Does it ever feel like it's you against your mate? Perhaps this occurs some of the time or most of the time in your love relationship or marriage.

It could seem like you are constantly in a struggle with one another-- whether it's about finances, the kids, your home, intimacy or other issues.

Feeling at odds with your partner, even part of the time, can drive a wedge between the two of you. Your connection and trust itself can be undermined when there is no sense of teamwork in your relationship.

You might have very good reasons to not feel like a team with your mate.

Perhaps he or she had an affair and the two of you are trying to turn your relationship around. It may be that there have been other betrayals of trust that have contributed to you feeling like you can't rely upon your partner as one would a teammate.

What are the benefits of working as a team?
Some of you might be wondering how being a team would help build a great relationship. After all, you may be thinking, doesn't a little healthy competition and even antagonism fuel passion?

We believe that an overriding sense of competitiveness does not promote closeness and connection.

Instead, when you and your mate work together as a team, you both...

*are always moving toward a common goal-- strengthening your relationship.
*win as you resolve conflicts and tensions in ways that bring you closer together.
*celebrate the individual successes of one another.

When you and your partner make the shift to being a team, your focus moves from “me” to “we.”

Does this mean that you are no longer a unique individual with achievements of your own? Of course not.

But what it does mean is that when a challenge arises in your relationship, your first inclination is not to find a way to blame your partner for what's going on-- or, conversely, to take the blame on your own shoulders.

Instead, you take responsibility for your share in the dynamic that is taking you apart and you open up to ways that you can join with your mate to create agreements and a plan that will turn it around.

Imperfections happen.
Let's face it. None of us are perfect, even though many of us desperately wish that we were.

Many times, irritations, resentments and anger in love relationships or marriages are due to the fact that we cannot stand the imperfections we see in others. This can be a reflection of the way that we feel about our own perceived imperfections.

When you work as a team with your mate, you acknowledge the fact that neither of you are perfect, meaning neither of you is infallible or without flaw.

With this acknowledgment, you can then find ways to appreciate yourself and one another because of and in spite of these imperfections.

Depending on the situation, perceived imperfections can even become a source of levity. You admit that you snore, have less than stellar table manners or even that you get angry easily or close down quickly.

Of course, we encourage you to address those habits that are not healthy for your relationship. But on the way to changing habits, it can help if you are able to laugh at your own imperfections and unwanted tendencies.

This levity-- when not used to put yourself or another down-- can be a tool for recognizing what you are doing and then shifting direction.

Notice what IS great about your relationship.
If you'd like to have a great relationship, a first step is to learn to appreciate where you are right now.

Ok, so maybe the way that you and your mate communicate could be improved or perhaps you two aren't as intimate as you'd like, but there are probably countless aspects of your relationship that are satisfying and that you can appreciate.

Make it your goal to notice at least 3 things that you appreciate about one another, your relationship and, yes, even yourself each day. You can share those appreciations with your partner if you'd like to.

The more okay, good or even great things that you notice, the more pleasing things there are to notice. It's amazing how this works!

Give appreciation a try and see what happens for you.

When you stumble upon a habit or tendency that you do not like or appreciate, you can choose to find something about that specific situation that is improving or a possible “silver lining.”

You could also affirm to yourself that you will approach your partner about working as a team to change this unwanted habit-- and that is certainly something to appreciate.

Author's Bio: 

You CAN have the great relationship you've always wanted. Relationship coaches and authors Susie and Otto Collins can show you how.

For a FREE special report from Susie and Otto Collins that shows you how to reverse some of the relationship issues that are causing you problems, visit