A scientific study has confirmed men are threatened by the success of their partners and suffer from low self-esteem if their other half excels.
The research carried out at the University of Florida found that men felt substantially worse about themselves if their girlfriend or wife was successful. Worryingly, the study found this wasn't limited to things couples were in direct competition over.
'It makes sense that a man might feel threatened if his girlfriend outperforms him in something they're doing together, such as trying to lose weight,' said the study's lead author, Kate Ratliff of the University. 'But this research found evidence that men automatically interpret a partner's success as their own failure, even when they're not in direct competition.'
The findings publishing in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology looked at 896 people in five experiments, all examining how both partners felt about themselves after being told their partner had outperformed them on a test, or when thinking about a time when their partner had been successful socially.
In all the experiments, men felt subconsciously worse about themselves if their other halves had done well – regardless of if the achievements were social, intellectual or to do with their own personal successes. This disappoint in themselves increased if the men felt they had simultaneously failed at the same thing.
However, the female participants did not suffer a self-esteem knock as a result of their partner's success.
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