If you win, your marriage loses

photo credit: Bride Goku via photopin (license)

photo credit: Bride Goku via photopin (license)

Have you ever noticed how most of us really want to win, to be “on top” and not be wrong, whatever the cost? Man, how I want to “win” a disagreement! I want to be “right.” To be “wrong” feels uncomfortable and can threaten my delicate ego. In life, this win-at-all-costs mentality is harmful to others and ourselves and is quite frankly…unGodly. In marriage, it’s downright TOXIC.

To be “right,” your partner must be “wrong.” Typically, we argue over something that requires a solution and attempting to win an argument, not only takes the focus off the solution, but it pits you against your mate, making you combatants on opposing teams. It gets you nowhere…nowhere that’s helpful or increases intimacy. If you’re winning, your marriage is losing.

When we purposefully work toward a solution with our partner, we consider both couple members’ opinions, while taking defensiveness and competitiveness out of the equation. Both parties “win” because you’ve (potentially) reached a solution together AND increased intimacy.

I still like to “win” an argument, but if I keep in mind how valid my husband’s opinion is and how important it is to focus on a solution instead, our marriage wins. Even if my ego takes a hit, I have the opportunity to avoid introducing toxicity into my marriage and that’s a win-win, which should always be the goal.

Are you maintaining your need to be “right?” What might that be costing you, your partner and your marriage?

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About Lori Mitton

Lori Mitton is a licensed clinical psychotherapist (MA, LLP) specializing in marriage and family therapy. She is co-founder of Permanent Passionate Partnership.