The Best Marriage Advice I Ever Got

3.06.2014


When you get married, you get a lot of advice. Some of it will apply to your marriage, some of it won't, but it's all given by well-meaning family and friends who (hopefully) just want to you to be happy in your marriage. I don't usually remember exactly who said what, but in this case, I know for a fact that it was my mother who gave me the best piece of marriage advice I've heard yet. Of course it would be my mother. The woman is brilliant.

This was maybe a year or so after Jordan and I got married, and I was on the phone with my mom. I was frustrated with Jordan for something, and I was having a good heart-to-heart with her, as I often do. Here's what she told me: 


You're on the same team.

You see, when I'm frustrated with Jordan, it's because I feel wronged. I feel like he's not doing things my way or he's disrupting my world in some way. Sometimes I react and strike back, hoping to make him feel pain just like I do. But what my mom was trying to tell me is that I need to stop acting like Jordan is trying to work against me. Yes, maybe he annoyed me, but it wasn't intentional, and I need to realize that Jordan and I are on the same team. We're not out to get each other. We're not trying to sabotage what the other person is doing.

If either one of us is irresponsible with money or if we're mean to each other or if we talk bad about each other to our friends, we both lose. If one of us needs help and the other doesn't do anything about it, our team loses. So being spiteful to Jordan doesn't just hurt him; it hurts me too.

I've heard spouses referred to as soul mates, best friends, and partners, among other things, but it's most helpful for me to think about Jordan as my teammate.

We encourage each other when we've struck out.
We protect each other when someone trash talks them. 
We run out to home plate screaming with joy when the other has hit a home run.

Because we're a team, him and me. As we go through life, we'll have our ups and downs, but no matter what, win or lose, we'll do it together.

Linking up with Kelsea and Kristin for Total Truth Thursday.
Saxon @ Lets Drink Coffee, Darling said...

Great advice! Being annoyed at someone does make it easy to feel like they're doing it on purpose, or just choosing to be ignorant of what you're thinking. Its good to be reminded how making the choice to work together can help move things past the problem!

Mary Moore said...

Love this! Great advice. People are eager to give me wedding tidbits right now and I'm eager to hear them all with just over four months until my big day! Relationships in general are all about working together and being on the same team.

Claudz said...

Great advice.
My MIL recently referred to hubby and I as a team and it was the biggest compliment. We're on the same side and that's what matters.

Cassie said...

Loved this... so true and it really changes everything when you think about it that way! So glad that we have this link up to share our hearts and learn from fellow bloggers! Glad I found you on Hey Kelsea Rae.

-Cassie
http://livingoncloud9ine.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Wonderful advice. My husband and I remind each other of this often and even have a team name based on an old inside joke. While we mean "team" figuratively--in that we encourage and look out for one another--it's occasionally literal for us. Our "Team Smoot" recently placed third in the couples division of the "Love the Run You're With" 5k, based on his and my average finish time. :)

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

Great advice. In the heat of the moment it is east to lose that focus but always great to bring it around and remember you are working together.

Jenna Griffin said...

Yes, yes, yes!! This is such a great reminder. Lamar and I try to remember this when we get in arguments and it usually really helps the situation. Love this!

From Foothills to Fog said...

That is great advice! Mom's always know just what to say. Someone once told me that as well, important to remember :)

Anonymous said...

Totally agree! When I think of it, the times that I'm bothered the most are when I feel that George is taking someone else's side over mine. Very sweet post. :)

Tiffani P said...

Some of the best advice I got was this: "Sex is like playing a violin. You wouldn't expect to be a virtuoso the first time you picked it up. But with practice and time, your playing gets better and better. Sex is like that, it may be good (or difficult or uncomfortable or screechy) in the beginning, but it will get better with your intentional investment of time and practice." :)

Kelsea said...

That's great advice. I said those words to Michael just last night! ha. We were taking our frustrations out on each other and I finally stopped and said, "We're on the same team". And I think it kind of hit both of us that we're supposed to be working together, and we aren't each other's enemy. It's hard to remember during a disagreement. Your mom is a wise woman :) I'm so glad you linked up!

The Lady Okie said...

Ha! That's hilarious. We actually got some good advice about sex in our pre-marital counseling from our associate pastor and his wife. They said that women are like Crock-Pots and men are like microwaves :)

Delia Barnas Kearney said...

That is definitely some of the best advice! Along similar lines, I always try really hard to keep a practice of, "don't beat the dead horse." If my husband does something that he's clearly already disappointed in himself for, it does neither of us any good for me to say I told you so. And I try to extend that same courtesy to all of the people I care about, too! Because I would want the same courtesy extended to me.

Claire@MyDevising said...

We remind each other of this often in our marriage. :) It's hard work, but it's so wonderful knowing someone is on your team.

Susannah said...

That really is a wonderful piece of advice!!! I definitely look at Nate as my teammate! :-)

Samantha @ Elah Tree said...

Our first year of marriage Tyler constantly reminded me that he was on my team. "Hey, remember, we're on the same team" It totally helped.

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

Amen mama! Those moms and their good advice. And good listening skills to boot! That is such an important thing to remember and sometimes so easy to forget.

Leslie Lukens Martin said...

Moms are so brilliant! Too bad it took me 20 years to figure that out!

And this is great advice...something for me to remember when I get in one of my pouty moods! :)

Anonymous said...

Gooooo team! Annnnd BREAK!

Great advice. :)

-Amy

Victoria said...

that is great advice!!

thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Rachel said...

I love that. I definitely believe that viewing marriage as teamwork is incredibly helpful--he's not on the opposite side, he's on the same side, even if for a moment that's not entirely obvious....

Cece said...

I love that too! I always try to think of us as a team. It encompasses so much that is needed to make a marriage work and and when I think of it that way it really puts things in perspective.

Jodi Stuber said...

I like this. What a great reminder :) when one hurts the other, both lose. Powerful statements. .. Thanks for sharing the wisdom

Jenny Fish said...

"We should get jerseys, 'cause we make a good team. But yours would look better than mine, 'cause you're outta my league..." Relient K? Anyone? Okay, no...

Great advice! Something I really needed to remember about this time last night... It's so easy to get in a me vs you mode, but it can't be like that. Together is always better. Your momma was a wise lady!

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Raige Creations said...

Excellent advice. Yes! If more remembered this, perhaps there would be less separation.

I got advice from my hubby's aunt when we first go married: "Always have your own, separate, bank account."
Well, I never did that, we are still married, and she is divorced twice.

Jan said...

That is good advice for any relationship, I think! I am always telling my students that I work with one-on-one (my "projects" I call them), "I'm on your side! I am not the enemy."

Holly said...

I like that advice a lot. It's a great thing to think about even when you're in a serious relationship, too. I like the word "teammate" better than soulmate anyway.

Jessa @ Life of A Sports Wife said...

I love this advice. When we got engaged everyone came out with advice. Some good and some not soo good.

Becky said...

I think this is great advice! Thanks for sharing!! :)

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

What a good way to look at it! Especially considering today we had a little "tiff" that I just didn't agree with what my husband was doing.. and now that I'm thinking about what you've said... he's doing something for me... so that we can enjoy snowmobiling together this weekend. Which now that you mention this advice, it's a much better way to look at it because if we weren't on the same "team" he could easily go out and ride his snowmobile without me! So I guess, I better take your (and your mothers) advice, and run! :)

LeAnna said...

Good advice, indeed! A united front also makes child rearing 50 million times easier.

Betsy Transatlantically said...

that is SUCH good advice - and something I really need to remember when I accuse Jon of having his proprieties all screwed up. (Yeah, I'm not proud of it, but that's my stock nasty insult.) He wants our team to win just as much as I do even if he sees a different way of getting there!

sarah e said...

That is great advice. Moms are great for that aren't they. When asked to impart her great wisdom, mine simply said "Fight naked." A little silly, but I think both mom-isms will be helpful. Plus, doesn't it feel so great to know that you have a teammate for life?!

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

Such a good way to think about things!

Madison @ Wetherills Say I Do said...

I looove this advice. It's so true and I'm sure it really helps keeps things in perspective for y'all. Also I'm not sure how I missed this post but I'm glad I went back and found it:)

Anonymous said...

Aw, love this, that's great advice :)

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

This is awesome! So much truth here! I love the idea of how you are on the same team as your spouse! Christopher and I learned the hard way in our early dating years that talking to other people about our problems was not productive. It was just us complaining about the issues in our relationship and never learning to work through them. We had a huge falling out with that group of friends and we realized that we had been terrible about protecting each other. So from that day on, we learned not to speak negatively about each other to anyone. Instead when we have an issue we go to each other and talk about it. It wasn't easy to learn at first, but it has been so good for us.

To clarify for anyone reading this comment who doesn't know me: I wouldn't say this advice is always right in every situation. If you are in a relationship with someone who you think might be abusive, you should definitely talk to other people about it because you need another perspective and someone to tell you to get out of that relationship. I'm not advocating covering up abuse. I'm talking about when you have a problem with someone and talk to everyone else about it except that person. End of PSA. :)

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