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The 14 Rules of Long-Lasting Relationships

To use these Rules effectively, you have to start out with someone who wants you to be happy and is prepared at least to meet you half way in making that happen. If you're approaching the relationship with the same attitude, you are well on your way to a long and happy life.

(Excerpted from "The Rules of Love" by Richard Templar)

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Be Nice


You've had a long and tiring day. In fact it's been a difficult week. You get home grumpy and irritable, and you need someone to take it out on. Who's there to oblige? Your partner, of course. They are always available, and it's not surprising you're feeling snappy, so what do they expect?

What they might expect is that you'd treat them nicely. If it was a friend standing there as you walked through the door, you'd manage to find it in you to be polite, so why not your partner? After all, they should be the most important person in the world to you, so why don't they get the best treatment?

It's so easy to use your partner as a handy sponge to absorb all your angst and to vent your anger to -- but that doesn't make it right. I've known plenty of couples who are snappy and irritable with each other on a regular basis. Some are even downright rude, simply because they can't be bothered to be nice -- because neither has done anything wrong. None of them have really happy and enviable relationships.

What's wrong with a bit of old-fashioned civility? What became of "please" and "thank you" and "would you mind?" If you want to feel really positive about what you have together, you need to start by being courteous and respectful to each other. Remember your basic manners, and speak with respect and kindness to one another. Fix them their favorite drink or give them a little gift for no reason at all except the best one -- because you love them. Pay them compliments, help them with daunting tasks even if it's not "your job" to put up shelves or do the ironing or unpack the groceries.

Next: Allow Your Partner the Space to Be Themselves

More on: Marriage and Divorce

From The Rules of Love Copyright © 2009, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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