Is you your marriage a team or an alliance? One of those leads to a strong marriage, the other….we shall see…
Today we are going to talk about a huge distinction that could potentially transform your marriage along with 3 mindset shifts that make a marriage strong.
A strong marriage is a happy marriage so let’s get going!
First, what is the difference between a team and an alliance and how does that apply to your relationship?
The simplest definition of a team is a group of people working together. We all know that right?
The interesting thing about a team, when you dig a little deeper, is how we came to associate the word team with groups of people working together towards a common goal. It came from animals, harnessed to the same vehicle, working together to go in the same direction.
We have now developed very fancy, detailed descriptions of what a team is. My favorite comes from www.BusinessDictionary.com:
“A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project.
(1) Operate with a high degree of interdependence,
(2) Share authority and responsibility for self-management,
(3) Are accountable for the collective performance, and
(4) Work toward a common goal and shared reward (s).
A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.”
Keep that one in your back pocket while we turn to looking at the meaning of an alliance.
An alliance is also a group of people working together, usually to advance common interests.
An alliance can be defined as “an association to further the common interests of the members.”
Stay with me for a minute. I promise this will make sense and be useful for you and all your relationships.
So what is the difference between a team and an alliance that can totally transform your marriage?
In a team, we are working together towards a common goal. We are pulling in the same direction, going to the same place and we are relying on each other to pull what we can to keep that marriage cart moving.
In an alliance, I am a country. You are a country. We each have priorities, sometimes they merge. We negotiate treaties that give us benefits. Dishes are washed. Sexy times are planned. My priorities and your priorities occasionally merge, but we are each driving our own carts to our own locations.
Take a minute to think of the marriages you personally know. I bet it will take you less than a minute to categorize them as either teams or alliances. Which ones would you label “a strong marriage”?
Think now about those same marriages. Which ones are the happiest?
I have no scientific basis for this. It is completely a reflection of my personal experience, but all of the happiest marriages I personally know are teams.
All of the marriages I know that work as alliances are okay. They might not be in dire straits and they pretty much get along.
They are fine.
Clothes gets washed and mortgages get paid.
However, if I had a choice between being fine and being happy, I would choose happy every time.
Why do teams work better than alliances?
Teams stay married.
Literally ALL the good things. No research has been done on whether you eat more chocolate, but I bet it tastes better too,
Alliances are what I think of when I read the statistics about “gray divorce.” There is a new phenomenon where divorce rates are going down for almost everyone except people in the US who are 50 and over are getting divorced more than ever before.
Why? Probably a thousand different reasons.
But if you ask me, my gut says, it’s because they were working as alliances, not as teams.
They wanted the kids raised and the mortgage paid and now that those goals are completed, they have no reason to stay together.
They were like two countries with a treaty. Each with their own priorities, allied only while those priorities aligned.
Gray divorce is too new for there to be significant research on it. But we know the cost of divorce is steep both emotionally and financially.
It is absolutely sometimes the best decision to make. No argument or judgement on that.
My stance is that if you are married now and you love your spouse and you can take positive action on your own behalf to create a strong marriage and be happy in that relationship, then everybody wins.
Which brings me back to teams and alliances.
Think for a moment about your relationship right now.
Are you working as a team or functioning as an alliance?
There isn’t anything inherently wrong with either. There is just the awareness of how you are relating to each other and your level of satisfaction with how that is going.
So – are you team or an alliance?
Do you like how that is working?
If you like how it’s working, stop reading and have a lovely day. Or keep reading and go from good to great.
If you want to transition from an alliance to team, where do you start?
I will tell you where. Of course. I am a Life Coach, what did you think, I would end on a cliffhanger?
You start with your Mindset about your marriage.
You start by thinking. Then feeling. Then doing.
Interestingly that is how all life works. You think first, then you have a feeling about how you think – a good one or a bad one, doesn’t matter, either will propel you into action. Then you act based on that feeling.
Soooooooo if we want to change what we are doing. We start by thinking.
Here are the 3 Mindset Shifts for a Strong Marriage I promised in the beginning of this post. (Because I hate clickbait too.)
How are we already working as a team? Look for evidence where your goals are already common and you are already experiencing team spirt. It might be how you handle kids or your love of baseball or super heroes. (We love super heroes at my house.) Notice how it feels when you are pulling that metaphorical cart together. Savor that feeling. Then ask yourself, where else can we work as a team?
Mindset is – We already have what we need to be even closer, more connected and feel even more loved and loving.
Do you have common goals? Have you shared your dreams? Do you regularly share them? It’s so easy to get stuck in the routine of day to day life and forget to dream. Nothing makes a team come together faster than a nice juicy dream. Can you start a conversation about dreams this week? Start where you are, with what you have right now.
Mindset is – We can start where we are now, no matter how far we have to go. It is possible to start. It feels good to share our hopes and wishes.
What does a team look and feel like to me? How can I bring more of that to my marriage today? You do not have to embark on a huge production and tell your husband, “Now we shall commence team protocols.” Although that would be fun and if you do, please tell me. Fun times. As I was saying, you do not have to produce a Hollywood blockbuster here. You can simply decide what a team looks and feels like to you and start thinking, feeling and acting more “teamly.”
Mindset is – I get to decide how I feel and what a team looks like in my life. I can take action to bring that feeling of team spirit to my day today and every day.
There you have it. Teams and alliances. Deep stuff. Stay married, be happy, kiss often, change the world.
Do you want a hand to hold and heart to guide you on the road to creating a team kind of love? Consider coaching with me to go ALL IN. Click here.
Do you know someone who needs to read this? Please share.