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 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.