There are two different types of sports: individual and team. Thinking about sports, your mind automatically pictures opposing sides. The lines on the court, differing uniform colors and home fields versus away fields are all clear reminders of who the opponent is and how important it is to beat them. When it comes to relationships, we begin on the same team. We work together to get the same desired effect, striving for happiness and closeness. We practice together and workout with the same goals in mind: not winning the game on our own, but doing it together. At some point, however, we begin playing on opposite sides of the ball.
Over the course of our relationships, we glide into a comfort zone and start to look at things differently. We take each other for granted in thoughts and deeds. We take our frustrations with being ‘stuck’ in life, the job, issues with friends and hassles with family, out on our teammate. Usually, that forces our spouse to be on the defense, which leads to greater, more deeply rooted issues, rather than making them better. We go from, “How can we score this touchdown?” to “What do I have to do to score and get what I want from this?” We clearly forget our roles in the relationship and forget we are on a team where we can pass the ball to score, instead of showboating, trying to win the game on our own.
Using a football analogy, every position on the field has set expectations of movements. The offense, the team with the ball, works to move forward to score, using carefully crafted plays to maneuver the ball. The defense, defends the goal against the offense’s scoring progression, which is exactly what is happening every time you and your mate find yourselves out of sorts.
Put all of your drama aside and remember that you are blessed to have a teammate. And having a teammate means that there is someone else who can help shield the ball from the defense, assist with planning out plays, and of course, someone to which you can pass the ball.
Take advantage of having a teammate who is willing and able to attack and defend; work to have a healthy relationship, rallying together with your partner to move the ball forward. If the goal is not reached, figure out what went wrong and craft another play. Learn to celebrate even small victories, cautious not to beat each other up during hard battles when ground is lost. In your relationship, don’t fight for glory on your own; choose to win together.
Written By: Carla DuPont Huger