The Golden Rule of Romance?
“The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.”
(George Bernard Shaw)
When faced with problems in your marriage, do you find yourself looking for governing guidelines to mend the issues? Marriage often sends its parties on a quest for sure-fire ground rules or secret-recipes for a successful and harmonious relationship (“fight fair,” “never go to bed angry,” “agree to disagree”). Spouses fall prey to the idea that there exist certain marriage maxims they must both abide by in order to maintain love.
So what is the key to a successful marriage—the so-called golden rule of marriage? Well…there isn’t one. Not if you’re looking for one rule for both of you to obey. See, any attempt to get your spouse to obey the same rules as you, regardless of how seemingly sane, will always lead you astray—toward trying to manage another person’s behavior through obligatory rules.
Instead, you have to establish a golden rule for yourself, and yourself only. Regardless of how your spouse behaves, how will you behave? Regardless of whether your spouse escalates and insults, how will you reply? Can you commit to doing unto your spouse as you would have your spouse do unto you…even if they don’t respond in kind? (wait a minute…that sounds familiar…)