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How to deal with a selfish spouse?

Updated on January 19, 2014

‘In almost every marriage there is a selfish and an unselfish partner. A pattern is set up and soon becomes inflexible, of one person always making the demands and one person always giving way.’- Iris Murdoch

Love and care are very essential to make your marriage work. Marriage involves many responsibilities and commitments and it takes two to fulfill them. When you love and care for your spouse, it is very natural for you to expect reciprocal love and care from him\her. How easy marriage would be if you and your spouse were selfless, with each paying attention to the need of the other.

Sadly in most marriages this is not the case! Either you are selfless or your spouse is so! It is very rare to see both husband and wife being selfless and responsible in running the family. While one is more responsible, the other takes it easy and thrusts the burden of looking after the family on the willing shoulder. Such a selfish spouse is so concentrated on the self that he\she does not think it his\her duty to lend you a helping hand.

How does a selfish spouse behave towards you in married life?

  • He\she is too concentrated on his\her own interest
  • He\she wants you to behave according to his\her mindset.
  • He\she does not accept your views as he\she feels it is against his\her comfort level.
  • He\she is egoistic and would never give in.

It is tough to live with such a selfish spouse, isn’t it? You cannot always be in the receiving end as this attitude of your spouse makes you feel used and uncared. You feel angry and frustrated that your spouse can be so selfish and self-centered. How can your married life be happy when you have to pull your family along while he\she takes it easy? Your marriage can be a success only when there is equal input of dedicated responsibility from you and your spouse.

What should you do if your spouse is selfish?

Should you allow your spouse to have his\her own selfish way and make you feel you have no say in your married life?

When you are the one who has to relent and adjust to make your marriage work, your pent up frustration waits to burst out with a volcanic impact which eventually creates complete chaos in your married life.

Good marriages always have a give and take policy.

  • You give respect and get back respect
  • You love your spouse and you are loved back by him\her.
  • You adjust with him\her and expect certain adjustments from him\her.

But your selfish spouse acts differently!

When there are issues in your family life, your selfish spouse withdraws away from it as if he\she has nothing to do with it. The entire burden of solving problems falls on your shoulder and you feel irritated at the heartless attitude of your spouse.

When you go shopping, the selfishness of your spouse wants his\her brands to be given preference. He\she is confirmed that he\she knows the best brand available in the market while you stand fuming at his\her atrocious behavior. He\she gives his\her share of money for the family and steps back to make you handle every family issue all alone.

TV channels also do not escape his\her selfishness and he\she has the remote in his\her hands. When your spouse has one sided and a selfish view about the family, your married life becomes boring and dull. Marriage is one relationship which needs selfless love from you and your spouse to make it work.

Make him\her understand your viewpoint!

You should not let him\her have his\her way always. You should not fight and yell at him\her to put forth your views, but you should firmly stress that your needs also should have a say in your relationship. Do not play a mother\father to the selfish demands of your spouse.

Do not think that you show your love for your spouse by burdening all the responsibilities on your already overburdened shoulders. You should put half the share of problems on his\her shoulders to lighten up your own load of stress.

Love cannot survive on its own all the time. It needs reciprocal love from your spouse to keep the embers of love burning. It is indeed tragic when your spouse does not understand your needs and only sees his\her reflection in everything. You should see the reflection of your spouse in yours and you should be reflected in his\her life and it is then your marriage can last long.


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    • mathira profile image

      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      Eddy, thank you for the good comments.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      billy, thank you for the visit.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Another great article mathira.

      Voted up and shared.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Again wonderful advice. It is advice we don't need but there are a great many couples that do need it. Well done my friend.