Why You Always Lose
Conflict in your marriage is a certainty. You and your wife are working towards the same goals, but you may each have a different way to get there. There will be a lot of times when you’re in the wrong, but there will also be times when you’re right, but end up losing the fight anyway.
There have been several conflicts with Alison in which I felt like I was the person who was wronged. I try not to assign blame because I think it’s a waste of time and energy. Yet, even though I may have been right in the first place, I totally screwed up how I handled the situation and then I was really wrong. It really confused me as to how I could be right and wrong at the same time. I finally figured it out. It was how I managed our relationship that was taking me down the wrong path.
Conflict never feels good, but it can be more bearable if you’re not wrong. So, if you find yourself being right, here’s why you may end up feeling like the loser.
- You overreacted. People know when they’re wrong. They don’t like it when you turn it on them. Your wife probably didn’t mean to injure you, so don’t bring drama into the situation. Be calm, cool, and rational. This might require that you take a few steps back and get some perspective. If you overreact, you will hurt your wife’s feelings.
- You handled the postmortem wrong. Each conflict has a postmortem period where you reconcile and move on. If you go into it with arrogance or an “I told you so” attitude, then you will certainly be the loser. Show grace.
- You didn’t communicate clearly. I’ve found that most of Alison and I’s conflicts could be avoided if we would’ve communicated more clearly in the beginning. If you’ll take the time on projects and big decisions to clearly spell out what actions you’re taking and what you’re asking of your wife, then you might just save yourself a fight.
- You didn’t get all of the facts. We live in a busy world and ask our brains to hold a lot of information. We try to cut corners in conflict by making assumptions. But if you don’t have all of the facts, how can you make good decisions? When you assume incorrectly (which is often), you’ll hurt your wife’s feelings.
We don’t like conflict and we really don’t like losing. By handling the relationship side of a conflict better, we can work through our issues and end up with a stronger marriage on the other side.