Navigating Feelings of Romantic Inferiority
Differences in romantic relationships are inevitable. Any person involved in a relationship has experienced envy in one way or another, may it be for a short amount of time or chronically.
Envy is the experience of feeling undeservedly inferior and this feeling is particularly damaging as any shared experiences between the people involved will be impacted.
Looking at the short-term effects of inequality in relationships, it doesn't seem to do much harm as it often increases sexual desire.
However, unequal relationships will soon be laced with contempt, leading to divorce and extramarital affairs for both partners.
In the marriage between esteemed novelist, Jonathan Franzen and his wife Kathryn Chetkovich, who was a writer herself, had experienced envy.
Her envy towards the success of her husband led to her writing an essay about how envy had affected their marriage, even to the point of punishing Franzen by refusing sexual advances and to where she said "If I could not be happy, I was ready to make us both miserable."
"Be with someone who wants to see you grow."
Studies about personal development and romantic passion have been conducted in order to understand the correlation between the two. It's been shown that shared personal development increases the passion of both partners and the relationship's quality.
However, if only one partner endures personal development this reduces the passion, level of satisfaction, and intimacy in the relationship.
"We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance, if we, changing, continue to love a changed person."
Profound love involves kindness, generosity, and sympathetic joy for the beloved's success.
We will go through changes throughout our lives and if we see our partners as "above" or "beneath" us it will eventually become problematic because this places an unnecessary comparison in the relationship.
People who look for a partner that is superior to them may be suffering from low self-esteem and have the need to glorify themselves through a partner that adores them.
Relationships need work. I study how to be good at it.
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