkers game and no one should be keeping score.


He reminds you (and everyone else) how relevant he is to your success.

I never miss an opportunity to thank that same high school friend from earlier for all of the late night rides to campus and flat tires he drove two hours to change when I finally got my own car.  But if you have him tell it, he deserves credit for anything I ever achieve in my career although it’s been almost 5 years since I was an undergrad. Driving me to school doesn’t mean your name should be on my degree too because frankly, he wasn’t with me in the library typing up term papers. A resentful man will hold the smallest favors over your head forever.


He focuses on only the things that can go wrong with your goals.

As optimistic as I am, sometimes I truly believe I will ride a unicorn over a rainbow right to my dreams, so the truth is I need some realists around me on the regular to keep me grounded. But pessimism isn’t the same as realism and if a man is constantly reminding you about everything that can go wrong with a dream and never uplifting you in the right direction, it might be because secretly he doesn’t want it to work out for you.


He dismisses your attempts to teach/advise him.

If a man can teach me about fuel distribution in an engine and how to fix a leaky drain, there is no reason I can’t show him a thing or two about varying his vocabulary and how to properly write a thank you note.  But time and time again, I’ve been told that those type of things aren’t important skills to have all because a man didn’t believe there was nothing to be learned from a woman.  It’s never a sign of support if a man allows his ego to keep him ignorant.


He feels the need to remind you of your “role”.

When a man doesn’t feel threatened by a woman’s success, he’s fine with her being more than a big butt and smile on his arm when he’s with his friends.  If he just wants you to shut up and look sexy, then it’s clear he doesn’t truly want someone who’s his equal.


He never seems to be on your side.

A true partner will ride for you, even when you’re in the wrong (before privately reminding you that you really need to check yourself later).  But if you come home complaining about lazy bosses and conniving co-workers and he jumps on their side before you can even slide out your stilettos, it may very well be you on your own against the world.


Your accomplishments become the culprit to unrelated problems in the relationship.

Some people use any minor disagreement as a reason to bring up everything at fault within the relationship.  If an argument over who forgot to pay the cable bill suddenly becomes about your salary and you being too busy with work, it could be because there’s been some simmering animosity all along that you weren’t aware of. Your success/happiness isn’t to blame for someone’s own insecurity.


He makes major decisions without your input.

When a man feels threatened by your success, he may use any opportunity to prove that he has some authority in the relationship. He might decide that he wants to get a new car with an expensive note or put a down payment on a trip without asking you if you can take time off all in an attempt to prove anything you can do he can do better.


He uses your achievements opportunistically.

If he isn’t downplaying your accomplishments he’s highlighting them only when he has something to benefit.  I had to explain countless times to an ex that it didn’t matter how much he bragged about me to friends and family, if he wasn’t telling me how  proud he was I didn’t feel supported.  True support means highlighting all the good things about your partner whether it makes him look good or not.






Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.

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  • Kim

    I must say that this topic is somewhat “tiresome” simply because I’ve heard it over and over again. Look, there are obviously some men who are not supportive and or jealous of their women’s success. Are they the majority? I do not think so. I am an attorney, and I cannot count how many times I have heard other women, particularly, black professional women, complaining about how hard it is to find a good black man. They claim that black men are intimidated by them and are threatened by their success. I don’t know if this is the case or not, but what I do know is that the majority of the women that I knew who said those things were very intelligent (“book wise”), but they also were self-absorbed, arrogant, and negative in general. Therefore, it is difficult to conclude that they were single simply because of their professional accomplishments. Actually, their own obnoxious personalities had a lot to do with it. I personally have never had a problem meeting good, attractive, intelligent, decent black men, who were not even slightly threatened by my accomplishments. If anything they were proud to see me do well. Even now, my fiance constantly is encouraging me to accomplish even more. So I’m not saying that this does not sometimes happen, but I don’t think it is happening as frequently as people are claiming it is.

  • Kim

    I haven’t read the entire article yet, but on the first page you reference Barack and Michelle. To be honest, that’s not a very good example to use if you are trying to prove your particular point. Michelle actually was more successful and was the bread winner early on in their relationship, but clearly, Barack was not threatened or intimidated by that. Now, of course he is the President of the United States, and she has more of a background role, but they are still making it work.

  • coolyfett

    Toya Sharee The author of this right up is doing a lot of assuming. Most of these situations are based on personal FEELINGS as if she is trying to justify why a dude stopped liking her. I could be wrong but that how the article comes off. Peace

  • Rooster

    I read some comments below more like some of these articles are bringing some share of hate to the table. sad really it is when green backs raise someone’s ego so high they forget what its like to be on that perch they flew off of. level this level that i just call them, “lesser minded individuals” or my favorite “over achievers”. I really hate perfectionists lol it’s just a hair off nope, knock it down, start from scratch. waste of time the goal was accomplished the first time, why on earth would ya wanna do it again. move on, next task. its about production not perfection.

  • Chanda

    Depends on the man. Some will get jealous and hate, some men want their women to succeed that way they can sit back and do much of nothing. Takes dating/marrying down to another level.

  • KeepingItReal

    A lot of black men are jealous if their black girlfriend or black wife is more successful. In addition, black men don’t attribute a black woman’s success to hard work…instead they attribute it to “the man” seeing them as less of a threat than black men. On the other hand…black men have no problem with their white wives or white girlfriends being more successful. The irony.

    • PeoplePlease7

      A study was done and you did no research on the ethnicites involved. Still you ignored that fact in order to stereotype Black men as if we are somehow worse then every other ethnic group on the planet. Never mind the fact that white women experience this on a wider scale where their success limits their relationship options because of men who are intimidated. Stop with the self hate, or if you do, at least have some facts to back it up instead of baseless arguments. There are brothers out there who have sisters backs and some who don’t, just like everyone else on the planet…

      • KeepingItReal

        I appreciate your response. But, I think one problem with your assessment is that you rely on “statistical data” prepared by people who look nothing like black people, live nowhere near black people and who care nothing about telling the truth about black people. My “research” lies in what I LIVE AND SEE everyday. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows you don’t need someone with a Ph. D. to do “research” on problems in the black community especially if you live and see it every day. So, what I have seen over the years in the black communities… TRUMP any “statistic” you may put together. Book smarts is good. But, sometimes…common sense will get you further than book smarts…anyday. Try it…you may like it:)

        • PeoplePlease7

          “black men don’t attribute a black woman’s success to hard work”

          I’ll leave you to your generalities grasshopper…

      • Yvonne Watkins

        Intra racial, gender specific racism exists. But Black racist can’t see that they are in fact racist because they are Black too. Unless someone lives in a box, they know that a lot of men PERIOD are jealous of a woman who makes more money than they do. Men see themselves as the provider/protector. If a woman doesn’t need their money, they feel threatened.

    • coolyfett

      With all due respect, black women are “less of a threat” in corporate America then the brothas who apply for those positions. Ask any honest HR rep or recruiter. If they are comfortable they will admit this harsh truth to you.

  • Campbell Dustin

    Oh God, now every woman is a psychologist. People are too stupid to even comprehend the difference between fear/insecurity and reliable diagnosis. Go to a real therapist people, stop reading these stupid articles and prematurely reacting out of emotion, as opposed to real psychoanalysis.


      But you’re on here reading AND commenting on the same article, IJS

      • Campbell Dustin

        That doesn’t mean that I agree with the message, nor support it. My point is to get real therapy, and just as you did, others will see that.

  • dueordie87

    40 year old single never been married or divorsed multiple times women run this site.

  • bye55

    This article is relevent. All these things are things that women feel a man is doing to them because the man isn’t jumping for joy for them. Women are just drama the truth is sometimes men just don’t want to listen that’s all. Women just feel like the world always got a vendetta out on them lol.

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  • S

    My ex fiancé was like that, very abusive..He had a 9 to 5 and I was freelance. I was able to make half of his month salary in a 2 days gig. He was more and more jealous. Trying to bring me down. He started becoming violent. Comparing me to other people (that didn’t even exist)…

    His sisters did the same thing, because they were close to my age but lazy and didn’t believe I was able to make money doing my dream job. They were talking behind my back for no reason.

    I left him and his awful family and moved to US and found a new man. We are working in the same industry but different jobs. Both freelances but it’s so much better and I’m happier.

    So listen to your heart and don’t let anyone bring you down, never ever! You don’t deserve it.

  • Homeboy

    The solution is to only date people at your level, or higher. This may not be possible with many women since they like having someone to look down on

    • da truth

      or they are unattractive and fat

    • what

      Why did you get any thumbs down???

    • FeelsGood

      There is some truth to the first half of your comment…at least in my experience. I “dated down” with my last two relationships and found that both times, there was a lot of intimidation and some slick hating going on. I admire and respect ambition/leadership from a man. I entered these relationships with the thought that these guys “had potential” but in the end found that they saw me as more of a threat to their manhood/ego. Lesson learned for me…date someone on your level or higher. Duly noted!

  • Angelie

    Good article! I have been in quite a few relationships like this and it’s pretty sad. It’s not just from spouses, but from family and so called friends as well. Instead of people focusing their energy on trying to bring you down to the level they feel they’re at, they need to focus on improving themselves. I need to link this article to a friend. She has an abusive “man” that has done all of these to her and she won’t admit it to herself.

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