Learn to pick your battles

Anyone who tells you that married life is pure bliss isn’t married.  Married life takes work.  Married life requires sacrifice and if you want to keep your marriage happy you need to learn to pick your battles very carefully.  Just as a good chess player knows they will have to sacrifice something minor in the short term in order to gain something major in the far term, a good husband knows when to give in and when to put up a fight.

 If you’re the type of person who always needs to get their way you may be in trouble as your spouse will likely either a) push back, or b) absorb your demands and vent her anger in unhealthy ways.  Marriage is not about doing what makes you happy, it’s about doing what makes you both happy.  Marriage is NOT a zero sum game; it is far more complicated than that!  There is no limit to the amount of happiness a couple can have so don’t think of everything as a contest.  If she really wants to do something and you don’t, before getting into an argument ask yourself how much this issue matters to you.  If the answer is, ‘not a lot,’ then don’t put up a fight!  Pushing back when the issue really matters to you is fine, but if you do it all the time you’ll end up in a never ending game of who can take a firmer stance.  Marriage may not be a zero sum game but you can accumulate points, and by giving in on the issues that don’t really matter you are laying the groundwork to win the ones that do matter.  By not constantly arguing your point you make your wife less defensive and less likely to push back on things she doesn’t really care about.  By letting her pick out the paint you increase the chances of her letting you pick out the 50” HDTV.

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Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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