As a couple, you might want to start building a list of behaviors you believe will promote peace and goodwill, e.g.:
- Keep commitments and respect schedules.
- Value one another’s perceptions.
- Conserve each other’s time and money.
- Never allow anyone to split you.
- Do not engage in blame games.
- Defuse needless drama.
- Despise chaos.
- Admit when you are behaving immaturely.
- Do not expect the other to cater to your every whim.
Give serious thought to what is non-negotiable on your list of sanity-traits. There is a real sense in which you create your own reality and train people how to treat you, so have in your mind a well-formed outcome to work toward.
It’s never too late to learn, grow and start doing what works. A divorced client explained to me: “I married into an ideal. Then my ideal became an ordeal. That ordeal led to a raw deal. Now, I’m looking for a new deal!”
Whatever new deal you make, start early discussing and agreeing to specific terms of your Contract for Sanity.
If you can hold two opposites in your minds at the same time, manage your feelings while communicating, remain self-aware, comfortable in your own skin and willing to take risks, you’re probably fairly healthy.
Memorize these four phrases and use them often: “I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.”
There will be no challenge strong enough to destroy your relationship so long as you’re willing to stop fighting against each other and start fighting for each other.
May there be much peace on your earth.