10 Rules to Live by…*
1. I will communicate my expectations and not take it for granted that my spouse understands what I need or want.
2. I will verify my assumptions so that I have accurate information and feedback.
3. I will strive toward understanding my spouse’s feelings and thoughts on a matter first, without criticism, before attempting to resist and fight or even negotiate and compromise.
4. I will focus on resolving the issues and not attempt to make my spouse or our relationship the problem.
5. I will give myself and my spouse permission to take a “time-out” from the discussion when it’s requested or needed, as long as I give a specific time frame when we will resume problem solving.
6. I will take ownership of, and be completely accountable for my own feelings, thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors first, without shifting blame toward my spouse.
7. I will not attempt to control my spouse with sarcasm, rage, threats, manipulation, shame, jealousy, or silence.
8. I will be responsive and not reactive when discussing issues or receiving feedback about my behavior from my spouse.
9. I will actively seek the forgiveness of my spouse when I am aware of any wrongdoing on my part, and I will extend forgiveness when it’s asked for.
10. I will have a passionate marriage, one comprised of emotional and physical intimacy.
*adapted from “Well Done: the Rules for Creating a Win-Win Process in Marriage” by Eric Scalise