Free Divorce For Valentine’s Day (Part 3)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Valentine Divorce Part 3This week, I’ve been using the example of a Southfield, Michigan attorney, Walter H. Bentley III, who ran a contest this Valentine’s Day to award a completely free divorce (all fees, expenses, hearing, filings, etc.) to the spouse who submitted the best break up story—as a way to explore some of the root causes of our relationship failures and stress.

The Three Main Reasons Why Relationships Fail

So far this week, I’ve talked about two of the three main reasons why our relationships tend to fail:

1. We mistakenly believe that our relationships are destined to succeed if we have a good match and both people’s feelings are strong at the outset.

2. We fail to understand exactly how each of us is “programed” to destroy our relationships, no matter how much we value them.

Needing To Be Right—It’s A Killer!

Today, I want to talk about the third main reason why our relationships tend to fail:

3. Despite what we say, think, feel, or believe…we are often more interested in being right than we are in being happy ourselves, or than we are in contributing to our partner’s happiness.

NEWS FLASH #3: You Can Either Be Right…Or You Can Be Happy…But You Can’t Be Both!

Perhaps the single biggest mistake you can make if you want to be successful in your relationships is to always try to be right in your dealings with others.

Why is this so destructive?

Because in order for you to be right, the other person must end up being wrong.

Most people dislike being wrong.  They especially dislike having others make them feel wrong. They will resent you for this, and even if you do win the argument or do get your way, you’ll pay a price later on.

It’s almost always wiser, on the other hand, to let other people be right and have their way as much as possible.

Obviously, you may not want to compromise on some things that are extremely important to you, but 90% of the time, it will make very little difference, one way or the other.

Here’s a quote from Ogden Nash (reprinted from the June 1994 issue of Readers Digest, p.130) that states this point very well:

  To keep your marriage brimming

  With love in the loving cup,

  Whenever you’re wrong admit it,

  Whenever you’re right, shut up!  

The Need To Be Right Is Pervasive 

Almost everyone living in our society today has a very strong need to be right. We have this value ingrained in us from a very young age.  Many of the advertisements we see or hear every day subtly tap this strong need. 

You have a very strong need to be right and so does your partner. This is one of the reasons why both parties in every relationship will tend to be at odds with each other, and if either or both let this ingrained tendency run amok, the relationship may suffer greatly. 

Only One Of Ten Destructive Patterns  

Needing to be right is only one of the ten key relationship-destroying patterns that I discuss in my recently released book, Why Relationships Fail…And What You Can Do To Avoid This.

While admittedly it’s a pretty big one, there are nine other reasons why our relationships tend to fail which are also important to know about.

Once again, I highly recommend that you check out this excellent relationship resource.

Why Relationships Fail E-Book Cover


Just click on this link or on the cover image to find out more about it.





I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief three-part series on why our relationships fail. Please feel free to leave your comments and reactions below.

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