We have written quite extensively on being respectful to your partner without putting them down. Yet, I recently discovered I was degrading William in front of others on a regular basis.
William was telling a story to a couple and I interrupted quite a few times to make sure the story was accurate to my mind. He got extremely frustrated. I didn’t realize that every time I stopped him to correct what he had said, I was actually belittling him and minimizing what he was saying. At one point he just quit talking. I felt bad that he wouldn’t continue. At first, I thought he was being overly sensitive but later, after he explained his frustration, I knew I was in the wrong.
Are you constantly correcting your partner while they are relating a story to others? You may think you are just making a point or making sure the story is correct but when you do that you are telling your partner, as well as everyone else in the room, that your partner is wrong and you are right. Are you doing it to prove a point? Are you doing it to make them look smaller than you or are you genuinely wanting to make sure the story is correct?
I was guilty of this form of put down and was unaware I was doing it so often until William brought it my attention. I have been known to be a “Technical Annie” when it comes to certain things, like playing a game. If you’re not going to play by the rules then why play? I guess I am the same when it comes to telling a story or giving facts.
I’m not saying that you can’t be right or that you can’t stand up for what you believe in. I am saying that when you insist on being right there is usually a price to pay. If you want to be a person who loves and respects your partner then you must choose kindness over being right.
After all, 100 years from now, who will care?
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