Nick Saban, coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, knows a lot about winning. In fact, his team has won three of the last four BCS football titles.
Nick is known for being serious, focused, and process driven. One of his mantras, which his team has obviously bought into given their dominance over the past four years, is “You can’t feel entitled if you want to stay on top.”
This applies not only to championship-winning football teams, but also to marriages. Part of the breakdown in our modern society is the smug feeling of entitlement that visits Generation X (born 1960 to early 1980s), has a strong grip on the Generation Y (born early 1980s to 2000), and is baked into Generation Z (born post 9/11).
This feeling of entitlement, i.e., the thought that the world owes one something due to some external factor that was neither worked for nor achieved, is a great malaise in our society. Unfortunately, it shows up in all walks of life, including marriage, where it can poison the strongest of relationships.
When a person feels entitled as a spouse, he/she will stop working on the marriage, and will instead start making demands and/or waiting for the spouse to go first in everything.
Coach Saban’s wise words regarding entitlement needing to be discarded to stay on top have been proven true by his football team, which shows up each day ready to evidence why they’re champions. Follow their lead by making Coach Saban’s mantra yours in your marriage, and stop feeling like your spouse “owes” you something.
Instead, you go first, and be an investor in your marriage instead of a mere taker. When you do this (and your spouse does the same), you’ll have a championship-caliber marriage that you’re both proud to be a part of and model to others.
Entitlement weakens your marriage, so chuck that flawed ideology to make your marriage work!