I ran into a friend of mine the other night, he’s a pretty young guy and also a newlywed.
Somehow we got on the subject of being on the “same team” with our spouse. I looked at my friend and said, "my wife and I are super synched." He raised an eyebrow, so I elaborated.
Several years ago when my wife and I were dating, she used to throw the term around, “the number one team in the universe,” as in we are the number one team in the universe. I have to admit, at first, it was a little too Tony Robins for me, but she was not only super cute when she said it, she was also totally owning it. She really did want that for us.
Here is one of my first memories of us living together: We were brushing our teeth before bed. She started telling me a story about a visit she had with an astrologer and before she could even finish her story I cut her off and told her rather stoically, “we will not consult psychics or mediums.”
Why? she said.
“Uh… the bible says not to.." I whimpered.
She just looked at me while continuing to brush her teeth. There was no harsh judgement, just a look of genuine assessment. She spit and rinsed her mouth out and said, “I don’t agree with you, but it’s more important to me to respect you then for me be right.”
I was still brushing, but swooned so hard. I couldn’t really even formulate a proper response, but my brain was yelling, “MARRRY HERRRRR!!!!”
After a couple of times hearing, “We are the number one team in the universe”, I just decided to go with it. What I didn’t realize at the time was we were giving our partnership (by then a marriage) a mission. In the book, Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship, Dr. David Shnarch calls it a Collaborative Alliance (an unwritten common goal that brings out the best in you both).
Above all else, we worked toward being on the same team, how we want to spend our time, our money, parent our son (and now our daughter), where we want to go on vacation- It all takes a back seat to the question, how is this bringing the best out in us? By the way, we weren’t really asking that question, it was and still is, way more subtle than that. We not only look for the common good, but what would be the very best outcome for each of us. Sometimes that might mean one of us sacrificing for the best outcome for the other. It’s a big way we show each other how we love one another.
Does one of us need a break from the kids? Would it delight our heart to take a weekend trip alone or better yet, get a romantic night away together?
So the question to you, what’s your mission? Or, way less formally, are you guys on the same team? I’m going to go ahead and give you permission to take ours of being “the number one team in the universe.” It’s a great starting point and a playful one that doesn’t bear too much weight. We still pull it out all time, sometimes with a high five, sometimes in the “afterglow.”
So do yourself a favor and go get one. According to Dr. Schnarch (and we can attest) it makes your sex better, makes your brain function better, and helps you guys get through difficult situations much quicker. He also says, no one ever has one all of the time and that Collaborative Alliances are constantly challenged by the ever changing landscape of marriage, but couples who work on maintaining them fair way way better than people who don’t.
Now go be the number one team your universe.