The best marriage advice I’ve ever received

When Chrissy and I were moving to China, we had a couple weeks of training. We studied Chinese, learned more about the culture and history, and talked about how to be “acceptable outsiders.”

We also went to a seminar on marriage. Moving to another culture can be quite trying, of course. And when you’re stressed, you’re often not as sweet of a spouse as usual. We got more than our money’s worth from that 90-minute session.

The couple speaking had lived abroad and had counseled a lot of other couples moving overseas, as well as back to the U.S. I don’t remember anything else they said, but there’s one thing they said that has come up hundreds of times since then. We often remind ourselves:

We’re on the same team.

It’s so simple that it seems stupid. But often, this is exactly what I need.

It’s too easy to feel and think that Chrissy is somehow responsible for something I don’t like. It’s tempting to say that your Chrissy “made” me do something, like move to a different country…hypothetically.

But when Chrissy and I feel tensions rising, we quietly (or not-so-quietly) remind each other, “We’re on the same team.” When one of us is about to lose it, the other softly says, “I’m on your team.” And when external realities are looming, I know that I’m not alone. (And Chrissy does, too.)

With a couple dozen moves between homes in four very different countries…

With a bunch of different jobs…

With two little ones blazing onto the scene with all their bluster and mess…

We’re on the same team.

Thank God.

What’s the best marriage advice you’ve ever received?

Leave a comment. 

  • Marlena Proper-Graves

    I thinks this is true! No one offered us this advice in counseling, but somehow we stumbled upon it. It’s what we often say to one another. When I saw your words that this is the best advice you received, I thought, “Yeah, it does make a world of difference.” Thank you, Adam!

    • Adam Jeske

      Thanks, Marlena! It’s a simple but big thing.

  • http://LiveIntentionally.org Paul Steinbrueck

    Hey Adam, that’s great advice. Very wise! Some of the best marriage advice I’ve gotten is… always believe the best about the other person. Don’t jump to negative conclusions – especially about motives – before you have all the facts.

    • Adam Jeske

      Adam Jeske




      Book: This Ordinary Adventure: Settling Down Without Settling

  • http://www.dorothygreco.com/ Dorothy

    Practice forgiveness as a lifestyle. Thanks for this Adam.