Teamwork makes the dream work. As silly as it sounds, this corny platitude will get you far—especially when you apply it to your marriage.
Ryan Stephens recently went viral on Twitter after he shared his and his wife Alaina’s recipe for marital success. The biggest thing for them? “Focusing more on being teammates and less on being soulmates.”
Don’t worry, romance isn’t dead. But it’s also not the end all and be all when it comes to building a strong foundation for marriage with kids. Think about it. A lot changes once you have kids, and those over-the-top gestures or “just because” gifts you and your spouse used to surprise one another with on a daily basis aren't as applicable when you’re trying to raise little humans, run a household and stay sane through it all.
The truth is, you’d much prefer a tag team partner for those instances when baby is up all night than someone who whispers sweet nothings in your ear when you’re finally about to catch a wink of sleep.
Alaina shared their six commandments to being a good teammate in marriage on the blog Dialed in Men, and it’s definitely worth a look:
- Don’t talk badly about your partner in front of others: We’re all guilty of venting to our friends, but there’s a fine line between knocking your partner’s dirty socks left all over the house and actually knocking your partner as a person. Know the difference.
- Communication is key: Assuming your spouse knows what you’re thinking is a recipe for disaster. There’s no such thing as over-communicating with each other. To make it easier, schedule a weekly pow wow to ensure you’re on the same page, or download a relationship app, like Lasting. It’s like having a marriage counselor right in your back pocket.
- Try new things: This doesn’t have to be as grand as jumping out of an airplane or traveling the world together. Maybe try out that new restaurant in town or sign up for a one-day cooking or crafting class.
- Be each other’s cheerleaders : Whether it’s a new project one of you are taking on at work or back-up in a toddler meltdown, always support each other in every single thing you do.
- Acknowledge each other’s contribution to the family: This doesn’t just mean financial contributions. Be grateful for the help with household chores, soccer practice pickups, parent-teacher conferences and all the other aspects that make up a family.
- Respect each other: A relationship is nothing without respect.
A strong marriage not only benefits you and your partner—it’s good for baby too. But it’s unrealistic to think raising a family is all roses and rainbows. In fact, there’ll be a lot of hurdles you two will have to overcome on daily basis. The key is to always incorporate new ways to strengthen your marriage and never forget the special connection you share that started it all.