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Sport's Solution for Marriages

Posted Mar 27 2011 9:27am

One of the purposes of this blog is to apply sports psychology to problems in everyday living.  Today, I'm going to tell you about a catchy phrase used by the U of M basketball coaches.  A phrase that could resolve marital conflict.

"Everybody battles that," noted U-M assistant coach LaVall Jordan. "Coaches battle that, assistants battle that. They think maybe we should do one thing, but Coach thinks we should do something different. That's human nature. When you have an opinion and you think you're right, you're looking at everybody else like why don't they understand the way you're thinking right now."  This quotation from Borton's blog : Time to Do Right!

Doesn't this sound like the beginning of recurrent, relationship problems?

In marriages and relationships there are recurrent problems.  Opinions, ideas and feelings clash.  The man feels he is right.  The woman feels she is right.  Probably they're both right.  However, when both of them insist that they are right, it will turn out wrong! 

If we insist on being right, it implies the other person is wrong.  Nobody likes to be wrong all the time!

Recurrent problems that never seem to get resolved.  Recurrent problems that escalate into a war zone.  Recurrent problems that damage the security and stability of the relationship. Recurrent problems that interrupt the serenity and joy between two people.

Where can we find relief?  Here are the magical words.

Then Assistant Coach LaVall Jordan spoke the words: "That's where trust comes in. That's where, is it better to be right or is it better to do right? So we want to do right."

Then one of Michigan's star basketball players, Darius Morris "recoiled dramatically, rolled his eyes, and acted like he'd been asked to write those words on the chalkboard 1,000 times. He laughed, and Jordan laughed, when Morris adopted almost a mocking tone, lending a gee-whiz voice inflection and repeating: You want to be right or do right? You want to be right or do right?"

Recurrent problems become recurrent, because everybody "wants to be right".  In marriages "is it better to be right or is it better to do right"?

In your relationships, is it better to insist that you get your way?  Is it better to get mad when you can have your own way? Or is it better to do it right? 

The right way would involve listening, accepting and respecting the other person's opinions and feelings.  The right way is learning to be empathetic before expressing your opinions and coming to a mutual decision.

Should we write on a chalkboard 1000 times "Be Right or Do Right" so we can remember to "Do Right" next time the seeds are sown for marital conflict?

Remember, We Live within the Relationships Created by Our Choices!

Dr. Hal

Life and Mental Fitness Coach

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