Ah, the ego. It has been the downfall of many. It causes us so many problems in our day to day life, particularly in the realm of relationships. I know it gets in the way of my happiness sometimes…okay, often. I am getting better at overriding it though and that is a major factor in expanding a sense of peace in my life.
My boyfriend and I actually do not fight a lot but when things do get tense on my end, I am acutely aware that it is my ego that is getting in the way and that I have complete control over how to handle the situation. Being human, I do not always make the best choice of course, but it is a work in progress. While the ways our ego can negatively impact our relationship are endless, the following are the biggies, at least for me and probably for most of you.
Feeling Compelled to Argue Until Your Partner Agrees with You
My boyfriend and I are very into personal development and we often have discussions about the best way to approach situations, the best way to look at things,etc… While a lot of time we are on the same page, we do have some divergent views in certain areas. While I usually pride myself on not caring if people agree with me or share the same view, for some reason, I find myself getting heated when he is challenging me..well, he is really not challenging me, he just has a different point of view. This is a huge difference and one the heated person often fails to realize. I find myself getting worked up and I think because he is not agreeing with me, he is somehow misunderstanding what I am saying. But, he hears me loud and clear, he just does not agree.
Feeling the need to be right is probably the number one problem our ego presents us and for some reason, we feel especially compelled to win when we are pitted against our romantic partners. When we really think about it, what does it matter if someone agrees with us? Well, it matters because for most of us, our confidence about our beliefs and ways of being are far from fully permeating every fiber of our being and we are seeking validation and trying to convince ourselves we are in fact, right. But, that is our own issue that we need to work on and if we realize that, we will feel less compelled to win, be the one who is right, to have people agree with us.
Staying Mad to Spite Your Partner
Romantic relationships create some pretty intense, deep emotional entanglements and we are more vulnerable to the actions and words of our partners compared to the other people in our life. When they do something that made us feel angry or hurt, we take it especially hard. This is all understandable but our ego further complicates this.
We feel like we need to punish our partners…they hurt us or made us mad and they must pay, whether it is silent treatment or underhanded comments. How many times have you continued to be mad at your beloved long after you got over the actual incident because you felt the need to punish them for causing you emotional upset? I think a lot of us are guilty of doing this and it is insane when you think about it. In order to make someone else feel badly, we are making ourselves feel badly in the process and we are not even really upset about anything anymore. Pure craziness!
Just Let it Go
If we can break loose of the grip our egos have on us most of the time, we will create greater peace in our life. We will have better relationships with our partners. I am far from mastering this but the idea has taken hold in my mind and it is something I am consciously working on. So much of our suffering is self-inflicted and when we realize this, we have taken the first step towards freeing ourselves of it.