Relationships are hard and tying the knot will not make them easier. If anything, it will be even harder from then on, with the newly acquired responsibilities, demands, and the pressure of sharing a life together. But don’t fret. If you follow these 11 marriage rules you will be on your way to a successful and lifelong relationship.
11 marriage rules for a long and loving relationship
Each relationship has its own particularities and characteristics. Two people are not alike and the dynamic of each couple can also be different. However, these 11 marriage rules are simply a baseline and they can apply to everyone.
Accept each other
No one is perfect. You’re not and your soulmate isn’t either. What makes someone perfect is having the right combination of positive traits and flaws.
Don’t try to change each other or even expect that change to be natural after getting married. You need to accept each other and love the good and the bad things in equal parts. Recognize that the other has flaws and accept them as part of their personality.
Keep on dating
Most couples tend to let themselves go after marriage, and if in some cases it’s a sign that you’re comfortable and happy, it can also lead to a progressive disinterest from the partner. If none of you make an effort anymore, it can also be perceived as if you don’t care any longer.
The dating phase doesn’t end with marriage. Keep on making an effort to look good in the eyes of your partner and, most importantly, keep going out on dates. Those moments, away from all the stress from home and from your children, are fundamental to keep the spark alive. They are intimate moments when you can reinforce your bond.
Keep your standards high
One of the basic marriage rules is to keep the standards high because then you will be keeping your partner on their toes and you will make an extra effort too.
If you expect to be a couple with good communication, unafraid to show your love without feeling embarrassment, that respects each other mutually, that keeps a healthy sex life, that’s what you will get. It is natural.
Since you expect all of the above, for instance, you will make an active effort to achieve them. You will express your feelings more, you will be gentle and caring, you will respect the other and you will try to keep your sex life interesting. Seeing your efforts, your partner will naturally follow you.
However, if you lower your expectations, standards will be lowered too and eventually one of you will start questioning your marriage.
Talk about your feelings
Don’t try to keep your feelings hidden just because you don’t want to bother or annoy the other. If you can’t be completely honest with the person you chose to spend your life with, with whom you share a house, your bed, your most intimate moments, who can you be honest with?
Hiding your feelings will only lead to resentment and they can weigh so much on you that you will feel suffocated.
And talk about your needs
Feelings aren’t the only things you need to talk with your partner. Your needs are also important.
If you don’t have them met, you can feel as if something is missing in your marriage, that you are unhappy, that your body and your mind need more.
And don’t censor yourself regarding your needs. It can be that you’re not feeling satisfied with your sex life, or that you feel empty when the other leaves the house without first giving you a goodbye kiss, or that you crave for a physical touch like a hug and a caress once in a while. It doesn’t really matter the nature of the need, just that you express it.
Show your love
Each person has a different way to show their love. Some are more expressive and they have no qualms in saying it out loud, or perhaps they like to kiss and hug. Others, though, might not feel as comfortable putting their emotions out. There is no right way to do it.
But you know your other half already, so that doesn’t matter. Even if they are not expressive, you can recognize the little signs they use to signal their love.
The key point, and consequently one of the most important marriage rules, is that you never stop showing your love for each other. There is no need to do big displays of affection. Even those little moments are enough. Those keep you feeling safe and peaceful in your relationship.
A married couple is a team. You’re in this together.
So, if the other does something you don’t like, you reprove or you simply find silly, don’t ever roll your eyes or show contempt. Try to understand why your partner does whatever he or she is doing, what are their reasons. Then, either talk to each other and tell them why you don’t agree or like the situation.
And finally, try to find a solution together.
Listen to each other
As far as marriage rules go, this one is absolutely fundamental. There is no point in expressing your feelings and needs if you don’t listen to each other
If your partner is telling you something or is pouring their hearts out, listen because it is something that is affecting them somehow. They either need your support or they simply need to put it out before it smothers them, and you are the person they trust the most.
Be each other’s rock
“For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part” – one of the most basic marriage rules is already stated in the vows you made to each other from the start.
Marriage isn’t all flowers and hearts, life goes on after the ceremony. You will encounter pain, obstacles, and difficulties as individuals too. Perhaps one of you will get fired and money will run short for a while, or your partner has a sick relative they need to attend to. These are external situations to your marriage that are bound to take their toll on your relationship too.
You need to stick together in those moments, be each other’s rock so you can get on your feet once again and gather the strength to fight whatever is in your way. In the end, your relationship will come out of it stronger.
According to a 2003 study, taking notice of the positive things in your life and writing what you are grateful about every day can re-wire the brain to remember and detecting positive things before the bad ones.
You shouldn’t be together only during the hard times, but also during the good ones. Celebrate any victory or achievement together and be grateful for each of them. With time it will become easier to focus primarily on the positives of your relationship than the negative ones.
The main rule: work together
A marriage is done between two people and both need to put their hearts into the relationship if they want it to succeed.
Don’t expect that, just because you got married, everything will be amazing from then on. You’re still the same persons as before and everything will be as when you were dating… but worse. Now you will have other responsibilities, worries and sources of arguments added to your relationship.
Unless you both work to achieve a happy and stable marriage, it will never work.