There’s no better feeling than knowing that you’re always right, but it’s lonely in the doghouse.
In studies on married couples, a significant connection was found between rigidity in one partner and discord in the relationship. When one partner is convinced that s/he is right and isn’t open to suggestion, disagreements can last up to 3x longer.
Dr. Steven Stosny, who treats people with relationship problems says, “If you’re certain you’re right, you’re probably wrong. Certainty is an emotional state, not an intellectual one. If you feel certain that you are right and your partner is wrong, you are most likely ignoring, misunderstanding, misinterpreting, or undermining his/her perspective.”
Dr. Stosny, suggests that we be more of what we’re asking for and less about our complaint. “If you can be 10% more flexible, fair, loving, compassionate, supportive, intimate, sexy, or whatever you are complaining about, it will temper your emotional demeanor (make you less complaining, demanding, superior), which will make it easier for your partner to be open to you in response.”
Most of us focus on changing the wrong partner. The question is not how you want your partner to change but what kind of partner and person you want to be. The relationship starts with you (This is a mantra for both partners).
Commitment to the relationship is a key predictor of its durability. Remember that your well-being and your partner’s are linked over the long term. Happiness in a relationship isn’t a moment-by-moment experience; it’s the result of sustained emotional investment in the other person.
Psychologists use the term “Michelangelo phenomenon”
to explain how interdependent individuals influence and “sculpt” each other in a manner that is as close as possible to their ideal selves.
Michelangelo believed that the figures he sculpted were already “in the stone,” and his job was to shape them. Your partner can be an ally in sculpting your ideal self by supporting the qualities you want to develop, and you can do the same for your partner. This has the effect of strengthening positive bias toward each other and immunizing the relationship against potential distractions.
“In any relationship, it’s more important to leave the right thing unsaid at the wrong time, than it is to say the right thing at the right time.” The Flashionista