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What are your relationship rules?

Is it normal to have ‘rules’ when you’re in a relationship? For some couples, it is — and here’s what they are.

Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger

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Newlyweds Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger recently announced their ‘relationship rules,’ including not drinking unless they’re together, no partying separately and not spending more than two weeks apart. That got us thinking… Do most couples have relationship rules? Here’s what we found.

Unspoken rules

All couples have obvious, unspoken rules. We all expect our partners to be honest, reliable, thoughtful and willing to compromise and work through things. Though you may not say, “Cheating is a deal-breaker,” it’s often assumed with all couples. We want to know your spoken rules… so we asked.

Real couples share their spoken rules

  • Mike and Tara Myers journal their life one kiss at a time, and they live by several wonderful rules that help keep them close. These include “dining” not “eating,” her always acting like a lady and him a gentleman, no sweatpants allowed and no television! In fact, Mike and Tara don’t even own one.
  • My husband and I have been married 19 years and have five children. We believe rules and boundaries are essential in our relationship to cultivate growth and affirm respect. Our rule is that since rules are subject to change, we must remember to inform the other of the change. – Shannon
  • When arguing, my husband prefers to go to bed and talk in the morning. I, like other women, am unable to sleep unless the issue is resolved. Our rule is that my husband gives me 15 minutes of undivided attention to try to solve the issue. If we’re still upset after the 15 minutes, I respect his wishes and let him sleep on it. – Lauren
  • Both my husband and I were married previously to other spouses. We both know the pain of divorce and work hard on creating a lasting marriage this time around. We have three rules: Never create an ultimatum during an argument or as a threat, never use the word ‘divorce,’ and always remind each other of our lasting commitment to this marriage. – Karen Hill
  • My husband and I have been married since 2006. Our rules include having a weekly in-home date night, giving each other “me time,” never lying about spending and always listening to each other and compromising. – Nikki

Jessie and her fiancé have 15 rules taped to their bathroom cabinet as a daily reminder. They are:

Couple holding hands

Photo credit: Frank Van Delft/Photodisc/Getty Images
  1. Warm hug after we brush our teeth (and not before)
  2. Take responsibility for when you’re wrong
  3. Talk, love and forgive mistakes
  4. Date night once a week (rotate who plans)
  5. Give my fiancé guy time
  6. No snooping through texts or calls
  7. Show love throughout the day
  8. Keep it ‘steamy’ in the bedroom
  9. Always, no matter what, have each other’s back
  10. Share our day with each other while rubbing each other’s feet
  11. Think before buying a gift, then think again!
  12. Hold hands when out and about
  13. No passing gas in front of each other
  14. Pray for each other
  15. Make each other laugh at least once per day

How to not have rules

It seems as though most couples do have at least a few rules for their relationship. But when push comes to shove, who really likes having ‘rules?’ Is there a way to not have rules but still have a successful relationship? Yes, by simply communicating. Communicate your wants, needs and desires and listen to your partner’s wants, needs and desires. By communicating and showing love daily, you’ll notice the rules may subside and trust and love grow naturally. A win-win for everyone!

Tell us

Do you have rules for your relationship? Share in the comments below.

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