In 1980, Olympic history was made when the most unlikely group of amateur young college hockey players defeated the impregnable Russian team in a game considered a “Miracle on Ice.” What made it so special according to the team captain was that “20 of us came together and did something nobody in the world thought we could do.” And what was the secret ingredient that made the win possible? One factor only – Teamwork!
Studying the story culminating in the 1980 victory should be required reading for every couple for one reason only. It demonstrates how you can bring together the most diverse group of “individuals” who in fact were competitors representing various colleges and transform them into an unbeatable force if you focus on one thing – becoming a TEAM.
With the soaring divorce rate in Israel as documented in the newly published Case for Marriage Education, there is only one task that must be part of our Rosh Hashanah resolution – make TEAM MARRIAGE a priority. As Professor Howard Markman states in his best seller book Fighting for your Marriage, “you have a choice when dealing with any problem, either you will nurture a sense that you are a team working together against the problem or you will operate as if you are working against each other.” The book cites a study conducted at the University of Denver by Allan Cordova which demonstrated that the couples who scored higher on measures of teamwork were also happier with their marriage.
A main conclusion offered in the book is that all couples have problems. The key is how you handle them and teamwork is the best path to a great relationship.
As I wrote in a prior blog, Encouraging Dating After Marriage, dedicating weekly couple time offers both married and unmarried couples a change to de-stress and engage in enjoyable and stimulating activities that build shared experiences and positive memories.
The Hebrew month of Elul which we are in now is known for its emphasis on marriage. It is the ideal time period that is considered most auspicious for strengthening the foundations of Shalom Bayit.
Now is the time to commit yourselves to making your relationship a priority. TEAM MARRIAGE needs to be given its committed time to accomplish what the 1980 United States Hockey Team did – develop a solid partnership dedicated to the goals of harmony, unity, solidarity and vision. TEAM MARRIAGE offers the same opportunity – this coming Rosh Hashanah offers the best “kickoff event” for making this year the one where we can lower the divorce rate and demonstrate to the world that we are the number one champions of what it truly means to be a light among the nations starting one marriage at a time.
Wishing you a K’tiva v’chatima tova.
 Markman, Howard, Scott M. Stanley, Susan L. Blumberg. Fighting for Your Marriage.2010. Jossey-Bass:166