My husband and I have been together about five years now, and along the way we have realized we each have particular “buttons,” if you will, and because of that, we set some ground rules for our marriage. Of course the “no cheating,” “no disrespecting,” etc. are there, but we felt it important to set a few extras.
Some are ridiculous and some are solid, more serious rules. Some are easy to follow and seem like common sense. And other times we catch ourselves needing a gentle nudge to remind us of the promises we’ve made.
Here are a few of the rules we’ve put in place.
Rule 1: I will never throw a snake on my husband. Yes, I seriously had to make that promise. My six-foot-four, bearded, manly man is embarrassingly afraid of snakes and has explained that if one is thrown in his direction, it’s grounds for divorce. Yeah, right. #nottakingmychances
Rule 2: Never speak poorly of each other to family/friends. This seems like common sense, but it’s so easy to vent to coworkers and friends when I’m the midst of a fight. While we can forgive and move on, it’s much more difficult for our loved ones to forgive as easily.
Rule 3: No cell phones in bed. This one we talk about and agree on time and time again, but we have the hardest time following it. When we lay in bed in the evenings, it’s our “unwinding” time. For me, it’s social media and perusing pictures I took of our daughter that day. For my husband, it’s Reddit and the news. But what that does is take away from our time. I’ve caught us staring at our phones having not even talked about our days. It’s absolutely critical that we use that time to build our relationship – it’s the rare 2-3 hours we have to ourselves and we have to use it wisely!
Rule 4: We are always a team. This one we haven’t really had to put into practice too much yet. But I’ve received advice from other parents who tell me how important it is to be unified in front of the kids, regardless of if you agree with them. There’s a time and a place for arguments, and it’s not on a stage for the world (or one child) to see. (Stay tuned, as my little one grows, I’ll let you know how easy this is to follow!)
Rule 5: No eating at favorite restaurants without each other. Steve is much better at this than I am. But at least when I get Krispy Kreme donuts without him, I confess my infidelity! That counts for something, right?!
Of course the vows we made to each other on that freezing October evening are etched in our minds and our scrapbooks. They can’t and won’t be forgotten. But as you go through life together, it’s critical to talk about the things that come up as being important to each of us and make adjustments as needed. Ya know, the ever-important snake throwing!
I’d love to hear what kinds of rules you all have in your relationships – marriage, friendship or otherwise!