Partnership contract: how to preserve love

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Robert Maurer

Partnership contract: how to preserve love

Should a couple contract always be drawn up with its own code of conduct to guarantee the relationship a certain degree of harmony?

Last update: 21 September, 2022

It is very romantic to talk about a couple in terms of sweet words and affectionate gestures. Surely they are among the most beautiful aspects of love relationships, but over time they tend to occupy an increasingly smaller space.

When the couple faces the normality of everyday life, they redefine their expectations. Even if the flame of love remains alight, everyday life is full of small difficulties to be solved. If they are not overcome, the real problems arise.

A brilliant marriage is not the union of the "perfect couple", it is the union of an imperfect couple that learns to exploit each other's differences.

Dave Meurer

Coexistence strengthens the bond, but at the same time gives rise to situations that risk deteriorating it. Ultimately, partners have different backgrounds, different habits, and different ways of behaving. Combining and adapting the two lifestyles isn't always that easy.

Also, as the days, weeks, months and years go by, love changes. There are times when it seems to be gone. Crises appear, accompanied by doubts as to whether or not it is worth carrying on the relationship. The couple constructs the relationship on the basis of an implicit contract: should it be made explicit to protect the bond from deterioration and crises?

The couple contract

The implicit agreements

Any couple needs agreements to live together. Typically these are spontaneous agreements, without a particular order or structure. With the passage of time, situations arise whereby partial agreements are formulated and it is decided whether to put them into practice or not.

Most of the agreements are implicit. However, this does not mean that they are always fair or reasonable. Often one of the two partners gives in without conviction to the needs or negligence of the other, simply to avoid a conflict or because it considers everything a losing battle. However, this does not mean that he feels comfortable in a similar situation.

Coexistence always involves tensions. Circumstances become critical when one or both members of the couple refuses to play their role, not just with regard to small daily activities, but also in the deeper aspects, such as fidelity, attention, consideration of the other or availability.

Always implicitly in many areas, agreements are not broken. Then it is justified by saying that there were no agreements or that they were not sufficiently understood. Implicit agreements are not the best solution.

The explicit agreements

Some couples decide to change the implicit rules underlying their relationship with others expressed through a so-called couple contract. These deals go far beyond issues like who should take the dog out or clean the bathroom on the weekend. They concern, for example, the sanctions to be applied in the event of infidelity or emotional abandonment.

The New York Times newspaper recently published the testimony of a couple who drafted a regulatory volume, that is, a contract with a series of rules to be respected. The rules refer to the division of household duties, the management of money, possible illnesses, the behavior to be followed in the presence of guests and the discussion on thorny issues.. The two said the results of this partnership contract were spectacular.

Should a couple contract always be drawn up with its own code of conduct, a sort of regulation, to guarantee the relationship a certain degree of harmony and, therefore, preserve it? Is it a way to take away the spontaneity of the relationship or a realistic solution to deal with the fact that love also implies decisions and will?

The much discredited intermediate point

Perhaps in North American society this kind of couple regulation is a perfectly feasible option. In European culture, however, such a contract may not be accepted so easily. We cannot deny, however, that it could still have its validity.

Ultimately, coexistence, with a partner or anyone else, is much more harmonious when the rules of the game are clear and respected by all the participants. This it avoids unnecessary quarrels and represents a civilized way of dealing with obligations and duties. In this sense, an agreement shared by both partners favors the normal development of the relationship and preserves good coexistence.

Despite everything, love is much more than an organizational and regulatory agreement. Feelings, emotions and expectations come into play that you are not always aware of, but which at the same time define many aspects of the relationship itself. Love between two people can never be reduced to a set of rules. In all human relationships there will always be the variable of uncertainty and that certainly cannot be controlled.

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