On Marriage and Teamwork

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I used to talk more about the ups and downs of marriage and how difficult the first few months were. I figure I shouldn’t be afraid to share now, either: I’m really happy and things have only gotten better.

I owe our recent success to a shift in my thinking. In the first year or so of marriage, I, ironically, saw Carlos as an obstacle to marital bliss. “If he’d just stop doing x or be better at doing y, I’d be so much happier,” I’d lament. “I should have married someone who treats me better, someone who understands me.”

After months of Carlos telling me that we were a team, one day it clicked. A team. Team members are not as concerned with their individual rights and independence as they are with advancing the team’s common goal. Perhaps my own poor attitude and selfish behavior were part of the reason why we weren’t unified or growing in our love for each other?

A team. Whenever doubts about Carlos would arise in my mind, I began to shoot them down. “He loves me and wants the best for me,” I’d tell myself. “He didn’t try to hurt me on purpose.”

We began to argue less. When we did argue, we solved problems quickly because there wasn’t that much to argue about anymore when I wasn’t assuming that Carlos was trying to subtly sabotage my life.

Recently, I was having a tough afternoon. Sophia had started to scream every time I set her down and I was tired and ready for a break. Carlos got home about 15 minutes later than usual from the gym, and I launched into how he was being insensitive and selfish. Later he told me that he had been late because he gone to the store on the way home to see if they sold French presses. I had recently broken mine and hadn’t been able to make my morning cup of coffee. Yes, I felt like a huge jerk.

Carlos isn’t perfect perfect and isn’t always going to treat me perfectly. But remembering the reasons why we decided to get married and why we thought we would make a good team in the beginning is going to help us through a lot of ups and downs. Remembering that he loves me and wants what’s best for me has helped immensely.

 

 

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