BLOG: Top 20 Tips for Tapping into Teamwork in Your Relationship
"I'm NOT your enemy!"
The way he was looking at me was intense, dark, and beyond anger. We were in heat of an argument about something and I was taken aback by the look in my husband’s eyes. Glare actually. It was beyond anger, it was hate. In his eyes, I was the problem, the enemy. I was his achilles heel.
In my world, I was trying to help resolve an issue we were facing. We just felt differently about how to go about it. Stress levels were high. Overwhelm was building and so was the crunchiness between us.
We were NOT on the same team. It felt like he saw me as his enemy and not his partner in life and in solving this problem.
“Let’s not forget it’s You and Me vs. problem. Not You vs. Me” - Steve Maraboli
Hurdle vs. How
Resolving the hurdle we were facing was important, but HOW we handled it was even MORE important. Crossing the finish line as enemies or even with any adversarial or disconnected dynamic between us was NOT worth it.
Plus we could accomplish so much more, with greater ease and better results if we worked on the hurdle as a united front, and stopped trading warring assaults.
I knew going about ANY action as enemies and not allies was NOT the Couple Culture dynamic either of us wanted to be a part of. This ugly and unhelpful intensity was just a symptom of us being worn down and forgetting who we really are as a couple. We’re not only on the same team, we’re each other’s #1 fan too!
Translate for Transformation
I stopped saying “I’m not your enemy” and started saying “I’m your number one fan". We retired that argument and dynamic years ago by getting intentional about being squarely in each other’s corner and on the same team.
We're human and have our moments, but for the most part, any negativity is cleaned up in minutes rather than sending us into our own worlds for hours or days. Our relationship is not immune to stress now, yet we handle it as ALLIES now not adversaries.
"Never above you, never below you, always beside you." — Walter Winchell
Easy to Be Adversarial
It sounds so terrible that you’d ever, even for a moment see your beloved as your adversary, yet it happens all the time, even in the best of marriages.
It’s all too easy to end up in an adversarial dynamic with your beloved if you don’t invest in intimacy and build an intentional Couple Culture.
Life is more often than not full and full-on whether it be work, family, health, whatever, there’s often A LOT going on. Maintaining connection, intimacy and allyship TAKES SOMETHING!
Take On Teamwork Training
No one needs to attend a workshop on how to stress out or lash out at your beloved. Getting upset, blaming your beloved, complaining about how things are… it happens all too naturally.
Learning to work together as a team, ESPECIALLY during stressful times, is a CRITICAL skill to fold into any healthy, happy, and hot Couple Culture.
It takes something, yet one of my favorite reminders/mantras is “Wonderful is worth it!”
Practice Makes Partnership
Just like a team, a successful relationship requires ongoing PRACTICE to get better. These habits make up the fabric of your day-to-day interactions and the quality of your intimacy.
Scan the list below for the healthy habits that YOU commit to leaning into to create more TEAM between you and your beloved.
- Both Is Better Than One - Look for synergy
- Use a safe word / soothing mantra
- Create a Shared Relationship Vision aka Marriage Map
- Set and pursue specific goals together
- Be aware / flexible / responsive
- Mat Talk each other / Cheer each other on
- Find your focus - looking for the negative or positive?
- Notice / acknowledge each other’s efforts / contributions
- Bring play to accountability
- Speak up! Share your feelings and needs
- Ask questions - don’t assume, clarify
- Help each other grow / lift each other up
- Let It Go (Especially being right or keeping score)
- Offer awesome apology often and with ease
- Forgive fast / Move FORWARD, not just move on
- Light each other’s fire - energize and inspire
- Respect your differences, especially time and timing
- Make each other’s experience important / care
- Inside jokes, language, looks
- Name your relationship team and use it
- Others - Create your own!
Lean into how you can be more of a team in your own way. Just remember that marriage is NOT about loving perfectly, it’s about Loving Better.
Find your own path and practices to Love Better. Inspire your beloved to find their own but do NOT pressure them. Autonomy must be present!
Remember that you are on the same team and each other’s #1 fans. Look for and create allyship as a HABIT so you can enjoy the most healthy, happy, and hot relationship for years and years to come.
“Life is better with you.” Michael Franti & Spearhead
- Review the list of 20 tips for teamwork. (Bonus Check out any of the other blogs linked for more info).
- Pick the top 1-5 actions or habits that YOU commit to exploring and practicing.
- Pick a period of time you will explore and practice, one hour, one day, one week, etc.
- Post your selection where you can see it. Post on your fridge in your screensaver, your phone home screen and in your calendar - anywhere you’ll see it easily.
- Do what you declared.
- At the end of the declared time period, review what worked well and how you can do better next time.
- BONUS Do this with your beloved IF they are inspired to play. NO PRESSURE, only pleasure!
Your Ally in Aiming for Awesome,
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