All good and lasting partnerships have a 5:1 positive to negative attribute ratio.
Namely, if you do one negative thing to your partner, you must do five positive things to correct for it.
Positivities to Consider:
Accept influence from your partner; this is especially important for men with regard to accepting influence from women.
Be nice to one another.
Do not be snobby or contemptuous.
Do not call them names.
Do not directly insult your partner.
Be proud of the people that you love.
Create a culture of appreciation.
Say thank you; especially for the little things.
Tell your partner that you enjoyed their conversation.
Tell your partner how much you miss them, need them, and admire them.
Listen and give signals that you are tracking.
- Make eye contact.
- Nod your head.
- Keep an open body.
- Offer brief vocalizations.
Catch your partner doing something right.
Know that privacy is important.
It’s best to stay in positive sentiment override if possible.
Know that meaning in a relationship is created through how you move through time and space together with your partner in a cross cultural partnership; ask yourself about your cultural legacy, your heritage, your mission in life, and what you want to leave the world with.
Does your relationship support your mission and legacy?
Friendship is extremely important for partnership.
Friendship is the basis for dealing with conflict in a constructive manner.
Friendship is the basis for good sex, romance, and passion in marriage.
Three ingredients of friendship:
I. Enhance love maps; know the psychological inner workings of your partner.
- Who are the members in your partner’s life?
- What are your partner’s favorite things?
- What is stressing your partner out?
- What is exciting to your partner?
- What are your partner’s dreams and aspirations?
- What are your partner’s values?
Make questions 50% of the things you say to your partner; ask questions to update your love map.
II. Create a culture of appreciation.
-Don’t be shy to express your fondness and admiration; these emotions cannot just stay in the brain. They must come out the mouth; speak your truth.
-Express respect and appreciation.
-Scan the environment for things to be thankful and appreciative of and for.
III. Make bids for your partners attention and reciprocate attention when they offer a bid.
- Physically turn toward your partner when they point something out.
-Offer enthusiasm; it will increase your probability of reciprocation of a bid.
Negativities to Consider:
Contempt and disrespect is the number one indicator for divorce.
Negativity can be productive in relationships at times.
Call out what doesn’t work and talk about what would make it better next time.
Monitor your physiological state before repairing the conflict.
Take a time out if you feel your heart racing.
Let your heart rate slow down before addressing problems or conflicts.
Repair the conflict if possible.
Have a recovery conversation.
Figure out ways to cope and have a relationship with the problems; talk about them.
Know that 69% of conflicts in partnerships are never solved.
Select a partner whose irritating qualities and perpetual problems you can stand.
Look underneath the surface problem; is the problem about deep philosophical dilemmas?
Have you looked at the dream within the conflict?
Make the relationship safe enough to express the story behind the dream.
Find a way to honor both partners’ dreams through freedom, love, family, etc.
Know that everyone messes up, gets critical, and insults one another throughout life.
Apologize; have a sense of humor during conflict.
“Making Marriage Work.” Performance by Dr. John Gottman. 2006