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Do Women Always Have To Be Right?

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Speaking with a male coworker the other day gave me another male perspective on relationships. We were talking about living the married life and, with no hesitation, he made a statement that was as obvious as it was disturbing. Like many men before him, he said that "the woman has to always be right." I've heard this comment before. People say it with sarcasm at weddings, at family get-togethers, and just to be funny. Come to think of it, it's really not funny at all.

This left me wondering. Why do so many men feel like they have to give up something just to appease their women?

I asked my coworker to explain himself. He said, "I feel like I'm always the one apologizing." I guess this means that his wife is either always right or she can't ever admit it when she is wrong. I've never met her but I'm willing to bet it's the latter. If a man feels that he needs to apologize simply because the woman won't, then he must feel there is an unfair balance in the relationship.

My coworker said a couple more things that stuck out. He said, "If I'm going to admit that I'm wrong (when I'm wrong) then you better admit it when you're wrong." Even more enlightening for me was that he said, "Women need to throw us a bone every once in a while if they want to keep us around."

This really brought all the reasons why men feel that the woman has to always be right into one sharp focus for me. They feel this way because they don't get any credit for being right themselves. Or even worse, they probably don't feel that their women even acknowledge it when they are right.

All men need credit, praise, and acknowledgment. That is what keeps them going. As a woman, if you can understand this, then you can understand how important it is to a man when you give him credit. If he can't get any of this from you, chances are he's going to try to find it elsewhere, and that won't be good for either of you.

Just remember, when giving credit, it's just as important to tell a man when he is right as it is to admit to a man when you are wrong. And, if you are admitting you are wrong, then don't forget to apologize.

Sometimes, you should just give the dog a bone even if you prefer the challenge of a tug-of-war.

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About Ani Ram

  • During the time I was married, I was never right about anything. Most times when challenged I let it go, especially if I wasn’t completely sure about my position. If I later learned I was “wrong” about something, I’d let her know and move on.
    Sometimes relationships are easier to attend to when we learn to take people where they are rather than where they should be, and then go from there.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Rule 1 – the wife is always right.
    Rule 2 – if the wife is wrong, see rule 1.

    For all my fellow husbands out there, it is our fault. Doesn’t matter what it may be – tornado, Oprah gaining weight, Great Depression – it IS our fault.

    As soon as we come to that understanding, everything becomes a bit easier.

    One thing I’ve noticed – if the husband is unhappy, the rest of the family can still do okay. If the _wife_ is unhappy, however, the whole family WILL be miserable. That said, just keep the family happy by keeping her happy.

    1 – plant roses, LOTS of roses. That makes a ‘just because’ flower that much more convenient (and free).

    2 – rub her feet (thanks to Robert Heinlein for this one). When she’s had a long day or is feeling down, she’ll be sincerely grateful for one…and you’ll enjoy her gratitude.

    3 – be DOGGONE careful to not look at the other sex if she or anyone she may possibly know is within sight.

    4 – If she’s past her 29th birthday, she’s 17, period, end of story.

    5 – YOU are the head of the household (that’s why it’s ALL your fault), but if you are wise, let her have her way in _almost_ everything. Step in only when you absolutely must…and then be willing to accept the price you’ll pay for the rest of your life.

    6 – it’s really easy to get her to do what you tell her to do – all you have to do is tell her to do what she wanted to do anyway, and she’ll be happily obedient (but don’t let your daughter see this or she’ll expect the same from you)!

    7 – if she does something really wrong (but isn’t something malicious), YOU should take the blame. Tell her it’s not her fault, that if you had done something different it wouldn’t have happened. She’ll still know it’s her fault, but she’ll see that she can depend on you to be there for her even if she’s wrong.

    8 – and MOST importantly, NEVER stop courting her. I’ve seen so many men, once they’re married, stop courting their wives…and the fire slowly dies. Tell her every day that you love her, find reasons to compliment her (GOOD reasons, not just BS), brag about her to her friends (whether or not she’s around), and chase her until she lets you catch her. NEVER stop being her boyfriend, her secret admirer who tries to woo her and win her affection! NEVER stop courting her! That’s how to keep the fire alive – because it all starts with you (and again, that’s why it IS your fault).

    17 years happily married, and still getting accused of being newlyweds – I am the luckiest man on earth!

  • Bliffle

    It’s a vicious circle. Fathers spoil their daughters, so the daughter gets accustomed to being spoiled by The Man Of The House and expects husband (that’s you bubba) to pick up where dad left off.

    So your wife is relentless, but when a lovely little daughter comes along you have a chance for a new female relationship with the adorable creature (and they all are adorable), and you spoil her.

    Doesn’t work for little boys, they’re not adorable. Except for me: I was adorable because I had long eyelashes. The women all exclaimed “Look how adorable he is with those long eyelashes. Too bad he’s not a girl”.

    So I grew up and married a woman who was always right and I spoiled my 3 daughters for solace. Of course my daughters, now full-grown, were disappointed that their Mere Husbands didn’t treat them well enough. But then, that’s just the way all men are, including their father. So they say.

    Relax. Roll with the punches.

    You can’t win.

  • “Do Women Always Have To Be Right?”

    Yes, provided they are not members of the Far Right.

  • Rare hilarity from Bliffle. Just a note of appreciation. 🙂

  • My advice to men: Your wife is always right, because she’s superior. Just adore your wife, like Glenn does and everything will be fine. 😉

  • What about a lesbian couple, Cindy?

  • Irene Wagner

    Hmm. I’m trying to remember the name of the TV show or movie (some kind of comedy) in which a husband was struggling to make what was possibly his first apology EVER, and it came out: “I wa…I was…I was wro..”

    Iron sharpens iron. I’m basically with you, Ani. A husband who watches his wife get away with that sort of thing is standing in the way of her personal growth in a major way.* The same is just as true of a wife who doesn’t, respectfully and patiently, help a husband to shed a “must be right at any cost” attitude.

    *ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with roses, though, just so long as it doesn’t cause a chocolate imbalance.

  • Silas? Why would a lesbian couple ever argue?

    (btw, I went to your radio program, but you didn’t. lol)

  • Drats, Irene is ruining all the fun! But, she right!

    (see what I mean Silas…)

  • Irene Wagner

    Wrong, Cindy.

  • Irene Wagner

    Especially when one…ok…um…I think I’ve got to go get dessert ready.

  • Ahem…of course I am wrong Irene; if you say so I agree.

    (see Silas?)

    I made giant chocolate covered strawberries yesterday–is there anything better?

  • Irene Wagner

    Skipping the strawberries?
    Well Cindy, I’m still half prude. I only waited long enough to post enough comments to….ah, never mind.

  • You mean just eating the chocolate? No strawberries? How decadent! 🙂

  • Irene Wagner

    Strawberries are OK, I guess.
    The squirrels ate all of them, too, though, along with the basgetti plants.
    Well, he’ll be back with the chocolate soon.
    See ya round, Cindy!

  • Sorry, Cindy. I’ll be there this Thursday night. To be honest we’ve been working our tails off getting this restaurant up and running. I fell asleep 10 minutes before airtime only to wake up the following morning!

    Insofar as lesbian couples arguing — all I know is that usually 5 days out of every month a lesbian household is usually off limits to the civilized world. And that is probably a good thing.

  • Sometimes, you should just give the dog a bone even if you prefer the challenge of a tug-a-war.

    It don’t matter what else this woman has to say about dating or relationships. That one line gives the whole article away – along with her real attitude.

  • Nate

    This Article hits the nail right on the head. For all the women I’ve dated, I’ve had ONE that has been willing to admit when she’s wrong, and I’m still with her. 🙂 Ladies, it’s time to take responsibility for your own actions and accept the consequences, and Gentlemen – please, for the love of our sex, stop apologizing when it’s not needed. Your life will be miserable. I promise.

  • Anonymous

    Get real. This is not a gender-based issue. It’s totally dependent on the type of persons in the relationship. If it had been written with the genders reversed, just as many people would have agreed with it.

  • 20 – I think Anonymous has it right.

    I am not surprised either Anonymous, I’ve read your work. Some of it is excellent. 😉

  • Bliffle

    Well I just spent 2 satisfying days spoiling my faux granddaughter from Paris. Took her up the mountain to my wilderness hideaway where we captured a live Velvet Ant and Black Widow in magnifier specimen boxes and pickled them in alcohol. Skinned a Pacific Rattler and gave her the rattles as another trophy (damn scavenger stole the skin while we weren’t looking, probably a barn owl). Boy will her school mates eyes bug out when she shows them THAT stuff!

    She got to sleep out in the open in her own right-size tent, wrapped in a special cougar-proof, bear-proof, snake-proof quilt made by her faux great-grandmother.

    Well that’ll make a hard act for her future husband to follow! Or even her Dad. Or even her grandmother (heh heh heh).

    That’s just me. That’s what I do. Out there spreading sunshine wherever I go.

  • Bliffle,

    That sounds like a wonderful adventure! I bet it would make a good movie scene. Reminds me of second hand lions, one of my favorites. I recommend that to you, if you didn’t see it. I bet you’d like it.

  • Ladies, it’s time to take responsibility for your own actions and accept the consequences, and Gentlemen – please, for the love of our sex, stop apologizing when it’s not needed. Your life will be miserable. I promise.

    I do plenty for the love of our sex and it’s usually my fellow males who get all verklempt just to talk openly about such things in a rational, calm manner. We spend too much time worrying about the act. I wonder if that has to do more with performance anxiety as opposed to the Word of the Lord.

  • henry

    wow, really? women always have to be right? This is because they have major pride issues, much more than men. And some women, just ALWAYS have to win in an argument, right? It doesn’t matter what the truth is, it’s about who can argue/debate the best? This is why men just say women are right so they don’t fight about some BULL—- to ruin the relationship. Men can deal with being wrong if you can logically explain to them why.

    According to Glenn’s post, #2, ‘if the husband is unhappy, the rest of the family can still do okay. If the _wife_ is unhappy, however, the whole family WILL be miserable. That said, just keep the family happy by keeping her happy.’
    are you serious? So everything revolves around the woman? How selfish is that? So it’s okay for the husband to be unhappy while the wife is happy? Forget about the husband then, right?

  • mark

    I liked the good ol days when it was legal to bash your womans face in a little, let her know her place. Too many women believe they can be miss independent one day and miss dependent the next. Emotional roller coasters that need to wake up to reality.

  • Rick

    My experience with women is that they never admit their wrong about something. They might say things like “I can’t make anyone happy” or “I’m just messed up” but they are not really admitting their wrong or that they could have done something differently just saying they can’t and there’s nothing they can do about it. Also if you try to point out anywhere where they’re inconsistent in their opinions they say stuff like “that’s different” or “you just don’t understand”

  • mimi black

    Personal attacks are not allowed, per comment policy. That would apply to attacking someone based on their gender. My experience being a general contractor/carpenter with an all-male crew, and a musician with 99% male band mates, working in a casino with both male and female players on my table all day, and having male friends, and having 2 brothers, a son, 2 nephews, 10 male cousins, a father, a stepfather, and an exhusband, is that BOTH GENDERS HAVE MAJOR EGO PROBLEMS that are pretty much the SAME, and look different because of the way Western culture brainwashes, yes brainwashes, children. All you have to do is walk in a convenience store and look at the magazine rack, it’s so obvious I can’t believe how people don’t see this. Well they don’t see it because they don’t WANT to. It would collapse their version of reality. I never had a male employee that treated me with real respect, it was always a pretend, made up version that would crumple as soon as I gave them any instruction whatsoever. They wasted so much of my time and money whining, bragging, and trying to get away with hacking so they could look like the “fastest nailgun in the east” that I realized it was more stress than it was worth. Most of my customers, male or female, would refer to my male employees when asking a question, not me, even after the 10th time of my employee asking me their question right in front of the customer. Males are supposed to “Have the Answers” and most men build their identities around being Male, instead of being human. And Females are supposed to accept that “Males have all the answers” and if they show the same confidence in their own expertise as males do, they get ridiculed and opposed, by BOTH genders. I lived it, day in and day out. I know for a fact that it’s not “all men” or “all women”, thank GOD. There are a small handful of people who actually see themselves, and each other, as PEOPLE, not as some stupid stereotype of a gender they learned from TV or their 14 year old buddies. Both the WIFE and the HUSBAND would do well to learn the value of humility, and caring for another human being.

  • Rome

    Part of the reason a lot of women always need to be right is that they are fundamentally insecure.

  • Igor

    Some men recognize womens correctness and reap the benefits of gallantry.

  • Troy

    Wives having to be right, even when they are wrong in the epitome of selfishness. That behavior is the very issue that plagues the greater percentage of failing marriages, and miserable marriages the world over. When I told mine I was sick of it, she said grow up and be a man. OMG LOL… It isn’t me that needs to grow up Missy, it’s you. A huge sign of maturity is accepting when you are wrong. Put on the big girl panties and learn to compromise. That being said though, it’ll never happen. Most women are too selfish to even understand it.

  • John Holloway

    I think men really need to STOP feeling like they have to kiss the a$$ of women. If they are wrong they are wrong, and they should be a woman and accept the fact. At the same time men need to get off their “High Horse”, and stop treating women to this is the caveman days. A mans place is NOT under a car, swinging a club, or always carrying a tool belt. Just like a womans place is NOT in the kitchen, going shopping, or HAVE to have access to a mans credit card. Unitl we as a people put aside our differences we will be nothing more than mindless primitive beings.
    I think the say ” a women is always right” is a buch of BS, and men that get away with treating women like crap is BS too. Futhermore, women that just want a “Bad Boy” are confused, and need to get a grip on reality which most times are too late, because once a woman finds a man that will treat them right they take advantage of them and dump them for someone that just treats them like crap again. In short, society in general have corrupted the minds of both women, and men to the point where most times its “tit for tat”. that will never end. SMH

  • Igor

    Women ARE always right. So what?

  • Jordan

    So glenn lemme get this right by what you implied. Basically what you’re saying is men should sacrifice some of their happiness and worth to “please” women. Because women are so much better right? apparently we’re not equal human beings “luckiest man on earth” haha ya okay keep telling yourself that

  • Jordan

    and by the way i would rather be single and happy then in a relationship and miserable ANYDAY. Apparently all you men give in way too easily, i for one am not such a kissa$$ that i’d sacrifice my happiness for a woman

  • Mrs. Smith

    Apparently I’ve dealt with a similar issue in my relationship. However, I’d hope for a fair trial (for my husband :)), so I think it could be good to let outsiders to decide who’s correct in certain arguments in my own relationship. Therefore I’ve started together with my husband a blog/website Marriage Duel where we both tell our own side of the story and opinion etc. of the same argument. And the readers can vote who they think is right.

  • Ed

    I agree… Women are always right about everything and the sooner that us men realise that the better!

    Read my admission of defeat here on my blog

  • KSG

    This is just why, many men have a second family out there where that woman never thinks she’s always right. No man wants a second family when his first is well or at least, he’s treated fairly. Surprisingly if the first found out about the second, they’d always think its the man’s fault, Many men have tried to tell their wife, hey can you be fair? Wife many times may have this feeling ” there is no such thing as fair “. That is when the man feels there is no longer hope for him to experience life as a normal human. The funny thing I always hear is, do you want to be right or do you want to keep the marriage? My question is, doesn’t this apply also to the woman? Or is keeping the marriage only the guy’s job not the woman? So my next question is, today’s woman has no longer any role. They do not want to clean the house like how it used to be, I am fine. They no longer like to be stay home mums too like how they used to be. I am also fine. They also still want to have that unfair treatment to her man, maybe I should be fine. So honestly, doesn’t that mean woman have no role anymore? They want to be boss, they want the man to earn that money for them, they don’t really wanna take care of the child, they don’t really want to live life just within family but want to have their social life. So, what is the role of a wife/woman if man still keeps all the role they’ve been doing? So we’re here only just to be slave? And then woman expect us to be happy? Love is important. But love doesn’t mean slavery to us if we need love.

  • KIA

    The problem has nothing to do with men; whether giving in or being wrong. The problem is simply a common defect in womens’ character. They can’t be told they’re wrong. They can’t accept they’re wrong. They cannot apologize. Similarly, men often have a defect where they cannot exhibit behavior that makes them appear non-masculine. I think both behaviors are symptoms of immaturity, a lack of confidence and perhaps too great of an ego.

  • Eyal

    i felt like reading a 5 years old “rules for life” book.

  • Rocky

    Does the threat of withheld sex tip the balance making men relent so the little woman can be right?