Marriage is about partnership and working together. People don’t get married to work in opposite directions. Marriage means committing to one another for life. You can only make sure that commitment stays healthy, strong, and meaningful by working together. That’s why developing teamwork in your marriage is so important.
Recognize what each of you brings to the table.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. In marriage, it’s best to take note of both spouses’ strengths and weaknesses and determine how you can use them to your advantage. If your tendencies for organization and detail are stronger than your spouse’s, then maybe you oversee bills and budgeting (but still with your spouse’s involvement).
Suppose your partner’s strength is time management. In that case, create a schedule together, with them taking the lead, and see if it benefits you both. Use this schedule to block out the times you’re both available to do couple activities, household maintenance, dinner prep, etc. Or use it to carve out alone time if you both feel like you need time to do an activity that the other doesn’t enjoy.
After you’ve determined your strengths, find ways to help one another improve on your weaknesses!
Have goals for your relationship.
Another way to encourage teamwork in your marriage is to set intentional goals for the relationship. Focus these goals on various improvements that you’d both like to make as a lifelong team. When you set a goal as a couple, you work toward it together. Check out this great article on goal setting for couples if you want to try your hand at it. On a broader scale, set multiple goals that are encompassed in a 5-year plan.
Communicate about problems and solutions.
When you’re married, guess what? You’re not alone anymore. You get to improve that teamwork in your marriage by solving problems together. Two heads are better than one! Now both of you can put your knowledge and experience together to create solutions to any issues or obstacles that may arise.
If your issue isn’t something outside of the relationship, but rather something with how the relationship is functioning, it might require a different problem-solving method. This is a great resource for solving relationship problems.
Support, encourage, and admire each other.
Just like with any team, you always want to support and encourage your teammates. Be their constant reminder that they can overcome whatever obstacle is currently in the way. If it’s an obstacle you can lend a hand with, then do it! When they’re feeling down and out, pump them up and get them back in the game. Remember, when you’re doling out supportive phrases and encouraging actions, add some admiration to the mix. Tell your spouse, “I love the way you handled that situation. I could see your frustration and that you wanted to give in, but you pushed through and really gave your best effort.” Admire their efforts over their luck or skill.
Forgive your friend.
Finally, to boost the levels of teamwork in your marriage, remember how important forgiveness is. Think about a time that you’ve done something wrong or said something you shouldn’t have to the person you care most about. Although it may not have hurt you as much as it hurt them, if it was truly a mistake—you felt bad about it. Practice forgiveness with one another. It teaches you both to be empathetic and allows you to grow closer through the experience, rather than drifting apart. Forgiveness mends many wounds.
Keep improving the teamwork in your marriage!
Teamwork isn’t just a thing that you practice once. It’s a dynamic quality that you have to exercise regularly. After all, life changes regularly, you change, and your spouse changes. Change is the only constant. So, practicing your teamwork often will help to balance out the effect those changes have on your marriage. Stay at it and let that teamwork thrive so that your marriage can, too!
Oh yeah, and one more thing … when one of you is feeling upset about something outside of your marriage—don’t let your emotions dictate your actions or reactions.