1. Listen actively to your partner from a place of neutrality and non-judgment. If you have formed your defense before your partner is finished, you are not listening.
2. Be curious about what your partner is saying. Ask questions first and respond instead of react.
3. Understand there is no right or wrong. We see through the lens of our experience. There is no objective truth. Each person’s perception is valid for them.
4. Be willing to move into a place of empathy. Let your partner know you respect what they are saying, that you understand them and imagine walking in their shoes. This grows compassion.
5. Don’t blame but take responsibility for your choices and actions. Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements when communicating.
6. Be willing to find a compromise and sometimes sacrifice. Compromise means you are working as a team.
7. Be willing to “stretch” yourself in order to meet the needs of your partner. It may feel uncomfortable at first but the results will speak volumes.
8. Be tolerant of each other’s shortcomings. What bothers you about your partner may be what you need to change in yourself.
9. Do what you say you are going to do. Trust is built on keeping your word and following through.
10. Be willing to forgive. Your anger and resentment will only hold you captive.
11. Practice the five to one rule: For every one difficult interaction, express a positive interaction to counter balance it.
12. Have fun, play and laugh. This is a prescription for creating joy and fulfillment.
Remember, a loving relationship is not about changing your partner but becoming the person you want your partner to be. Your partner is your perfect mirror. The reflection is a gift to your own healing and therefore, the growth of your relationship.