Coaching UP in Your Marriage


As a married couple you can’t allow difficulties to sink you—what separates the champions from others is how they react to disappointments.

One of America’s most beloved football coaches was alone in his office when a former football player walked in. “Coach, you won’t remember me but I played for you a number of years back. I spent more time on the bench than I did on the field. There was something you did in my last game that changed my life. We were tied with a minute standing and you put me in and I fumbled the ball. You called a time-out and the assistant coach ran down field and railed on me. Coach, you ran out on the field and yelled, ‘Never coach him down; he knows his mistakes…you ALWAYS coach him UP!’ Today when I have the opportunity to influence others, I aim to always coach people UP!”

All of us need coaching up! Every man and woman, and especially hurting husbands and wives. Everybody.


Sure, the people we love will make mistakes, and there are times when they’ll fumble and disappoint us, we’ll even fail at meeting our spouse’s expectations as trials pop up all the time. The choice is yours whether you coach up, choosing to bring out the best in your spouse—or will you miss an opportunity to show grace in action and coach down? There are two problems when issues arise: the failure to anticipate them and the failure to respond well when they hit. 


Married couples reporting to be very happy show a significantly higher degree of marital satisfaction than other couples when there is a greater ability to adapt with disappointment and change. Why? Because life is guaranteed to throw some curve balls at you! Professional athletes are a great example of people who have to adapt and change every second. Ask Casey Blake, third baseman for the LA Dodgers (he calls his corner of the world “the hot-zone”!). He told me “a baseball batter won’t be successful if he can’t adapt his swing within seconds of the pitcher releasing the ball.” 

Nolan Ryan once said, “Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have the true opportunity to get the most from your talent.” Change is all about action and reaction, trial and error. Most of us have learned through our life experiences that our response to difficult situations usually dictates whether our experiences end up positive or negative. Someone once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Well, from now on focus on being willing to adapt with ease and allow for change and get some different results! Although we most often don’t get to plan for change, we can choose to have a new attitude and decide to be positive and go with the change instead of negative and complaining.


When change comes into my life or yours, it takes sheer determination to get through it with the goal that change will always push you toward something bigger! It takes an attitude that no matter what, as a couple we are going to win this battle that we are going through united, and we are going to overcome it together. You win as a couple in marriage when you decide to be on each other’s team and not let anything divide you. Get rid of the excuses as to why we can’t make it and stop wallowing in self-pity! Once you stop fabricating excuses you can start spending energy creating victories in marriage.

Cortes burned his boats…"We can’t turn back, either we SUCCEED or we die here. EXCUSES ARE NOT an option.” And as a married couple you can’t allow difficulties to sink you—what separates the champions from others is how they react to disappointments. And how YOU respond and show grace to people that disappoint you is a part of life!  

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