My Rules for Marriage: Not Written by a Marriage Counselor

This blog is not for marriage counseling but we are happy to share our imperfect love story with you. Because, Happily ever afters aren't always easy to reach and the road to becoming one unit is a struggle as your bodies get older, your mindset changes on popular topics, and kids happen.

I wrote a post on Monday that was meant to encourage people that are going through breakups to not feel discouraged and that we never know what tomorrow will bring. This is my marriage advice. I am not perfect and neither is my husband but I meant Our Love Story as encouragement not couples therapy. Through my heart break story I feel, now, that I may have given some of my readers my permission (who am I anyway....I am not a love expert) to be with spouses who treat them poorly. If things are bad seek marriage counseling near you, immediately.

John is one of a kind. He isn't perfect. He barely raises his voice. He simply freaked out 2 weeks before our wedding day. It is our story. Not many love stories are like the one I have with him.

I decided to write this post because there is some behavior that I would have never considered taking John back. But he didn't have some of those behaviors I list below. He is a good kind person. He had a commitment issue but worked through that over 3 months and we ended up getting married. (Another blog post to come)

I am all for couples counseling or relationship counselling if you are in need. You decide the company you keep. Hopefully, the relationships you are in are healthy. That is what I hope for all of my readers. This is why John and I both write here. This is an ongoing letter to our kids and we share it publicly with you because if we can make someone feel less alone in this world.........something positive has come out of our words/hurt/experiences in our tiny space on the internet.

Some of these things below John and I work on daily. Some of these things I.would.never.put.up.with. Here is a combined list we have put together.

1. Just because you are together doesn't mean the work is over. Pursuing and getting to know each other is never ending. Continue the fun and may it never stop.

2. To the women who are stay-at-home moms, your work matters just as much as his does. This also goes for SAHD's. High 5 each other. Adulting is hard.

3. Chose time with your spouse over overtime. Find the balance between work/family. Time is a love language and time spent with each other is more valuable than your average hourly income.

4. Listen and get off of Facebook.

5. Stop allowing fighting and mean words to conspire over text. Serious relationships should have conversations face to face. Tone and wording is not understood via text. If this is a problem for you chose a "positive texting rule" and use the phrase "let's talk when you get home", often!

6. EACH PARENT HAS A ROLE IN disciplining and teaching kids.

7. If you aren't listening to each other, you are not trying. Listen! Listen! Listen!

8. Talk.Talk.Talk. Open up to your person. Don’t be afraid to show emotion. Life is hard and real grown ups cry. It's natural and it shows you feel deeply. This is not a bad thing.

9. Stop making fun of your other person in front of them or behind their back. This is not just personally infuriating but also shows the level of seriousness you take this relationship.

10. Never use your size, strength, or volume of your voice to anger or intimidate your person or/and children. This is NOT ok. It just is not. No!!!!!!!!!!!

11. A "breakup" or "divorce” option Mentality in your head will never lead to a forever together outcome. Think positive and do not use these words lightly.

12. Have the difficult conversations! Have them!

13. When you say you will do something, just do it. Your word and trust matters.

14. Your are not the knower of everything. Respect each other's opinions and intelligence.

15. Ask what the other is feeling or thinking.

16. When your person tells you about a problem don’t solve it, just listen. There are two adults in the relationship. If you need help ask.

17. Just say no to sarcasm. You may be trying to sound funny, but you’re only cutting down each other.

18. Don't try to control, track, or spy on each other. Trust and if you can't trust, something is wrong. See advice above about having conversations.

19. Lift each other up. You are a team.

20. Never consider cheating or being cheated on is ok. It is not.

21. Be honest about finances.

22. Leave your past in the past. There is a reason why you broke up with that person so long ago. I write. I am an author. I bring up my past to help others. A lot of my posts are in que for a month before being published.

23. Stop and ask for directions. Don't be scared to ask for help. None of us know all the answers about all of the things.

24. Give each other space to have hobbies. Partake and share in each other's hobbies every once in a while.

25. Stop expecting one person to do all the housework. Share the responsibilities. I have a problem with health but I hustle hard during the summer when I feel the most "ok" to contribute.

26. Put each other's feelings first. If you aren't ready for that, you aren't ready for a relationship.

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