In a healthy relationship, your partner is your greatest support system. They want to see you succeed in every sphere of life, and they help you chase your greatest career aspirations. They celebrate your promotions and listen to your complaints; they run you lunch when you need it and they lend you an ear when you need to practice your presentation. You establish healthy boundaries between work and home, but you know your partner wants the most for you in both.
However, in some less healthy relationships, partners can be a barrier to your success, even professionally and even if you don’t pinpoint it right away. Here are signs your partner is holding your career back.
1. They make you doubt yourself.
If your partner makes you feel bad about your abilities, how people perceive you, or your dreams, they’re holding your career back. Statements that make you doubt yourself may not always be cut and dry. They may tell you to “be more realistic,” or to “be ready for that not to work out.” If you feel deflated and insecure every time you talk to them about your aspirations, they’re definitely holding your career back.
2. They make you feel bad for being ambitious.
If your partner constantly complains about your work, suggests that your career ambitions are diminishing your relationship or acts “jealous” of your job, they’re holding you back. Actions like these can make you feel guilty or conflicted about chasing your dreams and may inspire you to do things you normally wouldn’t, like turning down a promotion to spend more time with them. Partners should support your ambitions, no matter what they take, and want to inspire you to do what’s best for you — not them.
3. They aren’t willing to lend a hand when you need it.
While it is reasonable for partners to desire boundaries between work and life at home, if your partner is unable to chip in when you really need it, they’re not contributing to your career success. A supportive partner will listen to your presentation or pick up dinner if you’re on a deadline. If your partner is cold to helping you out professionally no matter the circumstances, they’re holding you back.
4. Your relationship is so tumultuous you aren’t able to focus on work.
This one is a given. If your relationship is causing you such immense amounts of stress or discomfort that you’re unable to focus work, or if your partner insists on constant communication during the work day, it’s time to reconsider your partner’s role in your life.
It also may be time to consider reaching out to a friend or loved one for help. Relationship abuse is real and there are people who want to help. If you are being abused, the domestic violence hotline is available in the United States at 1-800-799-7233.