The typical behavior of being selfish in a marriage is constantly put your own thoughts and needs ahead of your partner. It means that you only care about yourself, getting as much as you want, and giving as little as you can.
Selfishness can bring negative effects to your marriage. It also will hinder you from becoming one with your partner. If this selfishness keeps ongoing, your partner will feel unloved and turned to believe that their need will never be met.
According to Divorcestatistic.org, the divorce rate in America for the first marriage is 41%. It also stated that Americans are believed to have a high ego and are very selfish by nature. Which is becomes one of the factors that most of the marriage are ends up in a divorce.
Often, people who are selfish didn’t think of themselves as selfish. So, take a step back and ask yourself these questions, no offense:
- Did you ever ask your partner’s opinion when you are making an important decision?
- Are you expecting your partner to listen to you but you don’t offer the same thing in return?
- Do you ever ask your partner what to do over the weekend? Or do you just plan it without getting their opinion?
- Did you always think that you are better than your spouse?
- Did you insist that your perspective is the correct one in almost everything?
If you think you belong to one of the categories above, there is probably a good chance you haven’t realize that you’ve been unfair to your partner.
Signs Of The Selfish Partner In A Marriage
The trait of selfish partners is not easy to notice. So, if you are not sure whether you being a selfish partner or not, pay attention to these signs. F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W from Psychologytoday.com stated, there are two defining characteristics of selfishness:
- Being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself.
- Having no regard for the needs or feelings of others.
Still, the signs of selfish people can be varied. Here are the signs that you might have if you were acting selfishly in your romantic relationship.
1# You always put your needs before your partner.
Selfish people always put their needs first. They didn’t put you as a priority and did not give enough effort to their relationship.
When you are a single person, you are the only person that you need to think about. You can just eat what you want, buy clothes that you want to wear, go to travel around the world and spend your money as you like.
But after marriage, things will slowly start to changes. You need to remove your single mindset because you are no longer single. Your statement will no longer always start with “I”, but it will change to “we” or “us”. Because right now, you had to put each other needs above your want.
2# You don’t listen to your partner’s opinion.
You always giving weight to your own point of view and believe that your perspective is the correct one on everything. If you keep doing this, you are setting up your relationship to fail. Communication is the key here, ignoring your partner’s thoughts and wishes is a sign of being selfish.
Listening to your partner’s opinion doesn’t mean that you need to change your own opinion to match her. It just means that your partner deserves to be heard.
3# You expect your partner to change.
If you are expecting your partner changes their personality based on your needs, you are basically being selfish. As a partner, you should support your spouse to be their best selves, not forcibly trying to mold them based on what you want them to be.
Keep telling them that they are not offering you enough, they no longer make you feel happy, and not being considerate enough about your need is only push them away. Nobody likes to be told what to do, the same goes for you.
Remember, positive changes come over time, but it needs to happen naturally, not by force.
4# When things go wrong, you threaten to end the relationship.
In every relationship, none of us will always get everything that we need. That is how a relationship works, be considerate to your partner and try to put yourself in their shoes.
Threatening to leave your partner is a selfish act. And if you genuinely love your partner, you must have enough self-awareness to know that it is extremely hurtful to be threatened to end the relationship just because things don’t get your way.
5# You want to be in control all the time.
If you only want what you think best, you are basically not considering your partner’s thoughts and did not trust your partner’s decision.
This point is quite related to the point above. When things always have to be your way and you want to control every aspect of everything that happens in your life, including your partner’s life, it is a huge red flag of a selfish sign.
6# You did not care about your partner’s problem.
Another clear sign of selfishness is you did not care about your partner’s problem. As an example, when your partner tries to talk about how tough their job is, you simply dismiss it by saying “don’t worry too much, everything should be ok”, or “it’s okay, I know you can do better.”
At first sight, this commends look like totally fine, there’s nothing wrong with it. But when you just gloss over their worries by blindly reassure them with commends like that, you did not put your concern enough to your partner.
Instead, you should show your support by asking them about their specific problem. Lend your ear to listen in an effort to understand their experiences.
7# You find it hard to apologize.
A selfish person finds it hard to apologize to their partner even when they have ripped their partner apart. This is because, in their head, it is all about them, they have a perfectly justified argument for their behavior. They also will be more focused on how their partner hurt their feelings, so it was all their partner’s fault, to begin with.
How To Overcome Selfish In A Marriage
When you are married to the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with, you need to treat them like an equal partner. Because they are the person who will share your deepest joys and sorrows with.
You need to start to think about how the things that you did will affect both of you. In a healthy relationship, you need to be aware of what pleases your partner, at least part of it. So that you can learn about your partner’s needs, wishes, and desires.
Have an open mind about all these things will make you become less selfish and more flexible. So it is time to start working on yourself to become less selfish in your marriage.
1# Question yourself.
Start with questioning yourself. You may find it hard to accept, but if you have the signs of being selfish, be responsible and admit that you are selfish. Acknowledge the problem is an essential part to find a better solution.
Once you do this, your perspective will be readjusted and you will start seeing things from a different light. But if you don’t want to admit this trait, you will never overcome it. Don’t be blind by your pride that may cause pain to your marriage.
2# Communicate with your partner.
Talk to your partner about your selfish behavior. Keep an open mind about your partner’s feedback. Listen carefully to what your partner is saying rather than keep your mind busy preparing the answer to defense yourself.
Having excellent communication with your partner is key to any good marriage. Selfishness includes hiding things like your thoughts and action from your partner.
And if you think you are not ready for this kind of discussion (because of feeling insecure or offended), try to approach the conversation when you are not angry or hurt. So that you will be less defensive when you are feeling attacked or criticized.
3# Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes.
Trying to put yourself in your partner’s shoes is a good practice to overcome selfishness. Consider your partner thoughts before you take any action will help you understand their feeling such as pain, sorrow, and any other emotions.
It also helps you to understand your partner situation and get some sense of how your partner is feeling. The more you practice empathy for what other people are going through, the sooner you will be able to give up your selfishness.
4# Practice put your needs last.
A selfish person always puts their own self first. They want to get everything first before everyone else. So if you think you are in that category but want to start living a life filled with joy and free from selfishness, you need to change your perspective.
Learn about the necessity of putting someone else needs before your own. Remember, everyone is as special as you, they deserve to get what they want, too.
So the next time you are doing something, try to put yourself last in the situation. As an example, if you are waiting for the seat on the bus, try to let the other people have it first. See how much better it feels to put someone else need before you.
5# When your partner is happy, it will increase your happiness.
If you want to stop being selfish and have a healthier relationship, start by making your partner happy. Believe me, when you strive to make your partner smile, you will feel your heart lighten a little. It feels like you have added some value to someone else life.
And there is no better feeling than making someone you love feel happy. If you haven’t experienced this, try it once until you experience it for yourself.
To have a healthier relationship, you need to be flexible and have an open mind about what your partner wants. Being tolerant of your partner’s needs and wants will help you become less selfish. But don’t push yourself too hard.
Take it slow and communicate with your partner. And don’t forget to apologize to your partner if you feel like your behavior has gotten out of control. Sooner or later, your partner will appreciate all the effort and honesty you have been shown and work with you to improve your marriage.