Are You Married to a Selfish Spouse?

Victoria (not her real name) is married to a selfish spouse. She prays for him. She encourages him. She seeks ways to serve him. Her husband soaks it up but hasn't learned to give half as much in return. If I give examples, I may blow her cover, but most of you know marriages like this. Maybe you're in one.

Somewhat understandably, Victoria struggles with bitterness. If her husband only knew how much just a small bit of giving back in return would mean, how if for one hour of a weekend he could make it about her instead of about him, the relief she would feel would be enormous, but her husband's selfishness seems to run through his core.

They have talked about it, even with a counselor, but the thing about selfishness is that the more selfish you are, the less you realize it. Her husband thinks he’s doing "better," but not by much, and usually only when Victoria brings it up, which ushers in a new kind of pain.

Victoria's husband tries to be a little less selfish so that he doesn't have to listen to his wife complain about it. So he's fighting his selfishness with, yes, selfishness.

Victoria has prayed. She has gone to a counselor. She even brought her husband with her to the counselor — everything advice-oriented people tell her to do. But the situation hasn't changed much, and doesn't appear likely to. In that light, she asks me, how do you maintain a godly attitude?

Keep in mind — I wasn't talking to the couple. I was talking to Victoria, and about her spiritual attitude, not resolving the situation (that’s a different discussion). What I'm about to say may make some of you married to selfish spouses angry, but I believe this advice is rooted in spiritual reality.

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