Can Being Selfless Enhance My Marriage?

BY: - 8 May '18 | Marriage

Share this article!


Dr. Buckingham, I am having a hard time in my marriage because my husband believes that I am too self-centered. I grew up with three older brothers and spent most of my life having them do everything for me. When I met my husband 8 years ago, I was used to being taken care of. He knew that I could be a little self-centered when he married me. Now he wants me to change and be more selfless. I am not used to putting others first and as a result, I really do not fully understand the concept of being selfless. My question to you is why does it matter whether I am selfless or not? Can Being Selfless Enhance My Marriage?

Thanks in advance,

Mrs. Self-centered

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Mrs. Self-centered,

Yes, being selfless can enhance your marriage and make you a better wife. When you put the good of your marriage above your own self-centered needs, love, trust, and vulnerability flourish. These factors are key to building a marriage that will endure over the test of time. If your husband believes that you have his best interest at hand, he will do what is needed to meet your needs. I often remind individuals that the key to getting their personal needs met in a relationship is to think about how they can serve their significant other.

Some people believe that being selfless is a mindset. I partially agree. Being selfless is a mindset and is also behavioral. You can work on being more selfless by surrounding yourself with people who behave in a selfless manner. Also, try doing little favors for your husband and assess how you feel. If you can put yourself aside, eventually you’ll feel good about your decision to serve your husband.

As you strive to become more selfless, please remember to use a balanced approach between self-centeredness and selflessness. Taking care of yourself is not a bad thing; just make time to fulfill your marital obligation. By being considerate of your husband and making him feel that his needs are just as important as yours, it’ll bring peacefulness into your marriage.

Believe it or not, being selfless toward your husband is a blessing to him and you. Your happiness in marriage is partially based on your ability to create a win-win situation. Also, keep in mind that God commands us to serve others. Philippians 2:4 tells us to “look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others.

I believe that married individuals should always be looking at ways in which we can put what we enjoy into action even if it is not something we enjoy so much or even at all. We also need to serve our spouses with joy and a willing heart. Your marriage will be enhanced not by your personal fulfillment, but by your willingness to grow with your husband as one.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions, and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 216 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at


like what you're reading?

Start Shopping!


Facebook Wordpress

Leave a Reply

All Articles Delivered To Your Inbox Daily! Sign up below!

3 Reasons Why Dre & Bow’s Marriage is Dying on Black-ish and How to Fix It

BY: - 15 May '18 | Marriage

Share this article!


Are you as devastated as I am about Dre & Bow talking divorce on Black-ish? From the last episode, I counted at least 12, yes 12, marriage KILLERS that are putting them on the brink of divorce. I’ll outline just three here for the sake of brevity and hope that you see some warning signs for yourself before it is too late.

Marriage Killer #1: Emotional Flooding

Emotional Flooding – this occurs when your heartbeat rises above 100 bpm and you’re physiologically overwhelmed. Remember when Dre & Bow were arguing in front of the kids and knew they should table the argument for later because the kids were watching…but they just had to take that last stab at each other’s feelings?

That’s emotional flooding-where your emotions get the best of you. When you feel flooded (either partner), you should just stop because everything after that is usually bad news. You’ll apologize tomorrow but the damage will have been done. Dre and Bow realized their error in the yard afterward, but the kids were already emotionally traumatized.

FREE WEBINAR – Tuesday, May 23, 2018: The Four Biggest Marriage Killers of Christian Marriages in 2018 – SIGN UP TODAY

How to Fix It: What happened as a result of Dre and Bow not calling a timeout due to being flooded? They traumatized their kids by allowing them to see this hostile conflict between the two people who are supposed to be protecting their feelings.

Parental conflict stresses each partner but at least they can take a side. Children, however, are the true victims because they are loyal to both parents, and thus, psychologically ripped in half. They should have just stopped, calmed down and shielded their children from their distress. Easier said than done though, right? It takes skill to have self-discipline in the heat of battle.

Marriage Killer #2: Negative Sentiment Overload

Negative Sentiment Overload – this is when your marital issues have piled up beyond capacity and all you feel about the marriage is negativity. Imagine a bathtub overflowing and water soaking your tennis shoes… all you feel is wet, right? Even though the rest of your body is dry, your focus is 100% on the problem. Couples who experience N.S.O literally cannot emotionally connect with the good parts of the marriage.

Everything feels awful. Memories of the good times (wedding day, vacations, childbirths, staying on the phone all night, holidays, etc.) feel foreign and you don’t even know why you married your partner in the first place. In order for marriage to survive, it needs a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative to feel good. By contrast, couples who are on the verge of break up, separation and divorce have a 1:1 ratio of negative to positive, and that feels awful.

How to Fix It: Remember math, a negative times a positive equals a…NEGATIVE. The same holds true for marriage. It must be overwhelmingly happy to withstand stress and negativity to survive. It’s just like a bank account, a $100 deposit followed by a $100 withdrawal will leave you broke. The same holds true for marriage…you’ll be emotionally broke and maybe in debt!

Marriage Killer #3: Contempt

Contempt – this is very dangerous and the BIGGEST KILLER of relationships. It happens when you make sweeping statements about your partner’s character. Remember when Bow told Dre,

“You exhaust me!” That was a shot straight to the soul! Other common statements that express contempt are:

  • “You are such a joke.”
  • “You are just plain dumb.”
  • “Who does that to someone they love!
  • “You are a basket case.”
  • “You’re the most insecure person I have ever met.”


How to Fix It: When contempt rears its ugly head, your marriage is headed for tough times. You must reverse contempt quickly because it will quickly kill everything…even your desire to try to make the marriage work for the kids. Contempt takes no prisoners…everyone must die.

Dre and Bow have been fighting too long and contempt is killing their marriage. However, you don’t have to repeat their mistakes because you can do something about it.

FREE WEBINAR – Tuesday May 23, 2018: The Four Biggest Marriage Killers of Christian Marriages in 2018 – SIGN UP TODAY

Do Something About It

You can literally learn from their mistakes. You don’t have to end up like Dre and Bow. Your marriage can live and not die! Cue up Darlene McCoy’s hit song lol. Do any of these marriage killers from Dre & Bow’s conflict on Black-ish strike a cord of fear or concern with you?

If so…

I want to help. I can help. I will help! Here’s what happens next…

Sign up for a FREE workshop – HOW TO AVOID THE FOUR BIGGEST MARRIAGE KILLERS (even if you are just dating) right now and I’ll do the rest. I’ll share more marriage killers and give you a resource to fix each one. It’s online, so you can watch at home with your better (or lesser) half.

It always fills up because the pain of marital and relationship conflict is deep and cost too much not to do something about it.

P.S.- As a special bonus, I am covering how ENVY derails power couples (when one spouse is doing is better or has more ambition than the other…also known as “unequally yoked” this time. You do not want to miss it!

By Dr. Alduan Tarrt: Dr. Alduan Tartt is a clinical psychologist with a focus on faith, mental health and relationships of all sorts (single, dating, marriage, family, sports, etc.). Dr. Tartt has a private practice and also speaks frequently at conferences, churches, organizations on improving relationships, families and mental health. Dr. Tartt also hosts radio and television shows and is a frequent guest on major media outlets. Dr. Tartt also counsels other healers and helpers (pastors, ministers, doctors, entertainers) who need to be encouraged, supported and filled up.

About the author

BMWK Staff wrote 1255 articles on this blog.

Content and articles from the staff and guest contributors of


like what you're reading?

Start Shopping!


Facebook Wordpress