There’s no such thing as “winning” an argument with your partner. Yes, you read that correctly! It’s never really a win/lose outcome – it’s actually either a win-win or lose…
You’re probably familiar with the expression ‘you may have won the battle, but you haven’t won the war’. Well that kind of applies here. You may have won the argument, making sure your point of view came out on top, but at the same time, you have unknowingly damaged your relationship. Think back to arguments with your husband where you’ve dug in your heels and refused to budge. This is important when it comes to an ethical or moral issue, but too often we want to “win” because we let our egos get in the way. We’re afraid that we’ll look bad if we appear to be giving in.
Experts have discovered that the most successful relationships are based on a ratio of positive to negative interactions of 5:1 or higher. They also found that the frequency and intensity of arguments and fights was one of the strongest predictors of divorce. It’s human nature to want to be right or have our way. But there are times when you really have to evaluate whether getting what you want at the moment is going to be in the best interest of you, your partner and your relationship for the long-term.
So the next time you find yourself in the heat of an argument with your partner, take a moment to ask yourself why you feel you must win this particular battle. And if you do win, how will you feel a week from now? Imagine how the other person will feel a month or a year from now – about the situation and about you. Taking a long-term perspective can help you make better decisions and strengthen your relationship.