Are marriages truly blissful in today’s society? What is the secret ingredient to a long-lasting marriage?
With divorce becoming more widespread, many married people, as well as intending couples, wonder what it takes to have a successful marriage.
Teamwork is the secret to a blissful, long-lasting union. You might be very different from your spouse in many ways, but teamwork leads marriage, regardless of your dissimilarities.
In fact, you can leverage your differences and make them your greatest strengths if you see yourselves as a cohesive unit. When you think of marriage as collaborating with your spouse on a life-long project, it becomes easier to recognize and build on your collective strengths while minimizing weaknesses.
You’ll see exactly how all of these work if you stick with me to the end of this post.
There’s no “lone ranger” in marriage, at least not if you’re looking to keep the relationship healthy. And since you’re reading this, I’m certain you want a blissful home, so here are my top suggestions for fostering teamwork in your marriage.
1. Put the Team First
First, realize that there are no self-serving actions in a team, and you both have to consider how your decisions affect your team. This way, you will always put the team first and do what’s best for your marriage.
For this to work, you and your significant other must be on the same page about making your union thrive.
Of course, you don’t have to give up all personal goals, pursuits, or interests.
For example, you don’t have to lose your career ambition just because you are married. Instead, you and your spouse should find a way to balance personal goals with your team’s overall goal.
2. Leverage Your Differences
A company where all employees have the same abilities and skills will have a difficult time being very effective. Making a formidable team takes people with different but complementary skills and abilities.
The same principle applies in marriage.
Stop wishing that your spouse thinks and acts like you. It is okay that you have different interests because you can use your differences to your advantage.
As a team, identify the areas each of you is better suited to and take turns taking the reins in those aspects. Remember that your spouse is your co-captain, and marriage has no room for dictatorship.
Be willing to allow your spouse to take the lead where they are more capable while you follow. And let your leadership skills inspire your spouse when it is your turn to lead.
3. Embrace Vulnerability
It is not always easy to convince couples to open up to each other about their fears, weaknesses, hopes, and dreams.
“What if my partner uses my confessions against me?” That’s a common concern among couples, but you shouldn’t entertain such thoughts if you want to build a strong team.
Be honest with each other, no matter what. Be open about your personal experiences, deep feelings, and want you truly want. This is the best way to gain each other’s trust.
It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable, which explains why it builds the kind of trust that can make spouses stick their necks out for each other. Many marriages fail when partners don’t trust each other enough to confide in them.
Instead of worrying about using your weaknesses against you, consider how being vulnerable can strengthen your marriage.
4. Learn to Communicate Properly
Open communication is vital to a healthy relationship, but being honest is not the same as being tactless or lacking restraint and discernment.
There will be times when you will have opposing opinions about some things, and at other times, you will inadvertently hurt each other. Whether you have a different view or trying to make your teammate (your spouse) see things from your perspective, it is important to practice healthy communication.
Be open and honest when you express yourself, but remember to do this when you are both calm. Also, listen actively when your spouse says their bit. You both have the same goal, which is to make things work, so avoid interrupting each other to prevent unnecessary arguments.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when ironing out issues with your spouse:
- Hold hands or touch each other when talking
- Don’t deviate from the subject
- Have a sense of humor
- Avoid emotional and physical abuse
- Don’t use unkind words (no cheap shots)
- Avoid name-calling
- Never go to bed angry
- Don’t bring up past events
- Don’t play the blame game
5. Practice Forgiveness
Living “happily ever after” does not mean a total absence of conflicts. Occasional arguing is normal in a healthy marriage, provided couples argue fairly. However, constant fighting might indicate a fundamental problem in your union.
Relationship conflicts are learning opportunities, allowing couples to learn more about their likes and dislikes and work together as a team to find a way around their disagreements.
This is where genuine forgiveness comes into play.
You will have conflicts from time to time. You will argue. You will hurt each other, no matter how hard you try to make your union perfect.
The key is never to hold onto anger. Remember that your spouse is human and will make mistakes, even when they don’t mean to hurt you. Be quick to forgive when your partner offends you, and never hesitate to ask for forgiveness when you are the offending party.
By practicing forgiveness, you give no room for resentment and strengthen your bond by teaming together to resolve issues as a married couple.
6. Give Your Best at All Times
Your individual best may not always be 100%, but together, you and your partner can attain 100% in everything you do.
This doesn’t necessarily mean each of you must give 50% at all times. Sometimes, your spouse may feel down and can only offer 30% as their best under the circumstances. In that case, you must up your game to compensate for their shortcomings.
The same applies when you can’t give your 50%.
Couples that understand this can weather the storm without one person feeling they are doing all the work. And this is one of the clearest examples of how teamwork leads marriage.
7. Be Clear About Roles and Responsibilities
Many people focus more on the “blissful” part of marriage and pay little attention to the “roles and responsibilities” aspect until it creates cracks in the union.
To continue to enjoy the bliss of matrimony, you must establish who is responsible for what in your team. Even great players will have a difficult time coordinating their efforts in the field of play if roles are not clearly spelled out.
Living together means you have shared responsibilities, and you must both understand what is expected of you to play your roles properly and maintain high performing teams.
One person shouldn’t be responsible for paying all the bills, taking care of the house, preparing meals, running errands, handling chores, and doing everything around the house.
To avoid assumptions, discuss with your spouse what’s expected of each person. This will also help you appreciate each other’s effort in ensuring the smooth running of your home.
8. Celebrate Your Wins
Teamwork in marriage is not so different from what’s applicable in other teams at work or school. Yes, making your marriage work involves consistent hard work and commitment. But like other teams, remember to celebrate your wins, no matter how small.
Keep in mind that downtime is important in all teams, including marriage, so make time to have as much fun as possible.
Other teams may have their ideas of team bonding, but in a great marriage, team bonding activities can be:
- Dancing together
- Sharing silly stories
- Reliving fun, memorable moments
- Playing together (as a couple or with the kids)
- Telling inside jokes
Most importantly, never forget the intimate side of things. You want to keep your passion burning by making time for regular emotional, physical, and sexual intimacy.
It might not be obvious to some, but emotional and physical closeness makes it easier to like your teammate better. And regular sexual intimacy strengthens your connection, allowing you to solve problems better together and stand behind each other, no matter what.
Having seen the various ways teamwork leads marriage, you are in a better place to build a stronger team and truly enjoy the joys of matrimony.
No doubt, there’ll be times when you won’t be on the same page as your spouse, but that doesn’t mean you are on opposing teams. At such times, your teammate will be there to help you get your head back in the game.
Indeed, a successful marriage takes mutual understanding and deliberate effort to work, but many couples enjoy the result of effective teamwork, and so can you.
Here’s a bonus tip.
If you’re down with using the power of affirmations to create the reality you want, I recommend repeating these marriage affirmations as often as possible to strengthen and make your union more blissful.