“Darling, I vowed to respect you. Just because I am your husband (or your wife) does not mean that I can do anything I want. Anything I do to you that is disrespectful is a violation of my commitment. I understand that without respect, I will not be able to nurture our love.”
“My dear one, I treasure our moments of love and affection together. I hope that we have many more moments like this.
Can we do something to make them happen more often?
Can we prevent difficult situations from rising and destroying us?
In the name of our love, our commitment to each other in our children, can we agree to sign this treaty of peace to take care of our anger?
A peace treaty for couples in order that we may live peacefully and happily together, in order that we may continue develop and deep in our love and understanding, we, the undersigned, vow to observe and practice the following are the one who is angry, agree to:
1. Refrain from saying or doing anything that might cause further damage or escalate the anger.
2. Practice mindful breathing and return to myself to take care of my anger.
3. Calmly, within 24 hours, tell the one who has made me angry about my anger and suffering, either verbally or by delivering a peace note that uses loving speech and writing what I have to say.
4. Either verbally or by note, to ask for an appointment later in the week like Friday evening, to discuss this matter more thoroughly.
5. Not deny or suppress my feelings, and not say “I’m not angry it’s fine. I am not suffering.” There’s nothing to be angry about.
6. Look deeply into my daily life while I am sitting, standing, walking, or lying down to see how I have been on the skillful at times. How I’ve hurt the other person because of my own unmindful habits. Anger in me is a primary cause of my anger. Remember how the other person is only the secondary cause. How the other person is only seeking relief from his or her suffering. If the other person suffers, I cannot be genuinely happy.
7. Apologize immediately, without waiting for the Friday appointment as soon as I recognize my unskillfulness and lack of mindfulness.
8. Postpone the Friday meeting if I did not yet feel calm enough to meet with the other person.
I, the one who has made the other angry, agree to
- Respect the other person‘s feelings, not ridicule him or her, and allow him or her enough time to calm down.
- Not press for immediate discussion
- Confirm the other persons request for a meeting, either verbally or by note, and assure him or her that I will be there.
- Practice mindful breathing and deep looking to see how I have seeds of anger and kindness in me that makes the other person unhappy. I’ve mistakenly thought that making the other person suffer it would relieve my own suffering. I make myself suffer when I make him or her suffer.
- Apologize as soon as I realize my unskillfulness and lack of mindfulness, without making any attempt to justify myself and without waiting for the Friday meeting.
As Adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh by Don Boice