We can and should hold people of value accountable for their actions by forming relationship contracts with them. A relationship contract allows two responsible adults to agree on certain values, boundaries, and a framework of trust to build a healthy and successful relationship.

Often people make statements and then act against those statements in some way, squirming through loopholes, muddying the waters, or flat-out contradicting themselves. These actions can cause considerable damage to relationships.

When we have clarity on the values we share in a relationship, we can avoid a lot of this damage. Values need to be defined for each relationship, for each extension of a relationship (like when someone else joins the circle), and for changes in relationship dynamics. A relationship contract defines these values.