Your Relationship Needs Your Ego

Wednesday, Feb. 9th 2011 1:26 AM

In order to have a healthy relationship, do you have to check your ego at the door?

I recently hosted a small group of professionals to discuss relationship dynamics. When one of the married women said, “Ego has no place in relationships,” I could not have disagreed with her more. Ego certainly has a place in relationships. It has to. After all, we all have one. I certainly do. They are as inescapable as our shadows, and that’s not a bad thing. The key to having a successful relationship is in the management of our egos.

My ego often shows up in my relationship. At times, I can’t help myself. There are certain things that I feel are important components of my identity – including what some would call “self-respect,” and an unwillingness to be “disrespected” by others. So, when someone yells or curses at me, my ego gets bruised, and I must take action.

There are times when my mate and I have spirited conversations, or even arguments. She can certainly say her piece, but she knows there is a proverbial line between the type of talking-to that I am willing to tolerate and that which my ego will not handle. She also knows that if she crosses that line, I might disappear for the next five hours or so. There are certain things that trigger such a stand in all of us.

It is not the existence of our egos (and the stands they take) that create problems in our relationships; it is our unwillingness to accept the inevitable role they play. When you and your mate know and understand each other well, and are willing to accept one another’s egos, you can manage the possible fall-out. There may be times when my mate’s ego causes her to cross my line, and I accept that her ego is as important in our relationship as mine, as long as she accepts that I will be getting out of the house for a while to cool off. But if her ego caused her to say whatever she felt like saying to me, and then she had a problem with me walking away, it would be safe to say that our egos had trouble co-existing. And that could cause our relationship, at least in its current incarnation, to cease to exist.

So, please give you partner’s ego a hug. Show it understanding. Remember, you have one too, and you would probably appreciate the same indulgence from your mate when it rears its head.

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

www.FrankLove.com

…and please do not multi-task when driving.

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11 Comments on “Your Relationship Needs Your Ego”

  1. Janis Evans Says:

    I do agree with your position! I see alot of EGO as I counsel couples and in my own marriage but never recognized it from this angle. It’s another way to express unconditional acceptance of our spouse when we hug that big ol’ ego. It’s not easy, but necessary. You hit the nail on the head with your suggestion that we need to manage, rather than let our egos run amok. So true that behind our egos are very sensitive buttons that each partner knows very well how to press in the other. We have to be aware of how we might trigger the ego which is nothing but a defense to ward off a perceived attack or slight. Next time my hubby’s ego gets in my way I’ll just inhale, sigh, and give him a big hug.
    Janis E
    Licensed Professional Counselor(DC)

  2. Cindy Loughran Says:

    Great words of wisdom Frank. And all that you say is true in professional relationships as well. If we have built a high level of trust and believe that what another is saying is coming from a place of authentic concern for our well being and the well being of the relationship and the organization/larger community, we can hear difficult messages more easily. Our ego may be bruised but not crushed. Ego is certainly part of the big picture to be honored and, as you say, managed.

  3. Edward Aldama Says:

    Great point! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Dawn Davidson Says:

    Nice article, Frank! Trying to repress your ego is bound to fail, as is the case for repressing many things. Whenever we try to pretend something doesn’t exist, we’re engaging in something Byron Katie (a favorite author of mine) calls “arguing with what is.” And when we argue with what is, that’s when we find ourselves in suffering. Allowing what is to BE–in this case, that we have egos, and sometimes they take some managing–gives us the most power to choose our reactions. Much easier said than done, but at least it’s possible if you’re not trying to pretend your ego doesn’t exist at all!

  5. Jansenius T. Lange Jr. Says:

    Frank, I do like your approach to relationship amongst SPOUSES.

    Boyd, as always I enjoy reading from your unique abilities to Reason through Human-issues.

    My solution approach to relationship amongst spouses is one of personal human-energies Respect limits. Unless a person do cultivate confidence-energies in his or her own belief-energies or faith-energies; this person would never to become confident about the human-energies which he or she do cultivates.

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