Being Right is So Overrated

"A long-lasting marriage is built by two people who believe in and live by the solemn promise they made." — Darlene Schacht

It takes two to tango. It is not how you feel. It is living up to the promise you made to each other. There will be various seasons of life. Don't expect summer all the time, nor spring. The winters and falls do come also. Your ability to navigate through these times knowing the winters don't last forever is what makes the difference between a successful and a failed marriage. You have to believe in the innate potential of each other to do good, even if it means you have to extrude it out. Marriage is about serving one another for the benefit of the marriage and one another. No one else will do it for you.

Partners, sometimes, could each be so right and yet so wrong. They might be looking at the same glass (issue) but from two entirely different viewpoints. From their individual viewpoints, they are correct. It is their truth, based on the way they see things and their experience of life. As far as the marriage is concerned they are wrong for as long as they are unable to merge their different viewpoints and offer grace to one another. Marriage, and life itself for that matter, are not about being right.

Being right is so overrated, especially when it comes at the expense of your marriage. The popular "irreconcilable difference" excuse for divorce. Marriage requires that we prefer one another. That is true strength, not weakness. The one who has his/her emotions under check is the stronger one. The ego trip is taken out of the way for the health of the relationship.

So, what are somethings we can offer one another, other than always being right?

One is Openness (nakedness). We can be open to sharing our view, knowing it is our truth the way we see it, and not necessarily the whole truth. Hence, we are open to hearing our spouse’s view as well, respecting him/her person and his/her view. We can offer grace to one another.

Two is Detachment. We have to detach our security and/or safety (social or emotional) from our view. Our being right or wrong should not make us any less. And, we should offer that much grace to each other. Your person is not necessarily determined by your view. We can change. We are not trees. We are all students on this journey of life. No one knows it all. The wise one is the one who is always open to change, open to learning, open to grow.

Three is Meekness. The meek will inherit the earth. The meek will have a healthy, successful and life-giving marriage. Meekness is strength under control. You are both using your strength to build each other up, not tear each other apart. You know where to rein your passion and emotions in, and not to use the wrong language. You are not quick to tell your partner they are wrong, even when they are. You tailor your words in a way that respects their emotional composition. Let them know you respect their view and simply state the way you see it, not belittling their own view.

Four is Humility. The humble will see grace in strange places. Humility is thinking of yourself less. You are not overly consumed with winning arguments. You are concerned and look out for your spouse’s feelings. Your ego is under check. It is not your way or the highway. You are open to being wrong, and not predisposed to always having to be right.

Five is Forgiveness. You offer grace to one another. And, not hold too tightly to each other’s shortcomings. You are not counting the number of times your spouse wronged you, but rather believing the best of one another. Love is an endless act of forgiveness. Conflict cannot survive without your participation. So, take the embers out. “Forgiveness never hurts the soul. It removes the fear that is why it is such a powerful weapon.” (Nelson Mandela) Be a warrior for love.

Six is Kindness. If there is only one person in all the world you should be kind to, it should be your spouse. Your being kind to your spouse is being kind to your own very self. You are now one, remember? You aren’t hurting anyone else, but your own very self, when you offer anything less. It is better to be kind than to be right. Being right is not as important as maintaining the relationship.

Feel free to share your questions and comments.

Your Spouse Deserves your Best

Books for Further Reading:
How to Improve Your Marriage (Patricia Love and Steven Stosny)
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (John Gottman and Nan Silver)
4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication in Love, Life, Work (Bento C. Leal III)
Communication in Marriage (Marcus Kusi and Ashley Kusi)
Mindful Relationship Habits (M.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport)

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