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You’re My Lover, Not My Rival: Keeping The Competition In Your Marriage Friendly

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

In the beginning you tried to beat him at pool, outscore him at bowling, keep up with him at the gym, and challenge him to Trivial Pursuit. You may have even compared notes about your respective lives and experiences before you hooked up and all of it was stimulating and exhilarating.

And, while you still find each other’s competitive spirit attractive, now that you’re married, the daily competition may be getting quite intense. In fact, you may find yourselves keeping score on who earns more, who’s in better shape, who does more around the house and for the family, and even who shows more affection. And, eventually you may find yourself seeing your mate in a whole new light, more as a competitor than a confidant and companion.

And, while some degree of competition can be healthy, with each partner encouraging the other to be his/her very best, too much of a good thing can compromise your “good thing”, or at least put it to the test. This is especially true if one of you has insecurities about who you are, how you see yourself, and about your talents and what you contribute to the relationship, helping to make it exciting and interesting. And, if you start feeling like you can’t “compete” or “compare”, or like you’ve always got to be the winner, you may instead wind up being the loser.

According to experts, strive for balance by pointing out and supporting each other’s talents, dreams, and desires. And always keep in mind that you can both excel, just in your own special areas, leaving room for more than one winner. In fact, the more secure you feel about yourself, the more secure your partner will feel and the less intimidating and threatening the occasional bout of competition; which may on this level help to keep the relationship “spicy” and “going strong”.

And, if you want to check yourself, here are six signs signaling competitiveness:

1. You (secretly) hope he fails at what you succeed at or does it not quite as well as you.

2. You experience frustration and angry at his success

3. You experience anxiety about your talents and skills, especially after he does something you consider your forte and strength.

4. You constantly try to one-up him or outdo him in various areas.

5. You see him more as an adversary than a teammate

6. You feel better (and better about you) when he has difficulty or stumbles and “fails”.

Long Island Relationship Articles > You’re My Lover, Not My Rival: Keeping The Competition In Your Marriage Friendly

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