Actively seek out their opinion on salient issues and be ready to reach a compromise when they don’t seem too comfortable with your intended line of action. Remember, a big ego will wreck your relationship.
This goes beyond the occasional ‘hi’ or the inevitable ‘good morning.’
We’re talking of intimate communication where you talk with your partner and bare yourself to them. However, communication will not be possible if your partner has started noticing signs of a big ego in you.
The lack of communication is traceable to the fact that your partner may have begun to walk on eggshells around you. Since everything in the relationship has a way of becoming all about ‘you,’ you may begin to notice their withdrawal from you.
They’d rather keep their secrets to themselves now. Your partner would rather spend more time with other people than with you.
This may be because they dread the time bomb that may detonate if they try pursuing an intimate conversation with you.
Even if they do something really stupid, they’d rather talk to someone else than you because they believe you may make them feel bad or judge them too quickly.
What to do:
The solution to this challenge lies in keeping in mind that taking a big ego into your relationship is a terrible idea. In addition, start making efforts to communicate better.
Create time for your partner and let this time be free of every form of intrusion; gadgets, judgment, and everything that can make your partner feel spooked.
If you think it can help, you may want to take the lead and begin conversations by sharing intimate details of your life with them. Do not be afraid to work your way into it.
Another sign of ego in your relationship is jealousy. This is not the usual feeling of jealousy and protectiveness that springs up whenever something you perceive as a threat to your relationship shows up.
This kind of jealousy is usually unfounded, stifling, and sometimes retroactive.
Jealousy expresses itself in many ways, and one of them is the desire to be controlling. Under these conditions, you demand to always know where your partner is.
Cynicism characterizes your relationship with them, and you may find yourself sticking your nose in the little things that didn’t matter to you before.
For example, you may demand to know their device’s password and check every text they send/call they receive. While these may not be problems in themselves, the challenge is the mindset they are done with.
These acts are usually carried out from a place of toxic energy and the desire to prove that your partner is up to no good, even when this is not the case.
A sign of a bruised ego is the nagging fear that you are not enough. Hence, you approach your relationship from the position of being the victim and self-pity.
Under these circumstances, you feel pressured and as though there is an unspoken competition between yourself and your partner. You measure your actions against a set of standards that are too high and which, in many cases, is all in your mind.
When this begins to happen, you will start having more negative conversations with yourself and not many positive ones.
The result is that your distrust for everyone (including your partner) begins to rise, and it is difficult to maintain a relationship this way. This expression of ego in your relationship is a huge threat to the relationship.
What to do:
Start by talking to your partner. Let them know what you are going through and as much as possible, be completely honest with them.
While you do these, bear in mind that ego kills, and it must be eliminated from your relationship immediately.
This is one of the biggest ego problems in a relationship. One of the standard expressions of ego in a relationship is pride and flat-out self-centeredness.
The thing about arrogance is that it begins slowly but can build into something massive within the twinkling of an eye. Also, pride destroys relationships.
Usually, arrogance in a relationship begins when one person begins to feel, for obvious reasons, that they are better than their partner.
This could be because they earn more, are more successful in their career, or it could be the result of some abstract factors they have put together in their mind.
The result of pride is that it makes you begin to see your partner as beneath you and the relationship as somewhat condescending. If you do not take extra care, the strain that comes with this can cause both of you to call the relationship quits.
What to do:
Dealing with ego can be a herculean task. This feeling of arrogance and self-centeredness isn’t something to be wished away.
The first step here is to acknowledge that they exist and make a concrete decision to find a way around them. When you have done this, take some time to communicate with your partner.
Let them know what is going on in your mind.
If the reason for the attitude is something external and which can be fixed with little changes in the relationship (maybe, your partner needs to get a better-paying job), work together to see how you can make this happen.
Also, you may profit a lot from times of reflection and conversations with yourself where you get to remind yourself what it is about your partner that drew you to them in the first place.
Always reminding yourself of this is one way to keep their true worth in sight at all times and not get swayed by minor details.
6. You find it difficult to admit and apologize, even when you are wrong
Another sign of a humongous ego in your relationship is the inability to admit that you were wrong and apologize to your partner, even when what you have done is glaring.
When you have this unhealthy ego, admitting that you were wrong about a thing is completely unthinkable. Sometimes, you would rather dance around a topic than address the elephant in the room, all the while leaving your partner to suffer untold pain.
What to do:
Don’t assume that your partner would understand. If you do something and it turns out to be wrong or not entirely correct, be open with your partner.
If you’re dealing with this, you take every known opportunity to talk about yourself and gloat about how you’re better than others.
It may be difficult for you to read the cues of the people around you because you’re quite wrapped around how perfect your world is. The watchwords of a narcissist are “me, myself, and I.”
Narcissism is a sign of ego in a relationship, and the result of this is that your partner begins to feel choked in the relationship, unable to express themselves, and there is no space for compromise.
What to do:
Decide that this tendency is something you should consciously work on. You won’t do anything to remedy it if you do not admit that there is something that needs working on in the first place.
When you have done this, begin channeling your efforts into seeing your partner as a person with equal rights as you. Sometimes, you need to consciously suspend everything that concerns you and just be there for them.
Remember, the ability to compromise is a major part of every healthy relationship.
8. Your partner always falls short of your standards
Do you find yourself always feeling resentful because your partner doesn’t meet your definition of ‘perfect?’
Probably they do not have the exact sense of fashion you want them to, or they cannot fit into your circle of friends because they aren’t as polished as you’d like them to be.
This list is endless, and while some of your fears may be valid, your response is what matters.
Because of these thousand ways, you find your partner lacking; you make it a point of duty to ‘change’ them. This change includes subjecting them to untold harshness and making them feel bad for not being able to meet up your standards.
Their efforts do not mean so much to you because nothing they do can make them meet up. If you find yourself doing this, it is a sign of a big ego in your relationship, and you must attend to it immediately.
What to do:
Your partner may not be perfect; no one is. This knowledge alone will help you change your approach in the relationship and provide a level playing field for you to help them grow and get better in different areas of their lives.
Replace harsh words with moments of heart-to-heart conversations. If all other things fail, allow an authority figure in the life of your partner (maybe a parent or a mentor) step in and help you make them see reasons why they should grow.
9. You don’t know your partner’s love language
Everyone has a primary love language, which is the major way they want to receive love.
One sign that your ego is ruining your relationship is that you do not know your partner’s love language. Even if you do, you do not speak it as often as they need to hear it.
One way an unhealthy ego in your relationship is by setting you up for unhealthy competitions you shouldn’t be in.
When your relationship begins to get highly competitive (in the wrong way), rest assured that someone’s ego is out to play.
When you find yourself competing to bring in more money, become more successful and financially independent, so you can put your partner in their place, it is a sign that your ego has taken over the reins of the relationship.
What to do:
Understand that you’re in no competition with anyone, especially not your partner.
It is one thing for both of you to challenge yourselves to become better and rise to the peak of your careers or be inspired by the successes of each other, but when you find yourself in the rat race to outdo yourselves, take stock of the situation.
Admit that there is a situation and it needs immediate attention.
Talk things through. Communication remains a valuable tool and can help deal with a big ego in a relationship. Just doing this can open you up to the steps you must take to effect the desired changes.
Also, you may need to seek professional help at the same time. Many times, some heart-to-heart conversations do not quite cut it.
How to overcome ego in your relationship?
The 10 points discussed in the last section show that a bruised ego doesn’t produce good results in a relationship.
If, while you read through the article, it dawned on you that your ego is ruining your relationship, start by making a decision to stop being egotistical.
Action points have been discussed under all ten signs in the last section. Take action on those points and be willing to let time take its toll.
The ego problem in your relationship will die a natural death if you do these. Remember, ego kills relationships. A bruised ego and a healthy relationship never go well together!
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.