I read an interview of Asia Argento in a magazine, and she had those words towards the balance of a relationship:
“If we don’t have the same intellectual level, if life didn’t offer us the same rewards, then it’s a permanent competition. Sometimes, men don’t feel they can face it, and this unbalance inside the couple can lead to sexual troubles”
This reminds me of the principle of the litost explained by Milan Kundera in one of his books. According to the writer, the litost is the feeling you have if you get beaten in your domain by someone else. An example? If you beat a guy by swimming or running faster than he, he would feel a resentment towards you. That’s the litost.
I have rarely heard stories of women jealous of their men’s successes, education or social environment. But on the men’s side, it’s really frequent. Let’s take an example. “I graduated from one of the prestigious universities of my country, and I was the major of my promotion. I work now in a lawyers cabinet, where I’m an associate. My man isn’t so successful in his student path and in his job. He finished last of his promotion. He has changed from one company to another several times because he’s quickly bored. He doesn’t feel fulfilled by his job, and I know he’s a bit jealous of my career. He hates when I pay for the restaurant when we invite people. He can’t stand when I’m acting like if I was at work, bossy and go-getter. He wants me to be ” a normal” woman, laughing with him at little things, dancing, singing,… This has caused several troubles between us, and we almost split because of this” F., 35, said.
Another example? “We were both in the same photography school, and finished at the same time. But our career took different ways. People appreciate my work, I’ve been offered several exhibitions and numerous contracts. He, on the other hand, never quite makes it as a photograph. He’s a bit lazy, and doesn’t take easily the criticisms. As a result, many contracts have slipped under his nose because of his tempestuous character.I know it’s difficult for him to see me succeed, while he’s not. We fight a lot, and he always starts the fights. I don’t know if our couple is sustainable” L.,30, explained.
Some couples do find a balance, even if they haven’t received the same rewards from life. R.,45, runs successfully her company while her husband stays at home, writing his books and looking after the children. I’ve noticed couples have a better chance not to fall into the trap of jealousy when they evolve professionally in complete opposite domains. Or the woman has to be less successful. In my newspaper, many journalists are hooked together (there’s a bit of endogamy here), and often, the male is more successful than the female journalist. I’ve never heard my female colleagues complaining about their man’s success. In fact, they’re happy for them. And proud to be with them. I even bet their sexual life is on a right track.
If your partner is more successful than you, will you be jealous? Personally, the light of my life doesn’t work in the world of medias, and I’m glad he doesn’t.