How To Build Teamwork In Marriage

By Judi Light Hopson, Emma H. Hopson and Ted Hagen
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) What makes some marriages last and others crumble? Three relationship experts give their best advice on how to make your relationship last.

Tribune News Service

For those of us who’ve experienced divorce, we know the negative feelings of brokenness. At some point, our happy union either dissolved or exploded. The teamwork we’d pledged to honor went sour.

To examine how a marriage crumbles, we all need to remind ourselves the truth about any relationship. Even a basic friendship requires dedicated mutual support for survival.

“Marriage is based on mutual support” says a marriage counselor we know. We’ll call her Teresa. “If the teamwork is constant, the bond will hold. If not, the crumbling process begins.”

Teresa says she has worked with clients whose marriages were hanging by a thread. “When I explained that you’ve got to gear up the teamwork, this has always helped those I counseled,” she insists.

Relationship empowerment requires each person to start paying close attention to the other. It boils down to having the other person’s back consistently.

For instance, if your mate mentions cooking steaks for dinner, it helps to ask: Should I make salad and baked potatoes? Or, if your mate is getting a cold, it helps to ask: Do you want me to pick up some over-the-counter medicine?

“I used to be a team player when I first got married,” says a friend of ours we’ll call Derrick. “But, when I got my first promotion at work, I had to travel a lot. I deliberately tried to tune out my wife’s needs.”

These tips can help strengthen teamwork in any love relationship:

-Try asking, rather than assuming. For example, ask, “Do you need some quiet time to take a nap?” Or ask, “Would you like to stay home alone while I run some errands?”

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