1. Affirm the essential role of regular bonding with an abundance of physical closeness and emotional openness to sustain intimacy. Satisfactorily blend sensuality, sexuality, and bonding in marriage.
2. Choose play, pleasure, recreation, creativity, and humor for the relationship to balance the necessary duties and hard work required to maintain the relationship, home, family, and economic security.
3. Express important hurt, fear, or irritation directly to each other in words, asking to be heard and understood with empathy. Recognize that what is left unsaid in a relationship is often more harmful than what is said.
4. Seek forgiveness for hurts inflicted in the relationship by taking responsibility for transgressions, repairing and restoring damages, and expressing regret for pain experienced by partner. Partner, in believing the pain is understood, feels assured that transgressions will not easily reoccur, restores trust and forgives. Let go of grudges and choose to forgive.
5. Give up being right. Invite and express diversity. Welcome differences as sources of vigor, perspective, and healthy growth of a relationship. Choose to learn from each other.
6. Choose trust, truth, mutual respect and fidelity as the foundation of a lasting, loving relationship.
7. Extend goodwill and positive intent. Do what is pleasing and satisfying to partner. Choose to engage in caring behaviors. Be a good leader or a good follower as each fits.
8. Know each other’s pleasure and pain buttons. Refrain from triggering negative reactions.
9. Develop a strong sense of “we”. Have intentional rituals, customs, styles that create a unique relationship and family identity.
10. Encourage connecting to friends and community to assure each has adequate autonomy, independence, and breathing room. Balance the intense closeness and needful inter-dependence that is at the center of an enduring, passionate relationship.
11. Maintain active connections to extended family and with other couples and families to provide community, perspective and support for the relationship and family.
12. Regularly express gratitude, appreciations, blessings, wishes, hopes and dreams. Positive expressions focus couple and family on desire, fulfillment and happiness, rather than on victimization, deprivation, scarcity, outrage or despair.