A question asked by a wise husband and wife I know when they talk to couples is “Would you rather be right or happy?” What they means is insisting on proving you are right often gets in the way of being happy. If you can learn to let go of things, allow others to “be wrong”, you can be more relaxed and happy. This is especially true in marriage, where fights over who is right and the “right way to do it” can tear a couple apart.
I agree with them, mostly, as explained, but I have always had a problem with the saying because on some issues right and wrong are important. As a semi-reformed black and white thinker, the right or happy choice seems a false choice to me.
So let me try this one on you – would you rather be in control or happy? No doubt, some of you will think “what about headship?” I do not see headship as being in control because submission is a choice, and headship is about SERVANT leadership and is not the same thing as being in control. Done right, headship is about God being in control; if you never lead into things you would not choose to do, then God is not in control. Control is about power, not loving and serving. It is natural to want to be in control. We see it in our children – even before they can talk, they want control. Most problems with pre-schoolers come down to the child wanting to be in control. In fact, most problems in life – from problems on the highway to wars – come down to struggles for control.
We think being in complete control would make us happy. We think it would make us feel safe. The problem is we can only have control if others are willing to give up all control, which is not likely to happen. In marriage having complete control would require our bride to give up all control. Aside from being unlikely, would you really want to be with a woman who could do that? So, we struggle for control, we hurt each other, we feel hurt, and neither of us is happy.
I would like to suggest you and your bride would both be happier if you could each work at being less in control; or fighting less to be in control. I realise this is a scary suggestion if she is the “control freak” in your marriage. Find a few places where you can stop fighting for control, a few places where it really does not matter. Let her have her way even if “it’s not fair”. See how it makes you feel; see if it makes your relationship easier. If you are the control freak (be honest with yourself) then you have the power to make changes here. Relax, let go of some things, and see if it make things better for you and for your bride.