By Maelinda Turner, LCSW, MDiv

Instead of Roses, We Offer a Couples’ Contract. How to Keep Your Relationship Strong.

In the passionate cauldron of NOLA love, even the best crab broil can bubble over. To keep the flames warm and simmering, we, [Partner 1 Name] and [Partner 2 Name], hereby enter into this pact of conflict resolution: 

Couples Contract Details

Commitment 1: Cool Heads, Not Hot Hands: We commit to non-violence, both physical and verbal. We choose constructive communication over heated exchanges, simmering our emotions like crab bisque rather than letting them erupt like New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Commitment 2: Words with Flavor, Not Sting: We commit to avoiding name-calling and insults. We choose to express our feelings calmly and with respect, infusing our words with the flavor of understanding rather than the sting of personal attacks.

Commitment 3: Respect the House, Respect the Relationship: We commit to protecting our shared space from the storm of conflict. We will resolve disagreements without throwing objects, slamming doors, or causing damage. Our love nest deserves more than hurricane-force winds.

Commitment 4: Secrets Stay Safe, Like Grandma’s Jambalaya Recipe: We commit to confidentiality in our relationship. We will keep shared confidences within, treating them like the treasured recipe of our love story, never to be gossiped about on porches or spilled to family and friends.

Couples Contract Details

Commitment 5: Little Ears, Big Feelings: We commit to shielding our children from the heat of our arguments. We choose calm discussions and respectful conflict resolution outside their earshot, prioritizing their well-being like the sweetest jazz ensemble.

Commitment 6: Public Displays of Passion (Except the Good Kind): We commit to keeping personal disagreements private. No airing dirty laundry on NOLA’s vibrant streets. Let the public be captivated by our love parade, not our domestic dramas.

Commitment 7: Silence Isn’t Golden, It’s Just Awkward: We commit to open communication, even when navigating difficult emotions. Silence may be golden, but in our love story, words are the roux that binds us together. We will express ourselves openly and listen with understanding, even when the conversation simmers hot.

Commitment 8: Shared Secrets Stay Private: We commit to honoring past hurts and vulnerabilities with respect. We will not throw them back and forth like Mardi Gras beads, opting instead to heal and grow together, building a future tastier than any gumbo of past mistakes.

Couples Contract Details

Commitment 9: Family Can Be the Roux, Not the Red Pepper Flakes. We commit to handling our issues within the relationship, keeping family and friends out of the conflict zone. Their support should be a source of strength, not a tool for further discord. Let’s simmer with our own love, not stir the family pot with unnecessary spices.

This pact is a reminder that even the hottest flames can simmer down with understanding, respect, and a healthy dose of NOLA joy. We commit to making this pact the secret ingredient to a delicious pot of lasting love, seasoned with trust, communication, and a generous sprinkle of second-line joy.

Cheers to simmering down, not burning bridges!

 Partner 1 Name_____________________ signature________________________

 Partner 2 Name____________________   signature________________________

P.S. Frame this pact in the kitchen, next to Grandma’s jambalaya recipe, as a daily reminder of our commitment to simmering love, not scorching passion. Let the good times roll, the right way!

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