Sometimes what you don’t do is MORE important than what you do.
Everyone knows what they want to promise to do for their partners when they reach the altar, but no one really thinks of what they don't want to do. It's often the things we don't want to do that end up wrecking a relationship later on.
It's possible to avoid a lot of heartbreak later, though. All you have to do is agree on these 25 "I don't's" before you decide to get married.
1. "I don't stonewall people I love."
Stonewalling is one of the rare key indicators that a relationship is not capable of being saved. If you can't talk about the major issues in your relationship, don't get married.
2. "I don't see marriage as a burden. I see it as liberating."
Simply put, you can't see marriage as a bad thing and have a healthy marriage.
3. "I don't use passive-aggression to solve my problems."
Passive-aggressive behavior is a quick way to build anger and resentment between two people. It's always better to confront problems head-on rather than letting them rot and ferment into bigger issues.
4. "I don't insult, disrespect, or intentionally hurt someone who I care about."
If you can't agree on this, you have a big problem.
5. "I don't stay with someone who regularly insults me, hurts me, ignores me, or otherwise treats me badly."
If you can't agree on this, you also have a bigger problem. Marriages are only good when they're healthy and happy ones.
6. "I don't keep my partner in life in the dark about major life decisions."
If you two are moving, you're going to need to make sure you both are always on the same page. Leaving a significant other in the dark about things like your career choices, your finances, or where you want to move is a huge betrayal of trust, as well as a sign that you really don't care about your partner. By making a vow to keep your partner in the loop, you're committing to a healthier relationship.
7. "I don't think that I alone should be in charge of major life decisions that could affect my spouse."
Marriage is a partnership. You have to act that way.
8. "I don't think all the house duties should fall on one person."
Marriage is a give-and-take. Duties have to be parsed out evenly in order to actually keep things feeling like a partnership rather than a forced lifestyle, don't you think?
9. "I don't strongarm my partner into decisions they don't want to make."
Strongarming includes things like threatening to divorce them, telling them that they will have to move out, or emotionally blackmailing them into doing what you want them to do.
10. "I don't think anyone should be a bigger priority than my spouse."
If you're getting married, your spouse is your new immediate family — not anyone else. That means you need to make them your top priority, because that's what a good marriage really does need.
11. "I don't see this as a mistake."
This is a big one. Why this is important should be obvious.
12. "I don't believe in ending the courtship after we get married."
A healthy married couple will need date nights in order to keep that spark alive. Never stop dating one another after wedding bells ring.
13. "I don't believe in letting a bedroom die."
One-fourth of all divorces happen at least partly due to bedroom issues. One out of every five married couples is in a sexless marriage. Don't let this happen to you.
14. "I don't hate the in-laws."
You should never marry into a family you dislike unless you're extraordinarily masochistic.
15. "I don't have anyone else I'd rather marry."
You should never settle for your second option. Ever. If you both can't agree with this statement, you need to stop the wedding.
16. "I don't have any secrets that could potentially impact the future of our relationship."
You both need to be on the same page about a lot of painful topics, including debt, past infidelities, any children from past relationships, and so on. Otherwise, you might end up divorced later on.
17. "I don't want a wedding — I want a marriage."
Weddings are great, but you have to want the aftermath of a wedding, too.
18. "I don't want to lose touch with everyone else after the wedding."
A lot of married couples forget their friends exist. For the sake of your marriage and having a life outside of your spouse, don't be one of those couples!
19. "I don't give up when things get rough."
This is what marriage is all about. You both have to agree on this before you walk the aisle. Otherwise, you might be in for a nasty surprise.
20. "I don't allow others to cross my boundaries."
Boundaries are important in every relationship, and you owe it to each other to keep your boundaries properly maintained. Many marriages went to divorce court because someone wouldn't stop meddling between those two partners.
21. "I don't want to marry you just so I won't be alone."
You really do need to make your intentions very clear. You both need to be into this because you love each other, not because you're lonely.
22. "I don't want to lose myself in this relationship, but I do want to be with you."
You need to make an effort to avoid losing the person you were in a relationship. After all, that's who your spouse-to-be fell for.
23. "I don't tolerate cheating, nor would I ever cheat."
Infidelity is a major relationship killer. You both need to talk about the consequences of it.
24. "I don't make everything all about me."
In other words, marriage is a partnership. There are two of you. You need to think of your significant other, too.
25. "I don't ever want to let you go."