When people were asked to really take a look at themselves and their part in the disintegration of their relationships, and not to just assign blame, the same lessons came up again and again.
1. Show your true self
"Accelerate the inevitable. Be yourself as quickly as possible because it’s all going to come out eventually. There’s no valor in putting on a brave face, it’s a mask like any other. Have the courage to be vulnerable."
2. Be honest
"Telling the truth is so much easier—every lie requires a lifetime of maintenance."
3. Be alert
"Don’t paint the red flags white. Complacency leads to avoidance, avoidance to withdrawal, withdrawal to resentment, resentment to adultery, and adultery to divorce."
4. Fight Fair
"Getting along is easy; you need to learn how to fight fairly and productively."
5. Make an effort
"Unconditional love is for children and pets. In romantic relationships, you have to earn it-and re-earn it-all the time. And that’s a good thing."
6. Talk about sex
"Discuss the dirty. Know each other’s sexual boundaries. Explore the fantasies, whatever they are, because if you don’t they’re just going to get played out somewhere else.
7. Sweat the small stuff
"Death by 1000 paper cuts is far more common than getting stabbed in the back. At some fundamental level we are what annoys us, so if something is bugging you, say it. Nicely."
8. Stay true to yourself
"Compromise is essential, of course, but it’s just as dangerous to compromise too much. You can’t fundamentally change who you are to please somebody else and nobody can do that for you. It’s best to love with abandon, sure, but you can’t abandon yourself in the process."