When Being Wrong Is Right

July 10, 2014 5:18 PM

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When Being Wrong Is Right

Charlie: When it comes to relationships, it's very possible that the 10 most powerful words you'll ever hear are: "You can be right, or you can have a relationship." And the most powerful word of those 10 is "or." I first heard this phrase about 25 years ago when a friend from whom I'd been trying to gain some sympathy instead gave me something far more valuable: the realization that being right and having good relationships are mutually exclusive and do not go together. You can have either one or the other; you just can't have both. I wanted to have it both ways, and when things didn't work out that way, which was more often than not, I would generally feel resentful, unappreciated and misunderstood. The idea that my needing to be right was actually at least as big a part of the problem as the "crimes" I had judged Linda to be guilty of had been inconceivable to me prior to the awakening that was provoked by my friend's simple words.

Although it would be a slight exaggeration to claim that my marriage was totally or permanently transformed at that moment, it is true that from that point on it became increasingly more difficult for me not to notice those times when I would begin to slide down the slippery slope of self-righteousn...

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