Relationship Advice That Works Every Time

There I was on the couch yet again defeated by the defensiveness that came out of my mouth the second I heard a corrective word from my husband. Three words with great intention and extreme sting; that’s all it took. All he said was “that was mean.”

Let’s rewind about five minutes. There I sat, zoned into my work on the computer, when Kyle had asked me a question, and then asked it again, and then again. I looked over at him and without thinking I said something along the lines of, “you are being annoying right now.” Stunned at my response to his question he says, “that was mean.” Of course rather than saying something like, “you are right babe, I’m so sorry” I said something that defended my statement and proved him to be “annoying.”

It didn’t take long before feelings of defeat filled the both of us. Here we are defending ourselves and it’s getting our marriage nowhere. I started thinking about what it would be like if an NBA team just once decided to play defense with their own team mates. That would be nonsense. I won’t pretend like I know much about basketball, but I think I know enough of the sport to know when a teammate has the ball you don’t try to steal it from them. I know that when someone on your team makes a great shot, you encourage and celebrate with them. I also know that when someone on the team doesn’t make a great shot, you inspire and help them to do better the next time. I truly think that while one can become frustrated with their teammates, they ultimately understand that they are on the same team.

So it hit me… we are on the same team. How could we possibly ever win in our marriage if we are always in defense mode? The answer is simple, we can’t. This isn’t a blog for the married; this is a blog for any person in relationship. Not just a dating relationship, but also a parenting relationship, or friendship relationship. Really, this analogy could be used to bring success to even a relationship in which you are trying to win someone for Jesus.

You know what relationship in your life needs to be worked on. Think about that one. What if you stopped playing defense with that person and started playing on their team; helping them to succeed and encouraging them to flourish? What could your relationship turn into if you stopped boxing them out and started handing them the ball so they could make a shot or two? Nobody likes a basketball show off. You know, the one who is always dribbling the ball in those really neat ways for attention. The one who is always taking the shots. The one who doesn’t seem to know how to pass the ball. Well here’s my challenge for your relationship: let go of the spot light and opposite team mentality & start letting them shine and giving them the ball. I promise, it’ll transform your relationship! It has certainly transformed mine.

My husband, Kyle, and I have vowed not to be ball hogs or treat each other as opposite team members. Since then, our marriage has gone from heading towards losing, to winning. My hope is that you too can experience the beautiful joy relationships are supposed to bring. Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

-Cassie Littel