Giving Up Your Rights to be Right {in marriage}

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Giving Up Your Right to be Right

{Modified from original post Jan. 2011}

My husband and I are in our 15th year of marriage. We have certainly had our shares of ups and downs as well as a couple of serious issues we had to work through. We have both grown over the years on how we handle conflict in our marriage and I can honestly tell you, that our marriage, though not perfect, is blissful.

Almost Never Easy

I realize not everyone has a blissful marriage and sometimes what works for one couple just does not work for another. Given that we each have unique situations and are unique individuals, some things just may not work in everyone’s marriage.  On the flip side, there are some radical ideas out there that can seriously save a marriage when someone has the courage to try them. I don’t mean that in a degrading way. The fact of the matter is, it takes courage to do things that go against what we’re used to or what we know based on others teachings.

I want to share with you one concept I have learned to embrace over the years. I will warn you: it is not easy. It is not popular. It is not comfortable. It requires complete and utter self-denial. It could help save your marriage. Not just from divorce, but from emptiness and building up walls.

Give Up Your Right to be Right

That concept is learning to give up your “right” to be right.

When we are right about something, we believe it is our duty to make sure our husband knows it. Somehow we’ve bought into the idea that when we are right it must be known.

Most of the time, our disputes are based on someone being right and someone being wrong. They can involve issues of sin, a simple misunderstanding, or forgetfulness.  Obviously someone is [usually] right and someone [usually] wrong. Those are the conflicts we’re going to focus on.

Right now, think about how much you value your husband. Think back to when you got married and why. Think about how wonderful it is when you two are in unity and all is happy in your marriage. It’s a great place to be! What price have you paid to keep that unity? What have you sacrificed? What have you implemented to help your marriage get to where it is now? {Assuming, of course, your marriage is doing alright}. Was it worth it?  Do you value your marriage enough to do whatever it takes to keep it healthy and thriving? To remain in unity?  The reason I’m asking all these questions is because if you answer “no”, this idea is going to be pretty useless.

Try It. Practice It.

The next time you have a disagreement with your husband, try giving up your right to be right. Give up being known as the one who has the right answer, the right response, the right attitude. Even if you know beyond the shadow of a doubt you are right. Yes, I am serious.

Very often, when I am in a dispute with my husband, I find that being in unity with him is way more important to me than being right about the argument. I’m talking matters of misunderstandings in this case, not so much sin.  Honestly step back and evaluate: what is more important? Is being right that important? Does it really matter who accidentally left the milk on the counter all night? Or if it’s his fault he doesn’t have clean socks because he didn’t throw them down the chute [or put them with the dirty laundry to be washer]. Think about what you most value. Sometimes we just need to be the one who backs down and let’s something go.

Let go of your “right” to be the one who is right. Choose unity over pride. You don’t necessarily need to say “You were right and I was wrong”. Just let it go and move on.


Apologize?! For what? I didn’t do anything wrong! Aha! We’ll talk about apologizing in another post.


What I am NOT saying:

I am not saying to ignore large issues that need addressing. This is simply talking about the smaller “tiffs” in marriage that could blow up into a whole big mess for nothing.

I am not saying you have to be a door mat. This is a personal decision based upon your particular circumstances. I have found this to work wonders in my marriage, even though it is not easy. My husband does not take advantage of my “backing off” by making it worse. Use discretion. Be sure this type of thing would work in your marriage and not make things worse.


  1. Amen I agree with this post! and the topic :-)

  2. Couldn’t agree more! Thanks for the encouragement :)

  3. Oh, Christin, I needed to read this today. I like to be right. All. The. Time. What a great reminder that sometimes we just need to forfeit that right, in favor of something more important. Peace.

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