In order that we might form a more perfect union, we aim to adopt this constitution as a set of guiding principles for our activities in our relationship. In the following document we outline these guiding principles, and the actions we aim to implement to aid in their achievement. Furthermore, we codify our current and future suggested best practices. The contents of this document will be revised yearly, or upon the discretion of all parties.
1 - On the resolution of conflicts in the relationship
- Promote habits that help to control negative emotional reactions
- Reduce the amount of time spent responding to and overcoming disagreements
- Develop understanding of and exercise faculties in diagnosing and treating patterns of irrational conflict inducing behavior
- Improve emotional intelligence
- Address major disagreements proactively
- If emotions boil over, immediately stop the argument, with a guarantee that either party may ask for 5-10 minutes for emotions to cool at any time. (potentially committing points of contention to writing)
- Respond to major disagreements within 1 day (using the criterion that only one party need decide that the disagreement was serious)
- Take notes of points of disagreement during an argument so that arguments don’t become needlessly circular, and so that if one party is being unclear and their point is becoming misconstrued, we can more clearly see this and resolve it.
- Keep written record of points where an individual misconstrued a logical argument or the validity of their own statements such that we might establish an understanding on patterns of bias in our reasoning, listening and communication
- Take notes of the resolution/conclusions repetitive arguments (what each party’s points were and how they were resolved), so if the argument happens again it can be quickly resolved.
2 - On the division of labor and capital
- Fairly allocate resources, despite living in an unfair world
- Instill better habits to maintain focus on long term objectives above short term reactions
- Define a set of shared economic values and attitudes
- Prevent disagreements over conflicting beliefs on our economic values and attitudes
- Keep a budget of income, expenses, and household work
- Reallocate monies based on agreed upon measures of merit
- Maintain separate accounts and utilize a system of shared payments and gifts to formalize redistribution of finances
- Monitor our spending habits to prioritize real needs over superficial wants
- Promote periodic discussions to broaden our understanding of value, including but not limited to perspectives on money, effort, time, personal well-being, and social and cultural capital.
- Reward prioritizing reinvestment of capital in enterprises which offer returns of personal, social and financial value.
- Incentivize decision-making (career, domestic, social) that will benefit our attainment of that which we collectively decide to value while still keeping the needs of each individual in mind. The good of the partnership cannot unilaterally override the good of the individual, there must be mutual agreement, see article 4 action 3.
3 - On intimacy and emotional support
- Ensure that each member of the partnership has all of the communicative and caring personal support they need
- Maintain a high level of emotional connection between partners
- Prevent loss of confidence in the health and security of the partnership
- Allow for the expansion of the partnership’s close relationships without harming the core commitments of the partners
- Maintain a minimum of verbal communication at least every other day even if one or both parties are busy.
- Place high priority on extended conversations when any partner becomes aware of a nervousness or insecurity or other emotional needs for which communication would be beneficial.
- Never engage in external relationships unless it is clear that the predicted potential benefits will outweigh any plausible downsides. And never engage in any activity that has a non-zero chance of harming the partnership, except in such circumstances where the activity is necessary according to the items set out in Article 4 of this constitution.
4 - On respecting the individuality of the members of the union
- Ensure that each individual feels that they have room for personal growth
- Prevent one partner’s personal goals from being overruled by the partnership
- Dissuade unhealthy codependency
- In conversations about decision making, ensure that weight is given to personal desires and remember to clearly define personal goals before focusing on what will be the best way forward. Consistently ask the question, “But what do you really want out of this?”
- In conversations about major career or lifestyle choices focused on one individual, avoid the temptation to frame the personal desires of the partner as mandates. If any party notices this activity, they should be quick to point out the conflict of interest associated with the employment of such empathic leverage, and return the conversation back to the focus of the individual’s long term best interest.
- No tolerance for unilateral decisions policy: Neither party has the right to make any decisions on behalf of the other individual affecting the personal well-being of the other party unless they genuinely believe the other individual could offer no contest about the motivations of the party making the decision. Or in some emergency cases, if a decision must be made immediately and consultations isn’t possible.
- Recognize that it is healthy and necessary for the well being of the partnership for each party to maintain individual friendships and to see these friends individually. One party cannot fault the other for have social activities in which they are not included, unless the party is in need of care, assistance or emotional support .
5 - On promoting ethical, engaged, valuable interactions with society
- Expand upon the social values and goodwill that each of the partners has developed in their independent life
- Generate more value for the universe than is consumed by the members of the partnership as well as the additional activities that come about as a direct result of the partnership
- Not lose sight of the partnership’s place in larger society, particularly that the partnership is not the central reason for existence
- Consistently make justified, reasonable donations to legitimate causes that partners individually or separately feel strongly about supporting
- Make a conscious effort to volunteer in our community and become more connected with our neighbors. For example introduce ourselves to our neighbors and be conscious of the fact that we are sharing space with them (ie not have loud debates, play loud shows).
- Identify discordances between professed ideas and activities and make plans to rectify them.