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Universal Laws for Couples

The Law of Connection: Spouses are either growing closer or growing apart. You don't get to stand still in relationships for very long. So we need to know two things: What does it take to continue to feel connected to my spouse? And what does it take for my spouse to continue to feel connected to me?

The Law of Nagging: I've rarely seen a situation where one person was being accused of nagging where the other person was not being irresponsible in some way. Nagging is no fun, for the nag-ee or for the nag-er. It takes two people working together to stop the pattern, one to be responsible, and then one to not nag.

The Law of Emotional Needs: Most, if not all, conflict in marriage can be traced back to unmet emotional needs. So what are the emotional needs of your spouse? If you find yourself in the middle of a conflict, especially one that occurs over and over, what emotional needs are not being met?

The Law of Underwear: After you have been together for a while, it's easy to slip into doing things you never would have done when you were dating. So don't hang around in your underwear, unless it's sexy.

The Law of Communication, Part 1: Human communication expert Paul Waltzslavick said, "You cannot not communicate." If this is true, the question then becomes "what am I communicating to my spouse on a regular basis?" Not only by what you say, but by what you do, as well as what you don't say and don't do.

The Law of Communication, Part 2: True communication is a two-part endeavor. It's the responsibility of the person talking to make sure that the message is getting across and the responsibility of the person listening to make sure to get what the other person is saying.

The Law of Manners: It's all too easy to begin taking each other for granted. It's important to continue to treat each other well. So when you need to get by someone, saying "excuse me" is still a whole lot better than "move."

The Law of the Other Person's Eyes: In marriage, we don't have to always agree with our partner, or even see things the exact same way. We do need to be able to step into the world of the other person and be able to see through their eyes.

The Law of Fun: The couple that laughs and plays together has a much better chance of staying together.

The Law of The Anniversary: I really like this quote about celebrating anniversaries: "A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year." - Paul Sweeney

The Law of 3 People: When you marry someone, you don't marry one person, you marry three. The person you think they are, the person they really are, and the person they will become as a result of marrying you.

Copyright 2003 by Jeff Herring

Jeff Herrring, MS, LMFT is a marriage and family therapist, relationship coach, speaker and nationally syndicated relationship columnist, and founder and CEO of http://www.Couples-Connection.com. You can email Jeff at jeff@couples-connection.com and sign up for his f'ree internet newsletter "Couples-Connection on his website at http://www.Couples-Connection.com

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