You meet, you fall in love, you decide to get married. Granted, it’s not really as simple as that, but it all does seem to go by in a flash. Between the wedding preparations and the excitement (read: cold feet) you two experience, you’re definitely not thinking about the humdrum of life that sets in once the honeymoon period weans off. When that eventually happens, you realize the importance of rules for a happy marriage.
When you go from wearing your Sunday best for your weekly date to living with each other in your torn shorts, what comes with it is a bunch of petty fights and a dwindling spark. The fights get pettier, the dates get less exuberant and the bills get scarier every month.
When the monotony of things makes you take your marriage for granted, it’s possible things may start getting a little unglamorous, to put it mildly. In such cases, the rules for a successful marriage come to your aid, letting you know just what your dynamic is missing.
9 Simple Rules For A Happy Marriage
When you aren’t married, you consider it to be one of the holiest of institutions, to be respected and adored at all times. When you’ve been married for a while, you realize marriage is when you put off vacuuming your entire house until your mother-in-law visits for a couple of days.
Jokes aside, the petty fights and frequent bickering may just put a dent in your relationship. In more serious cases, a lack of respect and trust may even lead to a damaging dynamic, perhaps even a toxic relationship. While there are no hard and fast rules of marriage, the most basic ones stem from common knowledge and aim to improve every aspect of your dynamic.
The marriage rules we speak of aren’t extremely complicated, and can and should be implemented by every couple as soon as possible. Frankly, a dynamic without any of these rules to a happy marriage might just suffer from some form of dissatisfaction. To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, read on to find out what you can’t compromise on in your marriage.
1. Understand that this is the most important relationship in your life
This relationship will most likely be the longest relationship of your life and has to be the topmost priority. And you should treat it as such. Your marriage is more important than the relationships you share with everyone else, be it our friends, coworkers, family, or even children.
The spouse needs to remain the center of the universe, even though temporary deviations may occur. It always helps to appear united outside (no matter what your internal differences are). Arguments or showing your spouse down in front of an audience, even when in jest, may inadvertently affect the relationship adversely.
2. Compromise is necessary
My husband and I come from different backgrounds and cultures (He’s a Tamilian and I’m a Punjabi). Our families have lots in common in terms of core values, but there are plenty of differing opinions as well. That shapes the way we structure our time, our communication style, hobbies, etc. It’s not a matter of who/what is the right way. It’s about meeting somewhere in the middle.
We have consciously tried not to change the other person but worked through the differences. He liked staying at home over the weekends to relax after a stressful week at work, and I craved going out to eat after having eaten at home all week. In the early years of marriage, it was a potential pressure point, but we have worked through that to reach a stage where we stay at home one day of the weekend but make it a point to try a new restaurant the other.
Even if your dynamic doesn’t feature different backgrounds, you’ll realize how differently your partner was brought up once you start to live with them. Instead of being stubborn, give value to compromise and you’ll see your relationship becoming stronger and happier. The rules for marriage don’t get any simpler than this.
3. Disagree respectfully
It is only natural to disagree with your spouse. The ‘happily ever after’ ending happens only in fairy tales. Married couples don’t have to agree every single time to avoid a fight. Instead of arguing or becoming frustrated, calmly discuss the matter. Give each other a chance to speak.
Discussion should never lead to a lack of respect. Also, don’t take your fights to bed – no fight or argument is worth losing your sleep over. Sort it out before you go to bed. Remember, in this relationship, there should be no room for ego. You have lost much more the moment you think you have won a domestic argument against your spouse.
Perhaps one of the most important rules for a good marriage is to never let your anger get the better of you, and work on productive conflict resolution techniques.
Related Reading: 7 Point Ultimate Happy Marriage Checklist You MUST Follow
4. Balance between individual and together activities is hugely valuable
There are things I enjoy that my husband isn’t really interested in (like a shopping spree at the mall) and vice versa (like following a tennis Grand Slam). We relish these activities on our own or with friends who share our interests, and we are supportive of each other taking time out for those things regularly.
But we also share common interests/hobbies (like watching movies together) and have found a way to balance alone time with together time. In any dynamic, allowing for personal space is absolutely vital if you want to keep your relationship intact. When you’re allowed space to grow individually, your relationship will grow as a result.
5. Keep your expectations in check
We’re not perfect nor should we expect perfection of ourselves or our spouse. Marriage requires patience, encouragement, and forgiveness. Holding onto grudges is counterproductive. If you expect your spouse to read your mind and figure out what’s wrong, you’re in for an unpleasant experience.
Be it rules of marriage or for any relationship you’ll come across in your life, make sure your expectations aren’t ridiculously high. Until you ask, you will not receive what you want. Unless you communicate, your spouse will not know what you want. This brings us to our next point, communication.
6. Communication is the key
I used to expect my husband to read my mind and thankfully I learned (a few years into our relationship) that expecting him to just “get me” all the time is completely ridiculous. Sometimes I have to literally spell things out to him, which usually ends up helping the entire situation a lot more than keeping silent.
We now understand and respect each other’s communication styles. I’ve encouraged him to open up more and he’s rubbed off on me in a way that I’m better about telling him exactly what I want. From the time we met, he has been wonderful at making me feel special and pampering me on special days.
Improving communication in your marriage will end up being the best thing you can do for your marriage. If we had to pick the most important rule to a happy marriage, it’d definitely be to make sure you both improve communication in your dynamic.
7. Understanding each other’s unique style is extraordinarily helpful
My husband expresses his love every single day, either verbally with expressions of gratitude and praise or with simple gestures like getting me something I’m craving. My love language is grander and larger than life and involves giving him expensive gifts, celebrating every occasion, or planning a lavish meal.
We now understand these and sometimes switch roles to make each other happy. This awareness of knowing what matters to the spouse helps in strengthening the bond further. Understanding how your partner expresses their love will make you more attentive to their feelings towards you and what they think about you.
Related Reading: Why Is It So Hard To Let Go, Even If The Person Doesn’t Love You?
8. Sharing the responsibilities
My husband and I divide all household and child-related chores. We do many of them together and for others, we take turns. This helps us do the mundane household tasks without boredom setting in. We rarely fight over whose job it is. We appreciate each other’s contributions each day and grab opportunities to express the same.
It may seem like a small thing, but sharing the household responsibilities can end up making your life feel like a well-oiled machine. When 70% of your Sunday goes into completing things around the house, you’ll end up hating your spouse for not helping you out. The rules for marriage call for support at every step, including in household chores.
9. Love conquers all situations
Be generous with love when it comes to your spouse. Just because you both know you love each other does not mean you can’t say it. Say those three words as often as you can – when departing for work, before heading to bed or in the middle of the day.
Date nights or special outings are equally important, where you get away from your regular routine and just spend quality time with each other.
As they say, marriages may be made in heaven, but they have to be made to work on earth. That requires perseverance, trust, respect, communication, and love. Hopefully, the rules for a happy marriage I listed out can help you make your marriage the best it can be, so you don’t end up complaining about how your spouse never does the dishes.
The values of trust, mutual respect, communication, and love should matter most to people in a happy marriage. If you’re not feeling satisfied or fulfilled, something is probably wrong.
A happy marriage means a relationship in which both partners feel satisfied, validated, and valued. They make each other happy and secure, and there are no doubts about the strength of the relationship.
Perhaps the most important rules for a happy marriage are to make sure your expectations are in check, give precedence to communication, always trust and respect your partner, and share the responsibilities.