Competitiveness in the couple: what it is, how to identify and manage it

Do you think your relationship is a constant struggle to win? Do you feel jealous when your partner succeeds? Can’t you achieve the same goal and that’s why everyone does things in their own way? Do you feel that there is a constant challenge between you? You have come to the right place, keep reading to gain knowledge to observe your working points and the tools for it.

Throughout our evolutionary history, we have learned to be competitive, from the family system, to solidify ourselves in school, and to become highly visible in the workplace. But what happens when we feel the constant struggle for power in the couple? How does competitiveness affect our emotional relationship? Are we aware of the need to alternate roles? Do you cling to a dominant or submissive attitude?

Read on to identify competition in your partner, discover the factors and dynamics that reinforce it, familiarize yourself with the tools, and learn how to manage them to build a healthier relationship.

    What is competitiveness in the couple?

    Competition in marriage has a very different dynamic to competition in the world we know. The basis of the couple is sharing, joint decision-making as a team, manage conflict resolution, communicate honestly and, above all, enjoy common achievements and overcome difficult times together. Many times and without realizing it, we project many gaps in the other demanding to satisfy a specific need. We believe that our partner has the duty to make us happy and fulfill our desires.

    This request is felt as a strong pressure on the person who, in our opinion, should satisfy us. When we take for granted that the other must make me happy, we focus all our thoughts and actions on the outside; a person who makes me happy, a house that fulfills my desire for security, a pet that fulfills my need for affection, etc. We will never find happiness and full self-satisfaction, and precisely this relational dynamic requiring external factors that satisfy internal needs is a wrong path towards plenitude.

    When we understand that happiness begins and ends within, by knowing and accepting ourselves as we are, and by understanding that the person we are today is constantly changing and that we must therefore have constant self-love and self-observation to adapt to different stages and conflicts of life. When we are confident, confident in the course of life and looking for internal factors such as personal feelings and satisfactions, we begin to understand the couple as someone who decides to be by our side in all freedom and without conditioning. Offer what you want at any time.

      Identifies aspects that create competition

      But how do you know if your partner has a competitive dynamic? What happens in a highly competitive couple? Let’s look at some of the everyday signs that can occur in competitive couples.

      1. Absolute reason or truth

      No one has absolute truth or reason; it all depends on our perception, our mood, our lifelong learning and our values ​​among others. When discussions become a battle over who wins, it is a clear sign of competitiveness, because at this point we forget the purpose of the discussion and move on to escalation where unimportant things are discussed. Often wanting to be right involves personal shortcomings that make us feel vulnerable and fragile. when you don’t have the last word.

        2. Emotional intimacy

        To share affective intimacy and strengthen the couple it is necessary to perceive our partner without threats; as a confidant and not as someone who can turn against you at any time out of personal interest. This happens when there are core values ​​such as trust, safety, respect and communication.

        To create emotional intimacy, you need to open up emotionally and honestly with your partner.. It’s about having enough confidence and certainty that he will respect you to be able to tell you what nobody or very few people know about you; your most intimate part.

        3. Personal achievements and failures

        When we feel unconditional love and compassion for the other person, we receive their achievements as a common achievement; that your partner achieves their goals makes them feel better, and as a result, they can have a more positive relationship with you.

        On the other hand, your partner’s mistakes or failures are viewed with compassion; understand the frustration that our partner feels and accompany him with passion and understanding to make learning failures.

          4. Choose responsibly

          Responsibility in the decisions we make on a daily basis empowers the person he feels he has the power to change the situations around him. When we take responsibility for wanting to be with someone, we are consistent with what emerges from the relationship; joys and difficulties. In a couple, everything that happens has its origin in the people who compose it; something does not happen if another does not want it or allow it, so there is no guilt, but responsibility on both sides.

          5. Accept and thank

          When we accept a person as a whole or accept reality as it is and not as we would like it to be, thanksgiving begins. Once I accept, everything I receive from the outside world and from my partner becomes a gift to be thankful for. No one has an obligation to be or do something the way you want them to be, so if you feel like your partner is acting annoying, ask yourself why it bothers you so much, because it’s probably a personal issue that affects you. Then communicate with your partner so that he is aware that something specific is bothering you, even if it is not his responsibility, if not yours, to know why you do not like him.

            Manages and works on competitiveness

            Now that you know the signs and have seen if you need to work on any of the factors that make a relationship a constant struggle, keep reading to find out how to work on the points above.

            1. Always wanting to be right has a background of insecurity and lack of recognition

            Whenever you feel angry because you’re not right, stop and ask yourself, “What does this feeling remind me of? When did I feel speechless or a vote that hurt me so much that I was still in that rigid position? What should my partner think of my behavior? »

            2. Build emotional intimacy

            This is the key to a happy married life. When we connect with the person and create emotional intimacy, we work on certain essential values ​​in the couple that promote a positive bond with our partner; The union. From a deep conversation, to talk about each other’s desires and fears, projects and dreams, and above all what the couple we have built brings me, what are our values ​​as a family, etc.

              3. Successes and failures

              Often we feel jealous of our partner’s accomplishments, or we think their accomplishments make us feel small. On the other hand, we are annoyed by their mistakes or their frustrated goals and we feel that our partner has less value for it. Currently remember that the couple is a team with a single objective; personal and couple well-being.

              Sometimes anger or joy arises because we project unfulfilled desires onto our partner; remember that you are different people with spaces to share accomplishments and mistakes. The worst mistake of couples is to want to achieve perfection; your individuality as a couple makes you the couple that you are today.

              4. Responsibility for choice

              You feel like the events of the couple spiral out of control when you are unaware of the decisions you are making. Couple swapping requires constant decision making. The first and most important thing is to choose the person you want to share your life with. This is why it is important to consciously choose your partner; that being at his side is a decision that we take on a daily basis and in a responsible way.

              The moment you relate to responsibility, you will stop demanding your partner; demand that he satisfy your desires, demand that he make you happy, demand that he do something for you, etc. Your partner is free to do what they want and how they want, just like you. Yes you need something specific from your partner do not hesitate to ask clearly.

              5. Accept and thank

              Acceptance is necessary so as not to conflict with present reality and our expectations. Think about your emotional relationship; aspects of your partner’s personality, communication dynamics between partners, roles in the home, fears and desires, future plans, etc. Now make a list of what you like about your partner and what bothers you or would like to change.

              For what you like, go point by point and repeat “I appreciate (eg the perseverance) my partner shows and he does me so well. Thank you.” For those who are not so comfortable or embarrassed, read point by point and repeat “I accept (for example) the irritability shown by my partner and it hurts so much. With love.” There will be aspects that bother you and you just put the limit of not continuing to allow. Ask yourself how I feel and how I can communicate it to my partner to find a solution or a way to manage it, and if it is necessary to go to see a psychologist.


              When we know our own vulnerabilities and those of the other person, understanding, acceptance and love arise, but never competition.. Remember that it is always useful to be aware that we decide to stay with our partner every day, that we are a team with the sole purpose of understanding and sharing well-being.

              Thus, everything that arises in the couple is a gift; either an opportunity to strengthen the relationship or a moment of pleasure. The success and management of the couple fills our hearts with joy.

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