Heather Marshall on August 25th, 2008

Pride is a relationship-killer.  Did you know that?  It’s true….

Pride will take your friendships, your marriage, and any other relationship you value, and tear them up into shreds.  In its wake, pride will leave behind hurt, bitterness, destruction, and pain.  Not a pretty picture, is it?

Let’s look at the specifics of what Pride does to a person, and apply it to its effects on marriage…

  • Pride makes people feel independent and self-sufficient.  In other words, no need to depend on God or anyone else for help.  Uh oh, big mistake here!
  • Pride makes people self-righteous and critical of others.  Their “spiritual gift” is fault-finding.  Can you see the damage that can bring to a marriage?  A wife who is constantly critical of her husband will tear him down, wear him down, and make him either depressed, angry, or both!  The writer of Proverbs says that it is “better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” (Proverbs 21:9; 25:24). Wow.
  • Pride makes people feel the need to be right all the time.  Unfortunately, the “I’m right, you’re wrong” mentality will not build strong, healthy marriages.  Where is the submission? Where is the humility?  Proving you’re right (even if you are!) often comes at the expense of tearing down your husband.  I just don’t think that’s worth the temporary victory.
  • Pride makes people defensive when criticized.  Criticism is not always bad. Proverbs 15:31 says, “If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.“  Likewise, Proverbs 25:12 says, “To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.However, if you’re full of pride, criticism strikes an ugly chord, and your immediate response is to get defensive.  This is something that I struggle with majorly, and it has caused many an argument in the Marshall marriage.
  • Pride makes it hard to apologize when you are wrong.  Ooh, believe me, I know!  I have that inner battle and turmoil every time I need to apologize, because Pride does not like to get wounded.  But it is amazing how an apology can fizzle away so much stored up anger, saving your marriage from an unnecessary blow-up!
  • Pride can even make a person insecure (because Pridefully we want to be perfect, but realistically we know we are not), which is dangerous in a marriage. Insecurity can lead a wife to distrust and falsely accuse her husband of negative or adulterous thoughts or actions; it can cause a wife to doubt her husband’s love for her, her body, her sense of humor, etc., and can cause deep hurt in a marriage when those insecurities are allowed to fester.
  • Pride makes a person self-centered, wrapped up in thoughts of her own comfort, own well-being, own opinions, and own points of view - often dismissing or excluding others (including a husband!) in the process.  Not a communicative, healthy, growing marriage there.

As Beth Moore’s poem in my last post stated, Pride is a cheater.  Pride will cheat you out of contentedness, holiness, genuine friendship, love, your God-given destiny, and greatness in heaven, among other things.  Why then, do we choose to hang on to Pride?   Because Pride is tricky.  It is deceitful.  It seems harmless at first.  It even hides in the form of insecurity or self-pitying withdrawal.  What we need to do is REPENT of our sin of pride, not nurse our wounded pride or feed our inflated ego.

For the sake of our marriage, our friendships, and (most importantly) our relationship with God, we need to examine ourselves, turn to God and ask for forgiveness.  Take the humble route, and ask your husband for forgiveness in areas where you may be weak.  You may find that he is struggling in those areas as well, or he may even reassure you in areas where your Pride has caused you to doubt his love for you!

Remember the last lines of Beth Moore’s poem:

God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry…

If you stick with me

You’ll never know.

You have a choice to make, every day:  stick with Pride, and miss out on all God has in store for you  and your marriage, OR stick with God and find out all the adventure that He has in store for you and your marriage!  What choice are YOU going to make?

Keep on striving!

Heather

PS - This is the third and final part of the Pride series.  Have you read the first two parts?

Part 1: The Opposite of Love is… Pride

Part 2: The Deception of Pride

Related posts:

  1. Beatitudes of a Christian Marriage - Part 2 of 4
  2. The Opposite of Love is….
  3. Running is Better With a Partner - in Life AND in Marriage!
  4. The Marriage Inventory
  5. Beatitudes of a Christian Marriage - Part 1 of 4

8 Responses to “The Effect of Pride on Marriage”

  1. wow…what an awesome post - thanks so much for sharing. somehow now i feel a little funny about being “hot” - i’ll make sure to not let the hooks of pride get in the way. thanks for striving to be and to do all that God has called you to , and gifted you for!
    in His grip,
    lisa

  2. Dear Heather - Thank you for your series on Pride.

    God’s timing never ceases to amaze me. Nothing like being thumped on the back of the head - tapping on my shoulder never worked for me - thats too nice. LOL!!

  3. I thank God for coming across this blog. It really helped me! I never considered myself prideful but I am at times. I know have some insight on how to overcome it ans strengthen my marriage. Continue to let God use you. The world needs to hear your wisdom :)

  4. I have long struggled with the pride I have experienced in my wife. Reading your articles confirms my beliefs - but it also points out areas where I need to improve. Thank you. One desperate question I have about pride as I read through all of the characteristics of pride - all those descriptions also make pride blinding to the person. How do you begin to reconcile pride in your spouse when they are blind to it in the first place? I realize that I cannot change my wife - only God can - but I feel like if my wife could understand how pride effects our marriage - we would see dramatic progress. I am sure you are thinking - show her this article - but that would lead to world war 3.

  5. Doug I am in the same boat you’re in. My wife can’t see how pride is killing our marriage. She has such passion for the Lord but is mislead. When confronted about her pride by anyone anger sets in. I love my wife and I need our marriage to work. How can see ever see this big problem.

  6. Thanks for this post. I struggle with pride and was reminded of my need for humbleness because of this.

  7. Three years after posting this article, it is still ministering to folks. I am saving a copy of this article for my kids when they’re older.

  8. Hi I struggle with a very prideful wife as well. I know that many of us have some form of pride that we can account for, I know I do, but not many of us can admit to it. My wife has done and said some things about my parents, my niece and nephew, and my family in general that have hurt their feelings. She said that my niece and nephew are spoiled little brats, which my brother and sister and law overheard her say. My niece asks my brother why my wife doesn’t like her, and my brother has now decided that my wife is not welcome around anymore. He is a father protecting his kids. My wife thinks that I should stand up to my brother, and I ask her “I should stand up to my brother for you calling his kids spoiled brats?” She has never really interacted with my niece and nephew and has never apologized for saying that. Time they say should heal all wounds, but time only makes things worse, especially when she doesn’t want to apologize. I’ve read online that she actually has a controlling personality. I’ve realized that, especially when I get in trouble now everytime I want to do anything with my family.

    She left and stayed with her parents for 3 days one time, because I was invited to my nephews birthday and she wasn’t. I decided that I wanted to go and did, and she tells me that I don’t put her first. That I put my family ahead of her. It’s hard to put her first when she has the wall of pride blocking her from healing a relationship and family. Actually this has divided my family apart almost entirely. My parents are so heart broken that they have decided to let me go because they don’t want me to get in trouble anymore because of them. I’m faced with the real possibility of divorce right now, as I don’t want to lose my family, especially when this could have all been fixed if my wife would have put her pride aside and asked for forgiveness…but you have to come down off the throne of pride and have a heart to actually do that. She thinks that by going to apologize is kissing my families butt. I’m tired of fighting, and this whole thing is over a lot more than a few words about my niece and nephew just FYI. I know that I haven’t stood up to her for what is right, especially in the beginning when I was in that infatuation mode, but my eyes have been opening and it’s pushing me away from her now.

    My wife and I’s anniversary is on the same day as my moms birthday, and my wife and I had made dinner reservations, but before dinner I told my wife I wanted to go over and give my mom her birthday gift, and all hell broke loose. She thinks that I’m competing with my mom and I guess I just don’t see how I am putting my family first when that’s all she ever does. She can’t go a day without some form of texting or calling to/from her family, just to see what they are doing because she doesn’t want to be left out. All in all, I see pride in her, and a stubbornness, and an unwillingness to fix or heal anything. O and by the way, she is a pastor’s daughter. I haven’t seen any real enthusiasm from anyone in her family to get anything fixed, and I’ve even tried counseling with her dad…never again will I do that. Pride is the deadliest sin of all.

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