The Desire to be Right in a Marriage

It has been said,

You can either be right or you can be happy.

I teach a multigenerational adult Sunday school class, and just recently a seasoned couple from our class shared a profound insight that really struck me. This couple has a great marriage, and they have raised three children and are now standing on the threshold of an empty nest. When they speak, couples of every age listen.

They shared that the desire to be right often gets in the way of a happy marriage. I have found this to be true in my own marriage. Over the years my wife and I have disagreed on various things ranging from decisions affecting our children to small things like – what’s the best route home from wherever we happen to be. Sometimes I find myself more concerned with being proven right than discovering what is right. Can you relate?

Your desire to be right will rob you of your desire to serve and love your spouse, because it shifts your focus to self. We see the world through the lens of self – what makes me happy, what I need, what I want. It is this worldview that feeds discontent and dissension in a marriage, and it is this worldview that fuels our desire to be right – it is born out of pride.
The Bible says,

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself. (Philippians 2:3, NIV).

Pride will strangle your marriage! Here are three things you can do to value your spouse in humility and get out of the “desire to be right” trap.



Always communicate to your spouse that there is a chance you are wrong when stating an opinion. I have found statistically that I’m right about fifty percent of the time in my marriage, but I believe that percentage increases dramatically when my wife and I are working together to solve a problem.



I have found that when I neglect my relationship with the Lord, I become filled with pride without even realizing it. It’s a silent killer. The Bible says, “Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4, NIV). There is a direct correlation between your relationship with God and your relationship with your spouse. While it is important to make dates with your spouse and spend quality time together, remember that your quality time with your heavenly father is even more important and is often the precursor to an intimate marriage.



There are many reasons behind our desire to be right, but three common reasons are:

  • A longing for control
  • A sense of inadequacy due to a perception of not being loved or respected
  • A desire to be seen as important

Think about which of those reasons you most closely identify with or perhaps you are prone to, and then commit it to the Lord and share it with your spouse.

The very act of admitting your weakness will foster humility and intimacy with your spouse.
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Remember that your relationship to God fulfills every need that you will ever have. He’s sovereign and in complete control of all things. He loves you perfectly, and you should never feel inadequate if you are a child of God, and you are important to the Lord, so much so, that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for your sin.

By addressing these areas in your life, you can shift the focus for your marriage from one of pride and self to love and sacrifice.


Aaron Broyles is an entrepreneur, speaker and author of Do Great Things. He has launched several start-up companies and has grown them into multi-million dollar organizations, and he currently owns, manages and sells businesses in many different industries including software development, rail and transportation, technology consulting, fitness, and sales training. Aaron is happily married to his wife, Angie, and they have four wonderful children.

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