“Soulmate” is a silly term. I believe this wholeheartedly. Not always a popular opinion, but one that I feel makes relationships, love, and marriage a bit more realistic and therefore, more likely to last. Life is not a Nicholas Sparks novel. Couples do not ride off into the sunset.
Before you accuse me of being overly pragmatic, please know that I believe romance plays a very important role in any relationship, but it does not sustain a relationship on its own, long-term.
So what about the rest of the details that make up your marriage?
There are fundamental, non-romantic, ways to make the day-to-day parts of you and your partner’s relationship something that works as a foundation for the rest of your lives.
- Rule #1: “No one should ever hear anything bad about your spouse from you. It’s one thing to joke with friends about something trivial and quite another to demean your spouse’s character. Know the difference and always discuss the latter with your spouse and no one else.”
- Rule #2: “Over-communicate. You cannot read each other’s minds. Never assume the other person knows what you meant. Give each other the benefit of the doubt when miscommunications happen. Double check if necessary.”
- Rule #3: “Try new things together. Even if one of you is typically more adventurous than the other, have fun with it. Trying new things gets an individual out of their comfort zone and is often easier as a couple, allowing you both to grow stronger together.”
- Rule #4: “Be each other’s champion. Celebrate wins and encourage each other. Bring home champagne after a promotion at work, back each other up when engaging in that battle with your heathen toddler, work out together, etc. Never cut the other person down when they’re struggling.”
- Rule #5: “Be grateful for each other’s contributions. Whether it be money, time, chores, childcare, or anything else, no one contribution is greater than another. And don’t keep score. If you truly value each other’s input, then the scorecard shouldn’t (and doesn’t) matter.”
- Rule #6: “Trust and respect each other. Especially in front of others, including your children. If you do not respect your spouse in front of other people, why should those people respect your spouse? Enough said.”
These relationship rules came from a viral post written by Ryan Stephens & his wife, Alaina called “Six Rules for Marital Success.” If you’d like to read the full article, click here!
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