We all could be better at relationships. We all could use a bit of advice. Here’s some advice, Jersey style, when in any argument or conflict with a girlfriend. This advice is sound. It is universal.

The basics:

Remember things you say cannot be unsaid. They may be forgiven. But they may never be forgotten. Take a deep breath and a step back before beginning your argument. Think.

Remember we can’t live in each other’s skin so whatever the argument know that she’s having her own unique perspective and do your best to see it through her eyes then help her to see it through yours. Don’t take it personally if she struggles with this at first. Be mindful that it may be you’re not explaining it properly, or even that you may just be wrong. People are sometimes wrong. Even you.

Oh, remember also, try to not kill her dog.

Look, we all get angry and emotional in relationships. When trying to iron something out, killing her pets, in general, is a bad idea.

A) It’s illegal.

B) It’s not the pet’s fault she went away on a girls' weekend or she doesn’t defend you to her mother or her friend doesn’t like you.

C) Once the pet is dead, she’s exponentially less likely to see things from your point of view.

Here’s a story by Patrick Lavery about a guy who authorities say missed this relationship skill in not killing his partner’s pet. Authorities say he was arguing with his girlfriend when she was at work and that he threatened her dogs. Police responded to the address to find one dog dead and the other missing. That dog was later found and is safe.

Bentley and Sophia
Bentley (r.) and Sophia (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)

You might wonder what the argument was about. Does it really matter? Guys, relationships are hard. I’ve been through the wringer more times than my fair share. So take it from me when I tell you it doesn’t matter if you just found out she drained your joint bank account after sleeping with your brother and posting embarrassing, compromising photos of you on the internet…you. don’t. kill. her. dog.

You know what feels better for you and has fewer legal entanglements in the long run? Move on. Leave. Wish her well. Go your own way. Learn from it. Be better. Be happy elsewhere.

Killing her dog might seem like a proportionate response to whatever she’s done (if you’re a pathetic, raging psychopath) but just like words you say, this won’t be forgotten. Guess what genius? It won’t be forgiven, either.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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