Your Complete Guide to Celebrating Your Partner’s Success

Ifeoma Thompson, Relationship Coach, OTR/L, MAPAC   

It’s easy to understand why any couple would want some help dealing with hardships like unemployment or health issues. What may not be so obvious is that success can also come with its own set of challenges, especially if one partner seems more accomplished or successful than the other.A recent study found that men’s self-esteem dropped when they were told that their wives/girlfriends aced an IQ test. The researchers attributed the results to competitive feelings and fears that their significant others might start looking for more attractive mates. Although only men were studied, many commentators believed that the results would also apply to women.

How can you avoid such jealousy and insecurity so you can operate as supportive partners and cheer each other on? Try these tips for dealing with your partner’s success.

How to Handle Your Partner’s Success

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. Maybe you feel a little guilty about having mixed emotions about your partner’s triumphs. Acknowledge your reactions for what they are will help you to make constructive changes.

  2. Resist comparisons. You may be causing your own distress by ruminating over how you stack up. Instead of comparing yourself to your spouse, devote yourself to developing your own potential to add to your achievements as a team

  3. Enjoy your differences. You and your partner probably excel in separate areas. Celebrate your differences and lean into each other’s strengths to achieve a common goal. When your partner wins, you win too!

  4. Ask for what you need. Let your partner know what you like about your relationship and what you want to do differently. Keep the lines of communication open.

  5. Be inclusive. Keep your partner involved and informed about your goals. Suggest ways they can participate in your activities and help them feel comfortable with the process. Show an equal amount of enthusiasm for their projects and priorities as well.

  6. Widen your circle. It’s okay to have your own network where you can celebrate your wins. Make time for your women’s club or a regular men’s night out.

  7. Share responsibility. Whatever the discrepancies in your income or media coverage, ensure you both matter when it comes to being a couple. Understand your finance and communicates on your finances. Do not minimize each other’s contribution, instead appreciate it, no matter how small.

  8. Pursue your own goals. Hold onto your dreams. Find fulfillment in raising a family, doing meaningful work, or playing a musical instrument. Just be sure that whatever it is you engage in, bring you fulfilment as an individual. When you have two people who feel fulfilled as individual, it automatically brings fulfillment into the relationship.

How to Encourage Your Partner’s Success

  1. Offer praise. Compliments have more meaning when it comes from someone you care about than from any fan magazine or professional association. Speak positively to each other.

  2. Listen closely. Take an active interest in what your partner is doing. Give them your full attention when they talk about what they did today, especially when you sense it’s something they are really excited about.

  3. Recognize effort. There may be a lot of setbacks and learning experiences before your partner succeeds. Be proud of them for trying. Remind them that you’re on their side when they’re struggling.

  4. Pitch in. Lend a hand when your partner has a tight deadline or heavy workload. Take over some extra household chores and create an environment that will help them shine, whether it means preparing their lunch or taking the children outside to play.

  5. Focus on giving. Work at being generous and grateful to each other. The more you build your partner up, the more love and happiness you’ll both receive.

Remember that success reflects well on both of you. You’re not responsible for your partner’s self-esteem or performance, but you can have a huge impact on how they feel and how far they go. Pull together and share the rewards of your hard work and special talents, and remember Enjoy your, Don’t endure it. 

Talk soon! 😊

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