To some people, having a winning marriage implies having no struggles, no hard times, no fights, no dark seasons. That’s the wrong perspective and that’s probably why so many people are frustrated with their own experiences in marriage and just want to quit because things don’t come easily enough. Let’s face it—if that’s your definition of a great marriage, you’re wrong. Even marriages made in heaven require a lot of work here on earth. It’s the working it out that’s the hard part. But, when you are committed to each other, willing to step into the hard parts as a couple and go through those times as a team you come out on the other side a better person with a better marriage!
Tennis great, Andy Roddick, once said, “At one point in your life you either have the thing you want or the reasons why you don't.” If your “happily ever after” feels elusive, perhaps you are struggling toward the wrong thing. Today is the day to snap out of Disney World and get down to the brass tacks of making your marriage what you always dreamed it would be. It takes work and cooperation, not to mention communication to make your marriage work, but one of the most important aspects of a winning marriage is teamwork.
Teamwork begins when you’re willing to decide that your way isn’t always the best way. Try saying, “Honey, that’s a great idea, let’s try it,” instead of always needing to have your own way. Turn your heart to the thoughts and feelings of your spouse to become increasingly others-centered in your marriage. Everyone wants to feel like his or her voice is heard and when you enter a situation on equal footing you are more likely to succeed.
Teamwork requires that you seek and give forgiveness freely and often. Fear often keeps us from giving and receiving forgiveness. Fear of intimacy, fear of failure and even fear of success. We all need to embrace the hurt and mistakes of others, so we can be free ourselves. Purpose in your heart today to let go of past hurts and seek forgiveness for the hurts you have caused.
Teamwork in a winning marriage is fun and effective when you treat each other like best friends. Remember what it was like when you first fell in love? Spend time together and enjoy it! This may be an easy step for you, or it may require willpower to remind yourself of your friendship, but it is worth it to rekindle your friendship with your spouse!
Finally, teamwork takes romance. You’re not just roommates and not only best friends (though that is important). You are partners and you love each other. So…love each other! Romance may not build a marriage, but it will go a long way in keeping one fresh and vibrant…and winning!
Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else.” You have to decide if you will have the marriage you want or simply the reasons you don’t. So get out there and give 100% of yourself to your marriage. Don’t forget, your relationship with your spouse is the ultimate relationship you’ll have on this earth. When it’s all said and done…it’s worth it!
Here’s the Drill
In the next few days, plan a date with your mate where you can clear your minds, enjoy each other’s company and allow for a little talk time. Together, decide how you can build better teamwork in your marriage. You don’t have to list ten things; in fact, we don’t want you to. Instead, just decide on one. You will be amazed at how one small change can change your marriage!