All of us have come across someone who feels that he/she is better than anyone. Will one shed that feeling because they enter into marriage? Rather in the early days and months of marriage, couples are busy with many things that their individual differences are not brought to surface. In these early days, couples tend to communicate effortlessly at length. Their energy is spent on pleasing each other and to surprise each other. Individual differences are minimized and partners are very accepting. They are “purely” in love and this love is blind. Even if they “see” the shortcomings they are more than happy to bear it. Thus couples tend to overlook any shortcomings of each other. This is the romantic stage. A time to cherish!
Soon this stage began to wean off, couples began to notice their individual differences. They find themselves in disillusionment regarding these differences. Some feel that they are better than the other with regards to job, salary, parenting, organizing, or communication. Some resort to blame their spouse, find excuse and others actively search for ideas and strategies to handle these differences. As couples work at each one of these, they become successful in certain areas but can get discouraged in other areas especially where personality and temperament meddles. In reality, certain habits and situations continue to remain which cause one to behave in a certain way. Thus the other partner sees it as something that need to be improved. This can cause disagreements and even conflicts. Not only the relationship between couples suffer but also children suffer. This can cause disturbances in other areas of life like work, church, relationship with family members.
However when unresolved issues make one to feel superior to one’s spouse, disequilibrium happens in marriage. Oneness in marriage is under threat which can be problematic. The one feeling superior become conceited and the weakness of the other is often highlighted. Disrespectful words and behaviours find their origin from feeling and thinking superior which can not only tear apart marriage but also lives. When the other spouse begins to retaliate, it can further pull them apart.
The Bible commands us to value others above us in humility and to be considerate of other’s interests. Besides one of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to help us in our weakness. When applied in the context of marriage, another aspect is also involved. The dream of God for marriage is for the two people to develop oneness which supersedes all other human relationships. Thus harboring superiority complex in any relationship is against the will of God much more in marriage.
What can one do here for not to allow superiority complex to destroy the intended oneness? How can oneness be preserved with care and caution?
- There need to be a change the behaviour and values. One without the other can be ineffective. So work with the perspectival change and behavioural change in order to overwrite superiority complex with acceptance of your spouse.
- Put your effort on learning to encourage and support your spouse. Also value and compliment contributions of your spouse.
- Remind yourself of your love for your spouse and carefully take small steps for your love to grow.
- Reflect to see whether there is insecurity in you as superiority may arise from your insecurity.
- Specify policies to define boundaries in relationship. Never put down each other before others, never use foul words or name calling, never inflict physical injury, never compare each other with others, always respect each other
- Pray regularly for your marriage and for each other that you would grow in oneness in your relationship
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