Second, we all have a desire to have our point of view considered and valued. Not only do we have a desire to have our point of view heard and considered, but this is actually a source of self-esteem. Being listened to is a primary source of self-esteem. Respecting our mate's thoughts is a way to honor and respect them. To diminish their point of view is not only hurtful, but hampers esteem.   

Third, taking a rigid position creates polarity. When we become too attached to our point of view, we become intolerant of others' positions. Power struggles ensue, creating distance and ultimately leading to serious trouble. No one wins a power struggle—everyone loses and bitterness sets in. 

Fourth, believing you are right leads to attempting to coerce your mate into agreeing with you, creating division. No one wants to have their point of view ridiculed or dismissed. While you may feel strongly about something, you must allow others to feel differently. Tolerance for differences is critical.   

Fifth, you must decide if you want to be right, or if you want a relationship. Latching yourself to your position is a sure way to take yourself very seriously, dismissing your mate's position. Scripture indicates there are dangers of considering yourself more highly than you ought to think, (Romans 12:2) and ruining a relationship is surely one of them. Unless your spouse is asking you to go against God's laws and morality, consider your spouse's opinions equally with yours.

Finally, consider the path of humility. Discover the joy of not taking yourself so seriously, being teachable and deferring to your mate. Learn the art of questioning yourself, being open to others' opinions and valuing relationship over being "right." Your mate will appreciate you and your marriage will thrive.

Please share your thoughts on the topic of humility.              

Originally posted April 6, 2010.

We’d love to hear from you. Share your feedback or send a confidential note to me at TheRelationshipDoctor@Gmail.com.

Dr. David Hawkins is the director of the Marriage Recover Center where he counsels couples in distress. He is the author of over 30 books, including 90 Days to a Fantastic Marriage, Dealing With the CrazyMakers in Your Life, and Saying It So He'll Listen. Dr. Hawkins grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and lives with his wife on the South Puget Sound where he enjoys sailing, biking, and skiing. He has active practices in two Washington cities.