I can’t decide if I’m happy or sad the Olympics are over. On one hand, it was so exciting to get swept up in the competition. But on the other hand, now I’m not glued to the television and normal life can resume for the next four years.
However, it wasn’t just these athletes performing amazing feats that caught my attention. I was also drawn to some of the commercials. One in particular that stuck out to me was Visa’s “On Your Mark, Get Set, First” commercial with United State’s track star Ashton Eaton and Brianne Thiesen-Eaton, Canadian Olympic medalist and Ashton’s wife. At first, I thought it a comical commercial of a married couple constantly trying to beat each other in everything. And really, given the fact that the two are both athletes, it is kind of cute.
But the more I thought about it, the more I found the commercial to be thought-provoking when applied to relationships in real life. When couples compete with each other to be right, get their way, and be in control, it brings the relationship down instead of building it up. I know in my relationship with Adam, turning everything into a competition, especially when arguing, is a huge temptation. We each have our own will, our own mind, our own desires–and we each want our “way” to win out. I mean, who likes to be wrong? Who doesn’t like to do what they want?
In our relationship, we’ve found the key is to not approach each disagreement as a competition, but as a problem exterior to us that we’re trying to solve as teammates instead of competitors. We each have knowledge and experiences that we bring to the table to come to a solution. Instead of allowing the issue at hand to rip us apart –be it financial plans, restaurant decisions or child-rearing choices–we are able to fight for our unity, at times even drawing closer together. If every disagreement is just a battle of the wills, how quickly that can become exhausting, leading only to anger and resentment.
Now, don’t get me wrong: a little friendly competition is good every now and then. Not long after Adam and I met, I beat him in a game of one-on-one basketball, and I’ve still to collect my reward for beating him in this past year’s March Madness bracket. However, when serious matters are on the line, we’ve found it’s best to tackle them as a team so that instead of letting the problem beat us, we both win.
Photo Credit: Instagram/WeAreEaton via Heavy.com
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