Why ‘Needing To Win’ Is Killing Your Relationship

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From the earliest I could remember I wanted to be a lawyer (strange, right? Most kids wanted to be an astronaut or fireman and I was like nah I want to do clerical work and fill out legal briefings all day). I had a natural inclination for debate, analysis, reason and thinking outside the box. But just like any personality trait, a blessing can also be a curse. Without love, and grace and compassion, I could sometimes be mean without even knowing it. I could be “all about the facts”, not realizing my words also could hurt other people.

Through time I’ve come to realize it’s not just about what you say but also how you say it. And in a marriage or dating relationship, I’ve realized the mentality of needing to win is poison. It can and will destroy any relationship.

That’s why Alyssa and I have both committed to throwing the “I need to win” attitude in the trash. An all out assault against the mentality. Why? Because a relationship isn’t about winning it’s above love and growing. It’s about two different people with different dreams, and hopes, and plans, and personality quirks, coming together to make one new person. One new flesh. One new image of God.

So for us, we’ve committed to compromising. And not compromising to appease the other person, but compromising to love the other person. In fact, we don’t even really like to call it compromising. In reality, it’s just serving. Learning to serve your significant other out of love.

For example I hate making the bed. I think it’s the worst thing ever and so unnecessary because it’s just going to get messed up again later that day when you go to sleep.

But guess what? Alyssa loves the bed being made every day. To her it’s a great way to start the day and make things feel fresh and orderly first thing in the morning. To her, a day where the bed isn’t made is a day that starts off on the wrong foot.

So for me, long ago I compromised. I said forget how I feel and my preferences. I want to serve my wife, and this is a way of doing that. And the beautiful thing, is that act of service then warmed Alyssa’s heart and spurred her on to serve me back in a myriad of other ways. That’s the secret that sin never tells you about obedience and grace. Service is contagious and creates a beautiful cycle. And usually it starts with compromising (or “serving”).

So agree as a couple today to compromise on some stuff and be sensitive to what that might be for each other, because “bending is better than breaking” as a famous quote so rightly put it.

PS this post is an adaptation from our free ebook on the 5 ways to fix the communication in your relationship. Get it free below.

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