Your Superiority Complex May Be Killing Your Marriage (How to Stop It)! by 30Seconds Mom
When you believe your way of doing things is "best," you're damaging your marriage more than you think. When you disagree on the small things – how to squeeze the toothpaste or arrange the furniture – it's not that big a deal. But when it comes to more substantial issues, being out of sync can lead to fighting, simmering resentment, and, ultimately, divorce, according to David M.R. Covey and Stephan M. Mardyks, authors of "Trap Tales: Outsmarting the 7 Hidden Obstacles to Success." Couples need to negotiate their different roles to find harmony in the modern age.
- It's very common for each spouse to think the way things were done in their childhood is the right way to operate. Anything that runs counter to their experience is seen as different, weird or just plain wrong. This applies to both the big things, like how they raise their kids or manage their money, and small things, like how they organize the kitchen. We make these judgments unconsciously and become annoyed at the differences in our spouse or partner.
- We fail to shift our mindset from "me" to "we." Most couples don't spend enough time thinking like a team in their marriage, and the ramifications are serious. If you think of marriage as a sport, too many couples today are running track instead of playing football. But to make their marriages work best, couples must focus on transitioning from me to we and thinking of their marriage as a team sport.
- We are unwilling to change, or we agree to change only if our partner changes first. But change is very difficult, and most people tend to avoid it as long as they can. In relationships, this translates to a very long wait. The lack of movement in one partner makes the other partner feel justified in not changing either. But when our partner attempts to change, our conscience is pricked to reciprocate in kind. Therefore, the best way to encourage change in your partner is to change first yourself.
To solidify your relationship, you must create a shared vision for your marriage and agree upon a pathway to get there. Here are three steps for creating your shared vision for the future:
- Plan some time to formulate your shared vision together. This step is crucial, and to complete it, you need to have time free of distractions and interruptions. Yes, it may feel uncomfortable at first, but you'll quickly see that it is fun and exciting to imagine what you can accomplish in your life together. This exercise will draw you closer as a couple.
- Discuss and come to an agreement on these three crucial issues: How will you manage your finances? How will you raise your kids? How will your household duties be divided and managed? Write down and commit to memory your agreement with your partner.
- When disagreements arise, try this "Trap Inversion": If you have a major disagreement, ask each other how important the issue is on a scale of 1-10 (where 1 is not important at all and 10 is extremely important). Be honest in your assessment. Allow your partner to have their way if they score higher on the scale than you on that particular disagreement.
It's never too late to create a shared story with your partner.