I went to a wedding for a young, happy couple who were free spirited and ready for the next step in their journey. They held hands and gazed into each other's eyes during the ceremony, and I saw the bride whisper "I love you" to her groom.
The officiant in the wedding was an older man who began to give advice to the couple. I sat back in my seat, preparing for the "love her every day" and "be each other's best friends" slogans we hear all the time.
But what he said next made me sit up in my chair.
"Some days, you're going to wake up and not like each other," he said.
Wait, is this real? Is he being this blunt at someone's wedding?
"And other days, one of you will believe you're right while the other believes they're right too. And you may go off in your own corners and think, 'Well, I'm right. And I'm not moving until the other person does.'"
The whole room was listening to this humorous man speak directly to the couple. He then told this bride and groom the key to overcoming these moments.
"There are four words that will solve this problem, every time." The man then turned to the groom.
"When you feel, in an argument, that you are right and she is wrong, you should take a deep breath, find her in the house, and say, 'Honey, you're probably right.'"
The man then turned to the bride and said, "And when you feel like he's done something wrong and has ruined the whole day, you should go to him and say, 'Honey, you're probably right.'"
"Honey, you're probably right."
Doesn't that go against everything we've learned? We're supposed to compromise, to recognize a right and a wrong, to stand up for ourselves in marriage. Why would we just say this when we don't believe it?
Maybe there is something deeper to learn here-something about sacrifice and pride. Maybe you'll always think you were really right about buying that new car or going to your parent's house this Christmas. And maybe your spouse will still think they're right. But the first step to forgiveness and healing is to break your guard down, forget about who's right and who's wrong, and see things in a new perspective.
If these four words are said sarcastically, or if they're only used to end an argument, nothing will really be solved.
Author Lynn G. Robbins wrote that "for the expression "I'm sorry" to be truly sincere it has to be expressed with love and empathy, not merely to excuse oneself."
There will be times during your marriage when you'll be upset. You'll be wrong. And other times, you'll be right. Whenever you choose to say these four words, it will be because you've decided that it's more important to be married than to be right all the time.