The Ten Commandments for a Secure-Functioning Relationship

Happy New Year friends:

Exercise More. Quit social media. Cut out alcohol completely. Go Veggie… Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, hoping to spark positive change. Chances are, more than a couple of the top 10 most common resolutions will look familiar to you:




  1. Exercise more
  2. Eat Healthier
  3. Get organized
  4. Learn a new skill or hobby
  5. Live life to the fullest
  6. Save more money / spend less money
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Spend more time with family and friends
  9. Travel more
  10. Read more

All are good goals, don’t get me wrong. But for 2020, why not shake things up a bit? You make resolutions for your health — why not make some for the health of your relationship, too? 

I’m a big fan of psychologist Stan Tatkin, who is a marital therapist and author of one of my favorite books Wired for Love.

Stan has come up with his 10 commandments for relationship essentials that beautifully capture the most important factors in healthy relationships.

1. Thou shalt protect the safety and security of thy relationship at all costs.

2. Thou shalt base thy relationship on true mutuality, remembering that all decisions and actions must be good for thee AND for thine partner.

3. Thou shalt not threaten the existence of the relationship, for so doing would benefit no one.

4. Thou shalt appoint thy partner as go-to person for all matters, making certain thy partner is first to know—not second, third, or fourth—in all matters of importance.

5. Thou shalt provide a tether to thy partner all the days and nights of thy life, and never fail to greet thy partner with good cheer.

6. Thou shalt protect thy partner in public and in private from harmful elements, including thyself.

7. Thou shall put thy partner to bed each night and awaken with thy partner each morning.

8. Thou shalt correct all errors, including injustices and injuries, at once or as soon as possible, and not make dispute of who was the original perpetrator.

9. Thou shalt gaze lovingly upon thy partner daily and make frequent and meaningful gestures of appreciation, admiration, and gratitude.

10. Thou shalt learn thy partner well and master the ways of seduction, influence, and persuasion, without the use of fear or threat.

by Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT,

Do you have any new and exciting changes planned for the coming season? Would love to hear about what you are up to. Wishing you all the best in 2020!!!

In Mind Health and Happiness,


Tatkin, S. (2011). Ten Commandments for a Secure-Functioning Relationship. In J. K. Zeig & T. Kulbatski (Eds.), For Couples: Ten Commandments for Every Aspect of Your Relationship Journey. Phoenix: Zeig, Tucker & Theisen, Inc. Publishers.© 2003-2013 Stan Tatkin, Psy.D. — all rights reserved

Signup for my newsletter.
No spam or junk mail, and your email address will never be shared.