Wouldn't more couples be happier if people would just do the right thing?
So, what is that? On a basic level, it's acting in the best interest of the greater good, with consideration of your partner and your relationship. If you put yourself in your partner's shoes and you wouldn't like it if it were done to you, don't do it.
In layman terms, if you know you're on some selfish bullshit? Cut it out!
Sounds easy, right? Apparently, doing the right thing is much easier said than done.
If you're having an argument with your significant other, do you hit below the belt with mean comments, or do the right thing and hold your tongue for the sake of your relationship (no matter how tempting)?
If your somewhat-significant-other is hoping for a deeper relationship that you're unwilling to provide? Do him/her a favor and cut bait.
Do you make serious life decisions before checking with your partner, or do you discuss major events prior to making moves?
And for the hard one -- you're traveling in a foreign city and meet a gorgeous stranger who proposes one night of no-strings-attached sex. You have a decision to make. Do you take the bait and say: "What's the harm? My girl/boyfriend will never find out?" Or do you do the right thing and pass on that opportunity, refusing to compromise your relationship (or introduce a nasty unforeseen STD)?
Doing the right thing requires maturity and self-control. When faced with a decision, it's important to be mature enough to identify the best long-term option and have enough self-control to execute it.
Now . . .to be clear. . . many people aren't equipped. Some begin with good intentions but make the occasional mistake. There are those who are foolishly oblivious to the ripple effect of their decisions with no concept of the correlation between action and reaction. Others seem to have no capacity for making the right decisions.
Several of my exes couldn't seem to identify the right thing if they were provided with the most sophisticated GPS systems. When questioned, they'd give interesting excuses, such as "I didn't think you'd get upset;" "I didn't think it would affect our relationship;" or my personal favorite, "I didn't think you'd find out."
Notice the common thread? "I didn't think."
Three minutes of additional thought might have changed the outcome. Oh well. Those relationships are in the past for good reasons.
The most dangerous type of thoughtless wrong-doers are those who have no intention of doing the right thing. Sometimes, if we think we'll get away with something, we don't see the harm in doing it (a mindset that is rampant in prison). Or we might talk ourselves into believing that making selfish decisions won't affect our partners. But they do.
I'm convinced that our partners' inability to do the right thing is an important indicator. If he keeps doing the wrong damned thing, he's the wrong damned guy!