Forget About Being Right
There are many commonly held beliefs about marriage that I refuse to subscribe to. Over the past two years, they've been weaved into many of the posts that have appeared on this blog. I don't believe that marriage is about someone being in control. I don't believe marriage is about someone being nothing more than a rubber stamp. I believe that marriage is more than a partnership or a co-venture. Marriage is about a husband and a wife, both pouring themselves completely into relationship and reaping the rewards together.
I'm so tried of people telling me the way to have a happy marriage is for the husband to only say, "Yes ma’am.” You might think people are being hyperbolic, but I don’t. If I were a wife, and my husband was an empty suit like that, I'd be furious. Who wants to be committed for life to a person who's completely spineless? Just as egregious, I don't think that your wife is always right and you're always wrong. I'm so resolute in my belief that I first addressed this topic in my 4th blog post to appear on this site, way back in March of 2013.
Yet, despite my protests, it’s true that being obsessed with who's right only prolongs conflict. Fights don't have to last long. In fact, they can end very shortly after they begin. All you have to do is stop being emotional and forget about being right. It's a hard concept to execute in the heat of the moment, but it's still very possible.
In the final analysis, who was right in any given conflict is not nearly as important as the relationship itself. Conflict is never resolved by assigning blame. Conflict is resolved when core problems are identified and remedied. Once the core issue is taken care of, everything else resolves itself. Assigning blame is treating a symptom- remedying the underling issue is treating the disease. Beware of pride in fights. When we let our pride take over and continue to posture, we only prolong a conflict and let it do further damage to our marriage.
It's important to be more concerned with mending the broken fences. No one likes an unpleasant conflict in their relationship. The situation is even worse when the impediment is in your marital relationship and you have to see your spouse every day! When you forget about who's right, you can start asking yourself what you can do to heal the relationship. If you have any role in the conflict, make immediate adjustments to remove the road block to peace. Then, be sure to ask yourself the perennial question, how can you prevent a repeat fight over this same issue?
When you're able to set aside your emotions in a conflict with your wife, you're able to get a better understanding of the situation that you find yourselves in. Remember to be kind. Kindness, humility, and servant leadership aren't concerned with winning. Instead, they're concerned with loving. Make the resolution a win-win. By acting with kindness, you ease the pain of conflict with your wife and you also replace negativity in your own mind with gentleness.
If you want to drive your relationship off a cliff, by all means, full speed ahead with the blame game. If you want to strengthen your marriage and reduce suffering just forget about who's right.