Sometimes human beings would rather be right, than be happy.
Without even knowing we are doing it, we are searching for the opportunity to say “See? I told you so!” or “You wouldn’t listen to me, would you?”
We are viewing the whole relationship as if it were a battlefield. We are working against each other, when we should be on the same side.
The other day, I asked Phil if he would help me with some gardening. My back was hurting and Phil had told me he would do it, and that I should do some writing, but it was a lovely day and I really wanted to clear the overgrown weeds that made up our mini jungle over the last couple of months.
Before our “shake-up” as I call it, Phil (or I, in the same position) would have sulked(!) and pointed out that it was inevitable I would hurt my back, and said one or both of those statements above.
But this time he just hugged me, rubbed my shoulders and took over the gardening without another word.
It was pointed out to us during our therapy that we often argue just for the sake of arguing, and that we need to recognize how to prevent arguments, even the little (seemingly harmless) trivial ones. No matter how tempting it is to point out to your partner that they are wrong and you are right, assess whether it will have a peaceful outcome. It rarely does!
I have to say Phil has remembered all this stuff a lot better than I have. I notice tons of these subtle differences all the time. Quite often when he could easily point out how I’m wrong and he’s right, he doesn’t bother. When it’s the other way round, I find myself starting to say something, then stopping myself mid-sentence, and Phil will wink at me knowingly!
We have both now been trained to ask ourselves “What will the outcome of my actions (or words) be?”
It’s a lot easier to settle for being happy than being right. So swallow your pride and give it a try!