Team {Playas}

Being a literal “team player” doesn’t really come naturally for me.

I’ve attempted soccer, softball, swim team…

{<–Yes, that’s me. Not my little brother.}

Let’s just say that even with my mom as coach, I scored one goal, I NEVER made a hit at a single at bat all season, and we celebrated when I came in second…to last at a swim meet.

Yeah. I’ll stick to running by myself.

Anyhow, while playing on an actual team isn’t part of my day-to-day routine, being a team player in my marriage is totally vital. Like breathing. like blinking. Like not ruining every weekend with bickering. Like actually speaking to each other during car rides. Like having people over without them opening the door to that awkward “No, we haven’t been having a ‘discussion’, my face is always this red” moment.

Don’t deny it. It happens.

It really wasn’t until after a few months that I realized that I wasn’t necessarily as good as I thought I was at working together with my husband.

It’s WAY easier to say that “it’s just us against the world!” with your significant other, or even your best friend, when things are easy. It’s when the real life happens that you realize where your strengths are (or are not) in the whole “working together” scenario.

Well, after more than 2.5 years of wedded bliss, I’ve learned a thing or two about teamwork. Ladies – take a look. And get real with yourself:

1. You’re not a Team Player if you’ve only got this “teamwork thing” down when you both agree.

I went into marriage pretty dang sure that I was ready to do everything with my husband-to-be: work together, play together, pick out curtains, hang things on the wall (even those that required a level) and defer to him when appropriate.

I was wrong.

I discovered that I’m pretty much a selfish brat any time I know I’m right (which is about 97.9% of the time if you were wondering). It took the poor man, my mother and several innocent bystanders more than a year to (mostly graciously) lead me to understand that I need to just take a step back and “let” him be right, and make the right decisions sometimes. In reality, he IS right a lot. And I’m often…. *cough* wro..ng. It’s better for us. It’s better for our relationship. It’s better for our friends that visit and just want normal conversation.

{That was one heck of a fight! Kidding. Warrior Dash. But happy endings are always a good thing. We always wrap up any conversation on a high note.}

2. Martyrs aren’t Team Players.

One of my lines is “I know I sound irrational and like a jerk right now, but it’s how I FEEL, and I’m mostly mad at myself, and I already know what you’re going to say….blah, blah” (alll while sobbing… usually).

Don’t steal it.

Saying these things doesn’t help the situation. The ice cream brand won’t pick itself (Him: Kroger processed frozen dairy ice food, $.03 Me: Graeter’s elite gold label limited special edition european dark chocolate-packed new rare flavor, $27.99).

Saying these things makes me a victim. Maybe a victim of my own PMS / over-tiredness, but at any rate, it doesn’t give my dear husband a moment to say anything even remotely helpful, rational or true. To make decisions about ice cream, or – more importantly – finances (true underlying issue being discussed) I have to keep things above the belt. Save the martyr stuff for sympathy from a sibling at another time.

JK. Don’t play that card. Ever.

{Don’t ask.}

3. Team Players know “Different isn’t Wrong.”

When we were in premarital counseling, our wise, wise pastor passed on some advice that we’ll never forget: Different isn’t wrong.

When you have different opinions, different morning routines, different family backgrounds, different learning styles and different tastes in snacks: Virtually ALL of the time, different does not = wrong. Different = just plain different.

Accept it! Move on.

4. Team Players drink wine together.

When you work things out productively with your significant other, or your best friend, it is best to do it in a relaxed, easy atmosphere. Our pastor said that you should sit down at a nice dinner, have a glass of wine, and approach sensitive topics when you’re well-rested and in an fun, easy mood.

It can be hard to broach those subjects when you’re happy, but I can tell you that our best conversations, and brightest revelations have happened when we’ve used this approach. Try it!

5. Team players practice.

Even after you’ve been to the mountaintop, it can be easy to forget what you’ve learned. Remember practice makes perfect!

Some of our proudest moments have been when we’ve put what we’ve been working on in our relationship into practice in a real-life setting. We’re entertaining, we’re making travel plans, we’re calculating a shoe budget, we’re visiting family and we’re “playing” together. As a TEAM.

It’s work! But whether it’s your husband, sister, girlfriend or co-worker, it’s worth it.

After all, how can you stay mad at that?:

Awwwww…

What are some life lessons you’ve recently learned? Please share!

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Team {Playas}

  1. Those are some great insights. (Especially for a single guy like me.)

    I’ve learned recently that I’m very self-centered and focused on my comfort. I’m trying to find ways to redirect more of my energy toward others.

    • Thanks! All of us struggle with this stuff, but it seems like meaningful relationships really bring it all out in the open. Working through it is difficult, but brings great rewards (Character, and all that jazz!).

  2. Agree with all of this…(except, I too have a love affair with goldfish…I’m with you Drew!) Marriage is a fabulous revealer. Team Playas fo life :)

  3. Great post, Rachael! Loved that bit of Michael’s wisdom. And I must say that seeing you tied to that tree was a favorite part of one of my favorite birthdays ;)

  4. Great marriage revelations like this never end…even after 28 years you can still be getting to know your spouse in new ways if you want to…neither do the reality vs. emo conversations! Daddy always says, “Marriage can never be on “Coast”. So happy yours is is not!! So proud of you and Andrew!

  5. Very nice post. Marriage is hard work and I wish I had done a better job at it then and even now I’m still working at it. I like to have my way and it’s hard to let it go and not be selfish.
    I have to ask? Was that Mike Fitak in the soccer picture? He was Andrew’s and Luke’s coach for baseball and soccer.

Your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s