Although all marriages and relationships are not created equal, there are some fundamental rules that every happy marriage probably already follows. Contrary to popular belief, yes, happy marriages really do exist. But these marriages are intentional. There are certain do’s and don’ts. They have certain bonds and rules that can’t be broken.
1. Love unconditionally, even through your differences (pray about it and seek wisdom from God).
2. Create your own definition of marriage success (don’t allow media or other people to define it for you).
3. Don’t rely on your spouse to make you happy. Only you can do that (and besides, that’s too much pressure on your spouse).
4. No matter how heated the argument, always respect one another (disrespect is a hard pill to swallow.)
5. Give each other breathing room (all married couples need to spend time away from each other from time to time).
6. Communication deepens and grows your marriage, while lack of communication builds distance between you (sometimes you just have to have those difficult conversations).
7. Never take each other for granted. Consistent praise and gratitude goes a long way (don’t expect them to always “just know” how you feel).
8. Sex should be fun. Scheduling it makes it seem like a chore. So indulge regularly (spontaneity is exciting).
10. Let your children see you flirt, cuddle and hug (you are the first example of what a healthy relationship looks like).
11. Choose your words wisely. Words are powerful (use them to build your spouse up and not tear them down).
12. Be playful. Don’t take everything so seriously, laugh regularly and sometimes uncontrollably (bring childlike play into your marriage).
13. Share your dreams with each other (when you’re on one accord it creates a stronger bond…nothing seems impossible with the support of your spouse).
14. Don’t argue in public. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than witnessing a couple arguing for the world to see (learn to take deep breaths and save that for the car ride home).
15. Remember those little things you used to do that made them smile before you got married? Yeah, keep doing that (don’t get so comfortable you stop doing the things that attracted you to each other).
16. If your spouse really comes first, that means you’re not on your cell phone, tablet or computer when you’re having a conversation with them (give them your undivided attention).
17. Define date night for yourself, and make it work for your own marriage (it doesn’t have to be expensive, lengthy or “at night”).
BMWK: What other fundamental rules for a happy marriage would you add to this list?
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