Feeling like your spouse is "on your side" is important for every healthy marriage. You want to be confident that you are facing life's unique challenges together, and that if something especially difficult were to happen, your spouse would not abandon you. Offer support and encouragement to your significant other and receive the same from him by effectively building teamwork in your relationship.
Develop the right perspective. In "Building Teamwork in Your Marriage," Dennis Rainey, President and CEO of FamilyLife, author of more than two dozen books about improving relationships and an active national and international speaker, reports that learning to see your spouse as your teammate and not as your opponent will help you grow closer and stronger in your relationship. While you may have different opinions about the same situation and different reactions to the same event, you should recognize that despite these differences, you are still there for each other. This can help you be more willing to look at situations from the other's point of view, which can help you both be more willing to work together to achieve your mutual goals in your marriage.
Resist blaming one another. Psychotherapist Johanna Nauraine reports on her website "Johanna's Couch" that conflict resolution is one specific area where teamwork in marriage is essential. She emphasizes the importance of refusing to put blame on your spouse for problems in the relationship, as this can lead to bitterness and close-mindedness about your own faults. Recognizing that you, too, may be responsible for some of the problems in your relationship will help you give your spouse the benefit of the doubt when frustrations arise and it will help you recognize that you are not perfect. Learning to work with each other, instead of focusing on one another's shortcomings, helps you to build teamwork. Instead of paying attention to everything your spouse does incorrectly, try to focus on the things you appreciate about her.
Build different types of intimacy. Maureen and Lanny Law explain different kinds of intimacy in their book "God Knows Marriage Isn't Easy," including emotional, intellectual, recreational, work, spiritual and creative intimacy. Choosing to work with your spouse on each of these types of intimacy can lead to a real sense of teamwork in your relationship. Connect intellectually with one another by reading the same book and having discussions about it. If spirituality is important to you, attend a church service together and pray with one another. By doing these things, you will explore different facets of your personalities and develop a more intimate connection. Being closer to one another helps you trust each other in situations where you will need to work together as a team for success, such as when dealing with finances, raising children or accepting a job offer that takes you across the country.
Focus on solutions, not problems. Author and marriage and family therapist Tina B. Tessina reports in her book "Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage" that focusing on what will solve any problem the two of you are facing is better than getting stuck on who is right and who is wrong. She advises talking about the challenge only long enough to define and understand it, and then moving on to figuring out solutions that work for both of you. When you are both working to find a mutually acceptable solution, you are more likely to work as a team.
- Building Teamwork in Your Marriage; Dennis Rainey
- God Knows Marriage Isn't Always Easy; Maureen Law, Lanny Law
- Therapist in Chicago: Marriage Requires Teamwork!
- Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage; Tina B. Tessina
- The Secret to the Marriage You Want; Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Leslie Parrott
- Practice perseverance when learning how to build teamwork in your marriage. It will take practice, but the closeness you will share will be worth the extra effort.
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