You are being selfish.
These are words that we never want to hear in marriage, business, sport, or any other scenario for that matter. Being selfish means that you are making decisions without regard of someone else’s well-being and emotions. We disguise being selfish as “splurging” or “treating yourself,” but there are some major consequences to making decisions in ignorance of someone else’s (especially your spouse’s) feelings or well-being.
Marriages can end by Selfishness
Divorce rates are where they are due to selfishness. I really want to expound on this sentence, but I really don’t feel the need. There is no doubt that very near to 100% of marriages end due to this one characteristic. Upon reflection, I’ve come up with 3 pointers to preserve your marriage and help you become less selfish.
1. Take care of the past
Each human being on earth is attracted to something in which they don’t want to be attracted. It’s part of our nature as a fallen species to have an unGodly urge to do something that pleases our flesh but destroys us long-term. Some people made decisions as children to look at pornography, smoke cigarettes, drink beer, etc. Some people are naturally bent to get angry quickly, to manipulate or otherwise have control over external situations.
When you make a decision to choose an addictive behavior, you make the decision once but the addiction chooses you afterwards.
To combat an addiction, you must seek a counselor, seek a friend, seek wisdom from the scriptures, and don’t give up. Passionately pursue kicking the habit. Write about it. Listen to sermons about it. Share your weakness in a small-group or personal setting. People will pray for you and will know which area to see God work in your life. But you must be vulnerable enough to let the beast out of the closet in order to see these things work. Kicking an addiction without community is nearly impossible. Get people around you that love you and will hold you accountable for replacing your selfish habit with a Godly one.
2. Don’t pick up an addiction
You cannot pick up a selfish addiction and live in a happy marriage. Your personal decisions are now decisions that will either grow you closer to your spouse or tear you away from her. If your spouse does not want you to have tobacco in your mouth, then leave it and don’t return to it. If your husband does not want to you drink, then leave it. It is a waste of money, and your husband has noticed that you are becoming more addicted daily. It pulls you apart, and it takes divine intervention sometimes to pull people back together. It actually takes divine intervention to kick a habit too, which is why I am so adamant about you taking a passionate approach to kicking your habit before it alters your decision-making abilities.
3. “Don’t spend major money on minor things.” ~ Jim Rohn
Dave Ramsey’s talk-radio show teaches many married couples to live a debt-free life. Without debt, a lot of stress about the spouse’s monetary decisions decreases significantly. However, being debt-free is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is being able to trust each other with monetary decisions in the absence of the other spouse. When the two of you come together as a team to eliminate debt and dream about what your future will be some day, you become selfless. Becoming selfless is a huge part of being on a team and is exactly what needs to happen for you to be in a happy marriage.
As a final note, this initial idea of selfishness destroying marriages came to me this past weekend when my wife and I attended the “Love Worth Fighting For” marriage event. There were many other great points that Kirk and Warren made, and I highly recommend you go to the conference if it is in your area anytime soon.
I was most impressed by Warren’s story-telling ability, transparency, and charisma. I think everyone in the place fell in love with him. His genuineness in telling us about his experiences with each song makes each one more meaningful, and I totally went overboard and bought both CDs (selfish right? lol).