An unsupportive partner can break your heart and trash your success.
Let’s pretend you’re a cruise ship for a minute. A toxic relationship is like the iceberg that gouges up your starboard side and flooding two entire watertight compartments (representing your personal life and your career).
In short, you don’t want to be with a person that could end up sinking your life.
How can you tell if your significant other is in fact hurting your success? Sometimes, the symptoms aren’t obvious.
Here are some subtle signs that your boo is holding you back:
Your work news doesn’t garner a reaction from them
You can’t wait to tell your partner about the crazy thing that happened in the office.
Your boss’s balance ball chair popped and sent him careening to the floor. You discovered that your sloth-like cubicle mate is actually the CEO’s nephew. Your psycho rival finally got sacked.
But no matter how funny, interesting, or important your job-related news is, your honey never seems to care much. Sure, they smile and nod, but their eyes seem to glaze over and their responses are short and vague throughout the conversation.
Listen, some people drone on about their boring career too much, so this situation might be on you. However, if your significant other becomes listless anytime your job comes up, that could be an indicator that they just don’t care. That’s not exactly a hallmark of a supportive relationship. It’s hurtful and it can impact the self-esteem you draw from your work.
They always comment about how much time you spend at work
Whether your partner is demanding you cut back on your work hours, or they’re just passive aggressively pointing out that you’re gone a lot, this isn’t a good sign.
You need to do some serious reflecting if this is happening to you. It’s possible that they’re right and you are neglecting the relationship because you have a terrible work-life balance.
However, if you feel that you’re not overworking yourself, this might be a sign that your sweetheart is too clingy. Don’t allow someone with control issues dictate how you approach your career.
They encourage you to quit your job — even though you’re not sure you want to
Maybe scaling back your work hours isn’t enough for your partner – they want you to up and quit! Or perhaps they want you to move to an industry that’s more stable and pays better, regardless of what your passion is. It’s also possible that they’re just not comfortable with the idea of working and would prefer you to stay home.
This can be poisonous to your career trajectory. While it’s great to have a significant other that provides insight and guidance, you can’t let them make decisions about your job for you.
They imply your success intimidates them
This sign can come up in obvious and subtle ways. Maybe your partner abruptly cuts you off whenever you bring up a work-related triumph, or maybe they just find other, quiet ways of putting you in your place.
Disturbingly, as “The Huffington Post” previously reported, there are studies to back this one up. A 2006 Columbia University report found that male speed daters rejected women that came off as smarter than them. Yikes.
You shouldn’t have to tone down your stellar work just to get along with your fragile, insecure boo.
They’re involved in all of your work decisions
You should definitely get your partner’s input if you’re making a big career decision, like transferring between offices or switching industries. Those choices will impact them too, after all.
That being said, if your feel your significant other’s become too controlling, managing every aspect of your career, that’s a warning sign.
They play devil’s advocate when you complain about work
You’re chilling out on the couch with your sweetheart, griping about how your jerk of a manager chewed your head off first thing in the morning. Something’s a bit off, though. Instead providing some sympathy, your our significant other takes your manager’s side!
Here’s the thing, you might have actually been in the wrong. It’s also possible that you complain way too much they’re very reasonably signaling you to knock it off. Introspect a bit before you read this sign as a terrible omen.
However, they might just be a passive aggressive person. This can hold you back and make you really second guess yourself in the office, even when you’re really not the problem.
They acknowledge your successes, but don’t comment on your setbacks
When you rush home and announce that you snagged a big bonus or got a complimentary email from the CEO, your partner is thrilled.
However, when you trudge over to share some bad news, you get a cold shoulder in return.
That’s not fair to you. Plus, it can be seriously draining, making every problem you encounter on the job seem even worse. This can seriously throw off your game in the office.
They’re a bit suspicious of all your coworkers
Okay, in fairness, if you’ve been laughing it up with your work spouse all over social media, this one’s probably your fault. You’ve given your partner a pretty good reason to be suspicious.
That being said, if your significant other resents most of your coworkers, that’s an indicator something’s off. They resent you going out with your office friends for a few drinks at Happy Hour. They scoff at the idea of hitting up the Christmas party or the annual barbecue at the boss’s house. They grill you about any colleagues that they view as potential competition.
If that’s all happening, you might have a paranoid partner on your hands. Don’t allow them to taint your relationship with your work-mates.
They’re constantly pushing you to snag that raise
This one’s bad news for your job and your relationship.
Obviously, more money is usually a good thing. Having a significant other that believes in you and pushes you to achieve more can be quite a positive thing.
Still, it’s never good to be pushed too hard. It’s quite stressful to have someone constantly telling you to bring in more cash – no matter how subtle they are. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, which can hurt your confidence in the office. It can also lead you to make decisions about work that aren’t in line with your goals; for example, jumping into a gig that you have no interest in, but pays better.
In relationships, it’s much better to keep discussions about money as calm and civil as possible. After all, 2001 California State University study found that there is a “statistically significant relationships between financial problems and divorce.”
They don’t ‘get’ your drive
Whenever you mention your dearly-held dreams and ambitions, you get a small laugh or an eye roll from bae. They simply don’t get your goals. Instead of trying to understand you, they’re dismissive of your work ethic.
Of course, if your dreams are honestly stupid and crazy, you can’t necessarily expect an outpouring of enthusiasm from your honey. Still, they should at least be engaging with you in some form when you bring up your ambitions.
Having a loved one scoff at your big ideas is a very deflating experience. Plus, as Business Insider previously reported, contempt is one of the “four horsemen of the apocalypse” – negative behaviors that commonly predict divorce – according to a study by psychologists John Gottman and Robert Levenson.
Sometimes, you feel your relationships issues are spilling into the office
This sign’s not necessarily subtle, but it can manifest itself in quiet ways. If you’ve been feeling pretty bummed out at the office lately and your relationship’s in the toilet, that’s obviously not a great thing. Consider whether your spats with your significant other to blame for your office blues as well.
This is obviously not a great spot to be in. You’re not only suffering through a toxic personal situation, you’re also allowing it to harm your work performance.