She's not your better half

"Intimacy cannot happen between non-equals." (Dr. David Schnarch)

Yesterday we examined the danger of seeing yourself as better than your spouse.

Today we look at the opposite danger: seeing your spouse as better than you.

Guys say it in various ways:


  • "Let me introduce you to my better half..."

  • "When it comes to marriage, I've out-punted my coverage"

  • "I married above my head"

Both genders say it this way:


  • I'm just so lucky he/she'll have me


While there may be some genuine humility beneath these statements, they are simply not good.

First of all, you are not half a person (and certainly not the more corrosive of the two). But more importantly, your spouse is not better than you. Like we said yesterday, they may be better AT something than you (parenting, handling in-laws, keeping in touch with friends), but that doesn't mean they're better THAN you as a person.

Putting yourself beneath your spouse has the following unforeseen consequences:

  • It weakens your freedom/ability to confront them on their bad behavior

  • (And they feel the need to be perfect)

  • It subversively excuses your need to grow

  • (You grow comfortable with being the one who screws up)

  • It invites resentment into both of your minds

  • ("I'll never be good enough" and "I'm sick of having to be perfect")

  • It lessens your attractiveness


If you're married, then you're equals, and if you're really NOT equals, it's time to think seriously about the future of your marriage.

[And if it's time to work on your relationship with a professional, give me a shout by replying to this email.]

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