Barbara L. Green, LCSW



"You know, you're no great prize either!" A friend laughed as he told me that every morning he stands in front of the mirror, looks at his own reflection and says these words aloud.  He is convinced that this daily morning "counter-affirmation" has saved his marriage.  My friend's ritual offers him a humorous reminder of his own limitations.

Humility seems to have gone out of style.  People are focused on their own needs and desires.  With so much popular emphasis on self-esteem, self-awareness and self-expression (all of which are important) it is understandable that each of us begins to think of our "self" as the center of the universe; the place where our own opinions reign supreme.  The problem is we create a relationship with someone who also believes that his/her "self" is the epicenter of all things important.  Inevitably these two distinct selves begin fighting for power.  As the relationship heats up each partner becomes increasingly convinced that he/she knows more about how to manage money, keep house, make wise decisions, etc.  Even if you had many insecurities before the relationship and often questioned your own judgement, chances are that once you are in a committed partnership you will forget former insecurities and may even be willing for things you never gave much thought to previously.

Sometimes I find myself arguing with Peter over how we should be investing our money.  I can easily convince myself that I'm right, even though it is a subject on which I have a severely limited depth of knowledge.  It is ironic that before our relationship, I consulted with a financial advisor because I knew that investment decisions were not my area of expertise.  Now I am willing to vehemently argue about investment management as if I'm the next Allan Greenspan.  Sometimes I'm amazed at my own lack of logic, but logic is rarely the cornerstone of an intimate relationship.  Maybe it's time to stand in front of the mirror, look at my own reflection and say, "You know you're no great prize either."