Stubbornness is way overrated. The man or woman who believes that fighting to the death with someone for whom he or she professes love always yields victory, is the man or woman who will surely die (be it physically, emotionally, or spiritually) at the hands of his or her own stubbornness. To be inflexible, obstinate, unyielding to the opinions, advice, or directions of others serves to foolishly blind the stubborn individual to the consequences of his or her bad decisions, recklessness; or the dismal direction a relationship may be headed. In a relationship, which by mere definition implies a link, bond, or connection, the spirit of stubbornness may wind up being one of the main contributors to the dissolution of the relationship, if not the destruction of one or both parties. Couples who survive arguments and disagreements will tell you that at some point, one or both individuals realized winning was not as important as reconciliation. Winning was not as important as preserving the dignity and respect of a loved one. Winning was not as important as that indescribably wonderful feeling of harmony with the individual whom you’ve decided to share your life. If a disagreement or argument has to end with a winner or a loser, then harmony was not achieved. Isn’t harmony what individuals who are engaged in a loving relationship desire? If not, then the necessity that someone loses or wins should be of great concern. There is no equity (equality, balance, etc.) in the winner/loser scenario, while harmony is the synchronization of link, bond, or connection. Harmony flows; it is the “one accord” experience; it is the fulfillment of what love promises; it is the soothing environment in which the healthy relationship can flourish.
If stubbornness is your method of having what you want in a relationship, remember that it will not always be the spouse or partner (whom you’ve decided in your fight to win is now the adversary) who takes you down, but your own inability to: (1) step back when necessary; (2) assess the consequences of the fight, and (3) either resolve or diffuse the situation before it escalates into irreconcilable difference. The stubborn state-of-mind is incapable of embracing new ideas, better ideas, different opinions, or wiser decisions that may just come from the other party who loves you and does have your best interest at heart even though they disagree with you. Because we are individuals, it is not realistic to expect that we will always agree with each other. However, our disagreements do not have to be our destruction when we understand and acknowledge that disagreement can occur without the adversarial spirit. Make sure that your stubborn attitude is not wearing you and/or your partner down and eventually out. The stubborn will may also be the unnecessary battle of wills. Even if the disagreement or argument does somehow reach the boiling point, be willing to extend the Olive Branch (symbol of peace) or to receive the Olive Branch that your spouse or partner may extend to you. This was all supposed to be about love in the first place. So reign in the stubborn spirit that is alienating you from your loved one. Revelation can be tricky. It is after we’ve lost a loving relationship that we then realize stubbornness, fighting to the death, and winning at any cost was of no value at all.
Standing on principle, what you believe in is admirable, but we must also give careful consideration to the reasonableness, accuracy, and consequences of that which we believe in. There will be times when there is an issue on which you decide to take a stand. However, be careful that stubbornness does not impair your vision, sensibility, or judgment. It is not a sign or display of weakness when we have to re-consider a position we may have already taken. It is a sign or display of courage when we are willing to change our position if the end result is a healthier, happier loving relationship.
© Pam Reaves – August 15, 2011