You can certainly notice when a sports or business team is unified because they tend to experience a great deal of success. Each player focuses on their role in creating a well-coordinated effort to win as a team.
The same is true for marriages. In my work with couples I find that one of the major contributing factors to relationship dissatisfaction has to do with the fact that they are together but not truly unified.
Many couples are together in that they live in the same home, share the same financial resources, sleep in the same bed, attend their kids’ Saturday soccer games and go out on an occasional date. These things are good, but they don’t necessarily reflect unity. Let me explain.
Unity is defined as the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole. This definition applies so perfectly to marriage! It goes deeper than simply being in proximity to one another. Unity in marriage is characterized by several key qualities:
Shared relationship goals: Are you both “all in” to make your marriage the best it can be? Working diligently toward growing together will result in both partners experiencing greater satisfaction. If either partner is more interested in meeting their individual needs rather than prioritizing the relationship, the marriage will be unsatisfying for both partners.
Joint participation in parenting, financial management and general decision making: After the dream wedding, life starts to get real. Practical, everyday responsibilities and opportunities occur for every couple, and they can’t be addressed by romantically gazing into each other’s eyes. Successful marriage is accomplished through cooperation, compromise, and willingness to work together.
Mutual loyalty, support and encouragement: Many of the couples I have worked with seemed to have forgotten the important principle that