How I was a Right-Fighter And WW Linkup!

Right and Wrong 2

I’m continuing to unpack why I didn’t confess my faults and sins to my husband in the early days of my marriage, focusing today on . . .

Distortion Two – “If I’m right, I shouldn’t have to apologize!”

It goes like this . . .

  • If I’m saying the right things Or
  • If I’m doing the right things Or
  • If I have the right solution to the conflict that I’m having with my husband . . .

Then my husband is wrong and somehow undeserving of an apology. And because he is wrong, then he should be the only one to apologize! Right??

Um . . . Wrong!!

You see, this perspective doesn’t take into account all that’s going on in the conflict, and worst of all it is fueled by pride.

Here’s what I’m trying to do when I allow that distorted thought to rattle around in my brain:

  1. I’m justifying my “self-righteous” actions and motives.
  2. I’m ignoring the hurt that my self-righteous actions and motives might have caused my spouse.
  3. I’m giving myself credit for my “good intentions” despite the fact that in some way my good intentions hurt or “cost” my mate.
  4. I’m avoiding taking responsibility for how my “right actions” might’ve been used to put my spouse beneath me instead of beside me.

Maybe this will help illustrate what I’m talking about –

Let’s say that I’m driving down the road. I’m the safest driver I can be and make absolutely no mistakes as I approach my spouse’s car coming toward me in the opposing lane. Just as we pass, my tire accidentally throws up a piece of rock that cracks his windshield. If we were to get out of our cars and look at the damage, would it be wrong for me to withhold an apology? In my opinion, it would! I could blame it on the tires or the rock in the road, but the point is that while I was behind the wheel, I damaged my spouse’s car and for that I should be sorry.

Jesus addresses this very important situation in Matthew 5:23-24 . . .

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

Jesus doesn’t say that you should go to that person only if you truly did something wrong. He says that if the other person feels hurt by you, then you should go and work out the issue with them in grace and humility. This is so crucial that we are told not to continue to worship until we’ve dealt with this offended relationship.

I have to say that taking this approach—being humble and confessional—in all of your interactions with your spouse (and others) is not easy! It is true that . . .

[Tweet “Striving for a confessional culture takes the edge off of that humbling moment of apology.”] At least that’s been my experience.

BUT . . .

[Tweet “Confessing and apologizing to our mates must always be a Spirit-empowered and enabled transaction!”]

Otherwise, we will fail miserably . . . and then we will be “wrong” even as we try to act “right. 😉


When have you fallen prey to this distorted belief?


How has it hurt your marriage to maintain your “right position” when the relationship is suffering?


Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, So Much at Home and Wholehearted Wednesday.

Let’s get this Wedded Wednesday Linkup started!

By the way, the linkup will stay up longer this week –

through Saturday night instead of closing this Thursday night!

Messy Marriage

Find our other WW buttons and guidelines here.

  • mmm, Beth … pride, fear, self-righteousness, uncertainty of what to do with conflict, peace at any price … my list could go on and on. Fortunately over time, we’ve learned to speak truth around here, usually seasoned with some level of love and respect.

    I wouldn’t go back to those early years for anything.

    • Yes, I could add a few more to your list from my own life, Linda! I’m so glad that you have learned that valuable lesson! And I’d say that it permeates not only your marriage but your grace-filled interactions with others as well! I wouldn’t go back either, Linda! So much more freeing to be humble and admit my mistakes and crummy attitudes in the moment!

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  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Reminds me of the Duke of Wellington’s remark that the only thing as melancholy as a battle lost is a battle won.

    Still trying to blog via Smart Phone. Not a pretty sight.

    • Yep! That’s a great and insightful quote, Andrew. Sadly, when one person wins in marriage, there’s always a loser! Thanks for trying to comment when it’s difficult and frustrating. Praying that your internet issues get resolved soon!

  • Oh do I remember these days well. I had a lot of apologizing to do.

    • I think it’s a good thing that you and I remember them, Kim! Keeps us from returning to that sickness we called “being right!” 😉 Thanks for your encouragement.

  • Nan

    I remember MANY years ago, when my husband’s mom was still alive and our kids were little, my husband’s step-father was angry with my husband. He blamed my husband for something he didn’t do and begged an apology.

    My husband told him that he didn’t do it, and the person that DID do it came forward and tried to take the blame for it, since it was his fault But the step-father said “No, you didn’t do it. HE did.” and continued to blame my hubby.

    The step-father was very controlling, had a hard time forgiving and took offense very easily.

    Anyway, eventually my hubby felt like he needed to apologize even though he had done nothing wrong, because his step-father thought he had. So hubby apologized and made his step-father very happy. That’s all he wanted. Hubby didn’t lie and say that he did it, he just apologized that the other man was hurt and offended.

    • Interesting! That truly illustrates the kind of attitude Christ wants us to have, Nan. I’m so glad your hubby was wise and humble enough to figure that out and extend the apology he didn’t “have to” give. I bet once he extended it to his step-father, there was a convicting element that might not have been acknowledged but was felt by his step-dad. And we know one thing was felt by him–healing! That’s worth the price of an apology any day! Thanks for weighing in, my friend!

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  • I remember early in our marriage when God would not let me sleep as I kept arguing with Him over why I deserve and apology from my husband who was snoring away by my side as I cried and sobbed many tears.
    God said I should apologize…
    Well, I ended up doing so amidst my tears and it “hurt” so bad, yet I felt a sweet release afterwards and I could sleep.
    I know that peace is ALWAYS better than war! We should always pursue peace.
    Thanks for sharing and hosting us Beth, have a super blessed day!

    • Yes, God has wired us so that we cannot truly “rest” until we have acknowledged our sin. I think that may be one reason God says that there is healing through confession in James 5:16. Thanks for your very vulnerable disclosure, Ugochi! You are a gem, my friend!

  • Mary

    Such profound use of the words “right” and “wrong”. I look back to my early years of marriage and there is a period of time when you strive for perfection even when certain things should be addressed. Then you start addressing the issues and learn that you want to end up being on top or right each time. Eventually as you and your husband have, you choose God first and learn forgiveness laced with grace and love. Great words today my friend. Hope you are having an amazing week.

    • It’s so easy to let the fact that we may be “right” cloud our view of any other wrongs we’re committing. And great observation about “perfection.” I think that’s much of what drives us to be “right” in the first place. And then it’s all about bringing the focus and attention to our selves–not the most bonding agent in a marriage! ha! Thanks so much for adding to the discussion, Mary! And I’m excited for your new chapter!

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  • Wonderful post, Beth. As I read I realized – I have never regretted giving up my right to be right 🙂 Sometimes the most damaging thing we can do is hold out. May we come to the place where protecting our marriage (or the relationship) becomes greater than our need to be right. So much wisdom in this post!

    • That’s so true, Joanne. Once we give up that right to be right, it is so freeing! We are doubly blessed for doing the right thing twice! Yes, I echo that wish and prayer you’ve worded so well. Our focus should always be on the relationship and not on how we can benefit at our mate’s expense! Thanks for adding to the conversation, my friend!

  • Girl, you have tackled a tough subject – apologizing. Especially when we think we are right! Thanks for reminding me not to wrong my marriage by hanging on to being right. Blessings Beth.

    • Well, when you’ve done as many wrong things as I have in marriage–making my marriage much tougher than it should’ve been–sharing about the lessons doesn’t seem like a tough thing at all, Carmen. It feels like a healing thing. Thanks for your encouraging words to me, my friend!

  • SimplySaidMom

    I second Carmen, this is a tough one (especially for me). My marriage has been suffering for quite some time and just yesterday, by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I called my husband at work and said “I’m sorry and I need your forgiveness.” It was a very hard conversation for me to have, but it was necessary and afterwards there was an immediate release of so much pressure I had placed upon myself to hold on to my anger. Thanks for your words today, they touched a special place and confirmed what I had been dealing with.

    • Wow, Shannon! That’s so great! You are brave and wise to have responded to that humbling challenge by our Lord, my friend! And not only did it bring healing to your marriage, it gave you the blessed release that comes when we humble ourselves. That’s why I want the culture of my marriage to be all about confession and forgiveness because in that there is healing and freedom! Thanks, girlfriend!

  • Ouch, ouch and double ouch. Hi, I’m Nannette and I am always right. 🙂 Ok, I have held out on apologies more than I care to remember. Great reminder today to not “wrong” my relationship with my hubby! ♥

    • You are so funny and sweet, Nannette! I can’t imagine you remaining that way for long with Doug. You two seem to be so authentic and real with each other. I loved the sweet banter wrapped in grace and laughter that I saw the day we met. Thanks for dropping in to encourage me here and for dropping by to encourage me there!

      • I must say i have been so blessed with the best. Neither one of us is perfect (can I get an “Amen!”) but we are perfect for each other and keep making it work. Still enjoying the memory of our time together with you and Gary. So. Much. Fun. ♥

  • Heaven Smiling

    Thanks for the link-up! I love this quote by Linda K. Burton: “When we seek to complete rather than compete, it’s so much easier to cheer each other on!” Being right is all about competing in some vicious cycle for who doesn’t have to apologize. We have to remember we’re both on the same team! Nice post!

  • Wisdom for Wives

    Here you go again, telling truth that we don’t want to hear. 😀 But I’m so grateful that you’re telling it.

  • Also applicable to other kinds of relationships. Sometimes we unknowingly sabotage it. This is enlightening.

    Enjoy the weekend!

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