“Pick your battles” is a phrase we’ve heard often in life.
Growing up a head-strong girl, my mother repeated this phrase over and over until it was drilled into me.
Although this is a great lesson that we should all try to incorporate in our daily lives just for the sake of living a more contently – it seems equally important to apply to married life.
“A more peaceful way to live is to decide consciously which battles are worth fighting and which are better left alone.” -Richard Carlson
Marriage is the joining of two people – two people with different views. True, we may share some views and opinions, there’s always common ground in all relationships, but there’s also differences.
“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” -Dave Meurer
If there weren’t we’d basically be married to ourselves and where’s the fun in that? But when these differences interfere with a relationship – is it always worth the fight?
Ten years of marriage has taught me a thing or two about picking my battles. My head-strong nature causes me to be down right stubborn at times. As it happens, I married a man who is just as head-strong and equally stubborn as me, so you can imagine we’ve butted heads on several occasions. It’s taken us years to realize how much of a toll these battles have taken on our marriage and how to better handle these situations.
Aside from love – compromise, patience and respect are the most essential elements to any successful marriage. It’s not easy letting go when something upsets or hurts you, but knowing when to stand your ground and when to let it go can ultimately lead to a more harmonious and content life for you and your spouse.
When it comes to picking my battles, I always ask myself these two things:
1. Is it worth the fight? Is this something I can just let go? If not, is it worth potentially altering a relationship if the wrong thing is said?
2. Is there an alternative way to voice my opinion? Just because something bothers me doesn’t mean I have to turn it into a battle. Take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. Sometimes just taking a moment to calm yourself brings light to a better way to handle the problem.
We’re not perfect and mistakes do happen. But following Richard Carlson’s advice will allow peace to reside in the home, even when there is a disagreement at hand.
Question: When faced with a conflict between you and your spouse, how do you determine if it’s worth the battle? (New: You can now post your response directly below, as well as on our Facebook community page).
Thank you, Paola, for this great reminder. It’s so easy to focus on what our partner does wrong rather than what he does right. Sometimes the battle is important, but as Richard Carlson reminds us in every one of his fabulous books, most of the time they’re not.
Until Monday…make it a great weekend!