Still Standing: If You’re Focused on Being Right, Then You Need To Check Yourself

BY: - 28 May '12 | Marriage

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Kris and Akilah Richards have been married for 11 years now. They share with us in our film, Still Standing, that they started experiencing trouble very early on in their marriage due to differences in communication styles. Experts, such as Dr. Sherry L Blake, say:

“You need to be able to communicate in the good times as well as the bad times if you want to have a successful marriage.”

If there were issues, Akilah wanted to hash them out immediately, whereas Kris was just the opposite. His approach was to take some time to gather his thoughts.

Kris equated addressing the issues with confrontation and tried to avoid dealing with issues. Akilah says that if we don’t address the issues, it most certainly will lead to confrontation. Kris began to shut down”...Akilah began to have feelings of resentment.

Over time, things were getting swept under the rug”...they were not really getting addressed. Does this sound familiar? These type of communication issues are common and often lead couples down the path to divorce. Which is where the Richards were headed until they made a decision.

At one point they considered separation, but they decided that option was not desirable. They made a conscious decision to focus on happiness in the marriage and not on who was right and who was wrong. They began to have deeper conversations with each other around “why” they were having issues.

The advice that they would give other couples that are having irreconcilable differences:

” You need to check your motives.  If you are focused on being right and proving your point, you need to check that within yourself. Are you coming from a place of how do I resolve things or are you coming from a place of I’m right and he’s/she’s wrong.”

They say when you are going through a rough patch, put the end in mind.   Make sure you are coming from a place of resolution. If you are trying to prove your spouse wrong, your motives may not be right.

To see more on how Kris and Akilah were able to push past this discomfort in their marriage, check out our film Still Standing  which is available on DVD now.

BMWK family have you ever found yourself in this situation? What did you do to overcome it? What are the best ways that you’ve found to overcome communication issues?

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 526 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.


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24 WordPress comments on “Still Standing: If You’re Focused on Being Right, Then You Need To Check Yourself

  1. bridgette

    I thought you would be interested in this communication piece on marriage . I read it and it was what I was talking about our communication, check out out


  2. Akilah

    I’m glad we’re extending the conversation here on the site. It made a world of difference in our marriage when I shifted from proving my point to looking at possible solutions that would work for us both. There’s isn’t always a “solution” per se, but there is ALWAYS room for more compassion, more listening, and truth-telling from a place of love. #StillStandingBaby!

  3. John Glover

    I’m new to your site but I love it, much needed.
    It’s important to find that happy medium when it comes to talking to each other and sorting things out.
    Being married for 20yrs we have gone through times when communicating was tuff.

  4. Sheena Tatum

    <– Guilty and checked! I am a perfectionist and when something is less than ideal, I panic and have to fix it like yesterday. I need answers ASAP. I've been there… angry, resentful, wondering what I got myself into and how in the hell to fix it. Communication is not my strong suit. It took hubby to initiate those conversations that got us over the communication slump. Sometimes you just have to surrender.

  5. Grace Pamer

    Such wise words. You can’t be right all the time and going into every confrontation with that as your default position is asking for trouble. I’m so glad you guys were able to find a way through it. So often people give up and think that’s it but there is a reason people got together in the first place and its lovely to hear how you guys got back to finding that respect and love.


  6. Tony Palmer

    I am also new to the site, and I always love the insight. Im 21, been married since Valentines day, and the insight I recieve from this site has helped me start my journey off right. Communication is the core of the relationship, it isnt always easy but always worth the effort..

    1. Ronnie Tyler Post author

      Welcome to the site Tony and congratulations on your recent marriage!! It’s definitely worth the effort to ensure that the communication is right in your marriage…it’s something that we are constantly working on. Do you all have a plan for how to handle major disagreements? If not…this is definitely something that you might want to discuss.

  7. Joeann

    I’m so happy for this article but unfortunately we are separating due to a serious lack of communication. Please keep publishing this type of informative information and hopefully it will save other marriages.

  8. Shawn Moore

    I’m also new to the site and a n ewlywed married one month in June. I’ve found that as of recently I am more open to communication and listening. I feel free to reveal.I hope we can keep this going.

  9. Nita

    I am new to this site, but I will be attending the screening of Still Standing in Baltimore tomorrow. This scenario is soooo familiar to my marriage of 6 years (almost 7 in September). I am looking forward to learning and understand how to look for the solution, even if it means waiting until he (and me for that) has time to calm down and think it through.

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  12. Bettyboo

    Your article is so true. My husband and I are experiencing this communication problem as I speak. He always feels he is right and wants to be go controlling it’s his way 90% of the times.

  13. Pingback: 5 Reasons Why I've Given Up In My Marriage | Black and Married With - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

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Four Arguments You Need To Quit Having

BY: - 29 May '12 | Marriage

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Conflict is a fact of life in a marriage. If you’re a normal couple, from time to time you and your spouse will have disagreements about a whole range of things. Some, if not most of it, will be valid. But other arguments aren’t worth the time and energy and are worth solving the first time you encounter them. Here are four arguments you should strike from your list:

1) Whose parenting style is “better.” There is usually no argument that is more heated than a conversation about the proper way to raise your children. Usually one person is more strict, the other is more lax. But the truth is that parenting is not a one-size-fits-all situation. In some cases, Mom’s heavy hand is necessary, but in others, Dad’s firm lectures might do the trick. You might have one kid who responds well to strict rules, and another who flourishes when allowed to express themselves. So quit arguing about who’s going to do the better job with the kids and learn to use your different parenting styles to your advantage.

2) Whose sex drive gets the priority. This is usually a discussion after the kids come, when the stress of keeping the household running takes its toll in the bedroom. When sex drives are out of whack (one person wants it a lot, the other person doesn’t), you usually have one person suppressing their desires or the other person “giving in” when they really aren’t feeling it. But who does that really help? The key is to have a good, healthy conversation about your sex life. Are one or both of you on a medication (birth control can be a factor) that inhibits your sex drive? Is it an energy problem? Is it an attraction problem? Your sex life will undoubtedly need a tune-up from time to time, but having the communication skills to fix the problem will serve you well in the long run.

3) Whether you’re “right.” It’s not about being right. It’s about solving the problem. Period.

4) Whether your in-laws really like you. This is a short one. In-laws can cause a lot of problems in a relationship. If they meddle too much or they outright don’t like you, it can cause for awkward gatherings for the foreseeable future. But the key is this: They don’t have to like you, but they do have to respect you. Have your spouse sit down with their family and lay down the rules.

About the author

Tara Pringle Jefferson wrote 277 articles on this blog.

Tara Pringle Jefferson is managing editor of She\'s also the author of Make It Happen: The Young Mommy Guide To Creating The Career You Crave. Follow her on Twitter or check out her blog for her insights on what it means to be a mom, wife, student, writer, and about three other labels she\'s too tired to remember.


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