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Aug 30 2013

Men secretly want their wives or girlfriends to be less successful than them because it boosts their self-esteem!

Study says: Men secretly want their wives or girlfriends to be less successful than them because it boosts their self-esteem!

Although they may pretend to celebrate their partners’ achievements, men prefer to see their wives and girlfriends take a nose dive at work and in their private life.

Unlike women, whose self-esteem is unaffected by their husbands’ and boyfriends’ successes and failures, men’s sense of self-worth takes a bruising when their partner excels in social or intellectual situations.

This is especially true when women shine at a task or in a situation where their husband or boyfriend has previously failed, researchers said.

But even in situations where the two are not competing with one another, men’s self-esteem still plunges when their partners do well at something because they feel it reflects badly on them.

So true! I know this too well. All my husbands and boyfriends were so jealous whenever I got success. They tried their best to suppress me. I had to leave them because they started abusing me out of jealousy. They were successful in their fields, but my success made them furious.

Men felt worse about themselves after recalling their partner’s achievements than their failures, and their self-esteem was most damaged if their partner had succeeded in a situation where they had not.

Poor men and their poor self-esteem! I feel sorry for them!

44 comments

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  1. 1
    thascius

    So how does that work for gay men? Whenever either partner succeeds the other’s self-esteem takes a hit?
    Seriously though, what kind of man is so insecure that his self-esteem is damaged if his partner succeeds?

    1. 1.1
      Nicos

      PUH-lease, I wish my missus bought home more than I did, if men have hang ups due to their partner earning more or having a better job, they have LOTS more to deal with….straight or gay

  2. 2
    A. Noyd

    See, why don’t MRAs devote their time to challenging models of masculinity that tie self esteem into this idiotic notion of dominance and “winning”? That could do some genuine good! More men could feel better about themselves without tearing down others (both women and other men). Instead, MRAs take the “man = dominant winner” idea and turn it up to 11.

  3. 3
    carlie

    Not even a hint of “wow, this awesome person loves me”, or “I got such a great catch”? No? Hm.

  4. 4
    debbaasseerr

    @2 – The answer to your question, A.Noyd, is basically the sentence immediately following it.

  5. 5
    sethmassine

    While this is very true for many men, not even remotely for me. My girlfriend makes more money than me, and has travelled a good deal more. I’m not insecure, because she is a sweetheart and deserves the success :) I’m happy for her.

  6. 6
    wtfwhatever

    Taslima,

    Many women want their men because it boosts

  7. 7
    wtfwhatever

    Many women want their men to have big fat wallets because it boosts their self-esteem.

    You’ve said you want men to have big fat cocks because it begins to fill your huge vagina. But I bet you want your men to have big cocks because it boosts your self-esteem as well.

    1. 7.1
      Jackie

      WTF,
      The bitterness and envy is just dripping off of you isn’t it?

    2. 7.2
      Hank_Says

      Welcome, enjoy your stay.

      All five minutes of it.

    3. 7.3
      Jeanette

      How about WOMEN having “big fat wallets?” We don’t live in the 1950″s anymore where women have to stay home, cook and clean (a wageless “job”). Times have changed. And about the big smelly cock thing, what about lesbians? And by the way-most women don’t care about cock size if they truly love their guy. Men, on the other hand LOVE women who fit the mainstream idea of “beauty,” and desire a “trophy wife.” THAT builds a MAN’S self esteem-to have a gorgeous women holding onto their arm even though they dress like shit, don’t wash, etc. How delusional! Men have many entitlements. These days, their stupid entitlements will be turned into dreams more than reality.

  8. 8
    Jacob Schmidt

    I don’t buy the conclusion that all those men want their partners to fail (though I’m not surprised that many do). It’s possible to want your partner to succeed and feel bad for yourself when they do. They also seem to not have tested gay couples, which might give us a sense of “background noise.” I’m curious to what extent our self esteem is affected by our partner when there is no relative privilege difference.

    Unlike women, whose self-esteem is unaffected by their husbands’ and boyfriends’ successes and failures, men’s sense of self-worth takes a bruising when their partner excels in social or intellectual situations.

    This could be very easily addressed; pound in the idea that women are capable. Teach our children that women and girls have agency. Once our culture stops seeing women as weaker, impotent beings, most of these men won’t feel bad that women are equal or more capable than them.

    1. 8.1
      Jacob Schmidt

      Sorry, never mind. I didn’t read well enough. Since women’s self esteem is not effected, it seems all the effects on self esteem are due to sexism.

  9. 9
    sethmassine

    wtfwhatever, you are a slimy piece of shit. Troll? Yes. Why don’t you go find something better to do? Perhaps you are intimidated by women who are successful and intelligent (clearly vastly more than you are), and that leads to posting 4th grade sexual remarks? Leave this place. Go back to watching UFC and pounding your chest, caveman.

  10. 10
    Lofty

    wtfwhatever is an insecure little whiner who if found in broad daylight would scuttle off like a cockroach. Here, help me jump on the rock he’s hiding under.

  11. 11
    sethmassine

    Ready to jump when you are!

  12. 12
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    NO! You are WRONG!

    What modern American men want is a wife who is a high-paid employee, whose hobbies are sex and housewoirk.

  13. 13
    RainbowSlushie^.^

    Nice article, and I imagine we knew this was the case but nice to have proof of it finally =)

    Also @wtfwhatever go troll somewhere else you bitter asshole. Jesus.

  14. 14
    tiberiusbeauregard

    Pretty typical of the matriarchy, where men are only viewed as valuable if they earn more than women.

    1. 14.1
      Jacob Schmidt

      Are you having difficulty reading again?

      1. tiberiusbeauregard

        Why are you following me from thread to thread ?
        Will this harassment never stop ?
        Does this blog have a policy on that ?

        On the issue at hand
        It’s patently obvious that this alleged “jealousy” (which in reality is malicious envy * ) on the side of men is just a product of the Matriarchy, which teaches boys that their only possible claim to being valuable human beings is to gather more resources than anyone else does and to provide for their women and children.

        Having internalised that, men will see everyone in their closest surrounding, even their own women as potential rivals (and if women are successful, they become actual rivals), who’re trying to replace them and that will almost inevitably lead to some sort of sabotage.

        As long as the Matriarchy exists, independent women like Taslima will have it hard to find a partner.

        *(compare “Leveling Up and Down: The Experiences of Benign and Malicious Envy”, Tilburg University.)

        1. RainbowSlushie^.^

          lol@”Matriarchy” Hey, let’s just relabel what the Patriarchy tells men they should be doing and how they should value themselves, and let’s call it Matriarchy!

          In bourgeouis economic terms we’ll have a Matriarchy when we have a Society ruled primarily by women were women own most of the property and the money. LOL@the idea we have a matriarchial society, that’s hilariously idiotic in the extreme even. Patriarchy teaches men these things, not matriarchy. This is hilariously disingenous and thoroughly dishonest, in the extreme even.

          1. tiberiusbeauregard

            … human nature. Although it’s certainly idiotic, it’s still true.

            Financial decision making in families is already in the hands of women, most industry marketing almost exclusively targets women, the entire child raising industry is in the hands of women and the majority of gender specific medical research funding is spent on women as well.

            It is clearly the Matriarchy which we’re living in, although of course I’m aware that the paid promoters of feminism claim otherwise. Of course they do, that’s what they’re paid for – and their army of (unpaid) useful idiots will create a societal climate in which the mere discussion of Matriarchy leads to public humiliation and shunning.

            And while some females (women who are actually independent, like Taslima) are suffering from the consequences, the vast majority of women wil still profit from it in many different ways.

        2. Jacob Schmidt

          Why are you following me from thread to thread ?

          I read many of the blogs here. Been here for years. You’ll note I commented here before you. Can hardly be said to have followed you when I got here first.

          It’s patently obvious that this alleged “jealousy” (which in reality is malicious envy * ) on the side of men is just a product of the Matriarchy, which teaches boys that their only possible claim to being valuable human beings is to gather more resources than anyone else does and to provide for their women and children.

          So matriarchy is a system in which agency, control, careers, etc, is given to the man and the woman is dependent on him? What the bloody fuck?

          Having internalised that, men will see everyone in their closest surrounding, even their own women as potential rivals (and if women are successful, they become actual rivals), who’re trying to replace them and that will almost inevitably lead to some sort of sabotage.

          Couldn’t have anything to with the sexist notion that women are inherently impotent. No no no.

          As long as the Matriarchy exists, independent women like Taslima will have it hard to find a partner.

          You’re dearly confused. In a matriarchal system, independent women would be valued rather than devalued. You’re thinking of a patriarchal system.

          Before you whine about my feminist agenda, go looking through the archives over at Ally Fogg’s blog. It’s not only feminists who’ve mad the connection between devaluing female agency, over valuing male agency, and loss of self esteem when men don’t meet their own culturally endowed expectations. Or here and here if you’d like (though those are contaminated with feminists cooties). Patriarchy doesn’t mean no disadvantages for men.

  15. 15
    sonofrojblake

    men’s sense of self-worth takes a bruising when their partner excels

    This is sexist statement of a subset of a larger truth: Men’s sense of self-worth takes a bruising when anyone else excels. This is the truth.

    If you want a famous quote that says exactly this, try Gore Vidal: “It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail”. Not “my wife/girlfriend”. Others. Any others.

    Why do you think many millions of people get a perverse satisfaction out of following sports teams who consistently lose?

    I want my best friend to be paid less than me, I want my brother to be fatter than me, I want to be promoted ahead of my close colleague even though I know he’s better at the job than I am. This is most emphatically not an issue unique to male/female relationships, it’s universal.

    1. 15.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      Well said.

    2. 15.2
      No One

      Yes this. The beauty of it is once you realize how fucked up this is, you can examine it and take steps to “step off the train”. Life becomes as better experience as a result.

    3. 15.3
      John Horstman

      Yeah, this is why a lot of people hate socialism – even if they’re objectively better-off, the idea that others might not be worse-off crushes people who buy into relational social position as central to their self esteems. I take it back: we don’t idealize sociopathy, we idealize sadism.

      1. RainbowSlushie^.^

        I agree with you John: I too think these social relations in competitive sport terms are little more than the result of a capitalist society full of people who feel like they couldn’t exist in any other system were competition between people wasn’t front and center.

  16. 16
    felicis

    The link isn’t to the study, but to an article about the study. From that, my impression is that (1) the sample is (as so many are) not random, but a selection of students; (2) there are no controls (did they check for situations where the ‘partner’ was a random person instead of a ‘partner’?); (3) There’s no indication of either how strong nor how widespread the effect is: i.e. 95% of men (people? Are women not at all affected in this way?) have a 2 point shift (on a 5 point scale) of self-esteem? Or the mean shifts by 0.1 points on a 5 point scale, but the overall distribution is not noticeably different?

    In general, such news reports do a terrible job of reporting the actual science in favor of an attention grabbing headline like, “Men ‘want wives and girlfriends to fail’”.

    Some people are like this, I won’t deny that, but I suspect that it is common to people rather than something specific to men. I also doubt that it is as common as commenters above think (‘many’? What is that? 80%? 55%? 15%? I’m betting closer to 15% than 80%).

    1. 16.1
      Albert Bakker

      Read the study (full text pdf): http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-a0033769.pdf via EurekAlert.

      1. Eric Riley

        Thank you – so it looks like this experiment shows only that men’s implicit self-esteem is lower if their romantic partner does well than if their partner does poorly (it was inconsistent that implicit self esteem goes up if their partner does poorly).

        That is not the same as men secretly want their partner to do poorly.
        It is not even that men subconsciously want their partner to do poorly.
        There is no attempt to correlate the depth of the relationship with the degree of difference in implicit self esteem. (And while future research is suggested that will look at age and testosterone level, relationship depth and/or duration are ignored).

        I not also that explicit self-esteem is unchanged – so, while I will agree that there is some effect (among younger university educated European/American) being measured, I have (and I think they are reasonable) doubts about it actually having anything to do with self esteem.

        Also – there appears to be no attempt to look at pre- and post- measures of self esteem. So the differences in implicit self esteem among men could have been there all along. The only control done was in experiment 5 – where the ‘control’ was to report a typical day rather than a partners (or your own and partner’s) success/failure. So post hoc ergo propter hoc – perhaps people with lower self esteem will focus more on their partners successes and their failures, while people with higher self-esteem will do the reverse. And most importantly that self-esteem is not a measure of how much one wants something.

        This is not at all what is suggested by the title of this post, nor the title of the article.

  17. 17
    Good

    So many studies and so many individual experiences show with little doubt that women are more attracted to men who of higher social status than themselves. As much as women may deny this, any man who has been married to a woman whose income was lower than his, yet increased past his has experienced the difference in treatment once she has moved past him in income.

  18. 18
    Good

    See, why don’t MRAs devote their time to challenging models of masculinity that tie self esteem into this idiotic notion of dominance and “winning”? That could do some genuine good! More men could feel better about themselves without tearing down others (both women and other men). Instead, MRAs take the “man = dominant winner” idea and turn it up to 11.

    This goes to show that you have absolutely no knowledge of what MRAs want.

  19. 19
    Jafafa Hots

    This goes to show that you have absolutely no knowledge of what MRAs want.

    That can only be true if they have been consistently lying about what they want in order to paint a false impression of themselves.

    You’re acting like nobody around here has had, oh, say… YEARS of experience having MRA arguments thrown at them.

    1. 19.1
      Good

      You’re confused. MRAs are not traditionalists and are critical of white knights. MRAs want true equality where men are no longer obligated to protect and provide for women and we all compete equally on merit absent the lowered standards for women that exist today. MRAs want women to take care of themselves without turning to the old “damsel in distress” mode when things get tough. MRAs support the ERA. No more gender based restrooms, no more gender segregated sports teams, no more gender quotas, no more gender exclusive businesses, etc.

  20. 20
    Lothar Lorraine

    It looks like evolution is to blame!

    Why mock and feel indignant about machines having been poorly wired by natural selection in that respect?

    I’m utterly unable to understand this moral indignation.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  21. 21
    MaryL

    My father was proud of my mother when her earnings exceeded his. He told her, too, and bragged about her to his co-workers. What my parents earned was “their” money and was used to pay their mortgage, support their children, etc. Dad could be a bit sexist about some things (“Well, men don’t like it when women do this or that”), but he didn’t generally assign things based on sex. My brother has no sexist tendencies (ask his wife!) and I’ve never been totally at ease around men who do. We’ve talked about it and feel lucky to have had such wonderful parents.

  22. 22
    Jo jo

    Not sure why that should be, and I do hate when people say “men” and “women” when they really mean “some men” and “some women”.

    I’m a stay at home dad while my wife goes out and makes the big bucks.

  23. 23
    Astrokid.NJ

    What do you make of this?
    Househusband backlash as high-flying wives ditch men they wanted to stay at home

    Divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd-Platt says that in her experience, the decision to allow the wife to be the main wage earner will have a detrimental effect on as many as half of these relationships, and that divorce statistics in these cases have risen by at least five per cent in the past two years.
    “My warning would be to think long and hard about letting the man stay at home,’ she says. ‘I know it is very trendy for the wife to be the breadwinner, but in my professional experience this decision will strain the marriage. It may be fun at first to say ‘I have a househusband’, but the wife will quickly begin to resent the fact the man is not pulling his weight financially.
    “She will think: ‘You’re not supporting me’ – within all of us I think there is still a very deep-seated belief that men should be the protectors. A gradual lack of respect begins to eat into the relationship, and it puts men in a very vulnerable position.
    “The role these men are performing at home is, of course, very valuable, but women can find it very hard to recognise and respect a man who is doing it
    .

    You see.. Its women who wont allow men to deviate from their gender-role. The article reports thousands of men who are trying the changed role.. but the woman resents it!

    Regarding your own personal life, we will have to get your boyfriends/husbands side of the story as well. Everybody in this world thinks they are the morally right person.

  24. 24
    MaryL

    I have a cousin is has no plans to divorce her stay-at-home husband. They love each other, have a good, stable marriage and are now the primary care-givers for her mother. Their children are now adults. He DOES support her and she has always respected all that he does. (Sometimes, she’s in awe of it.)

    Of course there are SOME women who don’t want a role deviation. Each person is an individual. Each marriage is a “law unto itself”. It’s up to the couple in it.

    1. 24.1
      Astrokid.NJ

      Of course there are SOME women who don’t want a role deviation. Each person is an individual. Each marriage is a “law unto itself”. It’s up to the couple in it.
      If I use your logic, then Taslima’s entire article is moot.
      Her headline “Men secretly want their wives or girlfriends to be less successful than them because it boosts their self-esteem!” can be easily refuted with:
      I know men who are not like that.. (presumably) Taslima’s male friends here on FTB.. PZMyers et al are the PURE GOLD versions of what feminism wants from men.

      There are PLENTY of women who dont want a role deviation, and who ENFORCE it via their actions. I came across another instance of women chastizing other women for doing this..
      CAN WOMEN REALLY HANDLE A MAN WHO MAKES LESS?

      This exposes the hollowness of Taslima. She follows the card-stacking technique.. presenting only the data in favor of her theses, which springs from her man-hatred.

      1. MaryL

        I saw sarcasm in Taslima’s writing, not hollowness. Nor did I see hatred of men. I posted about my cousin and her husband because I think they are good examples of sane, healthy adults who live their lives as is best for them.

        1. Astrokid.NJ

          You saw sarcasm in Taslima’s article? Maybe Taslima should tell us if she’s being sarcastic, and also show samples of her writing where she’s not sarcastic.
          And why arent the commenters (for e.g 2)”getting” the sarcasm?

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