Teamwork. It might sound cliché, sure, but this is the picture of how my relationship with Michelle can boil down to something simple and clear. We work together with a similar end-goal. My time is our time… my money is our money… my life is our life.
Manifesting itself in a multitude of ways, the teamwork concept allows us to be united on the same front. With teamwork, we are able to benefit individually while also supporting each other’s efforts. This very post is the result of my wife needing a break and my effort to step in and help her reach a goal. 31 days of writing something every day is daunting… not a task one person can easily do alone. At the point of writing this down, and over the course of this October, Michelle has written and published over 15,358 words, edited 37 images without my help, and posted consecutively for 27 days straight. She has done all of this while still being the wife and mother we need her to be and in the third trimester of her third pregnancy. This is where I can step in and help. She needs a little break (she’s actually napping in the next room right now) and as her husband and teammate, I can give her the break she needs.
I work at Microsoft as a UX Designer (user experience) and in order for my job to be a possibility, Michelle has chosen to be the one who stays at home with my two (soon three) baby girls. Not because she’s the woman in the relationship, or because I possess more workforce caliber of the two of us (in fact I think she’s worth way more than I am to any company… but don’t tell Microsoft), but instead because as a team we saw where this season of life was pointing us, and we’re moving in that direction together. We didn’t come to this place by saying “Here’s my part and here’s your part,” but “Here’s what’s going to work for our family right now. This is the best thing for our team.”
Michelle and I were having a conversation about this the other day. How it’s very easy to “expect” your spouse to contribute to the relationship. The “if you will, then I will” perspective, by it’s very nature, turns your selfless covenant into a selfish contract. It’s crucial to Michelle and I that we don’t split this marriage in half and say “you’ve put in your 50%, so I’m now willing to put in mine.” Instead we view this as all-in at every turn… each of us in it 100%… keeping no tabs on who’s-done-what… and never expecting the other to repay some kind of unspoken debt.
When we married, we gave up our individualism and became a union. We didn’t give up who we were, but we brought ourselves fully into our marriage, holding nothing back. We benefit from each other’s strengths, we bolster each other’s weaknesses. I don’t, actually I can’t, move in a direction without Michelle making that same move with me. My decision making process (if not directly discussed with my wife) is always filtered through the person I know my wife to be, and the unit I want my family to become. Like a team, I do some and she does some, but when there’s a win, the team wins… not the person.
So if you’re the kind of person that says internally, “Well, I did this and now it’s his/her turn to do something,” I’d stop yourself in that moment and find out who’s really talking in there. If you feel owed something… if you feel you deserve something… you’re going to be hard-pressed to feel loved when your spouse is only fulfilling what you believe you’re already owed. Instead, serve each other because you love each other, and you’ll quickly find that the service is a beautiful opportunity instead of a to-do list. Become a team player, bring your strengths to your marriage, and give absolutely everything you’ve got to #staymarried.
You are reading Day 28 in our 31 Days of Loving on Purpose series. If you liked this post, you might also like to read Same Team. New to #staymarried? Welcome! Check out why we started this blog and my wife’s first entry to get a little background.
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