Relationship Wisdom

Platinum rule:  Treat (love) the other person the way they want to be treated (loved).

You should be working in a collaborative, information seeking way.  Ask your ally honest, open-ended questions.

Keep your partner's emotional bank account filled.  Unflattering behavior will drain the account until there is no positive balance / feelings left.

How can I love and support you today?
What would you like from me?
Is there anything you need me to do today?
How are you feeling about me?
Am I enough for you, or do you need me to be better in some way?

69% of problems are not solved with happy couples.  Agree to disagree about some things.

You grow through having uncomfortable feelings, learn how to deal with your feelings.

Listening is the most important part of communication.  Pay attention to what the other person says.  Listen involves steady listening, then you talk back for a while.  One sentence back and forth does not promote good listening as you are caught up in your own agenda.

It’s not what happens to you, but how you feel about it that really matters.

Compromise can imply lose-lose, so try to compromise to meet both person’s needs.

Amends – repairing the damage, making things right:
     1)     above and beyond what would normally do, extra
     2)     Needs to be for the other person, to help them heal and recover, benefit the other person

Think of everyone in the world as your collaborative ally until you have compelling evidence otherwise.

Teach “working with” behavior to your child by example, be a good role model.

How to deal with anger is a choice.  Chinese get quieter, Arabs brood, we get mad.

Feelings and emotions are our personal logic… they help us figure out who we are and find our place in the world.  Men are cut off from feelings, and get cut off from the feelings of others, can’t express empathy.  They lose their map and compass.

Use your heart to answer questions and make decisions.

Figure out what, who feels right to you, then decide what’s right and wrong for you.

When the abuse stops, the healing can begin.

You can't always make your partner happy, but you can always be respectful.

Contemporary marriage appears to be beneficial to the well-being of men and detrimental to that of women - Jessie Bernard.

The essential shift that marks a man's transformation is the shift from What will I get? to What can I offer?

People will usually like us for being nice. They will admire and respect us for having our act together. But they can only love us 
when we allow them to see our vulnerabilities and our flaws. - Katherine Woodward Thomas.

The most important predictor of marital happiness for a woman is not how much she looks up to her husband but how sensitive he is to her emotional cues and how willing he is to share the housework and child-care. - Stephanie Coontz

The secret to keeping love alive is in the listening.

Men look for sex and find love. Women look for love and find sex.

Men know if they want to sleep with you before they know if they like you. 

When the chemistry wears off you had better be left with your best friend 

Compromise on height, weight, age, common interests, income
Don’t compromise on kindness, consistency, commitment, communication 

The second you start playing games, you lose.

Chemistry is a feeling, not love.  It predicts nothing.

You can't embark on a relationship where the success of the relationship is dependent on your partner changing.  Accept him or her as they are (the way you’d like to be accepted) and you can have a beautiful relationship with a flawed person. It’s called a happy marriage.

Love is not a feeling.  In love is the feeling.  It goes away.  Love is an action.  It is a commitment to the commitment.  When you love someone, you do for them…loving actions.  It’s giving, giving, giving…give back to the relationship, and the other person will give back.  When you are looking for commitment, it’s not about the feeling, it’s about being with someone who is committed to giving to you, waking up every morning and choosing to love you.

Guys, it's just better to offer to pay every time.  It's a matter of effective vs ineffective.  You can't go wrong by being overly generous.

Rules of Good Communication

Set aside time to talk.
Understand your partner's reality.
Stop, look, and connect.
Advise only when asked, or ask first and advise second.
Don't interrupt.
Comment on what you observe to find out what really lies bend your partner's words.
Ask open ended questions.
Be sensitive to your body language.
Be sensitive to your partner's body language.
Use "I" statements, not "you" statements.
Respect your listener.  Do not drone on and on and ...

Rules of Collaboration

Let go of your pride and your belief in an absolute right decision.
Don't play the blame game.
Don't insult.
Don't use emotional blackmail.
Clean the slate when the fight is over.
Seek similarities and enjoy the differences.
Do not exaggerate the negative and polarize.
Don't be a bully.
Absolutely no physical violence.  Like they say in kindergarten, use your words.