Pope John Paul II said “The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort, and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.”
Selfishness has actually been defined as the number one enemy in a marriage, and quite possibly in life. How could it not be? Marriage, by its own definition, is a joining of two. How could it succeed if one considers it to be all about “me”, rather than “we.”
Most people consider marriage a Sacrament blessed by Our Lord and is considered extremely sacred by people of all faiths. Many churches believe that the flow of love between a husband and wife should model the love between God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Any committed relationship, where one person is selfish, and the other is selfless, will eventually be doomed. How can it succeed when one is continually thinking “What can we do to make sure I am happy!” They develop a sense of superiority and pride, which blocks their willingness to give.
The one who is doing all the giving will get tired of exactly that – always giving. They will become angry and hurt; they feel more like an object, rather than one being considered worthy of being loved. Sadness will be followed by feelings of anger and resentment.
They might look for someone to validate their feelings and give them some self-worth. Before you know it, infidelity, separation, or, ultimately, divorce will seem like the only answer.
Do you consider yourself to be selfish?
If you are insensitive to loved ones or manipulate others, you are selfish.
If you get extremely angry when everything doesn’t go as you want it to, you are selfish.
If you exaggerate yourself of importance and seek sole attention upon yourself, you are selfish.
If you have a strong sense of entitlement, and turn all conversations on yourself, you are selfish.
If you use others to get what you want and use them to get what you want, you are selfish.
If you are arrogant, lack empathy, continue to talk about yourself only, you are selfish.
Watch for some of the above traits – there is help. Preferably, before you seal the vows, simply return his/her behavior back in a calm way. He/she will either come to understand …… or not.
In the meantime, you keep the relationship balanced by reducing the tension. You give what you get and he or she gets what they give. In this way, you won’t become resentful by not having your unselfish behavior returned.
Selfish people haven’t gotten there on their own. They have been enabled by friends and loved ones over the years who have contributed to their blown-up ego and self-worth.
However, if you can identify that you are selfish he selfish one, then you have a choice to make.
Change your ways by correcting this negative trait. If you truly love your spouse or significant other, and can put their happiness above your own, then you can correct this character flaw through a lot of hard work.
A person can change – if he truly wants to; if your spouse truly loves you and wants to keep you, an honest effort to change will occur.
That’s why it is so important to spend a lot of time with your loved one before you enter the marriage. You must give yourself time to discover as much as you can about the person you want to spend the rest of your life with
Remember, a person has to want to change in order to make a change. I have yet to see anyone successfully change someone else.
This is balance, which is crucial in a marriage. Balance now becomes acceptance of how a person is, faults and all.
Marital love is when both are giving. If both are can find the pure joy in giving to the one you love, the quality of your marriage will improve. Many of us enter into the institution of marriage with high hopes of our dreams coming true with the person we have chosen.
Until next time BELIEVE you can fly!