Pride is of the greatest evils out to ruin relationships. Now before you start to argue with me and say “no my spouse cheating on me is” or “we just grew apart is why”. However, if we look deep into these reasons we can find that deep down in it is pride that brought these and other reasons why relationships end. Pride is something that is in all of us, when we allow it to get into our relationships it is what brings them down.
By being too prideful in our relationships we do not hear what the other person is saying. We allow our ears to close to our spouse and we allow at least one of the four horsemen into our relationships. When we allow pride to take over your marriage, Dr. Gottman says that about 81% of relationships will fail. With the divorce rate at about 50%, pride must be the reason for so many of these.
So now the question is how do we fix this? How do we keep pride out of our relationships? The answer to that is humility. Humility is the opposite of pride.
Humility allows us to see out spouse as an equal and not as someone who we must beat, or try to one up. Humility allows relationships to flourish. In Dr. Gottman’s book, he writes about a great example of humility. He speaks about a man named Jeremy, who is looking at buying a new car. Jeremy sees is wife as an equal in their marriage so he has listened to what she has to say about a new car and takes it into account when looking for a new car. Jeremy finds one that both him and his wife like and when he goes to look at it, the man selling the car is astonished that Jeremy would even listen to his wife when it comes buying a car. Dr. Gottman also talks about how those relationships where both the man and woman see each other as equal are able to not allow pride to take over their relationship.
As I look back on past relationships, I can see how pride was able to win out. I am able to see how either I allowed my pride to get in the way, or that the other person’s pride was what was standing in our way. One relationship sticks out in my head the most. We were both very young (high school) we had been going out for a few months, when things started to change. He started to become very controlling and would start to do things that I did not agree with. He ended up letting his pride cloud his judgment, and in the end, it hurt our relationship.
When we are able to allow humility and not pride into our relationships, we are able to allow our relationships to grow, flourish and beat out the odds.
Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York: Crown.