05 Mar 3 Amazing Marital Takeaways From ‘The Amazing Race’

In case you aren’t familiar, The Amazing Race is a worldwide competition packed with mental and physical challenges in diverse cultures. It is also a ride of emotions, and couples must work together to be successful. Nancie and I find ourselves rooting for some couples while hoping others hear that “you have been eliminated from the race.”

The couples in the latter group are the couples who make you cringe. And not a “get a room” kind of cringe. It’s more of the cringe you feel when you see a couple fight in public or at an extended family gathering. We root for the racers who seem to love and like each other despite the craziness of it all. I’ve seen some commonalities between couples who seem to be running the race and their marriage well. Here are 3 marital takeaways from The Amazing Race that work in the real world.

1. Allow emotions.

The creators of The Amazing Race seem to design the show to frustrate every type of personality strategically. Yes, spouses should handle their frustrations in an appropriate way, and verbal abuse should never be tolerated. But sometimes, the best thing to do with your spouse’s frustrations is to let your spouse be frustrated. Instead of saying, “You just need to calm down. This is not helping anything!” just let it go. Allow the logical part of your wife’s brain to come back online. The frustration is often quickly over, and we move on to what’s next. But delaying is typically better if you must address how your wife has handled her frustrations.

[pullquote position=”right”]People are drawn to quick forgivers. Be one.[/pullquote]

2. Encourage efforts.

In one episode, a man was furious with his wife for not running faster. I’m thinking, “Come on, man. That’s not how fast works.” At that point, I’m sure she was more focused on her husband’s jerkiness than on her running. By the end of this leg of the race, she was in tears. On the flip side, couples thrive when they say simple things like, “You are doing great, it’s OK, you got this, I got you!” The couples who win, no matter the place they are in, are the ones who encourage each other’s efforts regardless of pace.

3. Forgive mistakes.

Even the most focused, physically fit people on the show make mistakes. The couples who relationally thrive throughout the show quickly forgive and/or ignore mistakes. On the other hand, it blows me away how quickly we can roll our eyes, sigh, and outright condemn our wives for making mistakes. Individuals running The Amazing Race don’t intentionally make errors to frustrate their partners. Chances are your wife isn’t doing that either. Forgive the times she drops something, forgets something, tells it wrong, gets it wrong, or otherwise messes up. People are drawn to quick forgivers. Be one.

Sound off: What’s amazing about your wife?

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