Signs He Can’t Handle You Being In The Spotlight
Why do I feel like singlehood is more common among powerful women than among powerful men? I know so many women who are kicking a** out there in their careers, but seem to struggle to maintain a relationship. Meanwhile, most of the highly successful men I know are married or in long-term relationships. But, if I can be honest, the powerful men I know in stable relationships are in relationships with women who either A) don’t work or B) work jobs that they don’t really care about/don’t require much of their time and attention.
My dad is one such a man. He openly admits that he doesn’t want his partner to work. “I work very hard all day and when I get home I want my partner to be there to have dinner with me and spend time with me. I don’t want her out, working.” How do you feel about that sentiment? I have mixed feelings about it. I mean, it’s not like anyone is forcing my dad’s partner to be with him. She knows the arrangement and the expectations. But isolating the question of whether or not she is happy and putting that aside, what do we think of the man who wants that arrangement? Sexist? Controlling? Endearingly old-school? Relatable? It is a mixed bag, isn’t it?
You might think that my dad’s sentiments are just those of an old man who isn’t used to an age in which women work. But that’s not true. I actually know many men my age who’d prefer a partner who just complimented their careers rather than had her own. And then I know men who say they don’t relate to that at all, love that their partners work, but then…when their partners really hit it big time…show their true feelings. And they’re a bit different. Is it possible that your partner can’t handle you being in the spotlight? Maintaining a relationship while working towards your goals is hard enough, and once you’ve attained them, the struggle may not be over.
He wants regular family dinners
Whether or not you have children (family dinner could just mean you, him, and your dog), he’s very concerned with whether or not you’ll be home for dinner. He asks if you can get out of what you’re doing early, in order to be home for dinner. Should he wait for you to eat? Well how long should he wait? When will you know if you can be back. He’s really clinging onto this nuclear family image of a couple who eats at 6pm sharp together every night.
And guilts you for missing out
If you miss the chance to have that traditional family dinner together because a work thing is going well, your partner makes you feel so bad about it. He goes to bed super early (earlier than usual) so you don’t get a chance to talk to him when you get home. He mopes about it the next day. He eats all the food and leaves you none. It’s like he’s trying to punish you.
He belittles your accomplishments
When something great happens to you and you tell your partner about it, you’re surprised to find that he belittles the accomplishment. You may tell him that a certain publication is writing about you and he’ll say something like, “That one’s just online, right?” or “That’s only published in our town, right, nowhere else?” Why does he hone in on the negative?
He jokes about you leaving him
He often makes jokes about how you’re going to leave him one day for a man who is more successful, famous, powerful, or wealthy. He’ll even point out men who would be good for you. He says he’s joking but the joke is uncomfortable. And the fact that he’s making that joke means the idea crosses his mind.
Or being too “big time”
If friends ask you two to join them for something, and you can’t because you’ll be working, your partner says, “She’s too big time for us now.” Or, he may say, “She likes fancy places now—she won’t want to go there.” Why is he throwing you under the bus like that? You never said you no longer liked that casual taco place or hole in the wall bar.
He’s developing a new female friendship
You notice him becoming friends with a woman from his work or industry—good friends. Your partner can have female friends, but I’ll admit, it’s a bit weird when someone makes a new super close friend of the opposite sex, while in a relationship. He’s texting her all of the time and meeting up for drinks with her when you’re too busy to hang with him.
Because she’s “on his level”
He makes a lot of references to that woman being on “his level” or being “in the same boat” and understanding “his situation.” What’s that supposed to mean? Honestly, he may take comfort in a woman who isn’t as successful as you are, because that’s easier on his fragile ego. And he may have deluded himself into believing that he can’t talk to you anymore because you’re “too big time.”
He mainly asks when you’ll be home
His main concerns about your day are what time you’re leaving, what time you can call him, and what time you’ll be home. He wants to know all about your free time. He just wants to know when he’ll get to spend time with you and when you’ll be available to him. When you discuss your day, that is what his focus is on.
Not what you’ll be doing when you’re away
His focus is not on what you’ll be doing when you aren’t with him. You know—your work. Your passion. Your career. He doesn’t ask much about that. You try to tell him a bit about what the day will entail and he zones out, or he cuts you off and just asks, “And what time will that be over?” It’s almost like your work is a thing he sees as getting in the way of real life, rather than part of real life.
He’s jealous of his “normal” friend
He often talks, with admiration, about his partner who is in a “normal” relationship. He goes on and on about what a doll that man’s partner is, what great food she makes, what kind and generous things she does for the household, and what a devoted partner she is. He openly admires a woman who is nothing like you.
And calls that relationship “normal”
He also refers to that relationship—the one in which the woman doesn’t work or barely works and is always home for dinner—as “normal.” The implication being that relationships not like that one (aka yours) are not normal. And that means…what? Is he displeased with the fact that your relationship isn’t “normal?”
He asks you to limit work talk around friends
When you’re going to spend time with friends, your partner asks you in advance to limit work talk. Or, in the middle of you talking to your friends about work, your partner cuts in and says, “Okay, I think they’ve all heard enough about work. Let’s just relax now.” But you were just trying to share with them what is happening in your life…
And even around him
He even asks you to stop talking about work at home. He complains it’s “All you ever talk about.” You don’t think you talk about it that much. But also, it’s a big deal to you—it’s your passion—so, you wish he’d understand that when you talk about work, you’re talking about yourself. The two are not separate.
He’s taken up a new “passion”
He has randomly and spontaneously taken up some new passion. Maybe he wants to start a band or write poetry or brew beer to sell with his friends. It came out of nowhere. He’d never even expressed interest in that before. But it’s something that’s keeping him very busy, and that he now talks about all of the time.
He seems to do it at you
It sort of feels like he’s doing this new passion project at you. You’ll ask if he wants to have dinner and he’ll say something like, “The band is practicing tonight so it’s actually me who will be too busy with work to have dinner this time.” Okay…Why doe it seem like he’s taking some pleasure in leaving you alone for dinner? Perhaps he’s trying to give you a taste of your own medicine, but you were never trying to give him a taste of anything.