Being a couple-team is essential to the well being of your entire family. Your unique connection with your husband, wife or partner should be obvious to all.
You and your partner need to be a couple-team within the greater family. This includes being a unique grouping amongst your children, extended family such as your parents and siblings, as well as amongst your friends.
Think of yourselves as executives in large corporation. Thousands of people are employed, but as the executives – the CEO and CFO – you have a unique and powerful status. You use your status and authority for the benefit of the company and those who work there. So too in your family, you and your spouse or committed partner need to be an executive pair and use your influence to benefit all.
Here are the basics that need to be true for you and your partner if you are to be a strong and successful couple-team. Consider each item and describe what you need to do / change to achieve this position.
Record your results below.
You may want to print this exercise for ease of use. Click the Print button at the bottom of this post. From there you can also format this exercise into a PDF file or email it to a friend. Note: Printing from a computer works best.
Written work for the listener
1. Make your allegiance to your partner clear and obvious. Be more your teammate’s partner and less your parent’s child.
2. Negotiate with your parents and siblings that they respect and include your partner.
3. When your partner is disciplining your child, back him or her up. If you don’t agree with the way it was done, discuss it later and privately.
Build your team:
1. Take time and space to create positive times together. Spend time together talking, going on dates, making love, negotiating differences, etc.
2. Make time to identify your individual goals, interests, friendships and dreams. Know what you and what your partner wants.
3. When you negotiate follow these rules:
Know what you want:
a. You need to be decisive.
b. You need to be willing to modify your position after you partner gives his or her point of view and you think there is merit to what he or she says.
Say what you want:
a. Choose a good time to talk.
b. Stick to one subject at a time.
c. Be specific.
d. State what you want in the positive.
e. Describe what it would be like once what you want is achieved.
f. Make simple and brief statements.
g. Do not criticize.
h. Do not bring up unpleasant past history.
i. Do not ask a lot of questions.
j. Do not get angry.
k. Do not be judgmental.
l. Do not be longwinded (talk at great length repeating details).
Get what you want:
a. Prepare yourself to give and take.
b. Let your partner have his or her time to talk and then listen attentively.
c. Find and build on areas of agreement.
d. Aim for a solution that works for both of you.
e. Agree to get outside help if necessary.
f. Be willing to try your solution for a fixed period of time, evaluate the efficiency of the solution, and if desired renegotiate a new solution.
Live cooperatively as a team
1. Agree you and your partner are both equal in power and value. You may agree to delegate authority, and if you both agree to do this, it is fine. For example, one of you makes the small decisions about the children whereas the other makes small decisions about finances.
2. Be respectful.
3. Don’t argue and express anger.
4. Try to be happy, cheerful, and easygoing.
5. Try to help your partner get what he or she wants.
6. Occasionally celebrate your success at being a successful couple-team. Make a party, go somewhere special, etc.