In every relationship, there are times of strife. Long-lasting, successful relationships are plagued with various storms the couple must weather. Sometimes, your partner is to blame, other times it's you.
The question is whether or not your relationship can stand the test of time.
Any relationship therapist, specialist, or counselor will tell you the same thing. The key is open communication and self-awareness. We often see things from only one perspective, blaming our partner for any and all issues. However, you might be surprised to learn that you, not your significant other, is the selfish partner in the relationship.
You might be the one limiting your growth as a couple or could even be the cause behind underlying resentment or hurt feelings, but how can you tell?

Selfishness is Toxic

Odds are, if your relationship is struggling, either you or your partner is being selfish, purposely or unintentionally. A healthy relationship, on the other hand, has a steady balance of give-and-take. However, you and your partners give and take aren't the only contributing factors in determining selfishness in a relationship.
Here are some signs to look out for that might indicate you are selfish partner.

1. Your Partner is Always the One Compromising

When you're in a selfish relationship, one partner will be the only one compromising. This could include anything from day-to-day activities, to moral beliefs. The selfish partner in the relationship tends to be inflexible, forcing the other to bend to their will or ideals through manipulation, threats, guilt-tripping, and more.
They may also lack accountability for themselves, not recognizing that they need to make changes to help ensure the success of the relationship. If you expect your partner to change, but don't intend to make any changes yourself, you could be a selfish wife, husband, or partner.

2. You Don't Concern Yourself with Your Partner's Needs

People have different relationship needs. Most of these needs are based on our individual love languages. The five love languages are receiving gifts, spending quality time with our partner, receiving words of affirmation, acts of service or devotion from a partner, and physical/intimate touch.
Selfishness in relationships can be unintentionally derived from adhering to our own love language, rather than recognizing the love language of our partner. Just because we like receiving acts of service, for example, it doesn't mean our partner will have their needs met in the same way.

3. During Difficult Conversations, You Leave or Give Your Partner the Silent Treatment

One of the most common characteristics of a selfish husband is the inability or unwillingness to empathize with their wife’s emotions. While men may not understand the full spectrum of a woman's emotional potential, they still need to validate their feelings.
Man or woman, one of the ways in which we invalidate our partner's feelings is by walking out during a difficult conversation or argument. The act symbolizes a sense of indifference to their suffering. The same is presented when we choose to give our partner the silent treatment.

4. You Have No Problem Leaning on Your Partner for Support, but Don't Allow Them to do the Same

Everyone gets a little needy sometimes. When we have bad days at work, get in fights with our friends, or lose a loved one. In these times we rely on our partner for support. Having a constant shoulder to cry on is one of the most amazing perks of being in a relationship.
However, do you extend the same luxury to your partner? When they have a bad day, are you there for them to vent, cry, or fall apart? If not, you might be taking much more than you're giving, which makes you a selfish partner.

5. You Believe Your Opinion is Always the Right One

The selfish partner in a relationship is often the one who's "never wrong." This person believes his or her opinion or perspective is always right, regardless of the topic or situation.
This also leads to close-mindedness. He or she no longer values the opinions, feelings, or viewpoints of the partner. In return, the other partner begins to shut down, close off, or become less invested in the relationship.

6. You Frequently Criticize Your Partner
A selfish woman in a relationship is often accused by her spouse of being overly-critical. However, both men and women are capable of criticizing their partner to a fault.

You might be a selfish partner if you're constantly criticizing the way he or she behaves, dresses, eats, looks, etc. There's nothing wrong with asking your partner to respect certain wishes (cleaning up, putting the toilet seat down, being less flippant with your parents, etc.). However, if you find yourself constantly knit-picking every aspect of his or her life, you may need to take a step back to gain some self-awareness.

7. You Threaten to Leave Your Partner When You're Upset or Don't Get Your Way

One of the most damaging and selfish things a person can do in a relationship is threatening to leave the other without any real intention to do so. We all get angry and frustrated during arguments. However, threatening to leave your partner is a way of leveraging a sense of control and power in a relationship.
A selfish partner does this, not fully understanding the implications of his or her actions. Your partner may start to develop insecurities about your devotion or faithfulness.

8. You Have to Always Be in Control

Finally, selfishness in relationships often manifests as a need for control or power over the other. This is presented in one-sided conversations, where you'll speak your feelings, but won't allow your partner to do the same.
A selfish partner will also make the other feel guilty about spending time away or hanging out with others. This partner will try to control the other person, or control the other persons schedule, to enforce power or dominant position in the relationship.
Additionally, a selfish partner will try to make all the decisions in the relationship. While some people are passive and don't mind taking a back seat, a selfish relationship will have a partner who shuts down the other's opinions or choices.
Need Help with Your Relationship?
No relationship is perfect. However, there is a difference between a highly successful relationship, and one that's destined for failure. Identifying a selfish partner (even if it's you) could be the key to moving forward and thriving as a couple.
If you need insight into your relationship, we'd love to help. Book a free consultation with an intimacy and relationship specialist today.


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Guest Post Writer