In an attempt to make you couples live together in a more harmonious way, I have been posting couple’s fight rules that we have developed in our own marriage. You can read all of the fight rules here. Here’s the fourth out of five.
Couple’s Fight Rule #4: No Double-Teaming
If you are playing a sport, double-teaming is when two people guard one person. Its unfair, unbalanced, but its only used when you are of course trying to get the upper hand. But it works.
In marriage, I see a lot of double-teaming.
Double-teaming in marriage is when one spouse goes to other people for help with marriage issues but never goes to the spouse to work it out.
I’ll give you an example:
- A husband does something stupid (imagine that!).
- The wife gets upset at the husband, but instead of really working through her feelings with her husband, she keeps quiet.
- Until she gets to work.
- She tells all of her girlfriends how horrible of husband she has (they all magically agree because they think their husbands are boneheads too and this husband isn’t there to defend himself by telling his side of the story).
- She then calls her mom and sister, and they all agree with her too.
- The next time the husband gets together for the family reunion, he can’t figure out why his wife’s family is treating him so cold.
- When he goes and sees his wife at work, he can’t understand why that one lady in the office always replies, “Oh, I bet you do,” to everything he says while she snaps her head back and forth.
Why are all these people upset at the husband? Because he’s been double-teamed. Sure he probably did something wrong. But now instead of two people in this conflict, we’ve got many people with plenty of opinions offering them at will (how convenient).
Have you ever known a marriage that had too many people in it?
Have you ever seen a couple who went to other people to sort out problems with the person they were married to?
One of our major rules in marriage is that if I have a problem with my spouse, the first person who will know will about it will be my spouse.
And normally, no one else will even know about it. We work out our disagreements together without any outside input.
One of the greatest compliments I ever heard was from a friend who stated, “I’ve never known if you and Amanda were mad at each other. Do you fight?”
I replied yes, we get upset with one another and we have disagreements like every other couple, but you will never know about it. Because if I bash my wife to all my friends, now all my friends look down on my wife – and she is supposed to be my prize on this earth (Prov. 31:10)! She is the woman who I am to love the way that Christ loved us (Eph 5:25), and I’m going to run her down to all my friends?! Absolutely not!
This doesn’t mean that if you are in some real marriage trouble that you shouldn’t get some help. But get some good help. Your friend who always offers advice but you know her marriage isn’t one to be esteemed, don’t ask her for help. Don’t ask that co-worker who told you that you were crazy for getting married. Don’t ask the opinion of a family member who doesn’t like your spouse anyway.
If I was needing marital help for me and my wife, there is only one type of person I would go to: someone who cherishes marriage the way that God cherishes it.
You know those people who just seem like they are still on their honeymoon? They just love being together? It seems as if their marriage gets stronger by the year? Go to that couple for help.
But before you go to anyone else with an issue you have with your spouse, why don’t you try to work it out with your spouse?
Pretty simple solution.
“As far as it depends on you, live at peace with all men.” -Romans 12:15
Short Video on Double-Teaming
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.