I’m sharing Dr. Eric Perry’s blog on Fair Fighting Rules for Relationships. Click on the above link to read it.
The Rules are shared with couples mostly during relationship counseling sessions. I believe that Dr. Perry is a Clinical Psychologist. Check his website out and follow him.
I recommend these Rules for all relationships; whether you’re still dating each other (best time to learn the rules!) or newly-weds or even had some years in marriage.
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Have you ever walked in to a home where the couples were yelling at each other? Worst still, calling each other names? And you stare, eyes wide, not knowing what to do? Loving couples are not supposed to do certain things, right? Or maybe I belong to another planet but can’t help myself sharing life on planet Earth.
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Husband: “You never listen to me?!
Wife: “You never allow me to talk?!”
Husband: “You did the same thing last month.”
Wife: “Yes, because you did it first!”
Husband: “You’re always competing with me!
Wife: “Shame on you for saying that! Who did I marry?”
As the guest, what do you do? Walk back out the door? At least the rantings paused for someone to answer the door. They knew you were coming and you would have expected that they would at least delay the quarrel. But, no, none will budge.
The above rantings are not uncommon in households. But those rantings should be missing in loving homes.
There’s often an underlying problem that needs immediate attention. But some folks prefer to sweep issues under the rug hoping that it will quietly fade away. To this I always say that “it has a way of rearing its ugly head when you least expect it.” And a relationship that has both overt and covert personalities should find a middle ground very early in the relationship to avoid the above kind of rantings. Dr. Eric Perry’s Rules should help.
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Love should not resort to name-calling or try to suppress or oppress the other’s voice or personhood. And, there should be freedom and mutual respect in a relationship.
Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
All relationships should have Rules and boundaries. Set yours today.
a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person;
sexual passion or desire.
a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
What is the love-first model?
It is the kind that marriages and relationships ought to be about. It is also the kind where each edifies the other above one self. The Bible provides us with a standard:
“Love suffers long, and is kind;
love envies not;
love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,
Love does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not his/her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;
Love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails: ….”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 KJV
This is the utmost kind of relationship everyone desires and/or should aspire to. But how do we get it?
How can we enter into this ideal model?
I believe that this kind of relationship is possible when men wisely choose their ladies and the ladies patiently wait for their other half to search them out. Then, there is dignity, mutual respect, and appreciation in love.
If marriages and relationships are based on the love-first model, there will be no occurrences of separation, divorce, or leaving one another. The relationship one enters into, will culminate into marriages till death does one or both apart. That, to me, is the ideal kind!
But since we do have incidents of separation and divorces, is’t then safe to say that either one of the parties chose the wrong partner to begin with or that one or both entered into the relationship under pretense or that the marriage or relationship was entered into for the wrong reasons? Maybe? Only both parties can tell.
Now that you know what love really is, which would you choose as your model for marriage or relationship; the business-first or the love-first?
For the love-first model, pray and have a confirmation in your spirit that you are choosing wisely because the alternative (aka wrong choice) can be disastrous.
“What’s in it for me?” “You rub my back and I rub yours (or scratch or poke yours depending on how I’m feeling about you! Lol). Sounds so cold, unh? Yet, these selfish and shamefacedly statements have now become cliches in households.
Why does anything have to be in it for you? What about the other person? Why have we starved love and become so hungry for the $dollar (or money, for those who don’t spend the almighty currency!)? What happened to us all?
I could rant endlessly in the hope that some “expert” somewhere could answer my questions.
With the above outlooks on love/marriage, falling in love or getting married becomes scary. Should it? Let’s talk about it and consider both models.
the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.
a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service; profit-seeking enterprise or concern.
“Marriage is honorable …” Hebrews 13:4a
Types of businesses
There are different types of businesses; the top four are:
Limited Liability Companies.
The business-first model in marriage is similar to a Partnership. In all businesses, it is wise to have an agreement/contract that clarifies expectations. The contract in marriage is called the Prenuptial Agreement or Prenups, for short.
My humble opinion is that prenups are business-in-marriage documents that should have no place when the marriage is grounded in love.
However, I can envisage why one person (or both) favors prenups before entering into the marriage.
For your information, prenups are not relegated to famous and wealthy folks. Average, everyday, working-class people have been known to request prenups before marrying. I wonder why anyone would marry prenuptially! Personally, I won’t.
Comment below if you would marry someone who presents you with a prenup. If not, why not? Thanks.
If a business model is applied to marriage, it implies that three scenarios are imminent:
either one person profits, and the other losses;
both parties win; or
both parties lose!
Let’sexpatiate on each scenario in reverse order
The third scenario (both parties lose; lose-lose) means that the outcome was a fallout, separation, or divorce. Is it safe to say then that both parties were misfits to start with? What caused a fallout or the ultimate decision of a divorce? What differences were so grave that could not have been forgiven, or as Californian courts will rule, were irreconcilable? Are we so callous with one another such that we take the “it’s my way or the highway!” stance? Maybe, we all should choose our significant others wisely before heading on the crooked road.
The second scenario (both parties win; win-win) is the ideal. But remember that the goal of starting a business is to make a profit; aka ROI, return on investment. In a marriage, what would those investments be? Using children as an example, as I couldn’t think of a better one,. Neither party didn’t begin the marriage with children. Each party brought something; the man contributed his sperm and the woman her eggs. “The profit” is the children?! What would we say about those in a second or third marriage who brought children into the new marriage. Blended home profit? What other examples can be used? Furniture, cars, etc. with the outcome (profit) being a home?! Maybe. What if one party does not have the furniture or cars? Should they still start a “business” together or the items become “ours” rather than mine or yours? Or as in a real business partnership, the type of partnership will be defined; that is, who would be the active, dormant/sleeping, limited powers, etc. partner? I’ll like to hear your thoughts on this.
With this scenario, it appears that both parties made the right choice of “business” partner, right? We all might need to take cue(s) from this type of business-first love/marriage. How then would the profits be divided? 50/50 or ratio relative to your contribution?
The first scenario (win-loss) is a troublesome one. Were both parties, the onset, aware of what the outcome would be? Why would anyone knowingly enter into a losing business? Were there any part of the contract that was latent, ambiguous, or intentionally omitted? If so, should there still be a contract – shouldn’t the contract be voidable, void, and/or rescinded? Let’s ponder on these for a moment. Some relationships are doomed even before they begin because everyone saw and knew that it was never meant to be nor was it going to last. Only the people involved couldn’t see nor know it! I could name a few examples but I don’t want to be litigated! You probably know one or two as well.
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Each of the above scenarios is worth pondering on. If you or I were to enter into a marriage or relationship, which scenario would you or I choose as our ideal? I know for sure that I would 💯 choose the second win-win scenario and I hope that you would, too.
What could humanity do to avoid a losing love/marriage? What sustainable relationship tips can we pass on that can help others and especially the younger generation?
Please comment below.
We’ll continue with the other model, Love-first in our next blog. Till then,
This is a second part of the blog series Housewife. In my previous blog, [Housewife: A Case for the Title], I made a case for the housewife and included the benefits and disadvantages of being one. As stated in that blog, being a housewife is a choice just like any other career. But the career of a housewife falls under the nonprofit sector; whereas most careers are for-profit. The main difference being that the nonprofit careers come with salaries and some perks and benefits that are short compared to the private sector’s. However, being a housewife has neither salary nor perks.
Read along as I make another case for ladies/women who desire to be housewives advising them to critically scrutinize some side-issues before making the decision. Did I hear you mutter ”what’s she talking about now; she’s contradicting herself?!” No, I’m not. I just want to offer a deeper and often overlooked challenge of being a housewife. So, let’s talk about the other side of being a housewife.
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A familiar scenario
John and Jane were happily married and looked like every inch of an ideal power couple which they were. John had a great job as an engineer in one of the top engineering companies in the City. They went on various vacations and short trips and all seemed well. They live in a nice home on the outskirts of Chicago. They have nice cars too; John drives a BMW 5i and Jane an Acura SUV. Within five years, they have had two kids. After the birth of the second child, it was harder for Jane to return to her job as a banker. They both decided that Jane stay home to care for their children. Jane agreed and began her career as a housewife. Within a few years of that decision, the impact of Jane’s salary was obvious and felt very hard. Jane couldn’t have new clothes, shoes, visit the salon, nail shop, or the massage/spa; all of which were regulars when she worked. Now with two kids, all funds and attention were focused on the children’s planning and saving for college. Meanwhile, John could purchase a shirt/pant or two occasionally to maintain his professional look. The vacations were relegated to the neighboring parks and their parents. It didn’t take long for Jane to start resenting the decision to be a housewife.
Get it in writing
The mistake she, and other women, make is that they ignored the blindsides. They also agreed to the career choice of a housewife without a written contract or agreement. A mutual oral agreement is great as long as everyone is good, happy with one another, and/or life, and everything is going great. An oral agreement can however be denied, misunderstood, and orally revoked by either or both parties. What then is her recourse?
In the above instance, Jane’s banker career was temporarily terminated. Should she return to the banking industry, her skills could be deemed obsolete and she would in essence have to start afresh depending on how long she was absent from the industry or she may have to switch careers.
Falling out of love?
Another often overlooked issue, but extremely important, of being a housewife is that of falling out of love, which is sometimes inevitable else there would be no divorce rates at all. Falling out of love often leads to divorce. I don’t pray that anyone’s marriage end in divorce but the cold truth is that every marriage has a 50% probability of ending that way irrespective of the length of the marriage. We hear and see this all the time and everywhere; particularly in Hollywood!
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I digress to congratulate couples whose marriages have stood the test of time and are still flaming the love fire several years after tying the knot. Kudos to you. We acknowledge that you had to put some work into sustaining your marriage. This will be a blog for another day.
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Consider a financial footing
In our instance, should the marriage lead to a divorce, Jane will have no financial footing to pursue her side of the legality as she has no she-money. Yes, she might borrow from her parents and/or friends except, of course, she lives in a community property state that could award her half of the joint property and assets in a court judgment. The community award however will be after the divorce process. But she might be cash-strapped during the whole process.
A few bad men however have also been known to hide money and properties in a divorce. Without her own money, the woman has no way of investigating the act(s) should she unfortunately be in such a situation.
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My advice to women is to ensure that the decision to be a housewife is
Communicated; not orally but written
If possible with terms and conditions; for example, the woman takes a me-time/day for herself to rest and rejuvenate. On such times/days, the man/husband takes over the duties/chores and not leave them till the woman returns; and most importantly,
That the woman has her funds either by working from home for a few hours or some funds be allocated to her from the joint account.
The fourth point above is from a realistic and practical point of view rather than from a women’s liberation standpoint. Every woman needs her-own money for simply feminine things; for example, buying sanitary items, attending events like birthday parties, or fixing her hair, and pampering herself. Kate Bahn, an economist, agrees as she found out when she took a year off, not for housekeeping, but to complete her dissertation quicker. Read her story here: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/aug/19/women-finance-housewife-control-money
Ladies, next time the decision “to be or not to be a housewife” comes up, Think-Talk is expecting that you will thoroughly consider every aspect of the non-profit career before saying Yes. It’s called loving smart 🙂
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