There are several snippets of marriage advice that have been repeated so frequently that they’re accepted as conventional wisdom; for example, do everything together, don’t fight, and do put the kids first. But will all of these general dos and don’ts work for every couple all the time? Not likely.
So reconsider these four marriage rules you should break.
1. Be 100 percent yourself.
Yes, we want our husbands to accept us completely for who we are. But, on those days when the “real” you feels grumpy, irritated, and out of sorts, try not to dump on your husband. It’s okay to tell him how you’re feeling, but having a hard day is no excuse for treating him unkindly.
2. Do everything together.
Sure, couples need to have some mutual interests so that they can stay connected and close, but it’s really okay to go your separate ways every now and then. If your husband is an outdoorsy hunter or fisherman and you’d rather do a little window shopping and get a pedicure on Saturday, it’s fine. Give him a big kiss, tell him to have a great day, and meet up for dinner to share the details of your separate adventures.
3. Don’t fight.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it, but couples who never disagree aren’t being honest with each other. There are times when it’s necessary, even beneficial, to get a tough issue out on the table with one another, no matter how hard it is. Always fight fair: stick to the topic and keep it clean—no personal jabs or hits below the belt that you may wish you could take back later. Avoid sarcasm, ridicule, name calling, listen, and long tirades of venting.
Always fight fair: stick to the topic and keep it clean—no personal jabs or hits below the belt that you may wish you could take back later.
4. Once you have kids, they have to come first.
Sure, your kids are important, but they wouldn’t exist without the relationship between you and your husband. What’s more, they might not get to enjoy all the security and benefit of an intact family if your marriage goes off the rails. So feel free to leave a pouty toddler with a babysitter every now and then to go listen—really listen—to your husband. Those rowdy, peanut butter-smelling little nuggets will thank you for it one day.
Let’s Talk: What’s one marriage rule you feel it’s okay to break?