In sports, academics and the corporate world, we rarely hand out an “A” for effort– let’s face it, it is all about the final results.  That’s all fine, but when you go home– are you still bringing that attitude with you, or are you checking it at the door?  If you want your partnership to survive, let me suggest you check the  results-driven mindset at the door.

Many people seem to have a hard time picking their battles.  Everywhere I turn I see people bickering– even on vacation.  You guys all need to chill.  Who cares if someone forgot to pick up the dry-cleaning on the way home?  Does it matter if a diaper isn’t changed the way you like it done?  Is it really important how the dishes get loaded into the dishwasher or just that they made it out of the sink? If someone is 5 minutes late for dinner, forgot to get cupcakes or made something you did not want that night, really stop and ask yourself BEFORE you say anything, how important is this issue?

These little arguments might seem insignificant, but let me tell you they all had up– and what winds up happening is that someone will start to think that they can never do anything right so why bother making an effort at all?  Indeed, if you don’t give someone an A for effort, you should not be surprised when they eventually stop making any attempts to assist whatsoever.

When you act like a nit-pick or nag, do you really think that is going to turn anyone on?  It is NOT sexy to act like someone’s mom or dad.  If you keep doing this, it is the surest way to ruin your sex life.  Once that intimacy starts to fade, if you don’t address that issue fast, let me just tell you how that ends– seeing someone like me for a divorce consult, and that really isn’t a very pleasant place to be.

Now, while I understand that some are really wired to want things done a certain way, within a certain timeframe, I hate to tell you this, but life has its own plans that may not correspond with yours, and we are not all brought up the same way.  Our priorities might be different, and in my opinion no one has the right to dictate terms for an entire household.  Rather than try and rule with an iron fist, or to insist that someone change his/her ways, how about learning to just accept and live with them the way they are?  If you really feel the need to be an alpha dog or trainer, then go get yourself a puppy that you can discipline your way.

Seriously, if you have picked someone as your life partner, and they prove themselves to be a decent human being to you each and every day, then honor your commitment by showing that person love and respect on a daily basis.  That means you give them the benefit of the doubt, you cut them slack when they need it, and you bite your tongue sometimes to spare their ego or feelings.  Much like a child, if you just reward good behavior and give them an A for effort, they will love you for life.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.