The Traditions: How they apply to our relationships

HappinessImage-1Cathy (may her memory be a blessing) was the one who pushed and insisted that we do our first BBA.  So, everything on this blog, is a tribute to her.  In her AA Big Book, she had written: “the steps are the way to help us prevent  suicide. The traditions are the way to help us prevent homicide.”

Although this is not program specific, I thought that this blended nicely with the principles of program and how they apply to our relationships with others, and the traditions.


By Rabbi Zelig Pliskin


(based on principles in this book and the author’s counseling experience)


1) Keep your main goal on “giving” rather than “taking.” When your goal is to give your partner pleasure, you will always find opportunities to meet your goal. As a byproduct you too will gain since people tend to reciprocate positive behavior.


2) Be careful to remain silent when your spouse insults you. By ignoring slights and insults you will prevent many needless quarrels. The momentary unpleasantness will quickly pass.


3) Give up unrealistic expectations. People come into marriage with many expectations which are not consciously expressed. By giving up on unrealistic expectations you will prevent frustration and anger. Don’t expect your spouse to be perfect and don’t make comparisons.


4) Avoid labeling those things which are not to your liking as awful. Try to find a positive perspective to things.


5) Think of plans on how to motivate your spouse to want to do what you want him or her to do. If your first strategy is not effective, keep trying different strategies. Remember that tactful praise is a powerful motivator.


6) Realize that the meaning of your communication is the response you actually get. Clarify your goals. If your method of communication is not achieving your goal, change your approach.

By keeping an eye on the main goal, which is to have a happy marriage, you will not become side-tracked.


7) Be willing to compromise. Be willing to do something you would rather not do in return for similar behavior from your spouse.


8) Don’t blame or condemn your spouse for mistakes. Plan on the best method to prevent the mistakes from reoccurring without arousing resentment or hurting your spouse’s feelings.


9) Live in the present. Whatever went wrong in the past is over. Focus on improving the situation in the present.


10) Keep asking yourself: “What can I do to have a happy atmosphere in the house?”


Anyone may reprint this page and distribute it free of charge as long as the source and copyright is acknowledged: from Gateway to Happiness, (c) 1983, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin


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