What Marriage and Football Have in Common

In the U.S., football season has been underway for more than a month. Fans from around the country glue themselves to the television every Sunday (as well as Mondays and Thursdays, at least when their teams are playing) to watch two teams face off.

While something as competitive as a football game might not seem like it has a lot in common with marriage, that actually isn’t the case. When you examine how the sport works and what it takes for a team to win, it’s pretty easy to see how the two relate. If you still aren’t sure about that idea, here’s a look at what marriage and football have in common.

Both Are Team Sports

In a way, marriage is a team sport, just like football. Think of it this way; if a football team’s players only focused on what they wanted as individuals, would it work? Probably not. While they might all agree that winning is the main goal, they won’t see eye to eye on how to get there or the role they should each play during the course of the game. Each player would start pushing their own agenda, and that might lead to some less than ideal outcomes, including resentment from others on the team, poor choices, and even chaos instead of clear joint decision-making. The same issues can arise in a marriage if you aren’t careful.

It’s important to remember that you and your spouse are in it together, both hoping to “win” at the game of life. In order to make that happen, you need to work together. You must align yourself with the same major goals, choose “plays” that help you advance toward the end zone, and rely on each other to keeping moving forward. Additionally, you need to respect what your spouse brings to the table and their perspective.

Good Communication Makes a Difference

Football is all about communication. Teams gather in huddles, quarterbacks discuss options with their coaches, and audibles are called when quick changes need to happen before a play starts. When you think about it, there’s a ton of talking in football, and it should be the same way in your marriage.

Communication is critical if you want your marriage to thrive. By using effective communication techniques, including active listening, you can both ensure that your thoughts and perspectives are known, concerns are heard, and compromises can be reached when necessary.

If you don’t communicate with one another, you are setting yourself up for failure. You won’t know what problems might be brewing if you don’t talk to each other. Plus, you can’t find solutions to issues if one of you doesn’t know that something is wrong.

Planning Is Critical for Success

Football teams rely on a playbook to coordinate their actions during a game. It clues everyone into the larger plan and outlines what moves will occur when. Essentially, a playbook is a plan for success.

In a marriage, planning is also crucial. You need to consider what your joint goals are and decide what path is best for achieving your objectives. This could include creating “plays” for managing money, career advancement, buying a home, having children, retiring, and more.

Consider all of the kinds of points that may cause strife in your marriage. Then, instead of leaving things to chance, sit down with your spouse and come up with plans. Learn each other’s perspectives on every topic and see if you are on the same page. Discuss how you would both like to tackle it and work toward a consensus.

Once you reach an agreement, make it formal. Write it down so you can both refer to it whenever the need arises. In the end, you’ll create a playbook that will keep you focused on what matters to you both as a couple.

Learning is Fundamental

Even the best football teams work to improve. Each player tries to enhance their skills or acquire ones they don’t have to overcome any weaknesses. They apply themselves to the idea of continuous growth, ensuring they are always at their best.

In a marriage, learning is fundamental as well. You both need to work to be at your best, and that can involve spending time improving yourself. After all, neither of you know everything. Plus, your situation is ever-evolving. Life is unpredictable, so you need to be ready to do what it takes to keep thriving. Plus, even the predictable parts require new perspectives and capabilities.

If you spot a hole in your game, consider what you can do to fill it. That way, your team becomes stronger, ensuring you and your spouse are in the best position to win as possible.

Ultimately, no football team has a winning season by accident. It takes time, planning, dedication, communication, and working together toward common goals. The same thing is true with marriage, so remember that you, as a couple, are in this together as you may your way toward the end zone.