To manage yourself use your head. To relate to your lover use your heart. Lovers can slip into a pattern of blaming that becomes an invisible infection eating away the closeness, love, and intimacy. Always listen to your lover with your heart.
Nothing will cause distancing as quickly as feeling blamed whenever unpleasant things happen or mistakes are made. Listen to your mate without jumping into a defensive response. Reflect to him/her what you think they wanted you to hear. Be willing to say,”That hurt” when you feel harshness or blame.
When you open your hearts to each other focusing on what he/she does right, your love will grow. Your defensiveness will weaken and you will feel gratitude that your mistakes and weaknesses are minimized. Soul mates accept each other just the way you are. No changes required!