Pride and selfishness usually go together. It is hard to imagine one without the other. Our culture reinforces selfishness in marriage by constantly bombarding us with the message, “You deserve to be happy.” Yet selfishness can be even more subtle and difficult to identify than pride.
Selfishness can occur when I refuse to let you know me and I retreat into a self-protective mode. It can also occur when I pour myself sacrificially into my work or the lives of my children when I am hurt or disappointed with my spouse. Instead of investing in my marriage where I’m not seeing an return, I invest where I get some satisfaction and reward.
“One of the most deeply ingrained forms of selfishness in human nature is that of misery. The isolation of misery is far more proud than any other form of conceit.”
(From How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong, pp 53-54 by Leslie Vernick)