When Your Partner Isn’t Giving You the Support You Need

When Your Partner Isn’t Giving You the Support You Need

November 07, 2022

Before you got engaged, or had a child, or moved across the country for your partner’s job, did you sit down and ask each other questions like, What makes for a good life? and How much work is too much? Yeah, neither did we. These are the sorts of conversations that researcher Jennifer Petriglieri says lay the foundation for couples, especially working parents, to have a mutually supportive relationship and satisfying, if demanding, careers.

A woman named Rebecca remembers talking with her husband in depth about their values and goals early on in their relationship. It was a conversation that felt abstract at the time…and never happened again. They now have two young kids, and Rebecca is stepping into a new leadership role. She feels like she’s not getting enough practical and emotional support from her spouse, and isn’t sure how to attain it. So, we asked Jennifer to share her expertise and advice.

We give Rebecca (and anyone in a similar situation) a framework for processing the career-family tension she’s feeling, as well as ideas for resolving it.


Jennifer Petriglieri is an associate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD and the author of Couples That Work: How Dual-Career Couples Can Thrive in Love and Work.


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