I’m Right and You’re Wrong–So There!

We had a conversation recently with some friends about our tendency to notice every little error our spouse says when sharing a story. As we discussed this we all realized that we do this way too often. And why? After so many years together why is it necessary to point out every mistake?

For example, Tom was sharing about something he ordered at a restaurant once, and I felt compelled to correct the name of the restaurant. Why? Why did I feel the need to correct a detail that didn’t really matter when it came to the story as a whole?

I don’t know if we came up with a good reason why we do this, but we are certainly more aware of our need to change.

As we continued to talk it happened several times! Who wants to be married to someone who notices every little thing we say wrong? Of course, we want to know when it’s a detail that is important, like the date we’re scheduled to do something in the future. To overlook the date could mean you’d miss something you want to do. But when it comes to recalling a story, let’s be willing to overlook the mistakes that don’t add to or take from the telling of the story.

Let’s love our spouse and respect them enough to let them tell the story as they remember it.

Let’s use self-control and love them with their imperfections, and only correct the things which matter.

As we age we’re going to forget more and more details. If we don’t work on this now, we could end up being really crotchety old people no one wants to be around–including our spouse. May this not be us!

Did I ever tell you the story about… 🙂

About Debi Walter

Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 36 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
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18 Responses to I’m Right and You’re Wrong–So There!

  1. Eric says:

    Such a great point. I don’t think I ever realized just how much I do this. I do however, realize how often and when my wife does it. And, I don’t like it. So I’m sure she doesn’t like it when I do it. Thanks for this post. Something I need to work on I’m sure.

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Eric,
      Be warned. Now that you’re aware of this tendency, you’re going to see it all the time! At least this is what has happened to us. Imagine how our friends feel when they have a front row seat to our constant corrections? Not only will we serve and love our spouse by working on this, but we believe we’ll enhance our friendships as well. Thanks for commenting!
      Tom and Debi

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  2. Elaine K says:

    I remember, when I was a teenager, the neighbors came to visit. They spent the entire evening debating whether they had gone to a nearby town on Tuesday or Wednesday of the last week. Even as a teen, I somehow knew that didn’t really matter to the point of the story!

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Elaine, yours is the perfect example of how petty it can be to do this. Yet oftentimes the couple doesn’t realize they’re doing it. Thanks for adding more examples to help us evaluate our own habits.

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      • Elaine K says:

        If I start to do the same thing with my husband, I try to catch myself and say (either to myself or out loud), “It doesn’t matter.” Let the story go on!

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  3. Cassie says:

    I don’t think I tend to correct, but I tend to interrupt. Same thing goes- no one wants or likes that. I just get so excited about something that I was reminded of from what they said! I try to work on this, but it takes effort- just like I am sure not correcting does.

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  4. Julie says:

    AMEN !!! Yes, I thank you sooo very much for the message stating that we all do this…..
    Way too often we tend to put all the blame on the other person but, yes- sir-ee I do this very thing
    & I greatly appreciate this reminder. I am the oldest in the house & I tend to think I know the BEST, the RIGHT or WRONG, the only way to do it….. But, we are all God’s people & we all need to be more loving and think before we speak – with loving hearts. And God will help us all each step of the way !

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  5. This is so right. I don’t know why the trivial details that have nothing to do with the essence of a story seem to loom so large. And it is so annoying when someone interrupts your highly amusing anecdote just as you are getting to the best part, to say, “They guy’s dog was named Scrappy, not Scruffy.” I have tried to do two things to change this. (1) When someone introduces an unimportant correction in the middle of my story, I quickly agree with them (no matter how wrong they are) and keep on telling the tale. (2) When my husband inserts the wrong details into a story he is telling, I grit my teeth and keep on smiling without saying a word. It’s not always easy to stifle that impulse, but it makes life easier in the long run.

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Great points, Rosemary. It is trivial most times, maybe that’s we don’t give resisting it much thought. But it is so annoying when you’re the it’s being done to.

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  6. jimdcat says:

    I never do this, but my wife does! What’s that, Honey? I do? Oh!

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  7. Even beyond that, why do we have the arrogance to think we remember things better than our spouse? Memory is far more fallible than we think, and you are as likely to be wrong as your spouse. Sometimes we are BOTH wrong, which means we end up arguing about two wrong versions of something!

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    • Debi Walter says:

      TMB,
      Ouch! You’re right! Pride and arrogance are most likely what motivates these moments. It’s better to stay silent and be thought wise than to open your mouth and prove otherwise!

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  8. messymarriage says:

    Oh yes, my husband and I have done this to each other and it’s never pleasant. We’ve both made an effort to change this bad habit and rarely do it anymore. So when it does happen now, we’re quickly reminded of why we changed that habit! Thanks so much for sharing such a vulnerable area of your marriage, Debi. Love your authenticity!

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    • Debi Walter says:

      It takes marriages being willing to be vulnerable to help those who aren’t willing to be so vulnerable. Once they discover the benefit of such gut-level honesty, they’ll begin to open up and share for their good and the help of other marriages. This is how a marriage becomes healthy, don’t you think?
      Thanks so much for the comment and the encouragement. It means a lot!
      Blessings,
      Debi

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