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Who’s right?

December 1, 2011

Here’s a great idea …

In his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman says, “In all arguments, both solvable and perpetual, no one is ever right. There is no absolute reality in marital conflict, only two subjective realities.” (p. 150)

In other words …

Humans often feel a need to be right. We refuse to back down from most arguments because we want to prove just how right we are. When we play this game with our partners, we all lose. Each of us tries to prove we are right, and we become enemy combatants. Even though we think we have more truth than our partners, the best thing we can do is try to understand each other. Then we can work together.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life …

The next time you have a disagreement with your partner, stop and look at things from that person’s point of view. Search for the reasons behind their beliefs. Find the pain beneath the angry or hurtful things your partner says. The more you understand your partner’s point of view the better your relationship can be.

To find out more…

about couple relationships, check out The Marriage Garden program at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.

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