A good friend of mine recently confided in me that her fiancé does not support her career endeavors and that his indifference always leaves her in a state of frustration. Her explanation of his lack of support was, putting it mildly, not only does he not support her career aspirations, but he’s quite cynical.
“What makes you think you’re gonna get that job? Why would they pick you?” That’s what he asked after she told him about a project management lead she had received from a recruiter.
This is a couple engaged to be married. As in future “husband and wife.” As in “til death do us part” and “for better or for worse” type love.
So this begs the question: Should you get involved or stay with a man who cannot support your professional growth? Who doesn’t encourage you as you go after what means a lot to you? What good could possibly come out of a relationship where emotional support is absent?
Sadly, I’ve seen this scenario play out in my own life, as well as in the lives of some of my other girlfriends. It’s so common that it has come to be expected and it shouldn’t be. If you love winning in your career, this is something a partner should get excited about too.
In my girlfriend’s case, I’d suspected that her spirit had been a little broken by her fiancé. I knew there was something wrong because during our conversations, some of the things she would say just weren’t adding up.
Initially, her eyes lit up when she told me about the potential new position, and she was perky, with a newfound confidence. After receiving his reaction to the news, her energy was low again as if he had let all of the air out of her proverbial balloon. But, to me, it’s clear why he would be this way. My friend makes more money than her fiancé and pays a majority of the bills. She also cooks and cleans while he does not help out with chores at all.
I gently tried to explain to her that not only was he not her cheerleader, she was sleeping with the enemy. I reasoned, “What good is being in a relationship if you have to pull most of the weight and you can’t even get emotional support while having to do so?”
There could be many reasons why he is choosing not to give her the support she is craving. But not being the breadwinner in the relationship making the big moves is likely the main one. Since she is already making more money than him, there’s a possibility that he is feeling inadequate within the power structure of the relationship and is projecting his perceived shortcomings onto her. This would have everything to do with him and nothing with her, which is the worst part of it all.
And then there’s just good old-fashioned jealousy. While jealousy is often looked at as a feminine characteristic, men have heavy bouts of it too, even when it is pertaining to the women in their lives.
My friend also told me that whenever her fiancé tries to advance his career, he always ends up failing. To see her succeed may prove to be too much for him. That can breed jealousy, which inevitably turns into resentment.
Whatever the case, I explained to her that it wasn’t a healthy situation at all and maybe she should reassess the engagement. I also told her to try to imagine if this was someone she could see herself with for the rest of her life. Could she deal with his pessimistic personality from here on out? If she can’t, she knows what she needs to do.
While having someone to share your life with is important, it is equally important that the person you’re with is supportive, whatever the situation may be. If not, it is better to go it alone until you can find exactly what you need. Life is too short, and negative energy is too emotionally draining.
If he’s not cheering for you that means he is against you. In that case, it may be time for him to get cut from the team…