By Zelig Pliskin

1) Keep your main goal on “giving” rather than “taking.” When
your goal is to give your partner pleasure, you will always find
opportunities to meet your goal. As a byproduct you too will gain
since people tend to reciprocate positive behavior.

2) Be careful to remain silent when your spouse insults you. By
ignoring slights and insults you will prevent many needless
quarrels. The momentary unpleasantness will quickly pass.

3) Give up unrealistic expectations. People come into marriage
with many expectations which are not consciously expressed. By
giving up on unrealistic expectations you will prevent
frustration and anger. Don’t expect your spouse to be perfect and
don’t make comparisons.

4) Avoid labeling those things which are not to your liking as
awful. Try to find a positive perspective to things.

5) Think of plans on how to motivate your spouse to want to do
what you want him or her to do. If your first strategy is not
effective, keep trying different strategies. Remember that
tactful praise is a powerful motivator.

6) Realize that the meaning of your communication is the response
you actually get. Clarify your goals. If your method of
communication is not achieving your goal, change your approach.
By keeping an eye on the main goal, which is to have a happy
marriage, you will not become side-tracked.

7) Be willing to compromise. Be willing to do something you would
rather not do in return for similar behavior from your spouse.

8) Don’t blame or condemn your spouse for mistakes. Plan on the
best method to prevent the mistakes from reoccurring without
arousing resentment or hurting your spouse’s feelings.

9) Live in the present. Whatever went wrong in the past is over.
Focus on improving the situation in the present.

10) Keep asking yourself: “What can I do to have a happy
atmosphere in the house?”

from the book Gateway to Happiness, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

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