A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about communication in marriage. I decided to expand on each of the 5 points I made- what they look like, how to implement them, etc.
This is the first of those points– Whose team are you on?
The main idea for this is that you’re a team first. When you said “I do”, you joined a team. Everything you do should be to help your team succeed. This article from Huffington Post gives some great ways to implement this idea, or enhance it, in your marriage. If you don’t want to read the article, I’m summing it up below and adding in my own thoughts.
1). Get on the same page. It’s important to have open, honest discussions about where you want to be in life– both as an individual and a couple. Getting a better job, bigger house, getting out of debt, whatever. Discuss these things and create a plan. Remember: take the route that’s best for your team. Sometimes this means one person sacrificing a little at first, but both should work hard to move towards success.
2). Enjoy something new. This is something Michael and I always need to work on more. This article by Focus on the Family discusses being a team and bringing that into your date nights. Trying something new could be something like trying a new restaurant, a new date night activity, new vacation spot, or even a new TV show. Michael and I watch a few different shows together and it helps open up random discussions all the time. Just another way to connect with each other. This has become a little easier since having our son because we genuinely enjoy doing things with him together. However, it’s important to make sure you’re still finding new things outside of your kids!
3). Choose lightheartedness. Basically, laugh. We’ve all heard it– laughter is the best medicine. It’s true! Laugh together. Have fun. Celebrate small wins. If you have a list of everything your partner has done wrong/failed at, this will weigh you down and close those doors of communication. Other than our brutal honesty with each other, our sense of humor is what I really enjoy about our relationship. Laughter is a very regular sound in our home.
4). Make peace with the past. Things happen and we get hurt, so we hold on to that hurt. It impact how much we talk or trust or love our partner. This causes strain and tension in the relationship, which sucks. Having been together for almost 12 years, Michael and I have a lot of history, some of which is a lot of hurt. When I held on to that hurt, it just messed things up more and caused a lot of distance between us. Once we sought out help and discussed our issues, we were able to come out on the other side stronger. (It is ok to talk with someone else about things, like a therapist or mediator.)
5). Fight as allies. The HuffPost article puts this perfectly. When arguing, some come at the argument from an “us vs. the problem” mentality, not a “me vs. you” mentality. Work together to solve the issue, not for one of you to be the “winner” of the argument. If one part of the team wins, is it really a “win”? No. Remember that you and your partner are a team, working against the problem.
Until next time,
*Thank you to HuffPost for the awesome article that I drew so much information from. Why reinvent the wheel, right?
**If you have an article, tips, or ideas that go along with this post, share them!