15 July 2003

Is your partner’s place in the wrong?

Is it your way or no way? If so, take a good look at your marriage, because it might not last long.


Is it your way or no way? If so, take a good look at your marriage, because it might not last long.

Dinner party blues
Most people have had the experience of sitting at a dinner party where a couple is bickering about details – it wasn’t Wednesday, it was Thursday/ you said 500 yesterday, not 400. What difference does it make? A good story is a good story, give or take a few details. But to the partner who always needs to be right, it matters a great deal. So much so, that they would probably rather sabotage their marriage on the long run and end up right and alone, than admit to being wrong about anything. Why is it that the people who know everything about everything often don’t know how to hold a marriage together?

If you or your partner has a tendency to think in terms of “me” rather than “we”, your marriage may start coming apart at the seams. Working as a team is a critically important factor in keeping a marriage stress-free and vibrant, according to Cape Town psychologist Ilse Terblanche.

The price of not thinking as a "team" is both high and painful. If you are not working together, there are many problems that can crop up. Warning signs include that the two of you can't agree on anything. Or you see it as a personal victory when you turn out to be right and your partner wrong. Or perhaps you poll all your friends until you find someone who sees it your way, then you use that in your argument with your spouse.

Happy, or right?
People who are successfully married usually have clear goals in their relationship. They also work hard to remain a team. They honor the skills and abilities of their partner and check often to see if they are in agreement with their partner, says Terblanche. And sometimes, experts say, you have to give up the right to be right. When it comes to marriage, you can be happy or you can always be right about everything, but not both.

And let’s face it, it’s hard work always having to know everything about everything – it shows maturity to be able to say that you don’t know. And nobody knows everything anyway. -(Susan Erasmus, Health24)


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