She said, "I am so sad about our argument last night. Would you help me?" I got dressed and met her an hour later at our local Starbucks.
A mere three sips in to my vanilla latte (with an extra shot), I found myself thinking she got me here on false pretenses. I don't think she wanted help as much as she felt the need for someone to agree that her husband was "Wrong, wrong, wrong! End of discussion."
After she said that a few times, I called her bluff and said, "Well, if the fact that he is wrong ends the discussion I'm gonna go home."
"What? Why?", she asked.
"Well, if he's wrong, wrong, wrong, and that's the only thing that matters to you...why am I here? What is there to discuss? You've got the whole thing figured out already. He's wrong. You're right. Right?"
"Well, I guess so, but what do you think? Is he wrong?"
"I see his point and I see yours. You're both right. You're both wrong for wanting to be right more than wanting to be in unity."
I asked her if she wanted some simple advice. She said she did. Here's what I told her.
1- Being right doesn't give you the right to prove you're right. It took Mrs. Older a couple of decades to embrace this reality. I was a little married crusader who relentlessly pursued poor Mr. Older when he was on the wrong side - according to me - of an argument. I knew I was right, and by golly, I was going to prove it. Being right gave me the right to prove I was right. Right? RIGHT! One day Mr. Older looked at me and said, "O.K. you're right" and got back to what he was doing. "I'm right?" I asked him. "Yup. You're right." I was right? He was wrong? EUREKA! I WON! It didn't feel as good as I imagined. I decided that day that proving I was right was not a right I was entitled to. I said to her, "If your only goal is to prove that he is wrong then you will continue to inflict serious wounds in your marriage.. and though you won't remember what you were arguing about a year from now, those tiny little shots will leave scars in both your hearts."
2- Being wrong is not as horrible as you might think. I said to my young friend, "If you want me to tell you the truth, I think that your husband has some valid points in this argument you are having. Honestly? I don't think he's as WRONG, WRONG, WRONG a you think he is." She looked at me and said a sentence with such a horrified look on her face, you'd think she was telling me that her dog just died. She said, "You mean I'm wrong?"
"Yes. It happens on a regular basis to the inhabitants of Planet Earth. Everyone is wrong sometimes. Even you."
I attempted to show her what I saw as "his side."
"So then I'm wrong?"
I didn't play judge or jury that day. I just told her I could see her husband's side.
3- OPPOSITES OFTEN OPPOSE. The glitch in the scenario of marital peace on earth is that you are not a man, and he is. He is the OPPOSITE sex. He will see things UTTERLY OPPOSITE many times.He doesn't see things your way. Your girlfriends might.but.. not your husband. It's time to mature and understand that just because he doesn't agree with you doesn't mean he is wrong.
4- YOUR TONGUE WON'T FALL OUT AND SHRIVEL UP ON THE FLOOR IF YOU SAY THE WORDS, "I WAS WRONG. WILL YOU FORGIVE ME?"
Or if it is utterly impossible to say those words, you can try something like, "I have to admit that maybe you do have some valid points." You won't die. You can be wrong and still stay alive.
Finally... the Bible advises us "Do all that YOU can to live in peace with everyone." (Romans 12:18 NLT)
This is not a suggestion.. but an actual teaching to followers of Jesus.
TRY to live in peace with your husband.
This might mean letting something go when you really want to fight about it.
The HOLY SPIRIT of GOD.. is MORE THAN willing to change you from someone who has to be right, to someone who is able to admit it when she is wrong.
She called me a month later to say that God had shown her the deep pride that caused her to refuse to be wrong. Not just with her husband, but most people she knew. She sounded so soft inside when she said, "I have admitted to being wrong more in this last month, than all the fourteen years we've been married. It's the best thing that ever happened.'
The world is filled with people who refuse to see themselves honestly.
Don't assume you aren't one of them.
The HOME you save will be your own.
I love you,
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