Intimacy As Teamwork

Add to favorites

Your intimate partnership is like a sports team, says relationship coach Joel Feldman. Here are six essential steps to create mutual respect, teamwork, and intimacy in your romantic relationships.   

By Joel Feldman

Building respect for one another is an ongoing task for the intimate team.

Living with another person can be challenging at times, to say the least. It is very easy to criticize our partner, in our mind or face-to-face. They can disappoint us, frustrate us, annoy us, and even pester or nag us.

There are always two sides to each of these complaints, and couples spend too much time trying to prove the “rightness” of their side.

There are certain realities we must all face. Each of us will frustrate and judge one another at times, and this will most likely lead to hurt feelings. But a steady diet of this will result in disconnection, resentment, and a breakdown of the team.

On a sports team, members will not put up with this unless they have no other choice, in which case the functionality and productivity of the team will suffer. A team is like a chain, and when respect among members deteriorates, connecting links will break. 

On a good sports team, when all efforts to repair the chain fail, some members will be asked to leave. When you translate this to an intimate team, it means splitting up, separating, or divorcing.

If that's not the outcome you desire, here are some ways your team can work to prevent it.

Tips for Acknowledging Your Team Member

1. Practice ongoing appreciation and acknowledgment—in your thoughts and out loud

2. Work at understanding the world of the other and what motivates their behavior

3. Consciously remind yourself that we are all flawed individuals and will make mistakes from time to time

4. Keep building your inner muscles of compassion and empathy

5. Recommit to treating others in the respectful way you’d like to be treated

6. Remember the goals and intentions of your intimate team and consider how your behavior might contribute to its success or failure