Terry Real talks about a number of losing relationship strategies. The one that I commonly see is the battle to be right. This is triggered when each partner has different perceptions about what happened that caused a fight. If they could only settle on one objective reality of what happened then progress could be made. Someone has to be wrong – and this is why it doesn’t work to solve anything. The truth is that each has a version of reality all their own and admitting she is wrong denies that. Persuading the other person to see it their way is the main goal.
The truth is that objective reality is important in solving a crime but not in easing a conflict in a relationship. Feelings are real for each person – not wrong. The task is to focus on the real point – finding a solution to what happened. Exploring who felt what and listening, only listening and taking in that perspective is powerful stuff. So often I remind my couples in session when one leaps in to contradict or minimize what the other is saying….”LISTENING DOES NOT IMPLY AGREEMENT!!!” Simply taking in the others perspective can go a long way to prove the point that it doesn’t really matter who is right and who is wrong when your goal is to preserve a relationship.