I can be a bit of a prideful person.
Admitting that I am wrong is something I rarely do, and something that I clearly need to work on. I’ve always been the person in my family to argue over the fact that “I am correct” ever since I was small.
If you asked my mom today, she would tell you that I was known to always get the last word. I wanted to feel triumphant because I won the battle. I wanted to speak the last few utterances to prove that I was the ultimate winner.
But man…..what a waste of energy.
If I was arguing with my family I would let an argument continue for hours after it started because I STILL did not get the last word. My whole day would be spent feeling frustrated, getting angrier, and losing patience.
The worst part of it all was that these days almost always coincided with an adventure: swimming at the lake, going to the park, going shopping, etc.
These days were supposed to be fun! Instead, I can only remember arguing.
For example, one time my little sister, Kellie, got on my nerves so much while we were visiting a theme park (Kings Dominion) that I “half-way” punched her in the face. It wasn’t hard. I swung very slowly and tapped her face with my fist. I did that because she wouldn’t be quiet – she wanted to make sure that I didn’t get the last word, and so I tried to shut her up so I could.
I was 12.
How ridiculous I feel telling that story.
It’s a funny memory now because I was a kid who couldn’t control her temper, but I also know that I missed out on the memories I could’ve made if I wasn’t so busy “keeping my pride.”
I mean….what’s pride if you make a fool of yourself, no longer have fun, and miss the opportunity to create memories?
Sticking up for your pride is not worth it if all you do is destroy the relationships in front of you.
The same rule applies in marriage. We have to let our pride go.
Being married to someone means you know your spouse in an intimate way. You know their successes, and their downfalls. You know their quirks, and their habits. You know how to love, and how to hate. We even know how to hurt them in an argument.
And what a shame it would be to do that.
We argue because sometimes we are baffled that our spouse thinks we are wrong and say “I can’t believe you aren’t on my side on this – you’re my husband/wife – you’re supposed to be on my side.”
But, it’s not about choosing sides. It’s about growing. At times, my husband will tell me things that I can improve on like: cleaning the dishes, or remembering to switch the laundry from the washer to dryer (which I forget often). He isn’t trying to be mean – he’s trying to make me better. But, my ears can fall short.
I don’t want to hear it, and my response can be…well….bad. Sometimes, I can respond so bad to correction, or an opinion not similar to mine, that I can get kind of mean. Maybe not in a blunt way, but I don’t act super nice.
Because of how I respond I slowly destroy everything I have built with my husband. I react, rather than wait in patience for the right words to say.
Why am I destroying what I love? Because I care that my pride might be hurt?
Am I married to my pride? No.
I’m married to Bruce.
We all get into arguments. It’s inevitable. Arguing is a part of marriage. The difference between a healthy marriage, and an unhealthy marriage, is how you handle these arguments.
I refuse to go to bed angry. I will muster up all the courage that I have so that I can apologize to my husband for anything I have said or done in an argument EVEN IF I think i’m right.
Because, at the end of the day, it’s not about being right or wrong, it’s about choosing who we love most over our own self.
My pride does not matter if I have hurt Bruce. I vowed to love this man with all that I had until the day I died. And, I will.
Regardless of my stance in an argument I will come to my husband and say “i’m sorry.” I will apologize for anything I have said or done, and mean it.
It’s not a ritual. I can’t just say “i’m sorry” and let the day keep going. That doesn’t have meaning. I have to admit that I am wrong, point out why I was wrong, and show him how much I love him when I say “i’m sorry.”
It can be awkward to swallow our pride and apologize, but it’s always worth it in the end.
Choosing our spouse over ourselves will always prove rewarding.
It will deepen your relationship with one another, and build a foundation of trust that cannot be broken. Over time, you will learn to see eye-to-eye and understand the why behind actions, and work through every obstacle you face together.
And that all steams from coming forward, losing your pride, and saying “i’m sorry.”