How One Little Word Can Save a Marriage

I heard an idea recently that I think might be the key to a happy long-term relationship. And as with so many brilliant ideas, it’s tiny and simple. It has to do with changing one word: “should” to “prefer.” In relationships, we get very caught up in what our partner should do, give, say and be. We carry into the union our childhood dreams of the perfect person. From fairy tales and romantic comedies we learned that this prince or princess would provide for us, care for us, and cherish us (with the occasional cutesy argument in between). These expectations are nearly impossible to live up to—and yet it’s hard to give up the fantasy. It can feel downright dangerous to accept what we see as “l

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