But when I got horses I learned a there are a few ways
of behaving that help make things work. You can't lie to a horse. You're
either being truthful or you're confusing the animal with mixed signals
and horses are bigger than we are. The truth and clarity are the only
things that work.
Once I learned how to train horses, working with my husband
got better. For me, the following rules work.
Negative reinforcement is only a last resort. Positive
reinforcement works much better. So make the right thing easy and
the wrong thing difficult.
Reward the slightest try. Make sure that you compliment
your partner about how they picked up one sock, so the next time they'll
pick up the pair.
If you get mad, stop, get off the horse (or away from
the argument) and hit yourself in the head. You just can't work things
out if you're mad. And don't go to bed mad. It starts out the next
Tell your partner when they do something you don't like.
As soon as possible, and as nicely as possible.
Ask, don't assume. And don't be put off if your offer
is rejected. If it is a command and not negotiable, consider the consequences.
Remember two can live more cheaply together than apart.
Marriage is both a business relationship and an emotional one. It's
not called show art.
Offer to help with the task your spouse is doing when
you're finished with what you had to do. Even if you're tired, sometimes
that's the best way to avoid your spouse feeling like a slave when
they cook/clean/fold laundry/mow the yard/etc.
Eat when you're hungry, sleep when you're tired, and
focus on one thing at a time.
Make sure the animals are fed and cared for before you
Go on a date occasionally. It helps you to remember
why it was you got married in the first place.
Don't tolerate anyone who runs down your spouse.