Mar 11, 2011

Be On My Team

One of the most important lessons I have learned since being married is that I need to be on my husband's team. Always. This doesn't mean that I have to agree with everything he says or does, or that I can't have my own opinion about things. It means that regardless of the situation or who we are around, I need to respect and honor who he is and how he feels. And because he has invested in this marriage too, he needs to do the same for me.

This may seem like a fairly easy thing to implement but I found it took a lot of reminders for me to fully grasp its importance. By nature, we are both strong-willed and somewhat opinionated people. And let's face it, we have a hard time being wrong. Often times, when Keane would say something I disagreed with or I thought was incorrect, I was quick to make it known. And because he isn't a saint, he would do the same to me.

One day, it hit me. We both had a competitive need to "one up" our partner. We were supposed to be a united force, but instead we were constantly at odds to prove who knew more or who was more right. I realized that by always needing to have the last word, we were undermining each other.

There are different ways of doing things in a relationship and people's differences are what make them unique. I don't want us to think exactly alike because we wouldn't learn anything from each other. By allowing one another to be as we are, we encourage our partner's greatest self and give honor to their spirit.

In daily life, it is easy to fall back into our competitive nature. Sometimes we defend it as being "all in good fun" when we point out the other's flaws in front of friends for a good laugh. We have found however, that if we recite a simple reminder to each other-"hey, be on my team, ok?"-we are quickly steered back on track.

There will always be things that we each feel passionately about- things that we disagree on and things that can't go without saying. But now, we try to be more cognisant to lift the other person up rather than tear them down. We try to pick our battles carefully and think before we speak.

I have come to discover what a careful balance marriage is. Although it's important not to loose myself in the relationship, it is equally important to support my partner by allowing him to be authentic and giving him grace to be exactly who he is: amazing, funny, charismatic, intelligent and spirited- All reasons I found for marrying him in the first place.

and so it is.

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