8 Things No One Tells You About Marriage
5. Getting your way is usually not as important as finding a way to work together.
I can be a bit of a know-it-all. There, I said it. It's really not my
intention to be hurtful or brash with people I love. It's just that a lifetime
of experience has taught me that in most areas, at most times, I am right about
most things. What shocked me several years into my marriage, though, was the
realization that the more "right" I was, the more discontented my
husband and I were as a couple. See, oddly enough, throughout his life Genoveso
has been under the misguided impression that he's right most of the time
(go figure!). So we'd lock horns — often. That is, until I learned a few
Namely, that when it comes to certain disagreements, there is no right or
wrong — there is simply your way of looking at things and your husband's.
"I used to be very black-and-white earlier in our marriage," says Lindy
Vincent, 38, who lives in Minneapolis. "Now I see that I'm not all right
and my husband is not all wrong. There's more gray in life than I thought, and
that's taught me patience and the value of compromise."
The more I get to know and appreciate my husband for who he is, the more I
respect his positions. That doesn't mean I always agree with him. But I can see
the value in striking a balance that satisfies us both. And instead of harping
on how wrong he is, I can usually swallow the verbal vitriol and simply say
something like, "I see your point" or "I hadn't considered
that." After I sincerely acknowledge his view, it seems to become easier
for him to hear mine. And because I know I'm being heard, most of the time now,
I don't even want to prove how right I am anymore. Funny how that works,
6. A great marriage doesn't mean no conflict; it simply means a couple keeps trying to get it right.
Maybe you think that because of my newfound wisdom, Genoveso and I never
fight anymore. Ha! As important as it is to strike a balance, it's also
important to have a big, fat fight every now and then. Because when you fight,
you don't just raise your voices; you raise real — sometimes buried — issues
that challenge you to come to a clearer understanding of you, your man, and
your relationship. I wouldn't give up our fights for anything in the world,
because I know in the end they won't break us; they'll only make us