Don: The topic today is marriage. Is it a team sport? So here’s the thing marriage is a team sport. There are no individual winners, only contributors. We each get to decide how much we contribute and what kind of attitude we can give, either gracious or grudgingly. We can be merciful or miserable. When the flaws leak out of our imperfect partners, we can look for a reason to stay or search for a reason to go.
Renee: What’s interesting is the differences in team sports versus individual sports, like track, the pressure is on one person to make it successful. Like volleyball or baseball, a team sport needs to be unified to be successful. A successful team cheers each other on and cooperates with one another. Whereas on an individual sport, they’re out for the win by themselves. It’s much more of a lonely place because the pressure ultimately falls on them.
Don: Before we get married, we’ve spent our lives figuring out, and building habits for how we communicate needs, how we protect ourselves, how we deal with our issues. It’s a single mentality. We don’t have rhythms. We don’t participate in team practice because we’ve never had to do it before. Not in real-time, not in real life, not in actual circumstances that really matter. We don’t know that we’ve been operating individually until we’re put together and realize we don’t know how to dance or move gracefully. Marriage is a team sport like it or not.
Renee: I don’t think we realize that we have to practice our team sport in our marriages and life together. I remember the first year when we were married, and I was out, and I didn’t call Don. I didn’t check in with him and came home late, past the time that we talked about. He asked me, were you thinking that I would be concerned about you? And I responded with, “no, I actually was not thinking about that.”
Don: I bet I had a very mature reaction. I can’t remember the specifics, but I bet I was completely dialed in, hahah.
Renee: Over time, we figure out the rhythm of marriage. Just like any team, we have to figure out how to cooperate with each other. That happens when you get married.
Don: No individual winners, only contributors. If one loses, you both lose.