Some comparisons in a relationship can be healthy because it can help couples motivate each other to improve. But when the comparison turns into a competition, then anger and resent might develop and ruin the relationship. You should recognize signs that your partner might be comparing to you too much, as well as learn helpful tips on how to fix this problem.
“Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” – Iyanla Vanzant
Here Are 12 Signs Your Partner Compares to You and How to Fix It
1. The “we” in your relationship is gone.
You do more things separately than together these days. You don’t feel like you’re on the same page anymore. According to experts, comparisons in a relationship usually occur between partners that have been together for a long time. However, if couples learn to recognize the areas where they are strong or weak, they can thrive on their differences and individuality. Additionally, they can complement each other. For example, if he’s great at nurturing the kids and you’re the master in the kitchen, then you should make it clear to each other that these are your domains in the household.
2. Your partner always needs to “win” and keep score.
Does your relationship feel like a sporting event, where your partner keeps score of who did the dishes more times this week? Does your partner attempt to win every argument you have? Relationships triumph only when there’s unity. Thankfully, this negative pattern of comparison can be resolved. Take notice and be empathic about the actual message your partner wants to get across when she’s keeping score. Then, do something to make sure this happens less and less. For instance, she might be expressing that she needs your help more around the house if she’s talking about who did the dishes again. So, do your part in the clean-up.
3. Your partner belittles your success.
Is there no excitement and pride from your partner when you tell him you’ve just received a promotion at work? Does he belittle what you’ve achieved? A study reveals that this is very common in relationships. It likely indicates that your partner is having a hard time dealing with your success and his inadequacies. To fix this pattern, try asking his advice the next time you have a work-related dilemma. Do what you can to help your partner feel that he plays an important part in your success.
4. Your partner guilts you into quitting your job.
Your partner makes you feel guilty if you need to work late nights. You often have fights about your job to where the idea of quitting is looking more and more appealing to you. Don’t feel guilty about working hard. If your partner’s success pales by comparison to yours, it’s his insecurities he has to deal with and not the idea that you need to quit your job.
5. Your partner is domineering and always wants his way.
A lot of men like the idea of control. Some relationships work well because partners agree to their roles as the dominant or submissive one. But if you’re not the submissive type and your partner is domineering, then problems could erupt in your relationship. A domineering personality can turn into a bully, especially if comparisons enter the equation. Be honest with your partner and tell him how you feel before this relationship turns into an abusive one.
6. Your partner tries to outdo you.
Do you give separate gifts to your children for their birthdays and notice how your partner tries to upstage what you give? Re-examine the structure of your relationship to figure out why he feels the need to outdo you. There could be deeper and more compelling issues that you need to thresh out and discuss with a therapist, if possible.
7. You sense that he’s sabotaging you.
The more successful you get, the more your husband’s resentment and inconsideration increase. He sabotages your relationship by doing things he knows will tick you off and push your buttons, so you end up fighting all the time. But what if you don’t react in a manner that he expects? Sometimes, positive reinforcements can help. Pay more attention to your partner, express your affection, and shower him with compliments. All these will reinforce that you love him.
8. Your partner tries to make you jealous.
In so many ways, your mate might be making you jealous to get your attention. According to experts, this might be a manipulation tactic. You need to listen deeply and watch out for the cues to find what’s lacking in your relationship or what your partner is no longer getting from you.
9. Your partner likes pointing out what’s wrong with you.
Pointing out your harmful behaviors can be good because it can help you see where you can improve on. At the same time, pointing out your flaws in an attempt to offend you is something else. It could be that your partner learned this kind of communication tool from the environment in which he grew up. The problem, however, is that this behavior can be destructive. The truth is, you hold the key to how you should be treated in the relationship. If this behavior makes you uncomfortable, then discuss this together and work things out.
10. Your partner scolds you.
A scolding is what happens when a child disappoints his parents. It also happens in the workplace, between the boss and his subordinate. But you’re supposed to be equals in your relationship with an intimate partner. If your partner talks down to you or scolds you, it clearly indicates that he might not see you on the same level as he is.
11. Your partner gloats when you fail.
Instead of supporting you when you’re down, it feels as though your partner gloats in your failures. A jealous partner who compares himself too much to you is a person who lacks maturity. You should realize that you can’t make good decisions about your life if you think you’re the cause of his problems. Your partner probably has personal demons to tackle. One way you might help him find the answers is by going to therapy.
12. Your partner is dishonest in your relationship.
Your partner withholds information or is not upfront in your relationship. He hides things because they would only highlight his faults and failures. It’s hard to be in a relationship where there’s no honesty. When someone can’t be comfortable or real with you to the point that he lies, you need to decide if this relationship is worth saving.
Despite positive thinking, comparisons in a relationship can undermine the positive things that connect you to each other. You need to sit down and put issues to rest, if you don’t want these problems to break down the life you’ve built together.