The Five Laws of Marriage

By Greg Baer M.D.

September 1, 2017

Partnership can be one of the most fulfilling experiences of life. Such an achievement requires diligent awareness of what builds and what detracts from partnership. We learn to love and to be better partners over a lifetime, and there are a great many principles, feelings, and actions that contribute to this effort. Partnerships are also built differently from one relationship to another, so there are few “rules” that apply to everyone. There are, however, laws that must be kept in order to prevent the creation of injury to a partnership. This is critical to understand, because one injury can erase the effects of dozens of building steps, much as the single swing of a wrecking ball can erase weeks of construction.

The Five Laws of Partnership

I suggest The Five Laws of Partnership, which are intended to prevent the injuries that make a loving relationship impossible.

The Five Laws:
1. No fear
2. No anger
3. No confusion
4. No past
5. No conflict

This does NOT mean that we SHOULD NOT EVER HAVE fear, anger, confusion, thoughts of the past, or conflict, only that these conditions cannot be permitted to continue without our addressing them or even stopping them. These conditions provide information, notifying us that we need to reconsider or discuss what we’re doing or believing. Let’s look at each of these Laws.

1. No fear

Fear destroys any possibility of feeling loved. It cannot be allowed to continue. Because many of us have been so afraid for so long, often we don’t recognize our fear. We can see our fear more easily, however, if we recognize our responses to it: anger (the next Law), running, acting like victims, lying, manipulating, the physical sensations of stress, and more.

Once you recognize that you’re afraid, you need to identify the cause of your fear—where possible—and then either find more Real Love or remember the love you already have. You can try to speak to your partner about your fear, but if they are unable to hear it, you will find a wise person to talk to.

2. No anger

Once you feel angry during any interaction with another person, NOTHING you do or say will come across as loving or helpful. NEVER speak in anger. If you do become angry, do whatever it takes—meditate, pray, step into the next room, talk to a wise person—to become free of anger and capable of speaking to your partner. Always remember, "When I am angry, I am wrong."

3. No confusion

Interactions become impossibly complicated—and therefore incapable of a happy outcome—when we get confused. We can’t see clearly or make good decisions when we’re confused. We become confused by unspoken expectations, misunderstandings, vague references, hints, conflicting information or expectations, and more. When we sense confusion in ourselves or others, we need to stop and eliminate it. Click HERE to learn one approach to eliminating confusion.

With your partner, you will consistently identify who did what, or who is to do what, along with when, where, how, and more. You will not make assumptions about what is going to happen. You will ask your partner what they mean when you’re uncertain, and you will make decisions together and with full understanding.

4. No past

When we become frightened or angry, rarely are these feelings a response only to the one person or single event in front of us. Instead we are reacting to a lifetime of pain and fear, and for that reason we must make a conscious choice to find all the Real Love possible, in order to heal the wounds of the past. Only then can we choose to leave the past behind and live only in the present.

Following are just a few examples of NOT following this Law, where the speaker is bringing the past into the present interaction:
“You always . . .”
“How many times do I have to ask you to . . .”
Sighing before speaking. This usually indicates bringing exasperation about the past into the present.
Irritation. Almost nothing in the present justifies the amount of irritation expressed. Irritation tends to be proportional to the present inconvenience plus past events—usually lots of them.

5. No conflict

This is really a combination of the previous four Laws. Conflict is inevitable if you allow fear, anger, confusion, and frustration over the past to poison the interaction in the present. If there is ANY conflict—which means any emotional condition that is not peaceful—say to your partner, “I really want to finish this conversation with you, but I need a few minutes. I will come and find you in XX minutes." There is no blaming in this expression, and it allows you to do whatever it takes—examples found above under the Second Law—to feel peaceful and eliminate all contention, which is unspeakably harmful to any relationship.

I am not suggesting that if we keep these Laws, we’ll always be happy, but I am saying that if we don’t keep them, happiness will be impossible, no matter how many other good things we do in our lives. Keeping these Five Laws will at least allow us to move forward on the path toward genuine happiness, unimpaired by the terrible distractions that steal our peace and joy.

Real Love in Marriage

Find genuine happiness now and forever.


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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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