3 Hills Husbands Unfortunately Choose To Die On
Growing up, I lived close to a small hill. As neighborhood kids, we used to sled down it in winter, roll down it in summer and whenever we wanted to test our warrior spirit, play “King of the Hill”.
If you are unfamiliar with this game, the rules are fairly simple. The champion stands at the top and the challenger runs up the hill and tries to pull him down. If that occurs, he becomes the new champion. The task of the champion is to try to throw the challenger down the hill and thus retain his title.
I wasn’t particularly strong, but I was fast so sometimes I won and sometimes I lost. What normally accompanied either of these outcomes was scraped knees, ripped pants and a some degree of blood loss. Though our wounds were badges of honor, we secretly wondered whether it was all worth the pain.
“Is this a hill, you want to die on?” It is a military derived idiom that is often applied to conflict—including marriage conflict. Is the issue worth hurting or getting hurt over? Is it easier to just let it go? Does it really matter that much? All important questions.
Sometimes, men need to take a stand. Sometimes men don’t. The following are 3 Hills not worth dying on.
The Hill of He Said-She Said.
“I didn’t say you were stupid.”
“Yes you did.”
“No I didn’t.”
This is the hill we die on when we argue about who remembers something accurately. You will not prove your point. What you will do, is end up stuck, and the real point of the conflict will be lost in the shuffle.
Accept that either or both may be wrong. It doesn’t matter what you remember that was said, but what you believe and mean.
A helpful response is, “I am sorry I wasn’t very clear. I meant to say that I don’t really want to paint our living room the color you want it to be. I didn’t mean to make you feel stupid. I am sorry.” “Or you could say, “Regardless of what I said or you heard I think you are really smart. I’m sorry I wasn’t clear”.
The Hill That Isn’t Really a Hill.
I don’t know how many times, couples come to me and do not even remember what they fought about or what started it. They just know they felt lousy about how it went. Many times, couples fight over something that was never even intended.
Before you react, make sure you understand what she meant. Again, it isn’t the words that matter as much as the intent. If you are going to fight, do it over the intent not ill-chosen words.
Just ask her, “Before I react, did you really mean to say I was stupid.” A response might be, of course not. I think you are really smart. I just think this show we are watching is stupid.”
The Hill That Produces a Loser.
The purpose of “King of the Hill” is to have a winner and a loser. That is ok in a kid’s game. You can trash talk, boast your victory and still be friends. It isn’t ok in marriage where you can win a battle but lose a war.
Feeling your ideas and perspectives are respected and valued is paramount in a relationship that exudes fondness and admiration. It can make the difference in whether a couple feels over all positive or negative about their marriage. It reaches into the core of who we are and how we want to be treated.
Both partners win where there is good dialogue that seeks to understand and respect both people’s opinions and decisions. I have a friend who often says, “I would rather be righteous than right.” There is no need for a loser. Losing breeds resentment and withdrawal.