rule #0: listen to your partner
It’s that simple. That person knows you best. Period.
I know this should be self-evident, but sometimes I need a map to see the simple truths standing right in front of me. Thankfully, my partner is my best friend, so she doesn’t hold it against me.
Whatever self-indulgent or self-recriminating nonsense I might be telling myself, my wife can see right through it. Whatever mule-headed idiocy I might be putting myself through, she can call me on it.
True, it’s not always what I want to hear, but I can’t think of a case when it wasn’t what I needed to hear.