(Closed) Feeling Judged By My SO… :( (super long, sorry!)

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
4363 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Firstly I wanted to say how well put together this post is, not word vomit at all.

Secondly, I kind of know how you feel although my SO and I graduated to the same level, in the same field.  Thing is, he’s 12 years older than me and sometimes, through no fault of his, I feel like a failure.  Although I admit this is me not him, the closest he’s come to “judging me” is “why do you want kids sooner rather than later, don’t you want a career?”.  The reason I feel like a failure is that I feel he’s got it all made.  We may not be the most academically bright but there is nothing this guy cannot do.  He is a brilliant dancer (took ballet as a child), knows karate, can sew (like proper make his own clothes sew), he can play piano and clarinet, knows how to code websites, is a semi-pro photographer, an excellent and amazing cook (the best cook I know and my mum is awesome), and a DIYer amongst other things.  Me however, zilch.  I (re)started tap, but when SO got his new job (oh yes he doubled his salary in one job move!), we moved and I haven’t found anywhere (yet).

I am newly graduated (graduation ceremony next month) and totally lost careerwise so I know how you feel.  But heck girl, well done you for taking inititive to start your own business in something you’re good at!  Your SO should be so thrilled by that, it sounds amazing. So what if you’re not an astronaut? I’m proud of you.

I guess for me though, it’s slightly different.  SO is very supportive, more than he should be really, he’s really trying to motivate me and help me find direction.

Have you spoken to your SO about how his his words make you feel?  It sounds like his parents were “pushy parents” and indoctrinated him into the “you must be a millionaire before you’re 30” club.  I’m inclined to say that he doesn’t realise how much he’s hurting you, he’s always been motivated by the 3.6GPA (no idea what that is as a british bee), and been his parents are DISAPPOINTED when he doesn’t achieve. WTF?!?  Parents should be proud when their kids achieve not disappointed when they don’t. I just don’t think he gets that you’re motivated by other things because he’s been taught to be motivated by academic achievement.  Does that make sense?

Sorry for writing an essay, I hope it makes sense.  I hope you can have a frank talk about it and improve your relationship.  I really don’t think he means to hurt you, he just might not know any better/different.

(sorry for repeating myself – I think I might have caught the word vomit)

Post # 4
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Like I’ll say something, and he’ll be like, “You’re wrong because of this, this, and this. I read X number of books on it, and Einstein is my BFF.”

This sounds SOOO much like my Fiance. He keeps going when I tell him he’s right too. I can literally repeat “I know, you’re right. I understand what you’re saying.” It’s like I offend him when I’m wrong and he takes it personally. (Sometimes I do say stupid “Is tuna fish or chicken?” type stuff but I realize it fast enough and he just keeps going and going…like I am too dumb to really understand so he gives me the kindergarten version of everything). The way I deal is that I make sure he knows how he’s making me feel when he does that. Sometimes he doesn’t realize how condescending his tone can be and how much he is hurting my feelings. Usually once he’s calmed down he reflects and we go over how it could have been handled better and it has gotten a lot better. Another thing is that I try to hold my tongue if I think I might say something that could lead us into him proving me wrong and drilling into me the correct thing. Usually it’s petty stuff anyway and it only takes me a deep breath to ease the urge to try to prove him wrong.

I don’t think you should deal with the condecention regarding your degree though. That’s just plain mean! Congrats on your REAL degree though. You should be happy and he should be happy for you….he should be proud of you like you are of him. You’re right that you both are just doing things differently…You aren’t wrong and he’s not right. Maybe he’s just a product of his raising. Have you talked to him about how it makes you feel? My Fiance has told me before that he’s the most critical of the people closest to him because he cares about them, maybe because his parents were so critical of him he sees that as a way to show he cares and wants for you to be your best(Even though it is his definition of best and not yours).

I really think what helped the most in my situation is focusing on the feelings(Not the individual issues that are making you feel less than great). My Fiance had no idea how I felt when he talks down to me. When I told him in detail, mocking the tones he uses, saying the words the way I perceived them because of the way he would say them, it’s like a lightbulb went off and things have steadily been getting better. I know it might be hard, but maybe it will help.

Sorry for typing so much. I really hope I helped a little bit. You shouldn’t be down about you’re degree, don’t let him bring you down.

Post # 5
34 posts
  • Wedding: May 2014

Tell him exactly what you just told us… “I don’t want to marry someone that I feel like I have to prove myself to.” Be honest with him. I’m sure that there is something that you do better than him right? Cooking, maybe? Something like that. He can’t be good at EVERYTHING! Just tell him: “Look, success come in different forms and in my eyes I AM succesful! I may not be equal to you in academics but I have you beat in X, Y, and Z. If who I am and what I am going to become isn’t good enough for you, then you can show yourself to the door, because I don’t deserve to be treated the way you treat me! I can go find someone who will appreciate me for who I am!”

In many ways, happiness is success, and if you are happy with who you are, then you are a successful human being because there are MANY in this world who are very unhappy with themselves. So consider yourself lucky and successful, but by all means put him in his place!! I DO believe that this will be a HUGE problem in your marriage if he doesn’t stop. It’s not healthy. So let him know that it HAS to stop NOW and must NEVER happen again.


Good Luck!

Post # 6
34 posts
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Paiger8:  You know something?? What you say to us here is really what he needs to see. Maybe if he read this, he’d understand how you felt…. maybe not but its worth a try. You express yourself so well. Maybe it will help him understand.

Post # 7
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

First off (( HUGS ))

Because I know that writing this was hard.


This will not get better… it will probably only get worse.

I was married to a high achiever, and in the beginning fresh out of University when we were making the same money starting out, he was perfectly fine with what I did, had to offer, etc.

But as the years went on, and his career took off in leaps and bounds, he found great pleasure in telling me how smart he was… and how “not so smart” I was (for the record I graduated with Honours… and on time, while he dicked around in the computer lab, failed a few courses… because he “wasn’t that interested” in them or thought the Professor an @ss) and even though he was BRILLIANT he graduated late, and had an ongoing issue with people skills his whole life.

As a young woman, I put up with a lot of his nonsense, quite happy I suppose to have got me a guy who was going somewhere in his career… he literally was a star at work, and tripled his salary within a short period of time.

But all this wore thin over time…

It seemed that I was the brunt of too many of his snide comments and uncomfortable jokes (he had no problem making fun of me in front of others, or others… including family members in front of me)  He truthfully believed he was head and shoulders above everyone else when it came to being blessed with brains

In the first 10 years of our marriage, I was busy with getting our lives established (we moved a lot), bought houses and had kids.  As we could afford it, I took time out from my full-time career.

Come my 30s I was back on track… although I had to begin pretty much at the bottom again.  As someone who was older (vs others just starting out) I was excelling quickly up the ladder.  And being recognized in various ways thru promotions on the job, salary increases, academic accomplishments, as well as recognition by my peers and service to the community.

The worst thing he said, to belittle my accomplishments, happened after we moved into a NEW home, where he had an At-Home Office which I had taken great pride and pains to decorate… it had a nice collection of his degrees and pics on the wall.  He said, he thought we do the same for me… hang my “paperwork”.  And in particular my University Diploma…  in our Main Floor Bathroom with a little sign that said “In Case of Emergency… Break Glass” (in other words… my Degree could be used for TP because “it was worth sh!t”)

By this time, I was closing in on 35 and as women we tend to come into our own then… I was less and less impressed with his bullying (like ALWAYS being right, having to win any and all discussions / arguments).  I knew that I had value, whether he saw it or not.

By the time I was 40, I was less wanting (or needing) to put up with his crap (and by then there were other issues at play as well… including alcoholism & physical abuse) so I decided I had had enough, and got out.

I LOVED that man desperately, and had given him over 25 years of my life… so leaving was difficult… but I also knew that the environment I was living in wasn’t a healthy one…

Looking back, it all began with those put-downs… his comments to me were truly disrespectful.  And quite honestly he didn’t see it… not when we were 20 or 40.  He believed he was right in every way, all the time, which is also WHY going to counselling didn’t work for us… he always saw the Counsellors as being “less than” up against him.

I remember once in counselling when we were discussing this issue, he turned to the Therapist and said… “WHO does she think she is… the Prime Minister?”  It was a back-handed slap because I had at the time a highly respected job working for an up and coming Politician who had potential to be the next BIG THING federally.  IF that had worked out… I could have very well ended up in the PMs Office (albeit as one of the Heads of Staff for the NEW PM).  A job I would have LOVED dearly !!

There was forever the jab…

And in the end that is BUT ONE THING that pushed me over the edge… with the kids gone, I just could not see myself waking up every day next to this man, looking across the Breakfast & Dinner Table at him.  Trying to give him a comfortable existence, doing his laundry, making his meals (forever criticized on ALL that I did… be it the housekeeping, the way I didn’t iron his shirts properly, or what was for Dinner) … and all the while hearing him rail against the rest of the world… how whatever he read in the morning paper was “wrong” and that I was “dumb” if I believed all that I read, heard, or otherwise engaged in.

The time on his one-track tune… had officially run out.

Now I am not saying that your relationship is going to be exactly like mine… just that what your partner does in regards to put-downs and criticisms does border on EMOTIONAL ABUSE.  And without him receiving SUCCESSFUL treatment, and his making MEANINGFUL CHANGE on his part, this could end up getting to be a lot worse.

Just so you know…



Post # 8
9231 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

He sounds exactly like my narcissistic father.  Run far and fast.

It was hell for my mother who spent most of her married life inher room with a quart of vodka while I desparately tried to work hard  enough and be good enough to get at least one of my parents to like me.

Still working on it in therapy.  Lots of meds for severe clinical depression and anxiety and panic disorders.

Thst’s what life with a condescending narcissist does.


Post # 9
923 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

@sassy411:  Sounds like we had virtually the same childhood, only my father was pretty much absent and my mother was just bitter.

I then basically repeated the pattern all over again by marrying someone exactly the same as Paiger8’s Fiance.  After a decade of it, I cracked, had an affair and left.

I also now suffer from anxiety and panic disorders, on top of being bipolar.  

Run far and fast is the best advice. 

Post # 10
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I know people like this and it won’t get better. He sounds a bit egotistical and narcissistic – neither of which are recipes for a happy, healthy relationship. I don’t know much else about your relationship but I think you need to have a sit down with him and talk about it – show him this post.  You’ll know from his response if he’s the type of guy you want to spend the rest of your life with or not.

Post # 11
394 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013


You deserve to look at your SO and KNOW that he thinks you’re the bee’s knees. Like others have said, maybe his big ol’brain doesn’t actually get how much this is affecting you and your relationship.

You deserve to be proud of graduating. Like Ladyartichoke, I’m proud of you! I don’t care if the degree is in shoveling out horse stables, you’ll still be a college graduate! Your SO is supposed to be supportive, he’s supposed to be that encouraging person – not the obnoxious parent yelling at you from the sidelines. 

He was raised in a certain way and it’s in his nature to compare. It’s not fair to you and he needs to know that if he can’t be your support then somebody else will be. It sounds like you have a TON of stuff going for you, and if your Einstein can’t see that, then he’s quite dumb.

My SO is ridiculously smart too. I NEVER win an argument, he wins at mostly everything, he’s super quick-witted and can sing. In the beginning of the relationship I was intimidated by this and I always thought he was judging me. I went to college for a semester and couldn’t afford to go back, though I know I’m intelligent. I’m 24 now, and still haven’t gone back and sometimes that’s how I look at my worth. My SO has told me he doesn’t care. He’s trying to help me find what I’m good at and even when I suck at something he’s right there trying to help me figure it out. Though I still have trouble openly singing in front of him 🙂

Talk with him. Have him take you seriously. If everything else in your relationship is peachy then maybe you can get through to him. If not, you may need to step back and truly re-examine what you need in a SO.

Post # 12
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I hate to pile on but this sounds pretty bad to me. A lack of respect is so corrosive in a relationship. It sounds like he just can’t recognize what you, as a person, have to offer because you don’t fit into his laser-focused, academically driven mold. As a PP said, there are lots of ways to have a happy and fulfilled life and being the most high achieving, disciplined person in the world is not necessarily the path to happiness. Some people skip along in life and do just fine, and are very happy! Some people are “successful” workaholics and are miserable!

My Fiance and I are both bright people but he has a much more disciplined mind than I do and he has been very successful in his field. Meanwhile I’m still trying to figure out my career goals and have a tendency to flit around, but he admires the very qualities I have that he doesn’t have….the fact that I have a lot of different enthusiasms, that I’m often reading about 5 books at the same time or taking on a bunch of hobbies. I earn a living but I’m just not driven to pour myself into work — there’s so much more to life — and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I could NOT be with someone who would look down on me and belittle me for my approach to work/life. 

Post # 13
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I can kind of relate to this post from both sides, strangely enough. 

On your FI’s side, I think my husband has somehow felt similar in that I was the one who was high-achieving in school, got great grades, graduated early, got through law school fast, etc. while he went to a school he considers to be very NOT impressive. And because I’m an attorney and arguing is kinda what I do for a living, he gets overwhelmed when we argue because I”m better at it. <– which does not mean that I am right necessarily, it means that I have spent a butt load of money learning how to argue my point effectively whether it is correct or not. 

On your side, despite my high academic achievement, I am far less motivated than he is. I have a job but I kinda… don’t care? I don’t have a lot of career goals, I don’t really know where I want to go from here, I don’t know if I want to be a lawyer anymore, I don’t know if I even want to do anything using my degrees (contemplating a switch to photography which would make all my education a very expensive detour). My husband on the other hand is a star at work, very well respected, and has lots of career goals he will probably meet. And I know that it bothers him that I am not driven. Especially because he met me when we were in law school so I think he feels like I’m not exactly the person he thought I was going to be at first– he thought he was getting a type A all-star, but I kind of turned into a type B wanderer lol. 

I think the important thing for us has been to talk about how we’re feeling about all of these things. I didn’t really realize I steam-rolled him in arguments. I was so used to fighting the way I fight that I didn’t think about how that would be intimidating to him and make him feel unheard. And I don’t think he realized how his attitude about work sometimes seemed to me like a judgment of my non-ambition at work. But now we are aware of these issues and we work really hard to not make the other feel small. 

I think you REALLY need to talk to your guy and explain all these things to him. He needs to respect the fact that his path is not yours. That job achievement is not necessarily life achievement. And that success is not measured in dollars. If he can’t respect those things he might be someone you need to walk away from because you don’t share the same values about life. But hopefully once he sees how these things affect you he’ll step back from the judginess a bit and be a more caring person.

Post # 14
278 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I agree with these ladies!

My ex (we only dated for 6 months) had an exceptional job in comparison to mine. He was working for a fancy car dealer ship – Mercedes Benz – while I was working at a call center doing tech support.

I never noticed it until after the relationship ended, but he’d made several snide comments about my position. There were other faults in the relationship which had me running into the arms of my current man, and fiancee, but I’m sure had we continued the way we were, more and more of these “comments” would have surfaced.

Tell him what you’ve told us. It’s easy for us to say to run, but if he doesn’t smarten up – it really would be better to do so in the long run.

Post # 15
2523 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

As someone from the “other side,” or J’s side, (and don’t take that in a rude or aggressive way), I can relate to what you are saying.

First of all, he probably came from a very, very demanding family. I know I did. Once my family realized I was “gifted” as a child, even lower A’s weren’t good enough. For instance, I remember getting a 95 on a math exam when I was in 4th grade (that was 12th grade level). You know what my dad said to me? “That’s ALL? Why didn’t you get a 100?” This even carried over into sports, which I played from childhood and now for college. It’s a lot of pressure being exceptional, because people expect so much from you, all the time. And, it’s expected we find someone just as brilliant for partners, you see.

As I got older, I became extremely critical of myself, and unfortunately, this criticism carried over onto others. It’s not right, but it did. It affected my intimate relationships, and some of them ended.

When someone is extremely intelligent and thinking in a different “plane” of others, it can be frustrating for everyone involved because while the other people are not stupid, the “gifted” person may perceive them that way because “they just don’t get it.”

My advice to you is to get with someone that is closer to your goal set. I don’t want to say intelligence level because I don’t think you are dumb, nor do I think you are wrong in your degree or ventures, but your SO obviously does, and trust me, it will cause friction until the day you die.

Why? Because the same thing happened in one of my previous relationships, unfortunately. I considered myself “superior” because I didn’t think my ex “got it.” We didn’t have similar goals, I didn’t feel I couldn’t have the intense intelligent conversations I wanted to with him about certain topics, etc. We weren’t right for each other in those aspects.

My guy now, we compliment each other very nicely. While he doesn’t have extreme knowledge of database normalization, he is very skilled at medical procedures, which I have no idea about. We balance each other out. That, and I”m more mature.

It can be hard loving people like that, but it can be done. We all have flaws, even the retardedly smart ones.

Post # 16
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I have dated someone like that.  And we broke up because his feeling like he was better than (everyone including) me led him to abuse me and I left.  It’s a much longer story than that, but that’s the root of it.

Your relationship is not automatically doomed, though.  TALK with your boyfriend.  Let him know how he makes you feel.  How does he feel when his parents tell him he’s not good enough?  Really?  Would he be secure in a relationship knowing you really wanted him to be more like his boss and weren’t really happy with what he makes?  Doubt it.

He needs to respect you, which includes what you study and what you do.  My husband is smart.  So am I, but he’s much more driven than I am (also his parents beat it into him).  I don’t give a fuck if we live in a huge house and make a million dollars.  But he’s driven to work and work toward his goals.  He has relaxed SO MUCH since we got together.  He sees that I’m just not stressed about it.  I’m a little more motivated to work towards OUR goals and he’s a little more relaxed because he knows I’m in it no matter what he makes or achieves.  It’s always a two-way street.

So if you feel like your boyfriend cares enough to work on some of that stuff, it could work out.  Just let him know that you need him to work on some of that stuff and you’ll work on setting some goals together and working towards them.  Maybe his smarty-pants self can help you with your business instead of just tell you that you’re doomed? 

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