2. Having a Competitive Attitude.
Some competition is OK, but anything that isn’t mutual and playful could build a wall.
Competition is all around us. Football games on TV, soccer games at the high school, getting ahead at work, Christmas displays in the neighborhood — you name it and someone will try to win it. You may have to stay ahead of the game in some areas of your life, but your marriage is not one of them. When one person is always the winner, both spouses lose.
Maybe a little competition between the two of you at the racquetball court is OK. And perhaps you can rib each other with your basketball tournament predictions. But that’s about it. Anything that isn’t mutual and playful could build a wall between you.
If you find yourself building a “case” in the back of your mind with supporting bullet points for every disagreement, you may win the argument nearly every time. However, you may do more to exhaust and demoralize your spouse than anything else.
Think about Why You Need To Win
A person with emotional insecurities may overcompensate by trying to look superior to his or her spouse. When they stay on top, they feel stronger and more confident. They may have trouble being vulnerable, even with their spouse. To do so would expose their insecurities. This would clash with their belief that they are successful.
Does this sound like you? Does your spouse tire of your victory dance and your need to always have the upper hand? Maybe they just want you to come back to earth a little. They are probably far happier to be around you when you show some imperfections. You may not be used to your spouse showing tenderness toward you. If you married a great person, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You don’t have to win to feel satisfied.
3. Making Marriage about Me Instead of We.
Have you ever stopped to listen to the chatter going on in your mind? Most likely, it’s focused on you — what you look like, how you just messed something up, what you have on your schedule later, what you are looking forward to, etc.
Naturally, this chatter is somewhat biased because it’s from your perspective. But how about the chatter that relates to your spouse? Is it all about how much fun you will have later, what you expect from your husband or wife, and what kind of mood you are in?
Take Your Spouse’s Viewpoint and Make Their Day Better
Generosity and considerate behaviors can go a long way toward nurturing a great marriage. Instead of wondering if they’ll ever load the dishwasher right, do something you know your spouse will appreciate. Be forewarned: they may not throw you a ticker-tape parade because you did it. Don’t get caught up in the “what’s in it for me” trap again.