Do’s and Don’ts of Relationships

  • Begin your statements with “you should”, “you ought to”, “you always’ or “you never”
  • Re-fight old arguments or re-live old hurts
  • Do everything together
  • Demand change
  • Call names, use sarcasm, make accusations
  • Even when the source of pain seems clearly to be your partner’s behavior, try to get in touch with what is going on inside you
  • Listen carefully and non-judgmentally to what your partner is saying/feeling
  • Make positive suggestions in specific terms about what you’d like to be different in your relationship with your partner
  • Practice assessing where your relationship is frequently
Daily temperature reading
  1. Appreciation: Take turns expressing appreciation for something your partner has done.
  2. New information: Tell your partner something which lets them in on your mood, your experiences, your life.
  3. Puzzles: Take turns asking each other something you don’t understand (either about your own behavior or that of your partner) that your partner might be able to explain.
  4. Complaint with request for change: Without placing blame or being judgmental, cite a specific behavior that bothers you and state the behavior you would like instead.
  5. Hopes: Share with your partner what your dreams/hopes are, especially those which involve both of you.