Marriage isn't easy. Even if it isn't your thing, these simple rules, such as respect, communication, and honesty, can be applied to many types of relationships.
NemoBalimo asked married couples of Reddit: What are the unspoken rules of a successful marriage?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Maintain mutual respect.
Respectfulness is often more important than the old saying about communication. Respecting your partner, being mindful of things they're doing, etc.
Learn when your partner is focused on something, and avoid interrupting them, etc.
Respect each other's need for free-time away from each other.
Respect your partner enough to not trash the house, or force your partner to do all the household chores.
I agree with this. I'm pretty terrible at communication. We both know this. What I won't do is blame him for my lack of clarity, I won't let things boil over to the point where I would say mean things to him because I respect him and our relationship too much. We are a team in this life.
What I won't do is blame him for my lack of clarity
This is a big one all in itself. =)
When you're married for a while, it might feel like your partner can read your mind -- but they can't. Misinterpretations will happen, and that's okay.
There's no shame in being wrong. Let it go.
Sometimes you're wrong and sometimes they're wrong. Don't keep score, and don't use "well last time..." as an excuse to keep going when you're the one who is wrong.
Also, talk things through.
Can't stress this enough. Not married but this is one of the bigger reasons my last relationship didn't work out. Ive tried to talk things out but it could only get so far. Don't keep score. Forgive and forget or if anything move the fuck on.
All you need is love.
Love your partner the way they need to be loved, not the way you need to be loved.
How do you learn the way your partner needs to be loved?
You get to know them.
Read the book "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate" by Gary Chapman.
Honesty is the best policy.
Everybody always says to be honest and to communicate with each other. The extra step that is left out is to not punish your spouse for being honest. Sometimes you might hear things you don't like, but if you punish this honesty, the communication line will close.
Sometimes you might hear things you don't like, but if you punish this honestly, the communication line will close.
This, right here, is massively important. Neither of you is perfect and you will both make mistakes. Learning from them and growing is what makes us better as individuals and you should trust that your spouse loves you in spite of, and sometimes even because of, your imperfections. Not everything is going to be great and easy all the time and you have to feel ok being vulnerable and be ok with your spouses vulnerability.
Strive to make each other better. Strive to be better for one another.
Sometimes you need to agree to disagree.
There's no "winning" an argument when you're married. You either come to an agreement somehow or you've both lost. A situation where one person walks away feeling discouraged, unheard, and disrespected is not a victory when you're married.
Yep! When i go to a shower and they ask for advice for the newlyweds, mine is always: "Don't forget you are both on the same team." If you are fighting against each other instead of working towards the goal, it goes bad really fast. The worst time in my marriage is when we stopped rooting for each other and forgot that we were supposed to work together. And it almost ended us.
My favorite saying is, "it's not you vs. your SO, it's you two vs. the problem"
Make each other feel safe, even in the grossest of times.
Sometimes you'll be helping each other poop or puke or both and cleaning it up.
Don't ever bring this back up to humiliate the other.
My partner and I fist bump whenever we fart. It works out because I'm a silent but deadly farter most of the time so he gets a heads up.
The best part is that his dad figured it out after my partner farted audibly and i reluctantly held out a fist. His mom, however, saw random fist bumps and was convinced we were making fun of her. She claimed that on two separate occasions in the span of a month.
Be the partner you want.
I'm a divorce attorney and I've been married for almost 20 years. Here's the secret: be the kind of spouse that you would like to have by your side. Forgive the things you would like to be forgiven for and fight for the things that you would like someone to fight for on your behalf. The best way to have a good spouse is to be one.
Don't correct the other person unless it's important. Otherwise it'll just raise the level of irritation. More generally, pick your battles.
Yup, my wife mispeaks all the time. Tonight she asked me to put "ice on the front step." I know she meant salt, what good would pointing it out make.
I realize you're talking about bigger things, but if it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter.
Caveat that goes with all rules, only applies if that isn't part of your fun dynamic. My wife loves to correct my grammatical and historical mistakes, and since I really don't care what exact year group x won what war, or the proper usage of idiom y, well let's play games.
She corrects, I go nahhhh it was original assertion, she checks google and dances a happy dance and I sit back and continue not caring and happy she is happy.
Mind the marital money.
I'm not married but my dad once told me to never make a big purchase without taking to your spouse about it and to never hold money against each other.
We have what we call the bullsh*t budget. Each of us gets a set amount of money to spend each quarter on what ever we want. If one of us wants to spendour share on one expensive thing that's fine, but you don't get more bullshit money until next quarter.
Otherwise we basically chair a meeting to determine if we get the item,if there's money for it this quarter/where money will come from in the next budget to accommodate it.
I think about this every time Lexus runs it's holiday ads with giant bows on cars. Those are giant bows on divorces. I would lose my mind if my wife bought me a $60,000 anything without discussing it first.
Establish boundaries and rules.
Making all the rules spoken. Unspoken rules are basically land mines.
Agreed. Nothing ruins a(ny) relationship faster than taking something for granted which never has been communicated.
This hurts because it's true and I learned it the hard way.