On the Same Team

Have you ever felt like your relationship has lost its way? You started off all happy and cozy with your partner and then that little pesky thing called LIFE got in the way. Suddenly you’re arguing over how to handle the kids and how much time (or how little time) your spouse spends at home. These bigger issues take hold and manifest into smaller, more inconsequential issues like putting the toilet seat down or replacing the cap to the toothpaste. At the end of the day, you’re both left with anger and resentment and it just grows and festers over time.

A while back I was conducting an interview with the spouse of an entrepreneur. Her preverbal “Ah ha” moment became one of mine as well. She and her husband had been seeing a therapist for a little while to work through some issues. Months had passed and they were still struggling with the same issues.

Mid-fight, the therapist looked at them and said, “You’re on the same team. Why are you fighting against each other here when you’re both on the same team?” Hmm. It seems so simple; and yet so profound. He was right. When you join forces with your partner and get married, you are essentially vowing to support your teammate through thick and thin. All issues, grievances and what not should be approached from an “us vs. them” perspective.

When you look at the challenges that a couple faces on a daily basis from the viewpoint of “us” instead of “me” it may change the way you approach many decisions.

In business, we collaborate with our partners and employees all the time to ensure the best outcome; so why don’t we do the same with our partners in the household?

One reason is that as time passes and our lives become more complex, we spend less time actually talking with our spouses about important issues. During one of my seminars, one couple shared what works for them. They have a “shit that matters” book in their kitchen. Throughout the day/week they write down all the things they want to discuss with each other so they don’t forget. Then they schedule a weekly meeting to talk about what’s written in the book.

Do you have a method that works for your family? If so, let us know what you do and how it works!


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