5 Ways to be Less Selfish in Marriage

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. - Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)

Six years ago, when my husband and I were first married, I began working at a hair salon with some of the meanest women I had ever met. They regularly insulted me and tore me down, but at the time, I didn't really mind. Since they were my co-workers, I put on my rose-colored glasses and gave them the benefit of the doubt. Plus, I was used to being teased. I had been bullied in both high school and college, so being bullied by these women was nothing out of the ordinary for me.

That year on my birthday, my husband got me a charm. It was a tiny, silver, Ace card that had a little heart on it. I thought it was super cute and was excited to wear it out the next day.

The card charm

When I got to work, the ladies did not appreciate the little card charm as much as I did. Instead, they insulted it and my husband. They said things like, "I don't get it, why would your husband get you that thing?" and, "He tried, I guess." I sat there silently. My rose colored glasses were ripped off. I didn't mind them bullying me, but bullying my husband was crossing a line. However, in spite of my anger, I said absolutely nothing. I even laughed it off. To this day, It is one of my biggest regrets. I wish I had stated to them that I loved the charm, that my husband was thoughtful, wonderful, and a great gift-giver. Rather, I permitted these women to insult my husband out of fear of not fitting in. On top of that, I allowed what they said to affect me in a negative way. I became embarrassed of the little charm and rarely wore it after that. It was a really selfish and misguided thing for me to do.

After that, that job became dreadful for me. I stuck it out for another month as I looked for new work.

The charm my husband gave me is now one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. It signifies to me that I have a devotion to my husband, that I need to be less selfish in marriage, and that my husband is someone worth fighting for.

My husband and I have been married now for almost six years. It has definitely been a growing experience for the both of us. It hasn't always been easy. Sometimes, it has been downright hard. But as I learn how to navigate through marriage, I have grasped a few ways to be a more thoughtful, less selfish, and more caring wife.

  • Learn to listen

There is a stereotype that says men are the ones who don't know how to listen. But from my own experience, I have found that to be the opposite. My husband, who is softer spoken than I, often sits there patiently and listens to me as I selfishly prattle on and on and on about my life. Sometimes, I am so passionate or enthralled in my own stories that I don't even think to ask my husband how his day went. This has caused communication problems in our marriage, and has even made my husband feel unloved on many occasions. I have found that taking a ju