First let me just say; all of us are selfish to some degree! And I do mean all of us.
I was talking to someone a few days back about marriage and how and why some marriages are so wonderful and others not so much ... or why couples seem to be so happy and in love while others - not so much?
And I began to reflect on the many conversations I've had with couples, whether happy or not happy and I remember hearing a common thread of what could be an real issue to WHY marriage fail.
Here is my thought (btw, haven't had time to formulate or think it through totally ... so it's rough draft ... raw material here): Selfishness is at the root.
So a couple I counseled with about a year ago was describing their troubled marriage to me and I could see clearly what was wrong; they were loving the other the way they wanted to be loved, rather than loving their spouse the way THEY wanted to be loved. Make sense?
For example; she was a fantastic homemaker, i.e. cooking, cleaning, caring for the children, she scrap-booked the kids every move, themed birthday parties, thoughtful gifts, etc. etc. And from the outside looking in you would think their home was just perfect. But that's just it, the husband loved all that his wife was doing with the home and with the kids, and the wonderful meals she would prepare for him when he came home from work, but Sex was very infrequent. And that is what he wanted most. More than hot meals after work, more then fresh organic fruit smoothies in the morning before work, more than little special note cards slipped in his briefcase. He wanted intimacy ... specially sex. And she was giving him everything, but that, and that is what he wanted more than anything else.
I have seen the opposite; the husband is working hard to make lots of money for his family. He is a caring loving father, attending every game their son played, etc. etc. But he was neglecting to give his wife what she really wanted ... time with him.
So, all that said if you are married why don't you ask your spouse WHAT DO YOU want from me in our relationship? What is the best way I can say (show) I love you? Then do that!
Having a wonderful happy marriage isn't about EVERYTHING being PERFECT, but it is a lot about GIVING YOUR SPOUSE what they WANT and NEED, not just what you want to give and THINK they need.
DISCLAIMER: I am not talking about crazy unrealistic expectations here! Like a wife that wants her husband to make millions of dollars, yet wants him home all the time ... can't have both in the real world! You just have to decide what is MOST important, then be happy about it!
For me personally there are several things that are important to me, but one of them trumps them all ... and as long as that's going good I don't care all that much about the others. So know your spouses "love language" and speak to him/her in that language so he/she can understand what you are saying!