Love

3 Rules To Have In Your Marriage That Just Make Life Better

Photo: Eugenio Marongiu / shutterstock.com
quirky couple stands in front of a series of red mailboxes, holding hands

In working with many couples over the years, I have discovered that there are some “rules” that help make marriage better and improve the chances of a lifelong, healthy partnership.

I, personally, do not like the idea of rules, so if you feel the same way, change it to commitments that you make first to yourself and then to your mate. With that adjustment in place, you will find these suggestions not only doable. They're actually fun, and, most important — they work.

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3 rules for marriage and a good life together

1. Spend time apart

Recognize that each person has needs that go beyond their partner's ability to fulfill — and that’s okay. As Oprah says, women need women friends and that is true. 

It Is also true that men need men. That means that it is a must for each person to regularly get together with their same-gender friends. 

It could be a hike, retreat, lunch, playing cards, throwing a football around, or whatever. Keep the activity clean and simple and you will come back to the relationship refreshed. 

That means this is not a time to get drunk and trash your partner. 

It is a time to laugh and de-stress.

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2. Create a team

If issues come up that are not easy to resolve together, seek help — a counselor or coach. No, not your mother or sister. 

It is smart to have a professional on your team that helps you put conflicts in perspective, sort things out, and move from a stuck place. 

Think of it like a board meeting where different viewpoints are hashed out to come up with the best way forward. These sessions can be revelatory and lifesaving and even fun.

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3. Spend time together

This is not the old model of marriage where you spend every day together, as in today’s world that is often impossible. 

You know, busy schedules and independent living. 

Yet, relationships grow when special moments are shared. Is there a common interest or sport you can connect with — yoga, pickleball, a charitable activity you can pour your heart into, the theatre, or walking in the park? 

Or, try a new place for dinner and spend time catching up with one another. The key word is "new," as in discovering something for the first time, together. 

Have an adventure. Yes, call it a date. The point is to bring variety into your special time. 

Strong relationships are nurtured and when you grow together, you stay together.

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Jean Walters is a best-selling author and  St. Louis-based transformational coach who specializes in helping clients develop communication skills and empathy.

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