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October 12, 2012

Marriage is Saying We Are On the Same Team

by guest blogger Marie McKinney-Oates

I wish I could give everyone transcripts from arguments with my husband. Not because we're communication ninjas, but because you'd see how often we use what I'm talking about. And how often we repeat certain phrases. Like, "You suck" or "Really? You really want to try and tell me that this dish is clean. Really?"

Just kidding.

Actually, the phrase that gets tossed around most is, "I don't feel like we're on the same team right now."

Every relationship has its own dance. The words we use to let each other know when you're upset, sad, happy, in "the mood". And saying "I don't feel like we're on the same team" is our way of saying "time out". This conversation has gone way too far in the wrong direction. Time to make a u-turn.

I don't think my husband had to say that phrase during the particular conversation I've been talking about. The reason he didn't have to say it was because I was meditating on that phrase in the hours leading up to the conversation.

We are on the same team, we are on the same team, we are on the same team…

So the words I chose and the tone I used were all done with that underlying message on repeat in the back of my mind.

We are on the same team, we are on the same team…

I'm not a football expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm pretty sure that it has never, not once, crossed the mind of any member of the Colts' offensive line to turn around and sack Peyton Manning. Because teammates don't do that to each other.

We are on the same team.

We share a goal. It may not feel like that all of the time, but it's always true. And when it feels like one of us is going renegade and attacking the team we call a time out.

Stay on the same team. Marinate in this fact. Remind yourself daily that this is what marriage is, being on the same team even when you don’t feel like it.

Copyright © 2011 by Marie McKinney-Oates. Used with permission. Marie is a marriage and family therapist who blogs about relationship issues at Nashville Marriage Studio.

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