Living in a foreign country – far from family and friends – can put a strain on even the strongest relationships. Could jealousy be part of the reason for tension in your relationship? Learn how to read the signs and what to do to strengthen your partnership.
Sometimes, even the most encouraging partner can turn into a reluctant supporter – simply because your newfound confidence (from a promotion or losing excess weight, for example) makes him feel insecure. But exactly why does your man sabotage your road to success?
It could be his unhealthy view of love, which involves “helping” you to behave in a way he thinks is right. He might also be engaging in a power struggle and needs you to look up to him. A third reason is his low self-esteem – by sabotaging you, he thinks he’s levelling the playing field. Finally, he may want to maintain the status quo, and fears that the relationship will sour if you change.
Read the signs:
Possible Signs That He’s Becoming a Spouse-Saboteur:
1. He buys you your favourite foods to tempt you when you want to lose weight.
2. He discourages you from exercising.
3. He acts insulted when you don’t finish his home-cooked meals.
4. He makes you feel guilty for not spending enough time with him.
5. He discourages you from taking on added work responsibilities, claiming that he’s concerned for your well-being.
6. He dismisses the importance of your work.
What You Can Do:
1. Address his fears and reassure him about your love for and commitment to him.
2. Help him understand the qualities you admire about him.
3. Include him in your project of change, like losing weight together, or when making financial decisions, especially if you earn more than he does.
4. Give him ideas on how he can show his love and support for you in a positive manner.
EXPERT SOURCES: Claire Nazar, a Families for Life council member and master trainer of the Prevention and Relationship Education Program; Ho Shee Wai, director and registered psychologist at The Counselling Place.
By Lee Xin Hui, Her World, August 2015