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All my life I’ve loved the English language. I love its rules of punctuation, sentence structure and verb agreement. Because of its many forms of verbs, many around the world view English as the world’s most difficult language to learn. Not me. I love English. In college, I had to make it one of my two majors. I just knew there was more to learn about the language used to communicate all around the world.  In college, I learned even more about the English language through famed and little known writers, playwrights, poets and novelists. Male and females, they left behind timeless pieces of literature, experiences and insights, from their world and their times.

One of my favorite things about English is the rules of punctuation and grammar, not in a judgmental way but in an orderly and effective communal way. The rules of the English language are pivotal to marriage. For example, leaving issues unresolved to flow into your daily life and immediate future is liken to a run on sentence. You know, with no punctuation therefore no ending. You don’t know if the author is still talking or has moved on to another run on sentence, leaving you at the first word of the sentence because without proper punctuation, who knows where he or she is going, making you clueless to what you’re reading.

In a healthy marriage or relationship, each day, each moment is like a sentence. It needs proper punctuation. Each day must stand on its own. For each day to stand on its own, it needs resolved conflicts, issues and feelings. Whatever the issue of conflict seems is, address it in that moment. Don’t leave it there dangling and unpunctuated. Put a period to it and start anew the next day.

Another great way rules of the English language are applicable in relationships are the rules on verb tenses. Verbs come in three tenses: past, present, future. The past is used to describe things that have already happened. The present tense is used to describe things that are happening right now, or things that are continuous. The future tense describes things that have yet to happen. In a relationship, when you bring past things into the present and project them into the future, you end up living in the past and squandering the present. Leave resolved issues in the past and don’t throw someone’s past transgression in his or her face in the present. Resolve past hurts whether through honest communication or counseling. Resolve those issues so your past can stay in the past, your present yielding new moments which will brighten your future.

Finally, another applicable English language rule that applies in relationships is subject verb agreement. Your subject and verb need not disagree but they should be in alignment. Subjects and verbs must AGREE with one another in number (singular or plural). If a subject is singular, its verb must also be singular; if a subject is plural, its verb must also be plural. Agreement is so important in relationships and marriages as well.  Don’t blame others for what’s a singular problem. Don’t invoke others into matters that only concern you, the couple.

In a world of text messages, emojis and social media lingo, we can’t forsake the need for the rules of English which are also applicable rules for proper and effective communication in relationships. Communication needs outlines, rules of engagement; so the other person knows the starting and ending points. Like the English language, communication rules must be established, identified and followed in order to have a fair starting ground. Like English, love is a universal language. Though we all don’t speak it well all the time, we must respect, honor and practice the language of love with the one we love.