SOME OF OUR PRINCIPLES WE TRY TO LIVE AND RELATE BY

I mentioned the principles in my last post and want to share them here with you all.  These principles where created by my former husband Steve and me and served us very well throughout our whole marriage.  And because we’d made them such a part of our lives, even when we were going through our divorce we were able use these principles and get through the tough parts of transitioning a relationship fairly unscathed (we did have our moments, but they were very few).  Over the next few posts I’ll be expanding on these principles, explaining how and why they worked so well for us.

  • No surprises are allowed –(Except surprise parties and scenes and gifts and cards and that kind of fun stuff).
  • Make clear agreements on what each person is supposed to do.
  • Each person should be clear about their intentions.
  • Each person should be clear about their expectations of the other.
  • No secrets or secret agendas are allowed.
  • Find ways to be genuinely supportive and uplifting toward one another, especially when times are tough.
  • Keep a sense of humor when working out differences of opinion.
  • If one loses their sense of humor, the other should be forgiving.
  • If one gets out of line, the other should be firm but forgiving, and the one out of line should acknowledge the infraction when it is pointed out.
  • Nagging is only allowed if done with humor and goodwill.
  • Never complain to a third party in place of dealing with the primary person directly.
  • When disagreeing, both sides must listen to the other intently.
  • When disagreeing, interruptions, raised voices, angry movements and demeaning language are never appropriate and must be apologized for when they are pointed out.
  • Apologies for interruptions, raised voices, angry movements and demeaning language during disagreements must be accepted.
  • When disagreeing, neither person is allowed to say “I already told you such and such” – they have to patiently repeat themselves.
  • When disagreeing, neither person is allowed to accuse the other of starting the argument or creating the disagreement.
  • If one has bad feelings about the other during or after a disagreement they are not allowed to blame the other for these bad feelings.
  • Past disagreements are not valid issues during a current disagreement – no “generalizing” and no “bringing up the past” is allowed.
  • Short breaks from arguments are allowed but when possible disputes should be resolved on the same day they begin.
  • If a departure is necessary during a disagreement it must be cordial and considerate.
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