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Who’s Right?

By:  Donna Martin

When I taught fifth grade part of our curriculum was teaching the difference between fact and opinion.  Basically, we taught our scholars that a fact is something that can be proven and an opinion is what someone thinks, feels, or believes.  You can prove whether or not a fact is true, but you cannot prove whether an opinion is true or false.

We often fail to take the time to really get to know our spouse and try to understand our differences.  We barge into marriage thinking that our spouse will think like we do, act like we do, fold the towels like we do, enjoy all the same activities that we do, want to discipline our children like we do.  It does not take long to find out that the opinions of our spouse do not always agree with our opinions.  Opinions can sometimes cause problems in marriage especially when one spouse believes their opinions are always correct and has no respect for his or her spouse’s opinions. 

If you have a strong personality it may be hard for you to realize that your opinions may not always be best for your marriage.  If you have a quieter personality it may be hard for you to express opinions.  Expressing your opinions could cause a conflict, especially if both spouses have strong personalities.  But do not be afraid of conflicts.  If handled correctly conflicts can often strengthen a relationship. 

So how can we handle differences of opinions? 

  1. Do not be afraid to express your opinions.  If you keep your opinions to yourself you may find that over the years resentment grows. 
  2. Respect your spouse’s opinions.  Do not belittle your spouse or make your spouse feel like his opinions are silly or foolish.  Doing so will make it harder for your spouse to express his or her opinions in the future.  Remember that your spouse’s background and personality cause her to see things differently than you. 
  3. Learn to love and appreciate your spouse’s differences.  Life would be boring if you and your spouse always agreed on everything.  Be thankful that your spouse helps you see life from a different perspective.
  4. Really listen to and validate your spouse’s opinions.  You may not agree with your spouse, but that does not mean that your spouse’s opinions are wrong. (Remember you cannot prove whether or not an opinion is true for false.)
  5. Be willing to compromise.  You do not always have to be right.  Also, remember that in marriage as in life, you cannot always have your own way.
  6. Pray together and separately about decisions that you must make as a couple.  Ask God to guide you and to open your eyes to see his will for your lives.
  7. Be respectful, gentle, and loving to each other.  You may disagree, but you do not need to be offensive.  There may be times when you do not need to agree.  You may “agree to disagree” as the saying goes.

Memorize these verses to help you in times of differing opinions:

  • Romans 12:10 - “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.” (NIV)
  • Titus 3:2 – “Remind the people … speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”  (ESV)
  • Ephesians 5:23 – “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (NIV)

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

Click on the books below to order your copy today.


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