Why being ‘right’ in marriage is wrong

“So, who’s always right in your marriage?” the host on my local Christian radio station asked one of her guests.

The husband of three months quickly replied, “My wife.”

“Smart man,” the host laughed in response.

Maybe, like me, you too have heard someone point to this as an ingredient for marital bliss. Perhaps you’ve listened to it on the radio, read a celebrity claim it as their “best marriage advice” in a popular magazine, or even come across it in your Facebook feed.

But, take a moment to think closely about it. Really, closely.

Is “your wife is always right” a principle we really want to live out in our marriages? Or does it actively promote an “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality in what’s meant to be our closest, most intimate relationship?

The truth is, I don’t know how many husbands actually subscribe to this mantra in order to keep peace in their marriages. Although, I’m guessing some do. What I can tell you that my husband Ted isn’t one of them.

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And you know what?

As frustrating as it often is when he doesn’t agree with me or defer to my opinion, I can honestly say I’m glad that’s the case. Although, in all honesty, it does normally take me a couple hours to genuinely feel that way.

You see, as a Jesus-loving woman and wife, I’m not called to be right. No matter how much I may want to be at times.

Rather, for the sake of unity in our marriage, I’m called to be humble.

The same applies to Ted, and all the husbands out there. You’re not called to be right either. You too are called to humility.

In Ephesians 4:1-3, the apostle Paul reminds us all of us to:

“…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (ESV).

What exactly does this mean?

Matthew Henry, in his commentary on this passage, wrote:

“The first step towards unity is humility; without this, there will be no meekness, no patience, or forbearance; and without these no unity. Pride and passion break the peace and make all the mischief. Humility and meekness restore the peace, and keep it.”

When it comes to our marriages, each of us can help maintain the peace not by hoping that our spouse, if ever asked, applaud us as always right. But instead by relinquishing that desire and even need we sometimes feel to be right. By humbling ourselves and being ready and willing to defer, whether right or wrong.

So, the next time you listen to a host on the radio joke about a “wife always being right,” read a celebrity claim it as their “best marriage advice” in a popular magazine, or even come across it in your Facebook feed, I hope you’ll be reminded to embrace humility in your own marriage.

I know I certainly will!

Do you want a happier and healthier marriage? Click here to sign up for Kirk and Chelsea Cameron’s online video course: FIGHTING FAIR

Ashleigh Slater is the author of “Team Us: Marriage Together” and “Braving Sorrow Together: The Transformative Power of Faith and Community When Life is Hard.” Find out more about Ashleigh at AshleighSlater.com or follow her on Facebook.

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