5 Indicators Your Partner May Feel Insecure with Your #Success and How to Rectify


It happens. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our work and our horizons start to broaden, and perhaps this expansion brings travel opportunities for conferences etc., and maybe our partners don’t fully comprehend the scope of our business, or perhaps don’t show any interest. What’s behind the silence or the snarky remarks?


Often, when one partner experiences growth in their business, the other tends to feel left out. Not necessarily left out of the celebration or understanding of the business, but they may begin to experience feelings of unworthiness, insecurity in the relationship, fears of being abandoned, or perhaps just some plain old fashioned envy.


No applause, no kudos received for our accomplishments in praise or recognition can also become an imagined insult for the successor too. They may feel that they no longer wish to share their achievements with their partner, either to avoid sounding superior, or because they feel if they’re not being supported, why bother sharing their victories? Quite often there is much to analyze behind the emotions exhibited by the partner who feels left behind.


What Lies Beneath?

  • Insecurity – Your partner may feel that your growth is eating into your relationship time with them and quite possibly going to create a distance in the relationship.

  • A sense of unworthiness – Your partner may experiences feelings of inadequacy. They may feel they’re not on the same level of recognition anymore.

  • Fear – Your partner starts to develop fears that because they aren’t sharing in your new world of success that they’ll be left behind in the relationship, with fears of abandonment.

What Does This Mean?


The new feelings of inadequacy can begin to eat away at the relationship. The left out partner may react in various ways, depending on the nature of their character.


They May Choose to:

  • Recoil by refraining from talking about things in their world, feeling as though their life has become insignificant compared to the successor’s.

  • Become sarcastic in response to anything the successor has to share, which is always a sign of jealousy.

  • Begin to ignore the successor by not wanting to share any personal feelings, creating an emotional distance.

  • Choose to retaliate for their perceived feelings of being left behind. These tactics can range anywhere from staying out late to avoid confronting their partner with concerns, or possibly looking for an outlet such as: company, drugs or alcohol to mask their unhappiness.

What Can You Do?

1. Speak. Talk to your partner. Don’t let the distance grow between you as time passes. Ask them why your achievements are causing them anxiety. Offer them assurance that your accomplishments are helping to grow your income and that it shouldn’t make them feel as though they aren’t as important to you as your business. People want to feel secure.


2. Listen. Ask your partner to share their fears with you. Often suppressing fears and worries grows into bigger issues. These issues will eat into a relationship down the road. Discuss their fears with them and give them positive feedback on how you will work together on your relationship so they don’t feel left out in the cold.


3. Share. Keep the dialogue alive between you. Even though your business may not be understood by your partner, keeping them abreast of daily dealings will make them feel they are still a part of your world.


4. Strengthen. Keep your relationship alive with common interest. Ask them about their job or hobby, or simply, how their day went. Make date nights. Watch a movie together. Talk about friends and relatives together. Plan a vacation with no work. Create events that you can both look forward to sharing.


5. Include. Ask your partner to attend functions with you, business or otherwise. Ask them to look at some of your work and offer suggestions on how you may be able to improve something. Ask them what they would do if they were faced with a business dilemma you may be encountering. Everybody needs to feel important in a relationship whether business or emotional. The best way to do that is to keep them included and abreast of your work.


Remember: Silence speaks volumes. If you notice the behavior of your partner is changing as your success expands, begin taking action before it escalates into something unpleasant and grows into something larger than the original issue.


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43 thoughts on “5 Indicators Your Partner May Feel Insecure with Your #Success and How to Rectify

  1. Interesting, if I ever get to that point of success I will let you know. I am 73 and finally able to do what makes me happy, write. I have met many wonderful people, read some great books and now have a library all my own. I built it myself in my Kindle.
    Very few will be happy for me if I ever reach the success that you write about here but I have taken the first step and accomplished my first success.
    Great post!


    1. Thanks Patricia. What I write about here isn’t necessarily a measure of famous success, but rather any degree of success one experiences while moving themselves up a rung or two in their own business or career, where their other half can tend to feel left behind. We don’t have to be famous to reach that level of relationship differences when one is growing in another direction and the other may feel a gap in distance growing between the two when there’s a lack of understanding or inclusion. πŸ™‚


  2. Great advice. For a long time my guy didn’t ‘get’ my writing; he saw it as a hobby, since I had a day job and took care of the kids (and his meals). πŸ™‚ But now I’m writing full time, and he’s totally on board, which is a surprise. I think he’d LOVE it if my books took off and I became a big success. On the other hand, I already feel like a success, because my main man respects my writing. Now, my adult ‘kids’….that’s another story. And maybe another subject for you to blog about sometime (like, ‘mom, how can you write about T H A T???’)



    1. I’m glad to hear success stories Pam. It’s a big boost when our significant others can appreciate our interests and work. And it’s not always about not being able to handle success, but also about our partner’s being able to understand what we do without being left to feel that the relationship isn’t getting in the time due to the increasing busyness of the partner’s business. Your blog suggestion is a good one, and I do have ideas for that, although I don’t have any natural children of my own, so I may hesitate to write on something I wouldn’t want to get feedback that I’m not qualified to talk about. πŸ™‚


      1. Good point. It’s not just financial success, but the amount of time our passion (in this case, our writing, our stores) takes from our loved ones. Can they handle that? Understand that? Love the communication about what we do (write), what we love (writing), and how we work it around family, ‘outside’ work, and friends. xo


    1. Thanks for sharing that Jeri. It does happen to many couples, the communication gap can become strained, depending on the circumstances. Obviously you have experienced this now, so you are one step ahead for future relationships. πŸ™‚


  3. Great advice here, Deb, if this issue happens. As we are ever-changing, it certainly can be that one gains success faster than the other.. I like what you say about keeping the communication channels open ❀


  4. My husband, to be honest, Debby, can’t wait for the day that I’m more financially successful than he is. The poor dear is married to a writer πŸ™‚ In all seriousness though, an excellent post about some keys to a happy relationship.


    1. Mine too Diana, lol. But like I just mentioned here to John, it doesn’t necessarily pertain to getting rich and/or famous, but also busier and exploring new avenues that perhaps mean more traveling, or just a growth in a elevated direction where perhaps a partner may begin to feel left out in the cold. πŸ™‚


  5. A very different post for your blog. But a very helpful and informative one. Now if either of us had that type of success, it could be something to worry about. Not QUITE there yet, LOL. Still, most of the time we’re still supportive anyway–even if neither of us is getting rich and famous.


    1. I think I may be writing more about relationships as time goes by. And success doesn’t necessarily pertain to becoming rich and famous, rather as one’s business begins to expand and venturing into new avenues can very easily make a partner feel as though they are being ‘left behind’ so to speak.


  6. I know exactly what you mean, Deb. Now, don’t share this with my husband (he’s not likely to visit your blog, so I think I’m safe), but this is exactly how he felt when my writing business started taking off and he was laid off his job. We had a few difficult months, even year, but I started realizing all the reasons why he was part of my success and what he could do to improve that. It worked and we’re good now. For which I am thankful.

    On a totally different topic, I’d love to read a post from you about why you are on Instagram. Does it work well for you as a writer? Maybe I should join also?


    1. Lol Jacqui, I promise not to email your husband. πŸ™‚ But seriously, thanks so much for sharing your experience. Your briefly mentioned experience is exactly what I’m referring to, the challenge arose when your business became busier than your husband’s life, but you realized he WAS part of your success and business and discovered a method that worked for both of you. That’s the secret, communication and inclusion. I love happy endings. πŸ™‚
      Okay, Jacqui, I’ll accept your challenge. I’ll write a post about social media options for authors and what’s working, and what’s not! πŸ™‚


  7. You have nailed it wonderfully well dg…I have known many such cases especially Asian culture displays it very clearly, with more than 50% marriages, which are arranged. Parents’ first worry is…oh! my daughter is more qualified than the groom and may be making more money in future. Such proposals are declined and if the couple marries out of love, woman has to keep a low profile despite success. If she doesn’t, men find thousand ways to put her down and harass her if she chooses to save her marriage.


    1. Wow Balroop, thank you for adding this interesting view on how other cultures handle a women’s success. It makes me wonder if the stigma will ever disappear, that women can be successful without being measured against men’s. I wonder why it’s so difficult to attain equality. I do have to believe it’s all ego.:)


      1. It is much beyond ego, it is the age-old traditional macho image, the patriarchal upbringing of male child in our culture, mothers instill those values of male being the superior, giving a loud message to females that they have to live in subservience and those who try to break free are bound to suffer! But modern woman has risen against all this despite all the retaliation. It would take centuries though…it is a long and tiring battle!


  8. it can be rife.. especially when one partner loses weight, gets fit and looks more desirable! I ended up having couples in for the second appointment so that both were on the same page..it was safer if they did the programme together…I was accosted once in the post office by a wife who was most irate that her husband looked and felt ten year’s younger!! Great post as always Debby.. xx


      1. Thanks so much Sal. I have to agree with you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that when a husband is thriving and lost in his own escalating level to success, that the wife doesn’t begin to feel left out in the cold if he too doesn’t care to keep her a part of his world too. ❀


  9. The best advice comes from experience, Deb, and I expect you’ve had your fair share given you’ve covered all the bases here. I can see this post easily growing into a book — an anthology written by women on the subject of how women handle their success within a relationship. Great post that I’ll be sharing to all of my pages πŸ™‚ ❀


  10. Great Advice Debby.. I understand this so well as it happened when I climbed the ladder for a time… Thankfully our relationship was strong and although we had our rocky patches can say we survived these storms by doing many of the things you describe πŸ™‚
    Now into our and 41 yrs on.. still going strong.. πŸ™‚ ❀


    1. Yay Sue! It’s always inspiring to find that couple’s can overcome what can prove be dividing hurdles. And, may I say, I’m not surprised to hear this from you. πŸ™‚ xoxo


  11. An important issue, Debby. We were fortunate to dig into depth psychological work at the same time we got married–so we learned to speak up, express affection first, say hard things with compassion (usually), support each other, and voice uneasiness and inner difficulties. I always felt supported by Vic and he did a lot to help me with my career as a health care counselor–including editing my articles, just as I edited his articles and books. Sometimes there was jealousy along with love and celebration of his success. I didn’t feel he loved something else more than me. Instead I felt I should also be out there in the world in a way I couldn’t quite pull off. As you know, my worldly work now rests on the experience of his death. Life is full of surprise.


    1. Thanks for sharing this Elaine. One never knows where the future will take us. You were blessed with Vic in many ways, but particularly that you both shared many of the same interests which led to both of you being a big part of one another’s successes. πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks so much Kathleen. It’s not so much the fame, as many of us don’t get famous, rather the elevation in our busy time as our business grows that takes us away from attending to a partner’s needs sometimes that causes conflict. πŸ™‚


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