Fights are common in relationships. In many ways, discussions and arguments can even have a healthy component, as they help one partner better understand the other. But for some relationships, the fights never seem to end. One or both partners in the relationship start to argue on and on, trying to prove that they are the ones that are right in the relationship.
This is often a mistake.
Why Winning an Argument is Losing as a Couple
Relationships are not a point system. They’re not about winning or about keeping score. They’re not about seeing who can show the other on they are wrong. They’re not about proving you are smarter or more logical than your partner is. Proving that you are right to your partner has very few long term benefits.
It is important to be heard, and to have your feelings acknowledged. That is simply relationship communication, and it is critical to the success of your marriage or partnership. But being “right” has far fewer benefits in the heat of an argument. The time and energy it takes to try to prove your point pushes you apart as a couple, and unfortunately can hurt your ability to communicate in the future.
As any two partners that are arguing who is “right” and they will both say that they are. If both partners did not believe they were right, chances are they would not argue. Rarely will any amount of arguing change anyone’s mind. But even in the best case scenario – where you successfully prove that you were right – no one wins:
- Your partner is not happy.
- You are not happy.
- Your relationship’s energy was expended on something negative.
Being heard is very different from being right. The process of the argument rarely has a positive outcome, even if your partner admits that you were right in the end. All that energy ends up getting wasted on an argument that may not have been necessary at all.
If you’re not being heard, couples counseling can help you improve your communication skills. But if the issue is that you want to be right, you may need to stop, take a deep breath, and ask yourself what the point of winning the argument is, and whether it’s worth sacrificing your happiness to get there.