Marriage decision making is a lot like guiding a winning team to the Super Bowl. There’s more than just talented individuals responsible for the victory. Most winning teams cite outstanding teamwork as a key element in their success. Relationships are no different. Marriage counselor Katrina Christie discusses how teamwork is vital for long-lasting relationships.
Ever wonder why there are so many team huddles in football? They are used to analyze, decide and communicate the next play. Without them, the players would be left to figure out the play on their own. Similarly, couples that work together as a team tackle everyday challenges, as well as bigger issues, with more cohesiveness and direction.
MARRIAGE DECISION MAKING: WORK TOGETHER AS A TEAM
Here are a few ways couples can work together as a team:
- Share Your Dreams — The first step in marital decision making is knowing what you want. When was the last time you really talked about your hopes and dreams for the future? It’s important for you to have your own aspirations, but it’s equally important to know those of your partner. Take some time to write them down. Identify the ones you have in common, as well as those that are different. Discuss practical ways that you can work together to accomplish them so you both feel satisfied.
- Step Out of Your Comfort Zone — Sometimes the key in successful marital decision making is compromise. All relationships are based on give and take. Try something that your partner likes, even if you’re convinced you won’t like it! Whether it be a type of food, vacation spot, or activity, sharing in your partner’s passion for something can strengthen your relationship and demonstrate your willingness to try something new.
- View Challenges as Growth Opportunities — Inevitably life doesn’t always go as planned. Little things such as the flu striking on a holiday, or bigger issues like losing a job, can be the source of stress and distance in a relationship. Instead, decide together to view life’s detours as opportunities to grow as a couple. Take the time to talk about the impact past struggles have had on you individually and as a couple. Commit to facing future challenges united as a team, each supporting the other.
- Remember that You’re on the Same Team — Marital decision making isn’t always easy and while extremely important it’s sometimes just not fun. Most couples argue at some point or another. The key though is to keep in mind that you’re on the same team! Compromise is a team value that can go a long way towards working through conflict in a way that unites you. It’s also important to take responsibility for your role in the argument and offer an apology if necessary.
- Know Each Other’s Strengths and Weaknesses — A key in successful marriage decision making is making a conscious effort to play off each others strengths. Knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses is an important part of a strong team. Recognizing and appreciating each other’s strengths allows you to support them in being the best person they can be. At the same time, understanding each other’s weaknesses allows you to be there for them when they are feeling vulnerable or drained.
Since 1981, First Health Associates has been providing exceptional health care to residents of Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Elk Grove, Buffalo Grove and Des Plaines. Our Arlington Heights behavioral therapist Katrina Christie, MEd, LCPC, is rated one of the best counselors in the Northwest suburbs. First Health is an integrative medicine practice that offers: Medical Care; Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine; Counseling and Behavioral Therapy; and Chiropractic Care.
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