Rivalry between a husband and a wife is a human flaw which seeks to focus on struggling to compete with each other’s achievements and positions rather than supporting, uplifting and learning from them. It is a cancer which takes many forms in human relationships, sibling rivalry, friend rivalry and spousal rivalry, etc are some of the common forms of rivalry. There is no benefit in rivalry within a family, when you win you elicit a strong feeling of jealousy and envy too close to home, and when you lose you become bitter and disillusioned being in close proximity to the winner who in the spirit of competition will flaunt their win on a daily basis.

My focus today is on spousal rivalry, as simple as this sounds, it is a very unhealthy situation which has wrecked havoc in many homes. Many people have lost sight of what marriage truly means. Marriage is not a contract where each spouse is supposed to behave in a certain way or observe certain terms of engagement to succeed, it is supposed to be an emotional union where one spouse truly and sincerely works to uplift the other. When your wife fails, in the eyes of discerning people, you have failed and when she wins, to the cerebral and cultured people around you, you have also won, this also goes for the husband. In homes where there is rivalry, it cuts across all aspects of their family life, work, religion, family alliances money and even the children.

There are situations where a husband or wife for whatever reason is in constant competition with each other. It is so bad that it gets to the point where even the children are used as puns in the battle of who can spoil or care for them the most. Children raised under this condition will grow up to be very envious, desperately discontented and overtly competitive, traits which will destroy their chances of getting ahead in life. Some couples have gone so far down this part of destruction to the point where even in public, their arguments must take different directions, they openly argue against each other with so much negative passion on very trivial matters, and in the process exposing their lack of unity. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a healthy argument, however, there is a thin line between a healthy intellectual argument and bare faced rivalry.

Rivalry makes a home which should be your area of rejuvenation very uncomfortable, valuable energy which should have been expended on a positive drive for the benefit of the entire family is wasted on competing with each other. Struggling to succeed with the singular aim of getting ahead or gloating to your spouse makes it almost impossible to record sustainable successes. The competitive spirit will always propel you to take important decisions while blinded by your selfish desire to win. Under the spell of rivalry, your ability to make logical decision are severely impaired, your focus will always be on how to get ahead of your spouse rather than making real and lasting progress.

We must realise that agreeing to marry someone and be joined together as one makes it a complete foolery and stupidity not to support and wish each other well in all endeavours. Failure to do this is akin to wishing evil on oneself. I have said this before and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will say it again, your lives are interconnected, your success and that of your spouse are both spiritually and physically linked. If you think you can enjoy whatever successes life bestows on you without the blessing of you spouse, you don’t know anything about life.

Once you see your spouse as yourself and begin to understand that win or lose they are still your spouse, you will feel the need not to be in competition with them. You must learn to uplift and encourage each other, bearing in mind that achievements and successes must be pooled together to record lasting successes for the family. When your spouse wins, you are a major stakeholder in their success, if they lose, no matter your position or the successes you have recorded, you have also lost. There is nothing as bad as putting a loser and winner under the same roof, the bad blood generated can eat away at your soul one day at a time – Sir Stanley Ekezie