I really don’t like to be wrong. A roommate and I once bet an entire month’s rent that the earth was so many miles away from the sun. Now, I didn’t have a job at the time, but I was just that confident that I was right. To paint the scene in a worse light, the apartment was my first, and I didn’t yet grasp the concept of living within my means. So when I say we bet the entire month’s rent, I mean it was really dumb to agree to such high stakes. In my defense, however, my roommate failed to comprehend the years I had gone to sleep fanatically memorizing the facts on a poster of the solar system that adorned my bedroom wall. I was certain this qualified me as an expert; I knew what I was talking about. Unfortunately, I also underestimated my opponent and his uncanny ability to recall utterly useless information. My rent doubled that month.
I share that story because last night I was wrong again. Not so much about a particular bit of trivia, but rather in my actions. And my wife called me on it. It didn’t sting so much because she was right but because I was wrong. Most people would agree that it is never exactly pleasant to be wrong about anything, but I strongly believe that owning up to a bad choice is a vital characteristic. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the strengths of our marriage. Because I love my wife (and I want her to still love me in thirty years), I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong. I’m willing to accept when I do something that she hates. And I’m willing to change my behavior, even when I don’t understand exactly why she hates it. I’m willing to do this because our marriage is worth a lot more than a month’s rent.