Photo: Shawn Gearhart/iStockphotos
1. Laugh a little
I will learn to laugh at my imperfections - because, when I do so, I'm more likely to chuckle at my partner's, too. Tolerance: It's catching.
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2. Lose a little
I will not try to win every argument.
That's right - you heard me. For every winner there's a loser, and that's not a good formula. Instead of trying to be right, I will try to find the right solution to the problem at hand.
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3. No joke
I will not make cutting gibes or jokes at my partner's expense. A cleverly timed taunt about his "sloth-like tendencies" or "stuck-in-the-80s-style" may earn laughs from others, but sarcasm, even thinly veiled with humour, still stings.
Photo: Catherine Yeulet/iStockphoto
4. Talk less
I will talk less and listen more.
5. Observe the rules
I will observe some respectful ground rules when arguing with my spouse: I'll avoid blaming, shaming and name-calling - and I'll take a timeout if I'm unable to do any of the aforementioned.
Photo: Marcus Clackson/iStockphoto
I will not point out my partner's imperfections in the guise of "trying to be honest" when really I'm trying to be superior.
7. Be happy
I will not make my partner responsible for my happiness. That's my job. Expecting your spouse to be the answer to your every prayer isn't a marriage - it's a cop-out. And for your spouse, it's a life sentence.
Photo: Daniel Laflor/iStockphoto
8. Keep the kids out of it
I will not put the children in the middle of disputes or use them to sidestep sticky spousal situations.
Photo: Stígur Karlsson/iStockphoto
9. Be together
I will go on more date nights!
10. Focus on the positive
I will see as many positives as negatives in my partner and in our relationship.
As a rule, aim for a ratio of five positives for every one negative. Every day.
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