In some marriages, the couple sometimes looks less than loving partners and more like squabbling siblings when they compete. Healthy competition fosters growth but in marriage, working together as a team in everything makes the marriage work. There are different ways couples compete with one another. It could be to see who is a better parent. For instance, where one person's job is less demanding than the other, and that person gets to spend more time with the children. Or it may be a situation where the wife feels unhappy to see her kids getting excited to see their father and they spend time with him even though they are both at home. Competing this way when it comes to parenting is not healthy because they are both supposed to be focused on parenting and not who can win their children's affection. In some other cases, the competition may be about who makes more money or whose job is harder.
Trying to outdo or outshine the other person is one of the many unhealthy ways couples get into competition against each other. If for example, the husband mentions earning a huge bonus and the wife responds saying hers was double her husband's, then that is a clear case of trying to outshine the other person which is not healthy.
Sometimes, if one person looks like the one with more accomplishments, the other person might feel bad that their spouse is doing better with their life. In a healthy marriage, it does not matter who has more or has achieved more. Sometimes you just let your spouse take the whole shine without trying to chip in yours to dwarf their achievements.
If you and your spouse are keeping a tally of who did what at a particular time, you are only setting up your marriage to self-destruct. In most cases, people who keep scores do not keep it properly because each of them notes the positive things they did and the negative thing the other person did. This leads to constant bickering and blaming instead of helping each other achieve common goals. Keeping scores leads to bringing up the past mistakes of the other person and always waiting for them to fail at something. This is in no way healthy and can ruin a marriage.
Try and understand the reason why the competition is happening in the first place. Are you jealous of your partner? Is there something you are insecure about? Or are you just naturally competitive that you forgot you are competing with your partner? If you can answer these questions and you still need further help, you should get in touch with a marriage therapist in Orlando at Orlando Thrive Therapy. Book an appointment today by calling 407 592 8997.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.