I’ve never encountered a pair that feels or has needs that are exactly the same at the same time or with the same intensity. Great couples don’t invalidate each other’s wishes, regardless of the topic—sexual frequency, social relationships, external family commitments, asset allocation, availability, or other hobbies. They are devoted to treating each other fairly when they resolve disagreements because they understand that they must love each other even when they don’t always get their way. They both share the same dedication to the ground rules they have jointly established. Every successful relationship is based on a couple’s parallel dedication to the same core principles that are particular to that particular partnership. Acknowledging that people change, they maintain the relevance of such beliefs while refusing to modify their actions. They always have an emotional “red phone” link available. Every couple that fights experiences intense hurt and rage when they are unable to please each other without sacrificing themselves. But even in the most trying times, if one spouse is having problems, those grudges are quickly replaced by empathy and support. Each spouse is aware that the other will always be there for the other in the event of an unanticipated tragedy or major loss of any kind. Not only is the underlying support assured, but it also gets stronger every time it’s needed. In healthy relationships, partners are always sensitive to each other’s suffering, even in times of conflict.