Everyone likes to be right! However, in the midst of a relationship -- be it personal or professional -- is it more important to be "right" or to get the result that you desire?
Although conflict approached in a healthy manner can be beneficial to a relationship, incessant arguing and the need to be "top dog" decreases contentment and happiness. After a while, you come to expect an argument about every little thing and you become tense at each interaction with your partner. In this scenario, even when there is no conflict, you start looking for it or even hearing it in benign comments.
This circumstance can be the start of a downward spiral in a relationship. Now, when an argument crops up, you may be thinking about past hurts and letting this infringe on the current situation. This is not fair to either partner.
Next, doubt about your partner can begin to seep in. Doubting your partner, or not fully supporting him or her, can separate the two of you even more. Intimacy and trust are stretched to the limit when one partner feels he/she cannot reveal his/her innermost thoughts and fears without full and continued acceptance.
So what can you do to halt this cycle?
It is unrealistic to think that two people living in close proximity every day are never going to have conflict. Of course, you can choose not to participate in every argument to which you are invited to join!! You can take a step back and ask if the situation can be discussed at a more appropriate time.
It is best to approach an issue in a non-confrontational or non-accusatory manner. Use "I messages" rather than pointing a finger at your partner. Moreover, choose a time to discuss a problem when you are both relaxed and not highly emotional. This will allow you to hear what the other has to say with open ears and a more open heart. When your partner realizes that he or she need not cringe in fear of criticism from you, defensiveness is able to melt away and trust can be restored.
Partners need not be "Yes men or women" and never voice their opinions. However, you can agree to disagree and both partners can be winners rather than one feeling dejected and beat up by the other. The need to always be right may satisfy your ego, but it can have a very detrimental effect on a relationship. Choose the result you want!