Rules for Successful Relationships


Seriously though, for those of you in polyrelationships, how do you deal with the day to day relationship issues and make it all work?

Same way you deal with the day to day issues with one person, or a partner and several children, or a partner and your parents and siblings - communicate.

Rules for successful relationships:

1. Mine's mine - yours is yours. MY emotions are MY problem - I will not manipulate your behaviour in an attempt to manage my own emotions. YOUR emotions are YOUR problem - I will not alter my behaviour in an attempt to manage YOUR emotions. Behaviour changes on either side will only be made for reasons of workability (see 2 below), using clear communication (see 3 below).

2. Workability rules. We will negotiate living arrangements and agreed behaviours/routines/rules which work for all people involved. People who are not involved may offer opinions - that plus $2.50 will buy them a cup of coffee.

3. Clear communication.

a) Sharing our lives. I will let you know what I am doing and what emotions I am experiencing, and I will listen to you when you tell me what you are doing and what emotions you are experiencing. I will not expect you to do anything about what I am sharing, and I will not react to or take personally anything you share. I will just listen and do my best to understand how your life is for you, (almost as though I was an objective outsider and not personally involved).

b) Requests. If I want something, or I would like something about our shared life to change, I will simply say so, using as few words as possible. I will then listen to whatever you might have to say about my request, without interpreting anything you say as accepting or rejecting the request. When the discussion is fully complete, I will ask whether you accept my request. Whether you accept or decline, I will still love you, and if you choose to decline, I will not punish you for declining my request.

c) Promises. I will keep my promises to you. If necessary, I will write them down. If, for any reason, something happens to prevent me from keeping a promise, I will let you know AS SOON AS I FIND OUT that I won't be keeping it. I will allow you to remind me of my promises to you with good grace.

4. Our mission is to grow together. I will seek to develop my capabilities and fulfill my potential, and I will support you in developing and fulfilling yours.

I think those four rules are all you need - I have run a 15+ year life partnership, parented three children to junior high age, managed a live-in triad and a live-out quad (including two alcoholic/addicts), and had several intense friendships, some of which went in and out of being sexual relationships with no loss of love at either end, using no more than just these rules. In many cases, the other person or people didn't know or didn't understand these rules, so it was just me using them, and they still worked, i.e. the love stayed in the relationship and all parties got their needs met and grew as people in the relationship.

Jenny Ford

2004. 05. 02.




Ascension Love Spirituality

Ascension Love Spirituality

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