Be The One to Open The Door

I’m convinced many divorces could have been avoided if one spouse had set aside their pride months or years earlier.

Be The One to Open The Door

Small problems pile up because of pride. Little things become big things because of pride. Early on both spouses want to change, but pride keeps them from doing what needs to be done.

In my experience (and there’s data to back it up*), men have more pride than women and/or find it harder to get past their pride. This means you’re more likely to be the one who can set aside pride and open the door for healing and growth. I’m not saying this is right; it’s not right. But it is reality, and we can either deal with reality or let things get worse while feeling it’s not fair.

If it helps, this is not “for him” it’s for both of you. It’s for your marriage and your kids. Do it for your family and friends.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife has been great at opening doors in our marriage.

Study: Men tend to be more narcissistic than women | University at Buffalo

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10 Comments on “Be The One to Open The Door

  1. Hey Paul, I would add to this fine post, misunderstood expectations fueled by pride. One spouse feels a certain way about a task which “my parents did differently than “WE” do” and the pride you mentioned gets in the way.

    Often we have seen just airing both side of a sore spot opens the communication gate. Then if the “offended” one or the situational misunderstanding can be honestly and clearly shared, then they can begin to work on constructing loving bridges instead of conflicting walls built by arrogance or “me first” attitude.

    Thanks for your work!
    Jerry Stumpf recently posted…Growing apart? Stop it dead in its tracks!My Profile

    • I always moved towards my husband. I spent years and countless hours researching and reading and seeking counsel on how to improve our marriage and come together. I cried and dropped my pride, prayed, and he hardened. It wasn’t until I abandoned hope and stopped caring that things changed. It wasn’t until I stopped being nice and loving and started being straightforward and b**chy that he started talking. It wasn’t until I turned away that he started to pursue. It wasn’t until I lost interest in sex with him that he started wanting to really have sex with me.

      It wasn’t until I slammed the door shut that he opened it. Opened it as if nothing were ever amiss and he was always the husband he ought to have been.

      Boggles my mind, but at least it worked and we are moving forward.

      • @Libl I would bet what you did at first was part as necessary as the last part. Had you started that way I suspect he would have written you off as hopeless. You showed a willingness, and he wanted that back.

  2. OK, I get what you’re saying, and it’s not bad advice. However, what you are talking about and what your data is talking about are two very different things. You are talking about someone being too stubborn to set aside their pride and mend fences with their spouse. The article you linked to is talking about narcissism, a serious personality disorder. There’s a HUGE difference between just being stubborn and having a mental illness. One is something you can deal with on your own, the other you shouldn’t be expected to deal with without professional help.

    If you suspect your spouse (I say spouse because all genders can have it, it’s just more common in men) has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), you MUSTN’T ignore it. You HAVE to encourage them to seek treatment. It’s a condition that can severely limit their ability to function in all relationships and social settings, not just in the home. If left untreated, it can result in drug/alcohol abuse, depression, and even suicide. So speak up, don’t sit idly by while they self destruct. Do it for yourself, do it for your kids, your family, your friends, but most of all, do it for the one you loved enough to marry.

    Like Paul said, you can either deal with reality, or you can let things get worse. In the case of having NPD, dealing with reality does not mean just accepting that reality passively, but rather actively working to change that reality for the better, with treatment.

    Here’s a link from the Mayo clinic about possible symptoms of NPD, to help get you started.

    • @Amazing Ace – The article was primarily about narcissism, but it looked at other similar characteristics short of narcissism.
      I probably could have found a better source for this, but I’ve been buried in website changes and moves the last two weeks.

      • No worries, mate. :) I just didn’t want anyone to come away from this post with the idea that being stubbornly proud and being a narcissist are some how the same, when they aren’t. Or for someone to not take mental health issues like this as seriously as they should. If someone really does have NPD, then their spouse always being the one to always set aside their pride and open the door isn’t actually going to solve the real problem, it’s just going to enable them to continue not getting the treatment they need. Your suggests, in that case, would only be treating the symptoms, but not the root problem.

  3. I understand what you’re saying, but for us, women, who are accustomed to being always conciliatory, always the one to give in, that’s a very difficult thing to keep doing without feeling resentful or even martyred. I’m lucky to have a good, gentle husband but still, I can feel ‘used’ or trodden upon at times. (He’s lucky to have a wife with a traditional understanding of marriage!) However, when it comes to something serious enough to break up a marriage, as Dear Abbey used to say, ‘are you better with him or without him’.

    • @Lynn – I don’t see opening a door as giving in. It’s an invitation to work on an issue, not surrendering on the issue.

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