Nov 082016 33 Responses

10 Warning Signs of Pride in Marriage

Pride kills relationships. It creates a wedge between two people destroying intimacy, eroding trust, and denying peace between husband and wife. Few things are as toxic to a relationship as pride.

While no one denies the danger of pride in a relationship, few couples can identify its early warning signs. Unaware of its presence, pride grows until it is nearly unstoppable. A healthy couple will recognize the earliest appearance of pride and do everything in their power to eradicate it from themselves and their relationship.

10 Signs of Pride

1. Everything is personal. Pride is an elevated view of self. When pride enters an individual, everything becomes about them. So every opposing idea or differing viewpoint isn’t seen as a natural disagreement or a difference of perspective, it is a personal attack on them. Their response to every situation is one of defensiveness because they feel assaulted even if you simply disagree over the most minor of issues. (See: How to Keep a Small Fight Small)

2. Fault-finding. Because pride requires us to look better than others, a pride-filled person becomes an expert at finding fault in others. It’s as though they have fault-finding glasses and once they view life through that lens, problems is all they see. They actually believe finding fault is their gift and they readily point out the faults of everyone–bosses, co-workers, friends, political leaders, referees, coaches, and even their spouse.

3. Refusal to be influenced by their spouse. Humility opens one up to change while pride paralyzes us into our current state. Whenever an individual is unable to be positively influenced by their spouse, it’s a sign something is horribly wrong. It shows respect has been lost and the most common cause of lack of respect is pride. When we think we are better than our spouse, we stop being influenced by them.

4. Ignorance of the need of others. Pride doesn’t just keep us from caring for others, it prevents us from even seeing their need. Pride causes us to become so focused on self that we no longer see the hurts, struggles, and inabilities of others. Not knowing their need, a prideful person would never consider how they can assist another person in need. (See: This One Trait Will Improve Your Relationship)

5. Addiction to attention. Pride demands attention. Believing ourselves to be of more importance, we assume everything is and should be about us. Everything becomes about what we want, think, desire, and how situations impact us. Even if our spouse tragically breaks their leg, a prideful spouse immediately thinks about how that will inconvenience them and not their spouse.

6. Refusal to submit to authority. A prideful person believes they have it all figured out so they don’t need to listen to an expert. Even if statistics show a certain action is negative, the person filled with pride will assume they are the exception. In marriage, an arrogant person will not humble themselves to wise counsel or do what an expert says. Even if they attend counseling, they simply go so their point can be validated.

7. Inability to see opposing viewpoints. Pride causes us to crown our way of thinking as king. Anyone who sees the world differently is viewed as wrong. It may begin with outsiders to the marriage, but it will quickly include our spouse. If someone can’t fathom another person voting a different way or having an opinion that differs, they are filled with pride.

8. Never asking for help, always expecting service. It’s an odd combination, but pride weds the two. When we overvalue ourselves, we refuse to ask others for help. We see it as a weakness. But at the same time we regularly expect others to serve us because we think we are due their sacrifice. So a man filled with pride will ask his wife for nothing, but expect her to do everything.

9. Absence of sacrifice and submission. Pride says we deserve to do our own thing and go our own way. Marriage demands that we sacrifice our individual dreams and desires for the sake of the relationship. It requires us to submit our wills to one another in order for the union to flourish. Pride convinces us that sacrifice is below us and submission is unnecessary.

10. Refusal to say “I’m sorry.” The inability to apologize can appear for two reasons. First, a prideful person may not be able to see they are wrong. Second, a prideful person might not be willing to admit fault even when they know it is there. Either way, the words “I’m sorry” are never heard or if they are, they are quickly followed by “but you….” (See: But He Said ‘I’m Sorry’)

When pride is present, intimacy is absent. A couple can be full of pride or they can have a healthy marriage, but they cannot have both. A wise couple will recognize the agony of pride and will do everything in their power to eradicate from themselves and their relationship.

33 Responses to 10 Warning Signs of Pride in Marriage
  1. Cindy Furber-Fletcher Reply

    I have never read anything better than this on pride in marriage. I have been able to see my pride in so many of these areas and now that I recognise it, I am better able to fight it!! thank you!!

    • O Reply

      You are absolutely right. I have been extremely blessed, because I googled.

  2. […] 1. Dogged-determination. The most important step of saving your marriage is for both partners to com...
  3. Kim Reply

    This post hits SO close to home. Thank you for being so direct and pulling NO punches!

  4. Lauren Kincaid Reply

    Holy cow. This was SO NEEDED today. Love your depth of understanding of how pride manifests in marriages. This is not surface level stuff. Thank you.

  5. Oluwakemi Reply

    Thank you

  6. Doug Reply

    Kevin – excellent article. What you have described in the 10 points above is very powerful and also describes a strong-willed person who is likely blinded by their own pride. If “Everything is personal” (#1), they are “Fault-finding” (#3), there is “Refusal to be influenced by their spouse” (#3) . . . . (I could keep going) . . . then how could this subject be broached in a positive way to the prideful spouse? I see deflection, blame, and then series of arguments that would have no end (pride is blinding). What would your advice be to a man or woman that is trying to bring this subject to their spouses’ attention?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I would do so with a counselor and in counseling. For one, I would want an outsider helping me to determine if I’m projecting on her what is my failure.

  7. O Reply

    Thank you so much!

  8. Shawn Reply

    Every aspect here describes my wife and I also have some of these tendencies. This is the biggest reason why our marriage has a hard time recovering from so much. Now how do I bring this to her and ask her to read it without her taking immediate defense?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I would say, “I read this and it resonated with me because I can see how pride impacts me. I noticed numbers _____ and I want to apologize and do better.” You can only fix you. Maybe she will fix herself.

  9. Daniel Reply

    Thank you so much for writing this. I wasn’t married, but engaged to a woman who exhibited every single one of these behaviors. She was very insecure, and up until reading this, I thought her actions were caused by the insecurity. I always felt that I was the one failing every time she would walk away from the relationship, that it was my fault because I didn’t know how to help her through her insecurities. It’s hard to believe that someone so insecure could at the same time be so incredibly prideful. I never made the connection until reading this. You provided me with the closure that she never could have, and I thank you for that. I wish that I could send her the link to this so that she could read it, but it’s no longer in my hands…God bless.

  10. Michael angelo Reply

    After 7 years of failed marriage I finally understand why she was acting the way she was and why she could never be criticism or say sorry and she has nearly all 10. This has given me a lot of closure and helped my confidence slightly thay she ruined. I would like a continuation on how to fight these things because pride is very big evil and sometimes can be hard to spot or change. Should we go litter picking to break our pride?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Pride can be impacted in many ways. Intentional acts of service and submission are good practices.

  11. Joe Reply

    Thank you

  12. Michele Reply

    This is a great article and it describes my marriage with my hubby exactly. What do you do if he does it think counseling is needed or is unwilling to go to counseling because there is definitely nothing wrong with him… it is always me!

    • Lisa Reply

      This is exactly how my husband has felt all these years. It is beyond frustrating.

    • Bea Reply

      It’s always me as well, never him! 27 Years of me but surely never him! I am exhausted!

  13. Bernard Nubine Reply

    My wife has all 10 of these trates and because of it we are separated again not to mention her family and friends play a major part in this

  14. racheal Reply

    wonderful post, but i checked myself thoroughly but not finding any.

  15. Renae Reply

    I recognized myself in so many of these points. And they have impacted my relationship. How does one begin to work on their pride?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I would get with someone who is spiritually mature and begin having them mentor me.

  16. Elizabeth Reply

    Great article, thank you.

  17. […] was extremely difficult. I learned that in order for me to have a healthy and a successful marriage,...
  18. […] pride has manifested itself in many ways. Kevin Thompson, a blogger, had a great list called, “10 ...
  19. RG Reply

    Thank you so much for this amazing discussion.

    As others have said this hits very close to home. I come from a Hispanic background where the male is to lead and be obeyed. I see where I have disregarded my wife’s contributions and belittled her during our 30 yr marriage. Through counseling I have had my eyes opened and I try hard everyday (with my accountability partner) to reverse my attitudes (of 50 yrs in the making). It is the hardest struggle I have ever encountered.

    Unfortunately my Mrs. is also infected with the same disease. She comes from an abused background and exhibits every one of your 10 Signs. I have had us attend Christian marriage get-aways (3), christian counselors (6), church marriage help groups (4) and I receive nothing but punishment from her. The insidious nature of this condition is that one does not believe he/she has a problem. I know that well as I was that way. Nonetheless without humility no cure is possible. She will not read posts like this, she will not pray with me, she will not hear anything that even hints that she might have a problem or be wrong.

    Sadly, even one of her (once) closest Christian female friends (who is a chaplain) told her point-blank “You have a pride problem” and was rejected.

    I do not know what else to do…but for those of you are given the hope of a brief ray of humility…I pray you hang onto that and use it to save your relationship(s).

  20. Anonymous Reply

    All of these things are spot on. It’d be nice to know additionally recommendations or practical applications on what to do next once you recognize pride is the issue?…Especially when your spouse won’t go to counseling or hear your words as the article suggests.

  21. KS Reply

    Thank you so much for writing this article. Although I’m reading this post divorce it gives me closer and hope for the future as well.

  22. Frakuss Reply

    Thanks Kevin for such a brilliant article. Pride has really taken it’s toll in my marriage and I totally agree and can relate with all your ten points. At the beginning of our marriage everything was fine but now my wife is always looking for a fight. Even the smallest mistake I make triggers an onslaught of verbal abuse and a blame-game for things that happened years ago.

    My wife’s pride refuses her to communicate with me and makes her to continuously seek new ways of punishing me. I really don’t know what she hopes to gain by doing this. Like many of the comments above, there is no way she can read or accept this great article of yours because she thinks that she is never wrong. I am encouraged by the comments from other people as it makes me realize that I am not alone in this struggle.

    I think the only thing I can do now is pray for our marriage. I know pride is a spiritual vice so I guess it’s best to leave this up to the creator. Pride is a grave sin and I can see how it totally destroys relationships, and eventually it will destroy the proud person.

    Proverbs 16:18 – ‘Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.’

  23. Ada Reply

    Thank you sir for this great husband suddenly starts demonstrating all what is mentioned above,sir please how do I help him am confused.

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