Max and I just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. I don’t know a ton of people our age who have been married this long. We were not super young when we decided to do it— I was 26 on the day-of— and we’ve been together since college. We weren’t fully established as “adults” with our own separate lives, but we also weren’t children. There were no extenuating circumstances (neither of us planning on kids, no financial or legal imperatives). So for us, it was a long time coming, and a deliberate and considered choice to be official teammates. And that’s how we talk about our partnership: as teammates. And that, I believe, is the reason we have such a great marriage.
A team functions best when its members share a common set of goals and values, but complementary strengths and approaches. A Pedroia doesn’t work without a Papi. In a relationship, it’s often the same. While there’s a lot comfort in similarity and overlap, sometimes it’s our differences that are the most rewarding.
One weekend this year, not too long after we got to Portland, we went to the movies and we went for a hike. We both had fun. I like movies OK, but it’s not usually my first-line idea of fun. Max likes being outside OK, but it’s not usually his idea. Yet I loved the movie, and we had engaging discussions about it for days afterward. And Max got a thrill of accomplishment from completing a difficult hike, and was rewarded with waterfall views to boot. We both got something we wouldn’t have gotten if we stuck to people who were just like us. That’s the secret sauce of a team, IMHO. A spouse or a partner is a great person to team up with, but you can team up with a friend, co-worker, teacher, neighbor, parent, dog. . . just about anyone, if they and you are willing.
Do you have teammates?