Smile and Sad

Stop for a moment and think back about the last time you argued with somebody. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an argument you had with your spouse – It can be with anyone.

About anything.

Ok, now ask yourself the following question: Why were you and that other person arguing?


The answer probably goes somewhere along the lines of:

“Because I thought/wanted/said/(insert whichever verb applies) this, and the other person thought/wanted/said/(insert whichever verb applies) something else.”

When we break down and analyze an argument – any argument – it basically boils down to the disagreement between both parties regarding the specific topic of the argument.

Taking this into consideration, it is important to know that people argue simply because of one reason: We all, without exception, like to be right.

Being Right vs. Being Happy

While there is no shame in once in a while admitting being wrong, let’s face it, it is not exactly the most pleasant sensation.

As a matter of fact, some people are so afraid of being wrong and looking bad in front of others that they’ll go to extremes to prove their point of view. And if you happen to know one (or several) of these extremely righteous people, you may probably have to take certain measures when dealing with them in order to avoid a possible argument.

Unfortunately, many of these “anti-argument measures” end up being things such as lying, repression of feelings, even avoidance of the righteous person. And sadly, this has a tremendous negative impact in the relationship you have with that person.

When it comes to marriage, if you or your spouse happen to have the tendency to want to “always be right,” that is the root that generates some of the worst issues that can destroy a marriage.

After all, who wants to be in a relationship where you constantly have to be surrounded by lies? Or one in which you can’t express yourself freely in front of your spouse? And by the time you are doing everything you can to avoid your spouse (or your spouse is doing everything to avoid you), those are clear grounds for divorce.

Righteousness: The enemy of happiness.

Think about the last time you “won” an argument. How did you feel immediately afterwards?

Sure, maybe your ego was throbbing with pleasure, but what about your relationship with the person with whom you argued? Chances are some damage was done, even if the other person apparently seemed to be ok with “losing” the argument.

When you look at that, that feeling of “victory” that you experience doesn’t seem to be so appealing anymore. And when you think about it, is it really worth risking the relationship with someone you care about only so you can feed your ego? Sad, but true.

Expressing disagreement in your marriage without arguing

Since you and your spouse obviously are not clones of each other, it is a fact that at some point you will have different opinions or points of view regarding something.

Whenever that happens, keep something in mind: Disagreement does not have to lead to an argument! After all, points of view are nothing other than that: points of view! And there is absolutely nothing that says that one point of view is more valid than another, because they all are opinions. And there is no place in life, science, philosophy, psychology, the dictionary, the Internet or anywhere else where it is stated that an opinion equals the truth.

So the next time you and your spouse start arguing about something, stop for a moment and analyze which are your conflicting points of view. And then talk, not argue, about them.

Talking without arguing

The key element here is open and honest communication. Express to your spouse why you think in that particular way and then let him or her do the same. The more details you provide, the better your spouse will understand. And when it’s your turn to listen to your spouse, then by all means, shut up and listen!

Learning to listen is crucial for understanding each other. And for everyone’s sake, forget about who’s right and who’s wrong! Once again remember: No one is right… Or wrong! You just have different opinions!

When you don’t have to fight to be right, being happy naturally happens

Knowing that you and your spouse are individuals who have their particular points of view can help you understand and avoid unnecessary arguments. Knowing that, when it comes to opinions, there’s no such thing as being right or being wrong can also prevent conflict not only in a marriage, but also in relationships in general.

And who can argue that not arguing on a regular basis can bring more happiness to your marriage?

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Photo credit: Ari Helminen

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