It’s the old saying – do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Of course, you can be right and be happy!
But that doesn’t always happen. And the question is – when do you put your foot down? When do you insist on being right? And how far do you push it?
At our house, we have had a week of fighting. Well, more accurately, Hubby and I have.
It started last week. I had been working long hours and was exhausted. After a 13 hour day on site, I had come home to the news one of the girl’s school friends had passed away. It threw me a little, well more than a little. She was the same age as my youngest, and her elder sister the same age as my eldest. And I was tired. And it was cancer.
As I’ve said before, you never get over the death of a parent. You can learn to cope, and you can start to remember them and to smile, without a tear in your eye. But then IT (grief) will rare its ugly head when you least expect it. And when cancer took the life of a little 8-year-old girl that we had known since she was a toddler, a little girl who loved princesses and cats – IT hit me like a bus.
So I wasn’t coping. I was grumpy.
And Hubby did something I didn’t like. He was wrong – I was right.
Stubborn v stubborn.
In our lives, we are driven by the need to be right.
Even at a basic level, watching my children fight – caveating those arguments about whose turn it is on the computer – the argument is usually based on a difference of opinion. Each child believes wholeheartedly that she is right. And the “conversation” really is just a contest to see who can convince the other that their view is correct. Which, from a logical perspective, is likely to work about as often as never.
When it comes to a marriage – or a relationship – consistently trying to convince our partner that we are right can be damaging to the relationship.
Sharing your life with someone is hard. It involves compromise, putting the other person first, and acceptance. Acceptance that in all relationships there are two different people, with two different backgrounds and ideologies, and two different ways of thinking. Just because one party believes they are right – doesn’t mean the other party is wrong.
And who really wants to talk to themselves? Do you really want your partner to agree with everything you say and believe? Differences are the foundations of a relationship – you each bring something to the table. An experience the other doesn’t have – something to build on together.
Your partner is different from you, and that’s a good thing.
What is your ultimate goal in this interaction? Do you want a relationship, or do you want to be right? You can’t usually have it both ways.
Being right isn’t always worth the fight.
Almost a week later – we were still butting heads. And I was exhausted. I needed Hubby back on my side.
So I chose happiness, we both did. It didn’t mean I had to apologise, neither did he. We just had to “let it go”. We just chose to move on.
And now I have Hubby back in my team, where I need him.
And I can be strong again.
Happiness is much better for the soul than being right.