"I married beneath me, all women do." —Lady Nancy Astor "I have always preferred a partner whom I consider superior to me in various ways. The gap motivates me to enhance my strongest characteristics. I can't respect women who choose men inferior to them." —Iris Envy , at its core, is the experience of feeling undeservedly inferior. Feelings of inequality and inferiority are particularly damaging in enduring romantic relationships , as any shared experiences between the couple can be impacted (Ben-Ze'ev, 2000; 2019). According to John Gottman 's studies, unequal relationships are laced with contempt, which significantly correlates with divorce . Other research suggests that unequal relationships generate more extramarital affairs for both partners (Prins et al., 1993). Romantic partners are of course, not one person, and differences are inevitable. Different traits are not necessarily harmful and indeed are useful in promoting a thriving romantic relationship. Take the example of a shy partner with his easygoing counterpart or an absent-minded partner, whose lover is organized. Of course, taken to the extreme, differences can be harmful, especially if they expose considerable gaps in essential aspects of life, such as intelligence or the ability for personal growth. In the latter examples, envy is… Read full this story
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