07/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

How Not To Do A Long-Lasting Relationship

While Kathlyn was in Northern California teaching a seminar this past weekend, I was on the road, too, finishing a series of bookstore and media appearances for my new book, The Big Leap. For me, the best part of doing bookstore appearances and TV/radio shows is that I get to meet a lot of people who've read our books and are putting the principles to work in their lives. It's gratifying to see so many people experiencing the power and joy of conscious relationships. Then, occasionally, I meet people who are doing their relationships the old-fashioned un-conscious way.

Yesterday while I was waiting for a plane I struck up a conversation with a pleasant fellow in his sixties who asked me what I do for a living. I told him about the book tour and showed him a copy of the book. He glanced at it and said that he should write a book because he and his wife had been married 43 years. "I learned a secret the first year we were married, and I'm sure it's why we've stayed together all these years." Of course, my ears perked up; I'm always eager to hear about a new principle or technique that contributes to long-lasting relationships. His secret, though, needs to be taken with a grain of salt (or perhaps an ocean's worth of salt!) I'll do my best to re-create our dialogue below.

"Yes," he said, "Right away after we got married I realized that it was important to my wife that she be right all the time. It didn't matter what the subject was, as long as I was always wrong and she was always right. If I thought I was right about something she made my life miserable."

"So, how did you handle that?" I asked.

"Simple," he said. "I just decided to always be wrong and got used to it. Whatever comes up, I'm wrong. Simple as that. You just gotta go with the program."

"And you've been happy for 43 years doing it that way?" I asked incredulously.

"Oh, hell no," he said. "I don't think I've been happy for a single day. But at least we stayed together." Then he said goodbye and went off to queue for the plane.

For more information on Kathlyn and Gay's work, go to

Write to The Hendricks at