Arrogance

I’ve come to realize that arrogance can kill a relationship.

People plead that they want to be loved just as they are and for they are. But when some traits are so strong and they start to cause trouble between people, should a person work on changing their behavior to fix a relationship?

Take the Odd Couple for instance. One a very clean, organized individual who strives for perfection in every way. The other a messy slob who thrives on chaos. It was funny to watch on TV but in reality, how long could these individuals really live together? Put these two characters in a romantic relationship. The slob says he/she wants to be loved and love should be unconditional, he/she shouldn’t have to change because their partner is cleaner than they are. The clean one says if his/her respected them, the slob would make an effort to at least try and keep our shared living space at least somewhat clean and orderly. TRY. Instead of leaving dishes sitting on the counter or in the sink, put them in the dishwasher, at the very least. The slob insists again that love is unconditional. Years and years pass and many arguments ensue around the demands on the clean partner and the slob saying, “just love me for who I am!” Animosity and resentment builds in the clean one as he/she thinks to themselves, just make a little effort. Any effort. Show the house and your partner that the slob respects them enough, just enough, to TRY. The slob becomes arrogant and thinks why should they have to change? Why shouldn’t the clean one just learn to live with it? It’s not that bad. What’s the big deal? I’m good enough. I should be good enough! It’s a little bit of clutter.

A little bit of humility and a little effort to show that one person loves the other enough, respects the other enough to make that small effort would have prevented so many years or resentment, animosity and fighting. But no. There’s that arrogance again rearing its ugly head, whispering, why should I? I’m awesome and he/she should love us regardless of some clothes on the floor or months of dust built up.

People should be loved for who they are. It’s the behaviors that can change. Habits. We can all change those for the sake of a bigger picture. Except for the arrogant narcissist. They truly don’t see a problem with their behavior and believe they are so amazing, they shouldn’t have to change a damn thing about them. In the end, a little humility can go a long way. Even just enough to think to oneself, “If I can just try doing {fill in} and it stops the fighting, what’s the harm in trying?”

I read an article not long ago that a couple was struggling every day in their marriage. Fighting constantly. One morning, the husband woke up and asked his wife what he could do to make her day better? At first she resisted, she fought with him again. Next she cried because she thought he was trying to manipulate her then she saw he was being genuine and actually answered his question. He did as she asked and for a number of days after that, he continued. Each day, she answered him and he did it. No matter what it was that she asked. He said it was never an unreasonable request and was happy to make her happy. One morning, they woke and she asked him the same. From then on, when they felt their marriage slipping, they started the pattern all over again. It opened up their communication and allowed them to discuss what their issue was rather than fight from their emotions. He chose to swallow his arrogance and show her that he respected and loved her so much, he wanted to save their marriage. It worked.

Arrogance can kill a relationship, even the best of ones.

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