Tandem Marriage

~ Tandem Marriage Blog ~

Please enjoy our blog where we have written some of our best advice, helpful tips, and things we ponder. These are all intended to help you have a better and more fulfilling marriage.

Please enjoy our blog where we have written some of our best advice, helpful tips, and things we ponder. These are all intended to help you have a better and more fulfilling marriage.

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Selfishness: The Key to Ruining Your Marriage

selfishness-is-the-key

Selfishness is the antithesis (the exact opposite) of how we should react when married. Let me say that one more time to let it sink in fully: selfishness is the antithesis of marriage. And, we all struggle with selfishness. You, me, your spouse, and my spouse all will struggle here.

In case you were unable to grasp the full reality of the previous statement, let's break it down together. Selfishness is allowing your wants, your needs, and your preferences to come before those of your spouse or your marriage. I say allowing because unless you are intentional to live selflessly every day, selfishness will creep in and take over.

A picture can be worth a thousand words.

Let me paint a picture for you that may be helpful. Let's assume that you own a house. You intend for your house to improve over time: to have better paint, nicer doors, cleaner and more comfortable carpeting, and more. You get the idea. If you are not intentional about planning for the resources required to improve your house over time, it will never happen. Instead, it will slowly and painfully deteriorate. The paint will start to fade followed by cracking, checking, and peeling. Without the protection of paint that has been properly cared for, the wood structure beneath it will now begin to rot. At this point, termites might even invites themselves to take up residence in your unprotected and rotting wood. Your doors will eventually warp and crack as well. Further, a door that once fit perfectly and opened and closed flawlessly, will now require subtle nuances in body language to get it to close reasonably well. You may have to push extra hard to get the latch to catch securely the way it once did. You may have to wiggle the door as you lock the deadbolt so that the bolt will properly align and allow you to fully extend it. And you will likely experience a draft near the door that was not always there. You will notice that standing near this door is either the coldest or hottest area of your home, depending on the time of year. Let's not forget about the carpet. Why is it that every time you get close to the floor, you get congested, your eyes get red and itchy, and you start sneezing. As if that weren't bad enough, lime green shag carpeting was really not that hip in 1975 (regardless of what you've heard) and it is certainly less hip now—much less! You see, unless you are intentional about caring for your house and making positive changes, it will slowly degrade. Progress will not just happen by itself.

This is the same in your relationship with your spouse. Unless you are intentional about being selfless, you will (by default) become selfish. We all want to think we are basically good people. Don't allow belief in that last sentence to lull you into complacency because complacency will lead to you being selfish.

How about taking a quick little selfishness test?

  • Do you ever get frustrated with your spouse because you are sure you are right and they are wrong?
  • Are you ever impatient with your spouse because they are not ready to go somewhere at the same time you are?
  • Do you ever eat the last cookie, the last bite of ice cream, or the last slice of pie and somehow justify doing so?
  • Do you ever neglect to tell your spouse about a purchase you made that they would not agree with?
  • Do you ever fail to tell the whole truth to your spouse because you think it may cause a problem?

Of course if you answered "yes" to any one of these questions, you have already allowed selfishness to infiltrate your life and, therefore, your marraige. It sneaks in so darn easily!

So, how can we resist the pull of selfishness in our daily lives? Here are some practical tips to get you started.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • If I was dealing with someone famous and well-respected, would I treat them the same way as I am treating my spouse?
  • How is my spouse most likely to interpret my behavior in a particular circumstance?
    • Unkind? Disrespectful? Selfish?
  • Am I not telling my spouse the whole truth because it is better for me or because it is better for them? (Be honest!)
  • Am I daily looking for ways to make my spouse feel loved, appreciated, and valued?

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of questions to keep selfishness in check, it is merely a starting point. Learn to check yourself daily to see how you are doing. Reflect back on the interactions you had with your spouse and objectively rate your behavior on a selfishness scale. Make major or minor corrections as needed and try again. We will not eliminate selfishness all at once, rather by making small improvements day by day by day. Just like fixing up your home. Being intentional will lead to making continued improvements in both your home and (more importantly) your marriage.

Lastly, when you realize that you have been selfish, apologize. A sincere apology can be a beautiful thing! There is a profound freedom from believing we have to be perfect when we admit that we are wrong. We also benefit from meaningful accountability with our spouse when we freely own our mistakes. Everybody has issues, some people deal with them. Admitting you were wrong is hard at first, but we get better at it as we realize our need to apologize more!

5-love-languages

The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman is a great way to start being more selfless toward your spouse. You can find it on Amazon here: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts - http://amzn.to/1TFjDWs

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life? In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide.



If you have any comments or questions about this post, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

By Brad & Tami Miller. Contact us at brad@TandemMarriage.com. Copyright © 2016

blog comments powered by Disqus

Selfishness: The Key to Ruining Your Marriage

selfishness-is-the-key

Selfishness is the antithesis (the exact opposite) of how we should react when married. Let me say that one more time to let it sink in fully: selfishness is the antithesis of marriage. And, we all struggle with selfishness. You, me, your spouse, and my spouse all will struggle here.

In case you were unable to grasp the full reality of the previous statement, let's break it down together. Selfishness is allowing your wants, your needs, and your preferences to come before those of your spouse or your marriage. I say allowing because unless you are intentional to live selflessly every day, selfishness will creep in and take over.

A picture can be worth a thousand words.

Let me paint a picture for you that may be helpful. Let's assume that you own a house. You intend for your house to improve over time: to have better paint, nicer doors, cleaner and more comfortable carpeting, and more. You get the idea. If you are not intentional about planning for the resources required to improve your house over time, it will never happen. Instead, it will slowly and painfully deteriorate. The paint will start to fade followed by cracking, checking, and peeling. Without the protection of paint that has been properly cared for, the wood structure beneath it will now begin to rot. At this point, termites might even invites themselves to take up residence in your unprotected and rotting wood. Your doors will eventually warp and crack as well. Further, a door that once fit perfectly and opened and closed flawlessly, will now require subtle nuances in body language to get it to close reasonably well. You may have to push extra hard to get the latch to catch securely the way it once did. You may have to wiggle the door as you lock the deadbolt so that the bolt will properly align and allow you to fully extend it. And you will likely experience a draft near the door that was not always there. You will notice that standing near this door is either the coldest or hottest area of your home, depending on the time of year. Let's not forget about the carpet. Why is it that every time you get close to the floor, you get congested, your eyes get red and itchy, and you start sneezing. As if that weren't bad enough, lime green shag carpeting was really not that hip in 1975 (regardless of what you've heard) and it is certainly less hip now—much less! You see, unless you are intentional about caring for your house and making positive changes, it will slowly degrade. Progress will not just happen by itself.

This is the same in your relationship with your spouse. Unless you are intentional about being selfless, you will (by default) become selfish. We all want to think we are basically good people. Don't allow belief in that last sentence to lull you into complacency because complacency will lead to you being selfish.

How about taking a quick little selfishness test?

  • Do you ever get frustrated with your spouse because you are sure you are right and they are wrong?
  • Are you ever impatient with your spouse because they are not ready to go somewhere at the same time you are?
  • Do you ever eat the last cookie, the last bite of ice cream, or the last slice of pie and somehow justify doing so?
  • Do you ever neglect to tell your spouse about a purchase you made that they would not agree with?
  • Do you ever fail to tell the whole truth to your spouse because you think it may cause a problem?

Of course if you answered "yes" to any one of these questions, you have already allowed selfishness to infiltrate your life and, therefore, your marraige. It sneaks in so darn easily!

So, how can we resist the pull of selfishness in our daily lives? Here are some practical tips to get you started.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • If I was dealing with someone famous and well-respected, would I treat them the same way as I am treating my spouse?
  • How is my spouse most likely to interpret my behavior in a particular circumstance?
    • Unkind? Disrespectful? Selfish?
  • Am I not telling my spouse the whole truth because it is better for me or because it is better for them? (Be honest!)
  • Am I daily looking for ways to make my spouse feel loved, appreciated, and valued?

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of questions to keep selfishness in check, it is merely a starting point. Learn to check yourself daily to see how you are doing. Reflect back on the interactions you had with your spouse and objectively rate your behavior on a selfishness scale. Make major or minor corrections as needed and try again. We will not eliminate selfishness all at once, rather by making small improvements day by day by day. Just like fixing up your home. Being intentional will lead to making continued improvements in both your home and (more importantly) your marriage.

Lastly, when you realize that you have been selfish, apologize. A sincere apology can be a beautiful thing! There is a profound freedom from believing we have to be perfect when we admit that we are wrong. We also benefit from meaningful accountability with our spouse when we freely own our mistakes. Everybody has issues, some people deal with them. Admitting you were wrong is hard at first, but we get better at it as we realize our need to apologize more!

5-love-languages

The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman is a great way to start being more selfless toward your spouse. You can find it on Amazon here: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts - http://amzn.to/1TFjDWs

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life? In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide.



If you have any comments or questions about this post, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

By Brad & Tami Miller. Contact us at brad@TandemMarriage.com. Copyright © 2016

blog comments powered by Disqus