If you want to stop rowing and start moving forward as a couple, then take this tip from marriage guidance therapists.
Few and far between are the relationships that don’t encounter conflict. Often it’s the same row that rears its ugly head time and time again – household chores, money, work-life balance, managing the kids. The list goes on.
If you’re in a cycle where the same old debate flairs up every once in a while (or possibly more often than that) then pausing the drama to remind your partner that you’re on the ‘same team’ could be a way to break the cycle of blame and resentment, and move towards a resolution.
In an article on Huffington Post, several relationship counsellors are quoted as being big fans of the ‘same team’ technique for conflict resolution.
One says that just using those words ‘same team’ can take the conversation in a new, healthier direction: ‘Saying that just instantly takes you out of the argument and reminds you that this person is not the enemy. Then you can start focusing on listening, compromising and reaching solutions as opposed to just continuing to go back and forth, fighting.’
In short, reminding your partner that you’re both on the same team is a way of communicating that you’re in this together, that you want the same thing.
Experts warn against saying it too often; it can lose its potency if you bring it out every time you’re bickering over whose turn it is to do the washing up. But don’t shy from using it in major or regular conflict situations, particularly if it’s worked once before – the words can act as a reminder of a previous positive outcome and that it can work again.
As one therapist says, “We either win together or lose together because that’s what being on the same team means’. Amen.