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10 Rules You Need To Break To Have A Happy Marriage

There’s something really tantalizing about breaking rules; makes you feel like such a bad*ss! You can almost see yourself wearing black leather and dark shades, sitting on a mean machine with a killer attitude. Of course, in most cases, breaking the rules (or worse, the law) can land you in jail or at the very least with a penalty. But sometimes, breaking the rules can feel really refreshing and can be good for you, especially if you’re a stickler for following instructions to the letter! One such instance where being a rebel actually works is in the case of the so-called rules for a happy marriage!! 

newlywed couple

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

We humans just love giving out advice; it’s something that came along the evolutionary ride as our tails disappeared and our backs straightened. Wherever you are in your life right now, you can be assured that there’s someone or the other ready with an advice dispenser – whether you’re in school, moving to college, getting married, or having babies. Makes you wonder: who made these rules anyway? And how on earth can one single set of rules apply to the entire human population across nationalities and cultures? Seriously!!

That said, many people do follow all the rules and seem to live their lives according to the instruction manual. But look closer and you’ll find that they’re usually the ones with pretty boring, passionless lives. When it comes to marriage, they’re still married to their spouses, but it is a marriage completely lacking in that necessary spark. There’s also the generation to consider; what worked for a fifties’ housewife need not work for you, the millennial computer programmer. The fashion magazines in the seventies probably used up pages after pages talking about how ‘in’ those bell-bottomed pants were. Now ask yourself, are you still following that advice today? If you no longer stick to the fashion advice of a bygone era, then why do so with something as important as marriage?

Suggested read: Marriage Advice – The comprehensive guide

While there are several opinions on what makes a happy marriage (everyone and their uncle has one!), here are 10 of the most common that deserve to be broken for a happy marriage. So read on and find out how to have a happy marriage!

10 rules to break for a happy marriage

1. “Never go to bed angry.”

couple in bed

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Ah, this one is probably the most common marriage rule out there! Apparently, this rule has some basis in the scriptures which advice against letting the ‘sun down on your anger.’ Let’s say you have a super fight at 9:00 P.M. Sulking, taking time to think about it and then resolving everything followed by an apology – you have roughly an hour for all this, so c’mon, hurry up!

Seriously speaking, this rule just lacks logic. People need time to rewind a little and think things over – and rushing through this with a bedtime deadline looming is not going to work. Have your fight and let it all out. Then, just keep the peace and let yourself cool down, allowing your spouse to do the same. In all likelihood, sleeping over the problem will bring new insights in the morning and make reconciliation much more sincere and amicable.

2. “Your spouse should be your best friend.”

couple in love (16)

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

I think we have the movies to blame for this one, particularly the chick flicks! Cute guy has a pretty friend, whose prettiness is as yet invisible to him. He goes after a hot siren, only for it to end in disaster, bringing his friend’s hotness into focus. So there you have it – a two in one spouse.

So what’s the problem, you ask? While there’s really nothing wrong with marrying your best friend, or treating your spouse as one, but the problem is when you think that your spouse should be your BFF. This increases unreasonable expectations on your spouse, which can only lead to resentment later. Your spouse is your mate, your life partner. Just let them be and call up your gal pals/buddies for a night out on town to celebrate Friendship Day!

3. “Be 100% honest.”

couple talking11

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Let us clarify straight away here that by no means are we encouraging dishonesty or cheating in a marriage. Seriously, there is no place for that in a relationship where trust is paramount. However, we don’t think you need to be one hundred percent honest all the time, especially when it can help you tide over a minor problem.

For example, your husband needn’t know the gory details of how you and your high school boyfriend spent the summer. Your wife can do without an absolutely honest answer to “does my derriere look fat in this?” You get the picture now, don’t you? Again, in no way does this mean you can compromise on integrity and trust in your marriage.

4. “A happy couple is always seen together.”

couple in love (16)

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

This was probably brought down from the days when social etiquette dictated that a couple be seen in public all the time, holding hands and smiling sweetly, whatever their underlying issues may be. According to that school of thought, a couple going to separate events or spending time with their respective friends spelt trouble in their marriage.

Now, anyone who’s married knows how important it is for a couple to get some time alone and away. They also know that it is nearly equally important for spouses to spend individual time with their friends and extended family away from their spouses too! Here’s one of the secrets to a happy marriage: A happy couple is made of happy spouses, and it’s perfectly okay if they’re seen being happy separately once in a while!

Suggested read: Marriage advice for newlyweds

5. “Marriage is about give and take.”

man cooking

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Well, this is partly true. The recipe for a happy marriage involves a lot of giving and taking. It’s also about offering, sacrificing, demanding, and a fair bit of yelling too! Anyone expecting to give and take in equal measures in a marriage is setting themselves up for a lifetime of disappointment.

Marriage is never going to be about a 50-50 division of labor. At times it can be 20-80, at times it’ll be 90-10. We’re humans and all of us have bad times. When one partner is having a bad time, the other partner picks up the load and keeps things running, and vice versa.

6. “Never let it get boring.”

couple in bed

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Many people have this idealized notion that one of the keys to a happy marriage is always having fireworks and passion. But this happens only during the honeymoon phase, after which things tend to ‘tone down’ a little. But thinking this is a bad thing is where the problem is, especially when it comes to physical intimacy.

The fact is that what people refer to as ‘boring’ is actually the comfort of familiarity. Think of going on a roller coaster ride – it’s a huge adrenaline rush and is super exciting. But going on it every single day – you’ll feel like throwing up!! Marriage is like those comfy pajamas you get into at the end of the day; at times, you feel like getting all dressed up, but only for a certain time.

7. “Spouses should share everything.”

couple taking a selfie

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Okay, we’re not going into physical assets and property here, but this rule assumes that spouses are truly in love when they share every single thing, including their hobbies!! But how can you realistically expect two distinct individuals to suddenly forego their personal interests and merge everything into one?

Many marriage guides propose couples doing things together, like taking a class. While this is great if they’re both interested in the class, it’s actually better for them to work separately on their individual interests. Basically, these days, several happy couples share very few things, not even a last name!

8. “Never sleep in separate beds.”

couple in bed

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

The person who made up this rule didn’t know how it was to sleep with a snorer!! Okay, few things to clarify here: setting up separate bedrooms and sleeping there all the time is NOT okay, and is quite likely to be a sign of trouble. But camping up in the spare bedroom once in a while is fine, even if you’re mad at your spouse just after a fight. Like we mentioned earlier, some space can give some perspective and you’ll feel better in the morning.

There are many other instances where couples sleep separately once in a while, especially if there’s a baby, or one of them is ill or caring for a sick child. As long as these are few and far in between, there’s really no need to make a big deal out of them.

Suggested read: Best marriage advice that has stood the test of time

9. “Happy couples don’t fight.”

couple arguing

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Yeah, right!! This is another problem with the picture of an ‘ideal’ marriage, where spouses always call each other ‘sweetheart’ and discuss everything in mild tones. Of course, that doesn’t happen in real life!!

Truth be told, fighting is actually healthy for a relationship. Every relationship needs some shaking and airing once in a while, and fights are how this happens. Hence, this rule should probably be rephrased to ‘Happy couples fight right.’ Fighting right makes a huge difference to the quality of your relationship and can make things even better than before!

10. “Love your in laws.”

couple with in laws

Image source: Shutterstock

Okay, we’re entering prickly territory here. This concept was likely to be brought around by the traditional cultural setting, where you married not just your spouse, but their family as well! In those days, you were expected to treat your mother-in-law as your own mother, regardless of how she treated you or how you actually felt about her!

As you can imagine, years of repressed feelings can result in a nervous breakdown or an explosion where some regrettable things can be said. Avoid the mess by being realistic and practical in approaching your in-laws. It isn’t necessary that a person love their in-laws; however, it is important that they treat each other with respect and be polite and courteous to them.

Suggested read: Why your relationship after a failed marriage is likely to succeed

Old is not always gold, and that applies to age-old rules for a happy marriage too! Everything said and done, these are just general guidelines and every couple needs to figure out their own set of rules based on their individual personalities and their expectations from the marriage. The important thing is to be clear and on the same page; when you’re happy, you can be just as bad*ss as you like, and go on breaking all the rules!!!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
10 Rules You Need To Break To Have A Happy Marriage
There are many age old rules for a happy marriage, but not all of them apply today! Find out the 10 rules you need to break for a happy marriage.
Fabida Abdulla

Fabida Abdulla

Fabida is an erstwhile Software Engineer and current Freelance Writer cum stay-at-home mom to her boisterous 6-year-old. In between all the writing, baking, nagging, reading, and cuddling, she manages to blog a bit about her crazy life at Shocks and Shoes. []