I have a friend who dreams of finding the right guy. She longs to be part of a team that helps others and makes a difference in life. It’s her lifelong goal to be half of a power couple.
This is a common desire for both men and women in the early stages of healthy dating. We always want to dream of our future and picture our teammate helping to make sure our dreams come true. And most of us want to reciprocate.
But in many marriages, one of the two individuals bring a critical eye to the relationship. Most of the time the couple takes turns being critical of the other.
For instance, one might be a neat freak and the other sloppy. The sloppy person gets criticized in hopes that they will one day mature and pick up after themselves. But alas, that person has a mental aversion to putting things away.
The table turns on the couple when it comes to finances. The person that leaves their socks on the floor happens to be great at investments and has doubled the couple’s money every seven years. But, the neat freak spends every extra dollar they get.
If you want to turn your marriage into a power couple or dream team, consider these four steps to empower a healthy marriage.
Affirm Away the Critical
We can never change the other person. But the more we affirm the right actions, the more likely they will choose to do similar things in the future. When we’re critical of each other, we want to spend less time together. But when we hear our spouse praise our actions that make the marriage work, we tend to repeat those behaviors more often.
I did something similar with my kids as they grew up. I’d keep a keen eye on them so the moment they did something helpful for the family, I’d bath them in praise. That positive affirmation improved our family. Everyone wanted to see the family succeed.
This team atmosphere empowered us to do some remarkable things. We made a radio drama that aired on WGN Radio as a part of a family competition. where we received an all-expenses-paid vacation to Disneyland. We made an animated cartoon and our family story got published in a Chicago newspaper. We also did more local things including building a cardboard boat and competed in a boat regatta. And, we took first place for most original float one fourth of July.
Brag on Your Spouse in Public
Every time you praise your spouse in public, you strengthen your marriage. That positive energy lifts our spouse and solidifies in everyone’s mind that you two are a team. This works even better when your spouse overhears your comments.
Great compliments are about your spouse’s character traits, actions, and giftings. The key is to be authentic and not force the topic. The positive comment must fit the conversation. If it comes out of the blue, it seems disingenuous.
Back when I was married, my wife had a goal of writing a magazine article for a major magazine. She was a wonderful writer and the competition was intense. When she got her breakthrough, I understood what a joyous moment that was.
I couldn’t help but share it with friends and throw her a surprise autograph party. I got enough copies of the national magazine featuring her article so she could sign a copy for everyone. While she didn’t like being in the spotlight, everyone knew that I was proud of her.
Care for Your Spouse’s Overzealous Strengths
I was once taught that our giftings are both a blessing and a curse. For instance, the person gifted with perseverance might come across as stubborn. We love that their perseverance will help us all to succeed, but we can’t stand it when they won’t take a break at times.
Some of my friends love my diverse background and eclectic knowledge. But there are times when they can see my mental wheels turning and wish that I’d turn off my brain for a time. Some have gotten upset to the point of calling me a know-it-all.
A great spouse and team player would signal me when my sharing gets over the top. After all, I can get caught up in the moment and over-share at times. A good teammate can help us navigate our zealousness.
Divvy-up Bad Chores
In all relationships, we learn that both individuals hate certain chores. At that point, we have to discuss who will take on what issues so our couple-ness can prosper.
I remember a time when I was married, my wife made it clear that she was not able to pick up after the dog barfed. She could handle dirty diapers, but animal vomit that turned her green.
At that moment, we decided that I’d be the primary cleaner when one of our dogs got sick. In turn, she wanted to be the primary diaper changer. Over our 23-year marriage, we both handle both types of clean-up. When we were both available, we took care of our primary functions to keep us moving forward.
Build Your Power Couple Dream Team
Keep an eye out to find your spouse doing something right and give them praise. When given an open door in conversation, take time to brag about your spouse in public.
Don’t let your spouse’s overzealous passions separate you. Instead, keep them in a healthy zone using signals. And, learn what chores your spouse can’t stand and lighten their load by picking up what you can handle.
By focusing on these things daily, you’ll guide your couple’s dream team into a new world of leadership. Many people are desperate for a healthy marriage role model couple. It’s time for you to practice these steps and help those around you do the same.
Copyright © 2021 by CJ Powers
Love this stuff! Wonderful real-life insights, hope I can put these into practice.. I feel some deep filmic character moments here too. Keep up the inspiration!
Thank you, Paul. I hope you do create a character in one of your movies that can live out some of these principles. We all need to see it demonstrated.
Great article CJ. It’s good to see that my husband and I are on our way to being a great power couple.
Thank you. I’m glad to hear that you’re a couple that’s well into the process. We need more role models like you to live life out loud for others to see.