A relationship champion is someone who carries a torch for the relationship. They are the ones who are willing to put aside their pride and encourage the other to connect. If there is a fight, they are the ones asking for reconciliation. The champion reminds the other person to prioritize the relationship. The champion is the one who softens difficult interactions with hugging, kissing or humor.
Why does every relationship need a champion? Because relationships are hard! It's hard to be married! It's hard to live with someone! It's hard to remember the good stuff when the bad stuff is in your face. So every relationship needs that one person who will put the relationship above all else. The person who will remind their partner of the goal.
What is the goal? The goal is to have a good relationship. The goal is to stick together. The goal is to not fight. The goal is to let go the need to be right. The goal is to show love and feel loved. The goal is to be a team and conquer this life together.
Without a champion, couples get stuck. I see them everyday, each standing in their own corner, arguing their side of the story and not looking to understand their partner's side. These couples say they will change after they see the other person change. They will tell me they know exactly what they need to do but won't because they want the other person to go first. It sounds silly when you read it but these are adults acting like children. They want to be right. They want to see the other person admit they are right. They have other main goals than the goal to have a great relationship. Because if that was the main goal, they would set aside everything else in order to do it.
Are you recognizing that you need a champion in your relationship? At first, it might seem like the champion gets the short-end of the stick. But actually, the champion gets a lot of credit. When they are the one willing to change first, to back-down, to step-up to connect, that doesn't go unnoticed by their partner. Their partner will often say to me they noticed a shift in their spouse all of a sudden. Their partner was acting exactly as they hoped they would and they appreciate it.
Also, it's hard to act like an asshole when your partner is acting like a champion. So guess what always happens? The other person ends up changing too. Then they both get the great relationship they were hoping for. Does it sometimes slide back? Yup. Because life changes. But then the relationship champion acts like the champion, stepping in again to remind the other person of the goal and it all balances out again.
I encourage you to consider being the champion for your relationship. And if you can't, humbly ask your partner to do it. Make a deal. Say if you go first, I swear I will follow. And then do it every. single. time. When you do this, you'll be able to achieve relationship gooooooooooaaaaaallllll(s)!!!! (hahaha, I had to.)
Who's the relationship champion in your relationship?
Corrin Voeller is a relationship therapist in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. She does in-person and online counseling and coaching with couples and individuals to improve the relationships in their lives. She lives with her husband, children, and extremely fat dog.
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