I roll my eyes, shake my head in disbelief and not so kindly remind my husband how I do 80% of the driving. He unapologetically reminds me he does 100% of the bill paying. Not actually paying the bills, because that's my job, but making the money to pay the bills. Within minutes my husband and I recognize how ridiculous we sound. We kiss, make up and live happily ever after.
But our conversations haven't always ended peacefully.
In our early years of marriage, we spent too much time competing over who was doing the most. While embarrassing to admit, I made a spreadsheet of the hours we each spent on our tasks. I won the argument, but we both lost the battle.
Here are 5 things I remind myself when I feel the urge to compete with my husband:
1. We're on the same team
We are both working towards creating a home and life for one another. Everything we do is for the good of our family. We're creating a happily ever after together. The only way to victory is for both of us to be winners. Like any team sport, it doesn't matter who is doing the most or the best as long as we win the game.
2. Competitions end with losers
Ricky Bobby said it best in Talladega Nights, "If you're not first, you're last."
My family is full of soccer players. Soccer is one of the few sports that can end in a tie, but don't let a tie game fool you. Everyone is still keeping score and at the end of the season there is still a winner and a loser.
If my husband and I are constantly competing, someone is going to lose.
3. Compromise instead of compete
The only way to win is by working together. This requires a lot of give and take. Compromise is one of the greatest tools for success in marriage. I'm happier when I do the dishes instead of stewing about why my husband hasn't done them already. Instead of making a list of all the things I want my husband to do. I focus on all the things I can do instead.
4. Love conquers all
I get caught up in the busyness of life. My husband and I work hard to make life amazing, but we often forget how our journey together started; We fell in love. Ultimately, we are working hard because we love each other. We want to share every day of our lives together. I constantly remind myself why I fell in love with my husband. In the end, love wins.
Many competitions end with participation awards. I refuse to simply just participate in my marriage and walk away with a tiny trophy. I want to win the grand prize. I want my husband and I to hold the trophy, high above our heads, while claiming victory. Jumping up and down screaming, "we did it!" "We managed to raise four children and still be madly in love with each other." "We win!"
If you find yourself constantly competing with your spouse; stop. Make the choice to quit today! It's really that simple. Throw away the score cards. Stop taking mental notes. Start being on the same team as your husband.