Are you subconsciously in some sort of competition with your spouse? Do you sometimes have this need to be ‘better’ than them?
Is it possible that in some area you try to one-up your spouse? Or even try to sabotage their growth? Do you accentuate or highlight one of their limitations or weaknesses (especially in the area of your own deficiencies or something you consider a weakness) so that you don’t seem so bad? Do you sometimes subconsciously make them seem smaller? Those are all forms of competition.
The first step toward overcoming competition in relationships is to find the source of it. Sometimes, it is a result of your own insecurities in the relationship or in life in general. (Do you fear that if the kids like your spouse, they will like you less? Or, if your spouse does well in the community that your life is less important or interesting?)
Once you establish the root causes, together you can take steps for how to stop being competitive. Highlight each other’s strengths and recognize that you both contribute to the relationship and to the world – each in your own ways. Talk about how you can support and enhance each other’s endeavors instead of belittling them.
Use your competitiveness to be a formidable team– the two of you against the challenges of the world.